Popular Japanese hairstyles


Appearing put-together is important in Japanese society as it affects first impressions, and looking neat is a form of courtesy to others. For a community of people that put so much emphasis on their outward appearance, you can say they’re low-key experts on taming the mane.

Japanese hairdos look effortless yet presentable, suitable for a variety of occasions. These 10 Japanese hairstyles are suitable for students, office workers, or even busy parents who spend most of their time at home.


1. Wavy milk tea beige lob


japanese hairstyles - wavy warm-tone milk tea beige lob
Warm-tone milk tea hair
Image credit: @amimotoki

Milk tea-coloured hair was highly raved about last year and continues to be a go-to colour especially for Asians in 2020. This shade is versatile and highly customisable, just like your favourite cup of bubble tea. Adding darker tones will give you an understated brown suitable even for strict workplaces, while cooler undertones will help you achieve a trendy ashy look. Pair this milk tea beige colour with some loose waves for a textured lob.

japanese hairstyles - wavy cool-tone milk tea beige lob
Cool-tone milk tea hair
Image credit: @zuccho_2


2. Soft greige low ponytail


japanese hairstyles - soft greige low ponytail
Image credit: @mayu_tanaka__

Greige is a combination of grey and beige, which creates an ashy shade that is unique yet wearable. Comb your hair back into a short low ponytail for a simple yet fashionable work-appropriate look

To get volume and texture, tease out the hair at the back of your head and leave a few face-framing pieces starting from your temples. This look is also great for showing off your bold statement earrings.


3. Tousled layered short bob


japanese hairstyles - tousled layered short bob
Image adapted from: @_machico39

This layered short bob that ends around the chin is perfect for showing off a sharp jawline. Use a curling iron to create some waves and tousle it slightly to give it more body. 

Pair it with wispy bangs and a light shade of brown that makes you look youthful and accentuates warm complexions. Plus, this bob goes well with light neutrals or bright-coloured clothing.


4. Dark mid-length hair with airy blunt bangs


japanese hairstyles - dark mid-length hair with airy blunt bangs
Image credit: @yk___hair

Darker shades of brown or black will present a sleek and professional look. Dark hair also requires less maintenance because you don’t have to touch up your roots regularly. Those with light skin tones will find that dark hair makes you seem fairer and more radiant. 

Bangs can help conceal a high forehead and balance your facial features. It doesn’t always have to be thick and full – layer and feather the blunt bangs for a more airy look, allowing your forehead to peek through and naturally contour your face.


5. Half up-do with statement clip


japanese hairstyles - half up-do with statement clip
Image adapted from: @nana_ccnut

Half up-dos work for most hair lengths and types, making it versatile and suitable for most people. Depending on how you style it, half up-dos can be glammed up for fancy occasions or dialed down for work. This hairstyle keeps the hair in place and away from your face, while still looking chic.

Complement this otherwise simple hairstyle with a statement clip. Match the colour and design to your outfit for a cohesive look. 


6. Long airy S-shaped waves


japanese hairstyles - long airy S-shaped waves
Image credit: @1017taito

For those who prefer sporting long locks, loose S-shaped waves that start from the ear down are classic yet stunning. This hairstyle has plenty of dimension and volume for an effortless but covetable look. 

Lighter browns are often preferred for long and loose waves as it shows texture and curls better, especially when it catches the light and appears shinier. Bouncy curls brighten up your overall appearance for a lively look.


7. Chic pixie cut with long layers


japanese hairstyles - chic pixie cut with long layers
Image credit: @grass_omotesando

This pixie cut with long layers is bold and chic, yet still gives off a feminine feel. If you’re tired of a heavy mane weighing you down, try getting a long pixie cut for a fresh new look. Its length is also suitable for hot and humid weather.

If you have fine or straight hair, make sure to add volume by working a curling iron through the long layers. You can also blow-dry with a round brush. This clean and polished look draws more attention to your ears, jaw, and necklineaccessorise with earrings, necklaces, or even scarves for added oomph. 


8. Wet look with outward curls


japanese hairstyles - wet look with outward curls
Image credit: @domiyasu

The wet hair look, also known as nurekami (濡れ髪), has been popular with Japanese women for the past few years. It can be accomplished with some oil or hair gel. The key is working when your hair is damp and using a suitable amount of product so that your tresses shine without being sticky. 

When your hair grows out till shoulder length – an awkward stage for many – it tends to curl outwards. Instead of fighting your hair, use a curling iron to deliberately curl the ends outwards instead of inwards. It is great for hot weather because your hair will no longer stick to your sweaty nape.

japanese hairstyles - wet look with outward curls ashy
Image credit: @nobuhair


9. Low ponytail with scarf arrangement


japanese hairstyles - low ponytail with scarf arrangement
Image adapted from: @mao____.25

The use of scarves can elevate a simple hairstyle making it look more feminine, dainty, and cute. Coil a scarf around your low ponytail and finish it off with a big bow for an eye-catching hairstyle suitable for a weekend picnic or a date night.

If you can do your own braids, try incorporating a thin floral scarf into your hair for a gentle, girl-next-door vibe. 

japanese hairstyles - braid with scarf
Image adapted from: @sui___126


10. Textured messy bun with long side fringe


japanese hairstyles - textured messy bun with long side fringe back view
Image adapted from: @hairstage_vogue

A messy bun balances both utility and beauty as it helps to beat the summer heat while making you look cute.

Gather your hair up high for a high bun that is youthful and cute, or opt for a low bun that is feminine and soft. Pull out strands from around your temples, sideburns, and right behind your ears. Curl these strands so that it frames your face.

japanese hairstyles - textured messy bun with long side fringe side view
Image adapted from: @sakiruby7


Japanese hairstyles to try this summer


Now that you have these hairdo ideas at your disposal, take this chance to try something new and change things up. These popular Japanese hairstyles are fashionable, stylish, and suitable for different occasions, so you have plenty of opportunities to showcase your new look. Most importantly, be comfortable in your own skin and rock any hairstyle you choose.

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Cover images adapted from: @_machico39 and @hairstage_vogue

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