A Step-by-Step Guide to Korean Hair Care Routine

Transform unmanageable and dry tresses to smooth, shiny, and healthy hair in a few steps.

Reviewed by Alicia Igess, Hairstylist Alicia Igess Alicia IgessHairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

You have heard about the Korean skin care routine. However, do you know anything about the Korean hair care routine? It is as intense as the 10-step Korean skin care routine. The Korean hair care routine mainly focuses on maintaining overall scalp and hair health and improving its appearance. Want to give it a try? This article has a step-by-step guide to the Korean hair routine. Scroll down.

The 10-Step Korean Hair Care Routine

Maintaining healthy and beautiful hair requires knowledge of various hair care techniques and staying updated on the latest hair care trends. Korean beauty is renowned for its innovative hair care secrets. Here are some of the important Korean hair care hacks to boost the appearance of your mane:

1. Scalp Scaler

Woman inspecting her scalp
Image: IStock

Scalp scalers are used to clean and exfoliate the hair follicles and clean dirt, grease, and buildup. They may contain salicylic acidi  A BHA exfoliant that can cleanse pores, prevent oil buildup, and assist in clearing clogged hair follicles. or other exfoliating agents for thorough cleansing.

How To Use: Before shampooing, apply the product to your dry scalp. Spread it evenly to cover the entire scalp. Leave it on for the prescribed time or 20 minutes before washing off.

2. Shampoo And Scalp Massage

Woman massaging her scalp while shampooing
Image: IStock

After exfoliation, shampoo your hair and scalp to cleanse them further. Scalp massaging helps remove any residue and stimulates the scalp and hair follicles. You may use your fingertips for massaging or a scalp brush.

How To Use: Apply shampoo to your scalp and spread it evenly. Use your fingertips or a scalp brush to massage and stimulate the scalp in a circular motion.

3. Conditioner

Conditioning is a crucial part of the Korean hair treatment to moisturize the hair and keep it soft and healthy.

A survey conducted on 5533 US adults found that 62% of them use a separate conditioner after a shampoo and 27% of them prefer using all-in-one products that work as both shampoo and conditioner. Further, out of the 62% of respondents who used both shampoo and conditioner separately, 39% were men and 83% were women, indicating that women practice hair care more than men.

How To Use: After shampooing, squeeze out the excess water from the hair strands. Apply conditioner from the mid-length to the hair ends. Leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You may also use a fermented rice-water rinse as a conditioner alternative. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse. Do this 1-2 times weekly to get softer hair.

4. Hair Mask

Hair mask as part of Korean hair care routine
Image: IStock

Hair masks are deep nourishing treatments for protecting your hair from environmental damage. They contain potent ingredients that strengthen the hair strands and help them recover from any damage.

How To Use: Use a hair mask once a week. Apply the mask throughout your hair after shampooing. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and wash off.

5. Hair Rinse

Maintaining the scalp pH levels is essential. A vinegar rinse can help balance the scalp pH and minimize itching, irritation, and excessive dryness. This, in turn, leads to healthy scalp and hair. 

How To Use: After shampooing and conditioning, wash your hair with a vinegar rinse. However, use it only once a week.

6. Scalp Mask

Scalp masks or scrubs are just like hair masks. They are applied directly to the scalp and contain gentle and hydrating ingredients to nourish and soothe the stressed scalp.

How To Use: Use this mask once a week after shampooing and before conditioning. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse.

7. Scalp Tonic

The concept of scalp tonic is similar to skin toner in Korean hair care routine. A scalp tonic balances the scalp pH levels and preps it for the next steps.

How To Use: Use a towel to remove all excess water from your hair. Spray the tonic on your scalp. Massage the scalp and do not rinse the product.

8. Scalp Serum

Woman applying serum as part of Korean hair care routine
Image: IStock

A scalp serum is one of the best hair care essentials and works exactly like a facial serum. It helps heal, hydrate, and calm your scalp, minimize dryness, and regulate excess sebumi  The oily, waxy compound secreted by the sebaceous glands in your body to coat and hydrate the skin. .

How To Use: Rub the serum all over a clean and dry scalp.

9. Hair Essence

Hair essence keeps the strands hydrated, smooth, and soft.

How To Use: Apply hair essence all over your hair, especially the ends. Avoid applying it to the roots.

10. Overnight Treatment

Overnight hair masks nourish, rejuvenate, and heal your hair while you are lost in your dreams. If you have oily hair, rinse it off the next day, or you may leave it on until your next hair wash.

How To Use: Apply a pea-sized amount of the product on your hair and leave it on overnight.

Zabren, a YouTuber, discussed her experience with a Korean hair care routine. She spoke about the results, “It’s absolutely worth trying; it’s worth looking into. It really does make such a difference. I have noticed my hair, in general, looking better after incorporating this routine. It is rather time-consuming…it is, but it’s worth it (i).”

Here are a few more tips to keep your hair healthy and strong.

protip_icon Trivia
A surprising and effective secret to Korean hair care is their fermented kimchi. The natural probioticsi  Live microorganisms that improve gut and overall health when consumed and may reduce inflammation in the hair follicles to boost hair growth. in kimchi can promote good hair health (1).

Korean Hair Care Tips You Should Follow

1. Use Moroccan Oil Every Day

To prevent split ends, use Moroccan oil on the hair ends.

2. Mask Therapy

Using a hair mask once a week will keep your hair healthy and shiny. It helps repair damage caused by regular heat treatment or dyeing.

3. Use An Oil And Water Combo

If you have an oily scalp, mix 2-3 drops of oil with a few drops of water, rub the blend between your palms, and apply it to your hair. This provides instant shine and nourishment without greasiness.

4. Sun Protection

Woman applying SPF spray as part of Korean hair care routine
Image: IStock

Use UV-protectant sprays to minimize damage and color-fading.

5. Get A Wig For Different Looks

If you do not want to cut your hair or expose it to chemical dyes and treatments, use wigs. This will allow you to change your look without damaging your hair.

6. Use A Suitable Shampoo

There are different shampoos for different hair types. Do not forget to check the label before you buy the product.

7. Air-Dry Your Hair

Avoid hair dryers and heat treatment tools. Let your hair air-dry to minimize hair damage and dryness.

8. Avoid Sleeping With Wet Hair

Sleeping with wet hair causes friction and hair damage. Moreover, wet hair is prone to breakage and bacterial infections.

9. Regular Conditioning And Treatment

This is the best way to keep your hair tangle-free and smooth. It also protects your hair from environmental stressors and is beneficial for over-processed and color-treated hair.

In addition, always brush or comb your hair starting from the ends of your hair and working your way up to your roots. This is a good way to take care of your hair and prevent breakage irrespective of your hair type.

Infographic: 5 Easy Korean Hair Care Tips For Silky And Shiny Hair

Korean products have revolutionized the beauty industry. Their hair routine is all about maintaining scalp and hair health, and the steps are fairly easy to follow. If you are enthusiastic about trying the Korean way to healthy hair but don’t want an extensive routine, we have summarized the absolutely essential steps in the infographic below. Check it out!

5 easy korean hair care tips for silky and shiny hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Adopt the popular Korean hair care routine to achieve significant results. Every aspect of hair care is covered in this routine, so you won’t miss a thing! This 10-step Korean hair treatment may seem time-consuming. However, unlike its Western counterpart, the Korean hair care routine addresses the underlying cause of your hair troubles. It also protects your scalp health, which is important as a healthy scalp can encourage and support healthy hair. Following the instructions outlined in the article can help you maintain healthy, strong hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Koreans wash their hair every day?

Yes. Koreans prefer washing their hair every day because of environmental concerns like heat, pollution, and fine dust.

Why do Koreans have straight hair?

Koreans have straight hair because of the round hair follicles that are common in most East Asians.

What is Korean hair coating?

Korean hair coating is a process that involves combing products onto damp hair and leaving them on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing them off. This is said to ensure you reap the maximum effect from the products.

Is Korean hair care better than American hair care?

From a health and safety standpoint, yes. Korean hair care products have more natural ingredients in them as opposed to their American counterparts, which have synthetic ingredients.

Key Takeaways

  • The 10-step Korean hair care routine focuses on improving overall scalp and hair health.
  • Along with the hair care regimen, you must follow some Korean hair care tips to keep your hair healthy and strong.
  • This hair care routine may seem intense, but it gets to the root of the problem, maintains scalp health, and nurtures healthy hair.

Get ready to have beautiful hair in no time! Learn how to get healthy and shiny hair with this 10-step Korean hair care routine. Check this video to know how!

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Do Kimchi and Cheonggukjang Probiotics as a Functional Food Improve Androgenetic Alopecia? A Clinical Pilot Study
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Alicia Igess

Alicia IgessHairstylist

Alicia Igess is an accomplished and award-winning stylist with over two decades of experience in hair design. She is the owner and founder of Urban Tangles, a hair and makeup studio focusing on makeovers. She, along with her team, has experienced tremendous success in building an exclusive “referral-only” clientele consisting of many of the who’s who of Atlanta.read full bio

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