Where to Find Natural Hair and Darker Makeup Products in Korea

Kamari Koonce

         I knew that when I came to Korea there would not be a variety of hair products or makeup products that would suit my complexion and hair needs. I found this out when I was watching a bunch of YouTube videos on what to expect from other people of color. Although I felt prepared before arriving, I was still shocked when I went shopping and even big brands that I would buy in America didn’t sell my shades in Korea. The likelihood that you will find any darker foundation or general makeup suited for darker skin is almost zero at any of the regular Korean or large department stores. Likewise, finding any products made for curly hair or men will also be highly unlikely.

I think that it is really disappointing that we are often overlooked in the beauty industry here. In my opinion, businesses would make so much more money if they capitalize on this market of foreigners. Or if they monopolized on the fact that no one else is reaching out to fulfill this need in Korea. Nevertheless, I will share with you two places where you can find these products to make life a little easier as you transition into living here.

The first place that I recommend is Itaewon Beauty Supply store. It is located off the subway for Itaewon stop exit 1. This store reminds me of a more traditional Beauty Supply store that you can find in America. There are braiding supplies, hairstyling tools, accessories, wigs/weave, conditioners/shampoos and makeup. I did find that there is still a limited selection of darker shades, but they are much darker than the ones offered in the regular stores. Here you’ll find makeup that ranges in medium to very dark brown. There is a small line of natural hair products, but it is better than what you will find outside of the store. They do have a website but it seems to be in mostly Korean. So, I think it will be better to visit the store in person.

The next place that I recommend is Honey Hair Boutique. This Black owned store has the most natural hair products for both men and women available. I like that this store has more options and an online store all in English. The website is: www.naturalbeautykorea.com. You can also find this store in front of Camp Humphrey’s main gate. They also seem to be up to date with social media and easy to contact with any questions on their Instagram: honeyhairkorea. This store sets itself apart from the Itaewon Beauty supply for a couple other reasons. The first is that they offer trendy clothing. Another reason why I like this store is because they sell high-end brands like MAC for makeup.

Finally, if you are looking for hairstylists, ask either store location through their social media or in-person to share with you information about individual stylists and hair salons. You may need to do your own research after to see if the stylists they offer are a good fit for you. There is also a Facebook group that you can join with more updated information on related topics called “Natural Beauty in Korea” (for men and women). Enjoy!



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