An Afro in Japan

When it was first confirmed that I got the opportunity to study in Japan, one of my biggest worries was my hair. Really? Hair? How about language, culture, food???? Nope. Hair. I had gone from a buzz cut to an Afro a few months before and I didn't want to go bald again. I had heard that finding a hair salon in Hiroshima that could handle my hair would be nothing short of a miracle. So I decided to get locks 2 days before departure, only to be told that they needed to be redone every 2 weeks. Waste of time, I have to say. Got a headache for nothing!!!!🙄


Two weeks into Hiroshima, I unlocked the hair and started experimenting with anything from twists to Bantu knots. winter approached, I decided to give braids a try. Now you won't find braiding mesh on the ground here. You have to go underground😁. Like online. Like aliexpress or amazon. And it's pretty expensive. I decided to use knotting yarn. Yes, it works. Yes, it's found in all arts and crafts shops and Daiso! It's super cheap and doesn't get tangled. You also get a crazy array of colors from ultra-red to ultraviolet!😍 Braids are good for the cold of winter and easy to maintain. I recommend shampooing at least once a week. It takes me a day to braid my entire head, stretching breaks included.


In summer, maintaining a puffy Afro is a feat😡. One step into the humid air and your hair shrinks faster than you can say 暑い ですねぇ (it's hot, isn't it). The solution is twists, cornrows, hair braids etc.


Afro-specific hair products are not easy to come by but there are some Japanese alternatives. Tsubaki products (shampoo, conditioner, treatment) work fine and they are found in all department shops. International brans such as Lux, Pantene, Nivea are also readily available. Afro products are mainly available online and are expensive because they are not shipped domestically. https://jp.iherb.com/ has great organic products. If you have a specific product from back home, pack some extra in your bag.


If you've never done your hair before, Youtube has great tutorials for beginners to pros. Don't let Afro hair care stop you from studying in Japan. Come study in Hiroshima!!!! Check out photos of some of my crazy hair days!