A guide to Anti-dandruff shampoos in Japan

Dandruff is a common problem among most of the people. If you are seeking an anti-dandruff shampoo in Japan, please take a look at this.

It might be difficult to find the anti-dandruff products from the drug store. You have to either ask the store staff or search through the long racks with so many hairstyling products. For me, when I came to Japan in 2015, I had a great issue with this. I went to the shop and asked for an anti-dandruff shampoo, which took a lot of time for me to explain it. They were asking me many other questions like if your scalp is oily or dry, which I couldn’t understand. I was unable to answer to them and took some shampoo just to escape from there.

Dandruff can be caused by many reasons, If your dandruff is terrible, you have to visit a dermatologist -Hifuka(皮膚科).  He will find the right reason and give an appropriate solution for your dandruff issue which is the best solution. These words will help you when visiting the doctor:

  1. kayumi(かゆみ): itchiness
  2. fuke(ふけ):flaking

I am not an expert to talk about the reasons behind dandruff. This is not a professional advice or explanation but only based on my common knowledge over these years. If you are looking to try for an anti-dandruff shampoo, please understand your scalp type.

  1. Dry scalp: Dry scalp the reason behind some kind of dandruff.  Mostly dandruff occurring in winter seasons may be caused by this. It will produce white flakes that fly over your shoulders and sometimes causes itching.
  2. Oily scalp: Oily scalp can also lead to dandruff which is caused by the accumulation of dirt and other things on your scalp. It will be looking like thick dirty flakes on your scalp.

Fuke(フケ)=flakes and Kayumi (かゆみ)=itching are the two words you need when searching for these products.

Some anti-dandruff shampoos in Japan could be found in two different colours. One is for the dry scalp and the other for oily scalp. These are some of the cheapest anti-dandruff products you can find in a Japanese drug store.

  1. Oct(オクト) shampoo: Oct has shampoo and rinse(conditioner) which is the cheapest among the anti-dandruff products available in Japanese drug stores. It is effective if your dandruff is not so terrible.

    Oct Antidandruff shampoo(Zinc is the main ingredient that fight against dandruff(
  2. Merit(メリット): Merit is a series of shampoos ranging from baby shampoos to antidandruff ones. You have to look for those for the words Fuke and Kayumi on the shampoo bottle. It is also available at a much reasonable price.

    Merit shampoos
  3. Collage full full next(コラージュフルフルネクスト):There are two different colours available. The red bottle is for those with dry scalp while the blue one is for those with the oily scalp. You have to identify your scalp type and buy this. Both have rinse(conditioner) available in the same colour series. (Personally, I found this product very effective as it was not too harsh for my scalp and the red bottle helped me to get rid of my dandruff.). But its a bit expensive than the other two.

    Full full next Ketaconazole based anti-dandruff shampoo(around 3000 yen for bottles, 2000 yen for packets)

There are yet many other anti-dandruff products available in the Japanese market. Look at the photographs below to easily identify the products from the drugstore racks. Common hair care products like Dove also have some anti-dandruff products which are also available at a cheaper price. (Among the three listed above, I found the last one as the mildest and effective for me, as my scalp is a little sensitive to harsh shampoos.)

Mediquick H is an anti-dandruff product for those who are suffering from terrible itching of scalp and dandruff. It contains steroid and Ketaconazole as the main ingredients which is a very effective medical solution.

Various antidandruff products available in Japan

Home remedy for those with winter dandruff/dry scalp: This is a home remedy that I and my family are doing now. We found it very effective. In India, we have a tradition of using oil for hair and scalp. You might be raising your eyebrows hearing this. But believe it, it is very effective.

Step 1: Take some oil(olive/coconut/almond etc) in a ladle or a small bowl. Slightly warm it up in the microwave or on fire. Please take care of the type of vessel that you are using. Don’t boil the oil, as it will burn you.

Step 2: Check the warmth with your fingers(Caution: please don’t dip your fingers in hot oil) if it is fine for your scalp skin.

Step 3: Apply this to your scalp and massage thoroughly, especially at the places where dryness or dandruff is found worst.

Step 4: Leave it for at least 10 minutes and wash using a mild shampoo. If you are not feeling irritated to applying oil on your head, this will help you get rid of dandruff if done once in every three days.

Caution: Please don’t boil the oil and dip your fingers in it or pour it directly on your scalp as it will burn you. Check the warmth with your finger before applying on the scalp.

For those with an oily scalp: You should wash your hair with a shampoo at least twice or thrice in a week to get rid of the excess oil and dirt on your scalp which will prevent dandruff and fungi formation.