Hair Coloring in Japan
A popular style and color from one of our recommended salons, studio Teo.
Many people don’t know this, but almost everyone gets their hair colored in Japan. Taking influence from other cultures in the West, many Japanese people find their naturally beautiful black hair as too normal, and you might not notice it but many people dye their hair lighter browns, or add some undertones to their dark hair if not just going completely blonde (even though their black hair is perfect the way it is). While in most companies dying your hair is prohibited, going a dark brown or adding very subtle undertones is passable at companies, and many do it.
Since getting your hair dyed is also a right of passage for many girls who graduate high school, people rush to do it after graduation before they’re off to the work force. Everyone goes out and dyes their hair, either at a salon, or at home with a box dye (please don’t use box dye 🙁 )
A beautiful natural looking color from unsarto.
While salon’s are used to dying hair and many do it well for Japanese people, as foreigners we must be careful getting our hair dyed in Japan. Japanese hair is thick and resilient , and can handle much more bleaching than many westerners with thinner, more fine hair. You will want to make sure you go somewhere with experience dyeing other types of hair.
One point that we keep in mind while choosing great salons for coloring is how they look at hair care and health. We need our stylists to accurately assess the condition of our hair before going in on the dyeing to make sure that hair damage is minimized. It’s a fact that damage will take place during bleaching and dyeing, but how much damage is minimized is the difference between a good salon and a great salon.
This edgy cut from gokan is showing off how even their simple colors have dimension and depth.
With this in mind, one piece of advice when going to a new salon to get your hair dyed, please tell your stylist about your hair history. Especially if you’ve dyed your hair with a box in the past, it’s important for your stylist to know to avoid anything that might lead your hair to become too weak. With your hair history in mind, your stylist will be able to do everything to make sure your hair comes out looking fabulous without any surprises.
Omotesando is the prime area for salons in Japan. Many stylists not only deal with foreigners regularly in Tokyo, but many of them have studied abroad, learning how to cut hair in Australia, Europe, the U.S., etc. What makes Omotesando so popular?
The Omotesando Area
Omotesando's main shopping street.
Omotesando is the premier shopping area in Tokyo, with many luxury and designer brands opening brick and mortar shops, smaller designer boutiques, and on the outskirts you’ll find a bunch of thrift shops with used designer goods in near perfect condition.
Omotesando is also a great area because it’s in the middle of many amazing places like Harajuku, (the more trendy and wallet friendly version of Omotesando), Meiji Jingu (one of the best and most famous shrines that everyone should visit in Japan), and Shibuya (the Times Square of Japan.)
If you’re interested in visiting the area in general, or looking for somewhere to hang out before your hair appointment, please check out our recommendations for what to do in Omotesando.
The Best Salons in Omotesando
With all of that out of the way, let’s check out the best of the best salons in Omotesando. All of these salons are in walking distance from the station. While some are closer than others, all are easily accessible and each has their own unique qualities. Please read through our list to find the salon you’ve been searching for.
Vicca is a long standing salon near Omotesando. Located on the 4th floor of the building you get a cool view looking out through the windows that line the outer walls, and the overall atmosphere is super sleek and modern. There are some English speaking staff here, including the owner who works on his English all the time.
It’s not a secret that dying your hair can easily cause damage. The coloring techniques here are top level, using carefully selected products to minimize damage, and of course only the best coloring techniques to ensure a safe and comfortable time. Many people are totally satisfied with their experience and end up becoming repeating customers. If you’re looking for a no risk option for hair coloring in the Omotesando area, please give Vicca a shot.
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 5 Chome−17−11 パークサイドオーサキ 4F
This is gokan showing off their coloring skills by creating natural looking neutrals that don't look boring or flat.
gokan OMOTESANDO is one of the leading salons in all of Tokyo, so we can trust that their coloring is also at the top-level.
Depending on what kind of coloring you’re looking for, the kinds of bleaches, dyes, and other products like toners and conditioners vary. That being said, here at gokan only the highest quality products are used, including world leading brands like Olaplex. Olaplex is super popular in America, but there’s more competition here in Japan when it comes to products and isn’t used everywhere.
Using quality products is key in making sure hair damage is reduced and corrected as much as possible, leaving your hair fresh and making sure your color lasts as long as possible.
The stylish and renewed interior of gokan
In particular, some coloring products can make hair feel rough, and is also hard on their scalp. At gokan, they use high quality dyes coming straight from Italy, and these quality products are easier on your scalp and hair.
gokan is modern and sophisticated, and creates beautiful styles that really make you feel and look good, inside and out! Please check out this top level salon in Omotesando.
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 4 Chome−7−3 HM ビル 1F・B1F
A cute style with a summery warm hair color.
Anyone who has been dyeing their hair for a while has had that time where the color just comes out looking cheap and flat. Whether it was actually because you used cheap products at home, or just went somewhere that wasn’t able to create a good looking color, there are so many reasons why our hair might come out looking wrong.
unsarto is not one of those places that let’s you leave feeling like that. Located in Aoyama, right in Omotesando, this spot is a safe bet for anyone looking to color their hair, so much so that some famous people and entertainers come here to get their hair colored as well (of course incognito).
unsarto has a comfortable, warm interior with high ceilings and plenty of space.
The salon has a strict policy when it comes to choosing products, and has eventually come to produce their own products with manufacturers just to make sure it’s exactly what they want, and so your color comes out looking just like the magazines. What really separates a good color from something bad comes down to 3 points: how well the color sits in the hair, how damaged the hair ends up at the end, and the application of color to create dimension. Many salons apply color well, but here damage is also minimized to the fullest.
You may have realized this if you speak Italian (I didn’t know until hearing from the salon), but un sarto means ‘tailor.’ Just as someone goes to a tailor to order a custom made piece of clothing, the owner wants to create a space where each customer comes and orders the style they want, leaving the stylist to come up and tailor the hair to fit each customer. Whatever the idea you have in mind is, please bring it to your stylist and work together with them to create the best outcome together.
Considering all of the strong points of unsarto, it’s not surprising to hear that most of the customers here are all repeaters, coming back every time to update their styles. If you’re looking for a new color and don’t want to gamble with it, please check out unsarto, you won’t be disappointed.
|〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato City, Minamiaoyama, 6 Chome−3−2 QCcube南青山63 2F
Cocoon has a clean and simple interior with pops of interesting color.
Cocoon is a salon visited by people of all ages and genders, so you can imagine they are creating many different styles everyday, catering to each of their individual customers. They’re used to dealing with a wide range of types of hair, which is important for salons that do professional coloring. Each kind of hair takes different amounts of bleach, and reacts differently to different products.
This salon uses high quality products, specifically Illumina Color and Addicthy Color. These are 2 extremely hair color lines in Japan. You’ll not only notice the difference in color, but in the texture and feel of your hair. The customer reviews all speak to this. If you’re interested, please try them out, especially if you’re not exactly sure what color to get.
One of Cocoons simple and satisfying hair styles.
If you have any worries concerning your hair when it comes to bleach and dyes, please let your stylist know. They always select products to cater to the customers hairstyles, but if you have any previous experience dyeing your hair, letting them know about your experience and preferences helps them select the right products for you.
The goal is always to minimize damage when it comes to styling. You can trust that your hair is in good hands at Cocoon. If you’re looking to dye your hair, please try this spot out and make a reservation online!
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 5 Chome−6−5 path omotesando A 棟B1
One example of studio Teo's styles which are great even in the workplace.
Located in Aoyama, studio Teo is a must-visit when coloring your hair. What sets here apart from just any salon good at coloring is the knowledge and use of products here. Their selection of hair treatments is set up to help customers with all their hair concerns.
We love studio Teo's lovely interior and unbeatable location.
Common problems for customers that come here include; colors fading too quickly, excessive hair damage for people with more fragile hair, treatments for older people with mature hair, etc. The staff’s knowledge of the products and common hair problems is unmatched. They’re sure to be able to recommend the right treatments to help you out.
With all this said, of course the coloring techniques here are top quality. There’s no need to worry about anything, so let your stylist help you get your best hair. Make an appointment soon, as spots fill up quickly.
|5 Chome-5-4 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062
SOZO recently completely renovated their interior, making it even more clean and stylish.
SOZO is not only a leading salon in Tokyo, but also leading in the English community here as well. You don’t have to worry about brushing up on your Japanese to come here, the staff and stylists speak English. Relax and focus on enjoying your time at the salon instead of wondering where your Japanese-English phrase book is.
Being a top salon means only using top quality products, and SOZO is proud of their wide arsenal of shampoos, conditioners, treatments, etc. ready to be utilized to combat any hair issue. With more than 200 different products being used in the shop, you’re sure to win the battle against hair damage.
This international salon can do all colors for all hair types.
As all great salons do, hair damage is minimized to the fullest. Utilizing keratin to protect and help re-bond damaged hair, your hair is left feeling soft with a natural shine.
The steam treatment is a recommendation for those looking to treat themselves a little. Getting deep into the scalp, you really can feel the difference in your scalp after the treatment. If you’re interested in trying out some other treatments but aren’t exactly sure which one would suit your needs the most, please talk to the staff and they’re sure to recommend the best option for you and your hair needs.
SOZO is really the place to go for the foreign community in Tokyo. If you’re looking for a salon in Omotesando, this is the one for you. You can make a reservation on their website or over the phone.
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 4 Chome−25−1 B1F
These sleek, modern interior is super nice and the service is there to match.
So you’re looking for a light color, but you hate how bleach makes your scalp hurts. This is a problem everyone faces when considering dying their hair. Luckily these days with many different products available, and as salon technology advances, we don’t have to worry about bleach hurting us like it used to.
DaB is extremely careful with their bleach selection and application to minimize damage and any scalp issues. DaB was one of the first salons to introduce OLAPLEX to Japanese salons, so you know they’re all for healthy, beautiful hair.
Creating top quality styles in line with all the latest trends.
While bleach is an important step in the coloring process, it’s not everything. The knowledge of hair and dying here is top of Japan and the coloring and cutting skills are no joke.
No matter what style and what color you’re looking to get, DaB is a trustworthy choice to guide you to your style destination.
|〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato City, Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−9−4, Nakajima Bldg, 1F
This cute, simple interior would please anyone!
Bibito is a private salon with a calm atmosphere. The store has a light and pleasant air to it, with soft lights and warm accents. Utilizing ‘design color’, which is a process of color matching a hair dye to fit each customer perfectly, this is a great option for those who haven’t been able to pick a color they wanna go with.
This salon is known by Japanese as the place to go to get ‘hair that’s like foreigners.’ Of course the shade variation of natural hair among Japanese is fairly limited, and many Japanese people really admire and look to natural browns and blondes that many western people have. This is no easy feat to create when someone has dark black hair with strong red undertones, so the skill level of the colorists here are quite high.
The care to detail is the difference between a good and a great cut and color.
The manager here has been working in the area for over 10 years now with a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you’re looking for a more relaxed salon with strong skills, bibito is the spot for you.
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 3 Chome−28−4 神宮前林ビル 2階
Blondes are tricky, especially for Japanese people with dark hair. But blonde is no problem here at BOTAN.
Just a 5 minute walk away from the station, BOTAN’s motto is ‘walking customers to better hair.” BOTAN values communication, and through communication they’re able to get closer to customers and find what exactly is causing our hair problems so that they can fix them.
It’s also so important to have that communication line when coming up with an image for the customer’s desired style. The stylists and customers work together to find out what exactly the customers are looking for, and avoid that shock at the end of the appointment when your hair just isn’t what you were looking for.
The super cool interior here creates a fun atmosphere.
Only after careful consideration of the customers’ hopes and worries and then an examination of the type of hair and bone structure of the customers do the stylists come up with an attack plan. This isn’t the kind of place where all the customers end up looking the same so don’t worry about that.
Since communication is key here at BOTAN, please don’t hold back when telling your stylist what you’ve been worrying about when it comes to your hair, or something you don’t like about your hair. A lot of customers get that feeling they’ve been coming here for a long time even though it’s only their first visit. This is definitely BOTAN’s selling point.
A visit you won’t regret, coming here is the right choice. If you’re looking for a fresh cut and color, then please consider trying out BOTAN in Omotesando!
|〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 3 Chome−4−9 ARA神宮前プレイス B1