Do you want to grow gorgeous and healthy long hair? Then the 10 step Korean hair care routine is for you!
In the world of hair extensions and curling wands, does anyone even realize that it’s possible to have natural, long, and healthy hair?
There must be a reason why you are here, on this page.
Maybe you are fed up with spending a lot of time and money taking care of your hair with poor results.
Or maybe you are looking for an intensive but easy hair care routine that will fit in with your busy lifestyle and give you the hair you’ve always dreamt of.
This article reveals the hottest tips and tricks to achieve the hair of your dreams naturally!
What The Korean Hair Care Routine Is All About
When it comes to beauty care routines, Korean cosmetics have been on top of the list for a while now. They are most well-known for their tradition of using natural ingredients.
Koreans tend to focus on nourishing their skin to ensure it’s healthy rather than abusing the natural beauty.
It’s not a surprise that similar rules apply to the Korean hair care routine.
The easiest way to understand the Korean hair care routine is to think of it as an equivalent of the skincare routine applied to the hair and scalp separately.
Korean hair philosophy is to treat your scalp like you treat your face. Your scalp is essentially an extension of your face but it often gets neglected when it comes to beauty treatments.
A dry scalp that’s been stripped of its natural oils is one of the main contributors to hair loss. On the other hand, an exfoliated, nourished and healthy scalp will host healthy hair follicles and result in healthy hair growth.
Proper scalp care is therefore a fundamental pillar of the Korean haircare routine as they believe a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair and taking care of your scalp is even more important than taking care of your hair.
After all, your existing hair may be damaged but a healthy scalp leads to the growth of brand new healthy hair.
Korean Haircare Routine In 10 Easy Steps
Any routine that involves ten steps may seem like a daunting and time-consuming task. However, this could not be further from the truth when it comes to the Korean hair care routine!
Firstly, some of the steps should only be performed once a week or even once every two weeks.
Secondly, some of the steps are likely to be part of your current hair care routine already and they will just need to be adjusted slightly. You may also skip some of the steps if they don’t apply to you.
Your individual hair care regimen will of course depend on your hair type, age, how much time you have, your budget, and many other factors.
However, if you dream of beautiful and healthy hair, you should know the pillars and basic steps of the Korean approach.
If you are worried that the Korean hair care routine is going to be expensive, the good news is, you don’t necessarily have to use Korean hair care products exclusively. You can use more accessible brands that will do the job equally well.
Check out the instructions below revealing the best Korean hair care secrets!
***Please note the advice given below in terms of how to use the products is only generic and you must refer to your product instructions of use.***
Step 1: Scalp Exfoliation (Once A Week Or Every Two Weeks)
As mentioned above, Koreans place a major emphasis on the scalp. Just like you exfoliate your face, your scalp needs exfoliating too.
Using a good salicylic acid-based scalp scaler before shampooing will remove debris, any dead skin cells, and oil buildup, as well as exfoliate your scalp.
One of the best scalp scalers in my opinion is Esthetic House CP-1 Scalp Scaler. It will take care of all the dead cells without taking away any essential oils, as well as increase blood flow promoting healthy hair growth.
Scalp scaler should be applied over your dry scalp just before shampoo and left for approximately 20 minutes before rinsing off and continuing to the next step. Please refer to your product’s specific instructions.
Step 2: Shampoo And Scalp Massage
Koreans use shampoos without ingredients such as sulphates that are harsh on the scalp but contain herbs and essential oils instead.
An example of a fantastic product that ticks all the boxes is Nature Republic’s Argan Deep Care Shampoo.
While shampooing, integrate scalp massage to achieve better results.
For example, you can try this cute Kerotin Scalp Massager.
Massage the shampoo gently on your scalp for a few minutes before rinsing off. This will help nourish your scalp and hair roots by promoting blood circulation and removing the remaining dead skin cells, debris, and hair products.
Using a massaging tool with your shampoo will do a much better job than using your hands and you will notice a huge difference after only one use!
It’s just like washing your face with a face brush.
Step 3: Condition
We all know that conditioning is crucial to achieving soft and shiny hair.
The trick is to pair your conditioner with the brand of your shampoo as they are usually designed to work together by using relevant ingredients.
Nature Republic Argan Essential Deep Care Conditioner comes with the shampoo recommended above and will effectively save your hair from frizz.
If you feel your conditioner is not working for you, try leaving it on for longer. They are supposed to condition and nourish your hair, not just quickly detangle it.
Allow the time for the conditioner to work its magic whilst you take care of other parts of your body, e.g. washing your face or shaving.
Step 4: Deep Condition (Once A Week)
Hair masks, also known as hair “packs” in Korea, are designed to deeply nourish your hair. Once a week replace your hair conditioner with a hair mask to give it an intensive boost.
I highly recommend trying Nature Republic Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack.
Alternatively, you can use very popular among Koreans sheet masks, .
Unlike hair masks or packs, sheet masks are more comfortable to apply. Tuck your hair into a sheet mask and twist it as directed. Let your hair soak up the nutrients for 20 minutes, wash it off, and it’s all done.
One of the best hair sheet masks to try is the Mediheal Hair Sheep Steam Pack.
Again, it’s just like using a face mask as part of your skincare routine.
The most intense option would be to give your hair an overnight treatment, such as Bumble and Bumble While You Sleep Damage Repair Masque, and allow the product hours instead of minutes to do its job.
Step 5: Vinegar Wash (Once A Week)
Just like your skin, your scalp and hair also need a perfect acidic pH balance.
Your styling products, amongst other things, may cause your scalp to become alkaline. The subsequent growth of bacteria may lead to dry and itchy scalp, or even dandruff or eczema.
A quick and effective solution is rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar. This maintains the correct pH level and adds an extra shine to your hair. It can also help you get rid of dry skin and dandruff.
While choosing your apple cider vinegar, try to stick with organic ones, like Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Mix a couple of tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water. Rinse your scalp and hair with it. Wash it off after massaging for one minute.
Step 6 Of The Korean Hair Care Routine: Scalp Mask (Once A Week)
Scalp masks are similar to hair masks. However, as we already know hair and scalp are separate entities in terms of their needs and they should be treated differently.
Scalp masks, therefore, have a different formula, designed to work specifically on your scalp.
One of the best scalp masks to try is La’dor Tea Tree Scalp Clinic Hair Pack.
To save time, you can apply a scalp mask at the same time while applying a hair mask, after shampoo.
Step 7 Of The Korean Hair Care Routine: Scalp Tonic
Scalp tonics work on your scalp like face toners on your skin. They are meant to revitalize your scalp, balance its pH, and prepare it for the following steps.
You must try La’dor Dermatical Scalp Tonic which contains some amazing ingredients such as tea tree oil, mint, and cooling extract.
Scalp Tonic should be sprayed on your scalp after your shower on gently towel-dried hair.
Step 8 Of The Korean Hair Care Routine: Scalp Serum
Scalp serum or essence is meant to hydrate and soothe your scalp, just like skin serums work on your face.
If you don’t have a dry scalp in need of hydration, choose a lightweight essence or you may skip this step and stick to a scalp tonic.
A great scalp serum to try is Macadamia Professional Éprouvage Reviving Scalp Serum.
Step 9 Of The Korean Hair Care Routine: Hair Serum
Korean women give a finishing touch to their haircare routine with hair essence or serum. The formula keeps the hair hydrated, helps with easy detangling, and prevents breakage or split ends.
You can blindly trust La’dor Silk Ring Hair Essence.
Apply your hair serum at the ends first and slowly let your hair absorb it. You can massage it gently into your hair if you want, and voila!
Step 10: Heat protection
An important step of hair care is avoiding heat styling (in an ideal world) or using an effective heat protection product to prevent damage.
Choose a product that has a chemical-free formula, like the best selling heat protector from HSI PROFESSIONAL.
Now you know all the secrets of gorgeous Korean hair!
You can have beautiful, soft, and glossy hair locks too however, keep in mind that the goal is to have healthy hair first and the rest will follow.
Korean Hair Care Routine And Coloring Your Hair
Since the Korean hair care routine is all about healthy hair, you are probably wondering whether you can still dye your hair.
The short answer is: yes, you can. After all, Korean women dye their hair too!
However, there are some things you should take into consideration first.
My personal advice would be to refrain from dyeing your hair if you can, for several reasons.
Firstly, the harsh truth is your hair will never go back to how healthy it was pre-coloring.
My hair was extremely damaged for years despite spending a fortune on hairdresser appointments and expensive hair care products.
It all changed when I decided to stop dyeing my hair and implemented the Korean hair care routine. My hair is in the best condition it’s ever been!
Secondly, once you start dyeing your hair (with a permanent hair dye or bleach) you need to repeat this process several times a year. The only way out of it is to grow your hair out which takes time.
Dyeing your hair on a regular basis at a professional hair salon is also not cheap.
I appreciate however that despite all of the above, some of you may still want to dye your hair. There are some things you can do to keep your hair as healthy as possible during this process.
How To Minimize The Damage
Depending on the reason why you want to color your hair, check for a solution below to minimize the damage to your hair.
If You Want To Cover Your Gray Hair
If you want to color your hair to cover your grays, I have some good news for you! There is another solution that does not involve damaging your hair.
Recently, there’s been a new type of product available on the market: an anti-grey hair color restoring treatment.
Offered by several different brands, this product is meant to restore your hair’s natural color and promises long term results.
Try Mayraki Anti-Gray Hair Color Restoring Treatment, made with 100% vegan ingredients.
If You Fancy A Change
If you want to dye your hair because you fancy a change, why not try a hair rinse that isn’t permanent first? It’s the perfect no-commitment option for anyone who wants to experiment with color.
As it does not penetrate the hair shaft, it’s a great solution for anyone looking to dye their hair without causing breakage or damage.
There are many shades available to choose from, however as these rinses don’t contain strong chemicals or bleaches, you should not expect a dramatic change of color.
There are even some amazing Korean temporary hair dyes that double as hair treatments! They act as a temporary hair tint whilst repairing the hair damage.
Etude House Two Tone Treatment Hair Color takes only 5-10 minutes to work and it lasts one week.
If You Don’t Like Your Natural Hair Color
If you don’t like your natural hair color and insist on coloring your hair with a permanent product, the best thing you can do is to book an appointment at a professional hair salon.
No matter what the adverts for box dyes promise to do, do not go anywhere near them.
There are just way too many risks involved and these products do not even vaguely compare to the quality of professional salon products.
Everyone’s hair is different and you need a professional to choose the product that’s right for you, i.e. a product that will allow you to achieve the desired color with minimal damage.
Using a box dye unfortunately often ends with a color different from what we expected and substantial hair damage.
If you decide to permanently color your hair at a professional hair salon, the 10 step Korean hair care routine will, to some extent, help prevent or fix the inevitable hair damage caused by the coloring process.
Implementing the Korean hair care routine will prepare your hair for the dyeing process and help soothe it afterward.
You should also be realistic when it comes to the change of color. It may take more than one appointment to achieve the color you want in order to prevent serious damage to your hair.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and I wish you all the best with your journey to beautiful and healthy hair!
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