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K-Haircare: What Everyone’s Buzzing About

by Abby C. on March 29, 2020

K-Beauty haircare is officially a thing. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve most likely tried or heard of the famous multi-step Korean skin care routine. But have you heard of the multi-step Korean hair care routine?

Western vs. Korean Hair Care Routines

The Western hair care routine is known to be quite simple. There’s a basic process - shampoo, condition, dry and style. In Korea, hair care is approached just like skin care, with multiple steps to stick by in order to achieve glossy and healthy looking hair.

Take all those Korean idols and stars who frequently change their hair color and style. You'd expect their hair to get damaged with all those constant changes. Yet, their hair always seems to look flawless - no matter what they do. Whats their secret?

The secret lies in the scalp. Western hair care routines tend to focus on the hair itself, while the scalp is the focal point of Korean hair care. Like our face, the scalp also produces sebum, ages, and loses elasticity. Korean hair care recognizes the importance of scalp health and tends to focus on this point.

So what types of Korean hair care products are there?

There are a large variety of Korean hair care products to choose from, and a lot of treatments are used interchangeably. Here are some examples of common products:

  • Shampoo (use by preference)
  • Hair Rinse / Exfoliator (1-2 times a week)
  • Conditioner (use by preference)
  • Treatment / Pack (1-2 times a week)
  • Essence / Serum (use by preference)
  • Mist / Spray (use by preference)
  • Leave-in Treatment / Styling Balm / Hair Cream (use by preference)

A Step-by-Step Breakdown

Here’s a quick breakdown of the multi-step Korean hair care routine:

  1. Shampoo
  2. Rinse
  3. Conditioner / Treatments
  4. Essence / Serum / Styling Balm
  5. Style

Try the following steps below to give your scalp and hair a K-Beauty transformation!

Step 1: Shampoo

As a base, apply shampoo and wash your hair of any dirt, grime, oil or impurities.

Step 2: Exfoliator/Rinse (1x a week)

A good acidic rinse, like apple cider vinegar, provides deep cleansing and exfoliation for your scalp and hair. They help reduce dandruff and itchiness caused by dirt, pollution, and product build ups. Especially if you find yourself with a dry scalp or dandruff.

Step 3: Wash-Off Hair Treatment (1x a week)

Hair treatment is an essential part of the Korean hair care routine. It sort of works like a wash off mask for your hair. After you shampoo and rinse, apply the hair treatment and rinse it out after the directed amount of time. A wash-off hair treatment helps repair damaged hair and restores hydration, shine, and strength. Instead of your regular condition, use this in its place once a week.

Step 4: Leave-in Treatment (use by preference)

A leave-in treatment is the key to providing nourishing care for hair in a matter of minutes. It's typically packed with nutrients that penetrate deep into your hair which allows for easier styling. This is how K-pop idols and alike achieve that glossy and bouncy finish.

Step 5: Hair Essence or Serum (use by preference)

A hair essence or serum creates a barrier around your hair that protects it from external sources of damage. Perfect for keeping hair soft, silky, and shiny.

Step 6: Hair Mist or Spray (use by preference)

A hair mist or spray is spritzed on your hair whenever it needs an extra pick me up throughout the day. They help to detangle hair while eliminating frizz and static.

Step 7: Style

Step 7: Style

By the end of this routine, your hair will feel light, soft and ready-to-style. Now you’re ready to try out all the new and trendy hairstyles with hair that feels fresh from root to tip!

Bottom Line

This 7-step Korean haircare routine works as a great way to maintain and restore your scalp and hair health. Following these steps will lead you on the path to not only potentially repairing damaged hair but also protecting your hair from any further damage.

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