For those of you who’ve read my posts here before, you know I enjoy traveling the world to find the best in beauty.For those of you who are new to my world, here’s what you need to know: I love globetrotting. I also love—no, I’m obsessed with—beauty products. As The Beauty Spy, I’m lucky enough to indulge both. And since I last checked in, I’ve added a few more stamps to my passport.
What really keeps me racking up those frequent flier miles is my desire to understand the beauty secrets, innovative ingredients, and new trends from around the globe. But on my latest trip to South Korea, home to everything K-beauty and ground zero for all things skin-related, I didn’t dig right into the snail creams and sheet masks. Instead, by accident, I was enlightened with an entirely new perspective on hair-care.
In typical fashion, I forgot to pack my hairspray and was tempted to fly the 6,500 miles home to get it. But, I thought, let’s give South Korean hairspray a whirl. Heading out onto the streets, where beauty stores are as prominent as Starbucks are in the States, I was shocked that I couldn’t find any styling sprays. None that looked familiar anyway. Instead, there was an abundance of treatment sprays. Arrggh, what’s a girl to do? I called my Korean besties for an emergency meeting, and what I learned was fascinating.
My friend So Young showed up for girl-time as always—her long, dark brown hair meticulous, not a strand out of place nor a split end to be seen. She explained that the South Korean hair-care approach is comparable to their philosophy on makeup: Rather than loading up on styling products that ultimately dull the hair and ruin its health, they treat their strands and scalps as carefully as they treat their skin. The result is hair that doesn’t need a ton of styling products, the same way that well-cared-for skin allows you to be makeup-optional.
Ding ding! I immediately knew my next case study, so I headed out to find the best South Korea had to offer in hair-care—and what I found completely changed my hair.
First up, Moremo. This is hair-care brand for everyone, and for me, it was love at first try. Their team has studied the science of hair and found that no matter your hair type–thin, thick, curly, colored or coarse–it’s still all pretty much the same. That’s because when it comes down to it, hair is made of protein and moisture. So, if you keep these two components balanced, then, voila, great hair.
And while Moremo has an entire collection of moisturizing treatments, the brand is known for Miracle 10. It’s a liquid, almost water-like treatment that transforms your hair in 10 seconds. That’s right, 10 seconds! Its proprietary formula, SR21 Complex, is packed with amino acids, protein, and keratin, which create the hydrating recipe your hair craves. Thin hair becomes thicker, coarse hair more manageable and full of movement, damaged hair smoother and shinier. You’ll find that when you use it twice a week, in place of conditioner, you need less styling products or none at all.
Also, in vast contrast to American women, most Korean women focus on scalp health, because they believe the health of the hair starts at its source. Makes sense to me. They actually treat their scalps like the skin on their face, mixing Korean traditions like massage with advanced formulations and time-tested ingredients. So another South Korean hair-care brand I was most excited to find is Scapes, which offers a collection of products formulated specifically for the scalp.
My favorite is the new Apothehair Signature Sleeping Mask.It’s packed with nine traditional Korean ingredients that are widely used in Eastern Medicine: Rehmannia root, camomile, peony, green tea, mugwort, morus bark, chameleon plant, pleuropterus mulfiflorus, and thuja orientalis L. It also hasginseng sourced from Geumsan county, which is responsible for 80 percent of South Korea’s ginseng trade, for cleansing and easing inflammation. Think of this product as the key to naturally healthy hair passed down from generation to generation.
Designed to treat hair overnight, the mask itself is super lightweight yet still coats strands with mega-moisture so you wake up to shinier, bouncier strands. And when massaged in at the roots, the herbal ingredients break up any build-up on the scalp and help soothe scalp irritation, creating a better environment for healthy hair growth.
So, your takeaway from all this? I’m not saying toss all your favorite styling products, but adding these South Korean hair-care treatments to your routine will likely lead to you needing less drying shampoo, smoothing cream, and even (dare I say it!) hairspray.
About Chelsea Scott: Founder of The Beauty Spy, specializing in Asian beauty products and seen on HSN monthly, Chelsea is an acclaimed beauty professional with more than 20 years of experience in product development and marketing. She has successfully represented beauty products in various countries for more than a decade, including HSN & TSC Canada.
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