In the beauty and hair industries, new trends and technologies are constantly being introduced. These trends are not random but have reasons behind them, which are actually closely related to the cultures native to each country. To explore where Japanese beauty and hair trends are going, we consulted experts and front runners in these industries.
From high-end brands to drugstore cosmetics, Japanese beauty products for skincare and make-up are diversified and meticulously pigeonholed so that they can cater to a variety of skin types and textures, ages, occasions, ease of usage and more. Haruna Akiba of PMAI, an importer of Japanese cosmetics to the U.S. and the person responsible for selecting the best products for the U.S., shared an overview of trends and the gap between Japanese and the U.S. consumers.
“Key words that describe the current trend in the U.S. beauty industry are ‘contouring’ and ‘matte,’ which are quite different from what’s trending in Japan. What the Japanese care about most right now are ‘tōmei-kan’ (transparent, clear) and ‘tsuya-kan’ (glow, luster),” says Ms. Akiba. This can be interpreted into saying that Japanese people want to create a natural, healthy-looking skin base rather than covering up. It might sound like an oxymoron, but Japanese people tend to prefer make-up that looks like they are not putting on make-up. Japanese cosmetic manufacturers strive to develop products that make skin look supple and young while smoothing out dark spots and wrinkles. At the same time, it is important for the Japanese to maintain healthy skin, which is why skincare product lines are so diverse. Ms. Akiba explains about some of Japan’s skincare trends by saying, “We see that organic cosmetics’ sales are growing. I think this is a reflection of health-consciousness. Also strong in the market are products that help save time, such as all-in-one gels and ready-to- use masks. And large-sized, reasonably priced lotions are becoming more and more popular. People have fun using generous amounts of lotion without worrying about squandering money.”
Some of the products PMAI recently brought to the U.S. include Saborino, a ready-to-use mask that was developed to be used in the morning, and I-MJU Hatomugi Skin Conditioner. The former formulates components that cleanse, moisturize and tighten skin at the same time. It’s the perfect face mask for those who want to shorten their morning skincare regimen. The latter is a good example of a low-cost, large bottle of lotion that allows you to use plentiful amounts of it at one time. It contains Job’s tears’ extract that is believed to have an effect on promoting skin turnover. One bottle contains 500 ml (17 oz) and is priced around $10. No matter their time constraints or financial limitations, Japanese enjoy skincare as much as you enjoy putting on makeup. Why not try fun skincare items that both save you time and are friendly to your wallet?
When you wake up in the morning, just put a sheet of the mask on your face and wait 60 seconds. Your skin and mind will be totally awakened and ready for the day.
Splash generous amounts of Hatomugi Skin Conditioner all over your skin and neck, and enjoy the feeling of the lotion permeating deep into your skin.
Scalp D Beaute Purefree Eye-lash serum is a huge hit in both Japan and the U.S. It nourishes and strengthens your lashes by improving the hair follicle cycle’s condition.
In 2001, a group of leading manufacturers and distributors of health, beauty and general house- hold goods founded PMAI to further develop the growing U.S. market. By combining their exper- tise and experience within the import and distribution industries, PMAI was able to identify and respond to the needs of the Asian retail market.
NY Office : 600 Dell Rd., Carlstadt, NJ 07072 TEL: 201-438-0445 / LA Office 1700 W. Walnut Pkwy, Compton, CA 90220 TEL: 310-661-7260 www.pmaiusa.com
Japanese people have traditionally valued healthy, shiny hair regardless of hairstyles and hair colors. They are very conscious of the wellness of their hair, and naturally, the hair care culture in Japan has been well-established. The culture continues to grow and is constantly being developed. To understand the latest hair care trend in Japan, we consulted Takara Belmont, a leading hair product and equipment provider and one of the biggest in uencers in the Japanese hair salon and spa industry.
The health of one’s hair is usually forsaken in order to get faster, more immediate results in the U.S., but in Japan, this lack of regard to hair damage is almost unheard of. Attaining beauty is something that is considered to take time, both in order to do it right and to ensure that health is taken into account. Therefore, in this age of fast-paced lifestyle, reducing the time of perm and color services while maintaining the result is crucial, and that is what Takara Belmont deals with these days.
It is with technologies like Spa Mist II where we see how far Japanese are willing to go to protect and strengthen hair. While mist machines look like steam machines, they function completely differently – using ultrasonic vibrations to bombard hair with microscopic water particles in order to provide a level of deep conditioning. This is much more effective and less damaging in treating hair-whether it is color or perm. The Spa Mist II can be adjusted to various temperatures (while steam can’t), and stylists can even control the size of the mist particles. This system is not only used for perm and color, but also for head spa. Also notable is the Rollerball F, a temperature sensitive dryer used in conjunction with treatments; it can automatically shut itself off thanks to a pinpoint sensor that can see when your scalp is getting too warm. Warming the hair and scalp with just the right amount of heat prevents them from getting damaged.
Spending an excessive amount of time in a chair during a treatment can become uncomfortable. Takara Belmont has also created equipment that focuses on comfort. Take for instance, the YUME. This is Takara Belmont’s agship shampoo station that offers a completely ergonomic experience for customers, allowing full-flat reclining, just like a first-class seat on a plane, and cradling every part of the body. Especially, the neck and two head cushions, both of which are adjustable for each customer. They are designed to help every cus- tomer to maintain ultimate comfort during long-hour treatments, such as Head Spa. “Three things set Japanese salons apart: Technology, Technique, and Service,” said COO of Takara Belmont USA, Kent Iwasaki. “So Takara Belmont creates products that ful ll this, always looks ahead, and does its part to keep hair healthy.”
These health-conscious minds run through Japanese salons and their services, even in the U.S. People living in the U.S. do not hesitate to try extreme mea- sures to get a result; however, hair is a part of the body that should be properly taken care of. If you don’t know how to get a style you want and still maintain the wellness of your hair, just go to hair salons that take health issues seriously. And Japanese hair salons are the safest options because they are all equipped with a health-oriented facility in mind.
*Spa Mist II, Rollerball F and YUME are uniquely developed by Takara Belmont. Employing highly advanced technologies, these appliances bring superior results.
YUME is designed to recline full-flat, giving customers total relaxation.
Neck support design is epoch-making. All cushions are designed to rotate and to be able to adjust perfectly to the contours of the head.
Spa Mist II uses a soft, microscopic mist that penetrates the scalp and hair. It can be used with treatments like the Head Spa and with hair coloring or a perm.
Takara Belmont Corporation is a leading company in Salon and Spa Manufacturing and Design, founded in Japan in 1921. For nearly a century, its goal has been to help people ful ll their wish to stay beautiful and healthy by providing superior products and services.
17 W. 56th St., New York, NY 10019
TEL: 212-541-6660 | www.takarabelmont.com