Battle with Beauty

Features - October 7th, 2005
Hair extensions offer a dramatic beauty change

Keeping up with the Japanese in hair fashion

by Emily Downey

The Being A Broad discussion board (see www.being-a-broad.com) contains hundreds of posts dedicated just to hair, including the best and worst places to get it done, the condi­tion of one’s hair since moving to Japan, and where to buy hair dyes and styling products. It’s clear that hair is an issue for most foreign women living and working in Japan.

It is not often that you go to the hairdress­er and come out with longer hair than when you went in! Hair extensions have been something I had always wanted to get done, and after a chance meeting with Kelly, the Austral­ian stylist at Mikami hair, my wish became a reality. And to be honest, I have never had such a dramatic and positive beauty change.

Telling friends and family that I have had hair extensions has been met with mixed reactions. I am sure that if I lived in my home country of Australia, I would not have had them done. Why? Well, at home, it would be rare to meet someone who has them, and people would wonder why I bothered. In Japan, particularly in Tokyo, I feel the need to keep myself looking my best at all times. In fact, my overall beauty budget has gone up dramatically since moving to Japan over five years ago. That may be the result of getting older during this time and having to spend more time than in my younger days to look good!

In Japan, particularly in Tokyo, I feel
the need to keep myself looking my best
at all times. In fact, my overall beauty
budget has gone up dramatically since
moving to Japan over five years ago

Also, I think comparing oneself to the incredibly groomed Japanese women around you is a big factor. Now that I have had my extensions done, I can rec­ognize the sheer number of both Japanese and foreign women here that also have them. Not to mention the fact that upon opening the latest fashion or gossip magazine, I see that every major female movie star or singer has them too!

Hair care tips from Kelly Reynolds:

  • To keep your hair in its prime condition, use salon products. Supermarket products are made of 70 per­cent water and others have silicone in them, so they are not giving your hair the nourishment it needs.
  • If you feel your hair is dirty, don’t use extra sham poo. Shampoo your hair twice. The first shampoo lifts the grime and the second removes it.
  • Use a treatment on your hair once a week. Time-saving techniques: Put it on before gym workouts, in the sauna, or while doing housework.
  • Always comb treatment through.
  • Rinse your hair with cold water for extra shine.
  • After drying or straight­ening, use the cool air on your dryer to give shine and longer lasting hold to your style.
  • To save time in the mornings, wash your hair at night and let it dry naturally. Longer hair is usually easier to style the next day.
  • Always hold your roots as you brush your hair from ends up. This will cause less stress to your hair.
  • For longer lasting hold and texture in the humidity, use hairspray instead of wax.

Eternal Elegance with Lirio by Arina Kuznetsova

Environmental changes, accelerated aging, and hectic life in the metropolis all wreak havoc on your pores. Wading through the countless Japanese skin care brands is also somewhat of a gamble, as I have extremely sensitive skin. So all things considered, my discovery of the luxurious Lirio Cosmetic Product Line was a blessing. Lirio’s gel-based natural products with English language packaging and instructions made it distinctive among other Japanese cosmetic brands.

Lirio’s complete basic skin care line consists of five products that are suitable for all skin types, ages, and are all 100 percent fragrance, color, and alcohol free. Lirio’s small lot manufacturing utilizes the least amount of pre­servatives possible, and only uses vegetable ingredients that are safe to humans and the environment.

Lirio’s skin care starts with an extraordinary Cleansing Gel that gently removes make up, impurities, dirt, and pro­tects skin from environmental aggressors, while lifting and shaping the face. When applying the Cleansing Gel, I felt an immense burst of moisture that immediately softened my oversensitive skin as only mountain spring water can.

Another unique Lirio product is Essence — a beauty serum that draws out the regenerative qualities of the skin, leaving it well hydrated and supple. Gentle enough to use even on the delicate eye area.

After one month of using the whole skin care line of Lirio products, my skin became as firm and smooth as an infant’s. Lirio products ensure optimum delivery of vital skin renewing nutrients, resulting in naturally balanced, younger looking skin.