I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I noticed about Japanese people after I first stepped off the airplane is how put together they are. Sure there’s exceptions like sloppily dressed girls crouching outside of convenience stores or Don Quixote late at night, but for the most part people here are adept at dressing nicely no matter what the occasion.
While at the back of my head, I didn’t really think much of it and just did my own thing. I had my own sweet/goth grungy style thing going on when I first met my husband, and to be honest fashion wasn’t really his forte either. But as I realized, and no doubt you’ll also realize the longer you live here, how you present yourself reflects not only your own reputation, but that of your family and your employer. So since entering the working world and getting married I’ve been more in tune with making sure I put effort into looking my best. (I still can’t shake the habit of washing my face and putting on a comfy pair of pajamas as soon as I get in the door, though.)
Thing is, it takes a lot of work to “look your best” if you’re a woman here. Your average Japanese woman dyes her hair some shade of brown every month, and is often inclined to have her hair regularly permed/straightened for easier maintenance. Never leaving home without false eyelashes or eyelash extensions is all the rage at the moment, and getting your nails done is a much more outlandish affair than I recall back Stateside. That’s not even getting into the facial and aesthetic salon boom. I for one don’t have that kind of time or money, and if you fall into the average working foreigner group here you probably don’t either. That’s where this nifty product I picked up the other day comes in.
Let me give you some backstory. I’m awful at doing my hair- I mean downright terrible. Even putting my hair up in a high ponytail is a feat, let alone trying to use a curling iron. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if my hair didn’t lack volume and wasn’t fine or bone straight, but it is. I’ve tried on three different occasions to get my hair permed in one of those cutesy Japanese curl/wave styles, but my hair just won’t take it and it falls flat again within a few days. For special events like weddings I’d sometimes go to the salon to get my hair curled and styled up, but at about 4,000 yen ($40 USD) a pop it’s not something I ever made a habit of. I’d pretty much given up and accepted my lot in life as far as hair goes. 😦
…That is until my friend showed me the Miracurl she’d just bought. This thing is so simple even someone as inept at curling their hair as me can use it to make nice looking curls and waves. So I didn’t even flinch at the 24,000 yen ($240 USD) price tag and went for it, because I figured it would more than pay for itself. I even had some Rakuten points to use towards the purchase so why not, right?
Anywho, it arrived last weekend and I’ve been spending my free mornings getting familiar with it. Like it advertises, it’s easy to use and pretty much idiot proof. Here’s my take on it:
- Easy to use
- Virtually tangle free
- Beeps when the curl is ready to be released so you never burn your hair
- Has three different heat settings
- Has three different curl size settings
- Has three different curl style settings depending if you want curls to move away from the right/left side of your face or alternating curls
- Heats up in just a couple of minutes, even on the highest heat setting
- Even on the highest setting, it the outside doesn’t get as hot so it’s difficult to burn your skin while using it
- Cools down pretty quickly
- You can only put one inch strands of hair or less in the barrel or it’ll beep at you to remove the hair and try again. It takes 30 minutes or more to do my whole head, which means I usually have to redo the first curls as I get towards the end. My hair is too fine so without hairspray the curls won’t hold. (This also applies when I use a regular curling iron, though.)
- Unless you get a knock-off version (which is risky), it’s not compatible overseas. This was the biggest bummer for me. Most countries have their own version of Miracurl, though.
- You won’t be able to get big curls or really tight curls with this because of the strand size restriction
- You need to be right handed or ambidextrous to use it.
- It’s a bit heavy, so my arm starts getting tired when I’m doing the back part of my hair.
All and all I’m satisfied with it, but if you’re already adept at doing your hair and like to play around with different curl sizes this might not do much for you. I’m also glad to see there’s so many tutorials out for it on Youtube so I can get the the most out of it, like this one:
There’s a lot of bootlegs out there that sell at the exact same price or close to it, so make sure you’re getting the real thing. The Japanese version should include an instruction manual in Japanese and warranty. If you’re a Rakuten member you can get one here. This store shipped out the next day, everything was legit, and they’ll give you 10% of the price in cash back Rakuten points.
If any of you own one, what do you think about it?
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day and apologies for the late post! Our wi-fi adapter died and my husband had to send off for a new one, which didn’t arrive until today. Hopefully nobody missed me too much. 😉