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

Written by Ramona Sinha

Maintaining your hair the Korean way is as intense as their 10-step skincare routine. The Korean hair care routine is all about promoting healthy hair. It involves 10 steps that meticulously focus on maintaining scalp health and improving hair health and appearance. If you want to give it a try, here is a complete guide to the 10-step Korean hair care routine.

The 10-Step Korean Hair Care Routine

1. Scalp Scaler

Scalp scalers are used to clean and exfoliate the hair follicles and clean dirt, grease, and buildup. They may contain salicylic acid 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

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.

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.

4. Hair Mask 

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

A scalp serum works exactly like a facial serum. It helps heal, hydrate, and calm your scalp, minimize dryness, and regulate excess sebum.

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.

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

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

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.


The 10-step Korean hair treatment may appear intense. However, unlike the Western hair care routine, the Korean hair care routine gets to the root of the problem and maintains scalp health as a healthy scalp can nurture healthy hair. Follow the steps mentioned in the article to keep your hair beautiful and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I include any essential oils in my Korean hair care routine?

Yes, you may use any hair oil to condition and moisturize your hair.

Should I stop using shampoos with sulfate to follow the Korean hair care routine?

Not necessarily. You may use clarifying shampoos once in two weeks to deep cleanse your scalp.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.