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What products/tools would you take with you to another country??

yokoyokogirl

New Member
I'm loving all the info on this board, but what I'd really like to know is:

What would you ladies take with you if you're going to live in another country?

When I first came to Japan, people recommended that I bring deodorant, since there's almost none here and what they do have, sucks. But no one said anything about hair products and tools!

Now that I'm here, I really regret not asking someone this question sooner. :wallbash:
 

jamaraa

Well-Known Member
With my African textured hair and knowing the stereotypical East Asian hair, the FIRST thing I'd think of was my hair! Unlike much of Europe, Japan has few Black people and even few people of color who are not also Asian.

As I'm natural but I blowdry, I'd take my attachable blow comb. I use a Willie Morrow and those things are hard to get almost anywhere, so w/ Japan I'd take 4-5 even just to store tho I know how primo space is in Japan. After that, my Solano dryer, tho I'm sure you can find an excellent dryer in Japan. This obviously applies to flat irons, but if you use a hot comb...pack it and buy the necessary adapters. Then find places online that can sell a replacement in a pinch.

Of course, there'd be my conditioners...I'm not so fussy about shampoos tho I have a few US brands I like (Motions namely) and you can get many French products in Japan and I like their shampoos. From the US, I'd def take Mizani, Goldwell, and my Aphogee protein treatments. If I could squeeze it in, Motions products. I rotate all of these as needed. If I wanted something more old fashioned like Suplhur 8, Glovers, and the like...I'd buy some and arrange for family to send at regular intervals.

If you are relaxed, you'd obviously want to take your relaxer of choice and try to get as much w/ you as possible. Relaxers will be the hardest thing to get in Japan and what's there will be terrible for your hair unless it's vastly overpriced cuz it's so rare. If you prefer stuff that's fairly easy to get in the US like Dominican products or Ayurveda...you might take what you can carry w/ you, but have a nice supply already boxed up to be sent to wherever you end up (family or friends needed here). Then you'd find good online sources as your plan B. Dominican will be almost impossible to find in Japan, methinks...you have a better shot w/ Veda.

Of course, you can start to explore some local products (never relaxers, I'd say)....Japan has 1st rate products if you can find what fits your needs. Camellia oil is great for hair and cheaper there than here. If you use certain oils (says coconut) or butters (shea/avocado/etc) , take them and then make arrangements for replacements. Find out what oils are easily available in your world...the Japanese don't normally use much oil in their hair, so premade stuff or multi varieties of natural oils may be hard to get unless it's stuff like Aveda. I'd think olive is pretty easy to get, but peanut is fine too.

Whatever you do, stick w/ things that are fairly basic in the US and someone can easily buy for you. Before I went overseas, I'd experiment w/ cheap(ish) US products that are easy to get. Your family and friends may have trouble w/ some of the more obscure or net based stuff.

Even tho it'll cost you more and you have wait times, you can get most of what you need online these days, so no real worries. Family/friends/connections are the best option and cheaper tho. Maybe you can think about making a connection here...find a member and arrange to get stuff sent to you between yourselves.

As for skin care, I'd take NOTHING. Japan has the best skin care...both natural and store...in the world. They have every kind of product you want including fade cream for blemishes.

(Sorry for length, but your question is complicated seeing as how you are considering living there.)
 
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Ballerina_Bun

Well-Known Member
dual voltage hair appliances. Also, you'll want an adapter.

If you use hair appliances that are not dual voltage, and choose to use a converter, be careful. I've tried that before and I've heard humming/buzzing noises coming from a curling iron before.

IF YOU RELAX: I don't know about the prices there in Japan, but the places that I usually am, the relaxers were double ...almost triple the US price.

Basically, just ask what could you NOT do without if you could not find it in the country you travelling/moving to.
 

jamaraa

Well-Known Member
dual voltage hair appliances. Also, you'll want an adapter.

If you use hair appliances that are not dual voltage, and choose to use a converter, be careful. I've tried that before and I've heard humming/buzzing noises coming from a curling iron before.

IF YOU RELAX: I don't know about the prices there in Japan, but the places that I usually am, the relaxers were double ...almost triple the US price.

Basically, just ask what could you NOT do without if you could not find it in the country you travelling/moving to.

Yup, you're right about converters. Sadly most US stuff isn't dual voltage...but when you're talking Japan, you gotta try to see. LOL Most of the electrical stuff, minus hot comb, can be purchased in Japan easily I'd think.

BTW, Grishkos were the ONLY shoe I used to wear when dancing. They're wonderfully narrow and make the foot look so good.

Where are you, if you don't mind my asking?

OP do you have any military friends? Alot of this stuff is available in the PX, so maybe someone could hook you up. I forgot about the military thing.
 

jamaraa

Well-Known Member
Oh yes, you can avoid the voltage issue w/ some styling tools by getting stove top ones...hot combs and curling irons can be easily bought that heat up stovetop.
 

yokoyokogirl

New Member
With my African textured hair and knowing the stereotypical East Asian hair, the FIRST thing I'd think of was my hair! Unlike much of Europe, Japan has few Black people and even few people of color who are not also Asian.

As I'm natural but I blowdry, I'd take my attachable blow comb. I use a Willie Morrow and those things are hard to get almost anywhere, so w/ Japan I'd take 4-5 even just to store tho I know how primo space is in Japan. After that, my Solano dryer, tho I'm sure you can find an excellent dryer in Japan. This obviously applies to flat irons, but if you use a hot comb...pack it and buy the necessary adapters. Then find places online that can sell a replacement in a pinch.

Of course, there'd be my conditioners...I'm not so fussy about shampoos tho I have a few US brands I like (Motions namely) and you can get many French products in Japan and I like their shampoos. From the US, I'd def take Mizani, Goldwell, and my Aphogee protein treatments. If I could squeeze it in, Motions products. I rotate all of these as needed. If I wanted something more old fashioned like Suplhur 8, Glovers, and the like...I'd buy some and arrange for family to send at regular intervals.

If you are relaxed, you'd obviously want to take your relaxer of choice and try to get as much w/ you as possible. Relaxers will be the hardest thing to get in Japan and what's there will be terrible for your hair unless it's vastly overpriced cuz it's so rare. If you prefer stuff that's fairly easy to get in the US like Dominican products or Ayurveda...you might take what you can carry w/ you, but have a nice supply already boxed up to be sent to wherever you end up (family or friends needed here). Then you'd find good online sources as your plan B. Dominican will be almost impossible to find in Japan, methinks...you have a better shot w/ Veda.

Of course, you can start to explore some local products (never relaxers, I'd say)....Japan has 1st rate products if you can find what fits your needs. Camellia oil is great for hair and cheaper there than here. If you use certain oils (says coconut) or butters (shea/avocado/etc) , take them and then make arrangements for replacements. Find out what oils are easily available in your world...the Japanese don't normally use much oil in their hair, so premade stuff or multi varieties of natural oils may be hard to get unless it's stuff like Aveda. I'd think olive is pretty easy to get, but peanut is fine too.

Whatever you do, stick w/ things that are fairly basic in the US and someone can easily buy for you. Before I went overseas, I'd experiment w/ cheap(ish) US products that are easy to get. Your family and friends may have trouble w/ some of the more obscure or net based stuff.

Even tho it'll cost you more and you have wait times, you can get most of what you need online these days, so no real worries. Family/friends/connections are the best option and cheaper tho. Maybe you can think about making a connection here...find a member and arrange to get stuff sent to you between yourselves.

As for skin care, I'd take NOTHING. Japan has the best skin care...both natural and store...in the world. They have every kind of product you want including fade cream for blemishes.

(Sorry for length, but your question is complicated seeing as how you are considering living there.)

Should have specified sorry.

I'm asking for myself (I do live in Japan, in Kanagawa)--but I'm also asking for some other friends who are planning to teach in Africa and Australia.

Ideally, you should always take whatever you use for your hair, but I never once packed shampoo, conditioner, and skincare products when I first came here!!! I don't know what I was thinking, but I came with a suitcase full of deodorant, Gain and Suavital, and bras. (Thinking "no deodorant, crappy washing powder, and no bras in my size)

So I guess this question would be better suited country specific??
Still I'm thinking along the lines of what you can't live without? I feel like you can always find good lotions and body washes in any country, but hair products?

I'm a natural who gets a flat iron or blowdry myself, so my products were at the minimum--until now--I have found a lot of things I "can't live without". I was never brand loyal, until moving here. I have found I love Aveda and Shisedo for skincare! Thanks to this board, I found Camellia oil, and have been using it for about a week now!

But for random Japanese products, I'm pretty hesitant to stray into the aisles and test stuff...plus the products are way too pricey to be trying everything out.

My family is pretty good about mailing stuff, and sometimes I can go to the US military base and stock up--but I hate asking friends to do that...:ohwell:
 

jamaraa

Well-Known Member
As for Africa and assuming your friend is Black...well for the most part, they're straight anywhere concerning natural products. It's Africa...LOL! Tools, whatever they want to take, but there could be voltage issues. One thing to watch for...LEAD is still used in prepackaged products in parts of the African market. That's a scary thing, so be very careful. If it says anything about darkening hair, watch out. Do they have any idea of where they are going in Africa...it's huge place?!

As for Australia, depends on where they're going. If a major city, there's probably a decent sized Black/Coloured community of people from South/southern Africa and there's a nice sized Indian and Arab community. Many Arabs used relaxers actually, so that's worth looking into. You can probably get any tool in Oz that you can here except the hot comb.

Glad you tried the camellia oil...it's a very nice oil, IMHO. The Japanese and no deodorant/washing soap? EKKK.
 
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vkb247

Well-Known Member
From my experiences travelling you don't need a voltage converter because almost all apliances have them now. If you look at the black box on a laptop cord or on the plug of most appliances then you will see the range of voltages they can work with. Don't bring any appliances that don't have this, especially if it has an automatic shut off. I took a curling iron with me once to China a using it with a converter was useless because it would only come on for a few minutes and then shut down I would have to unplug it and then replug it in to get a few more minutes.

I would also recommend an all in one adapter for the various plugs you can find around the world. Having them in one device is very convenient and you don't have to worry about losing a piece. I would also take a power strip to plug in multiple appliances. They have some very small compact ones on Amazon.com and they are a life saver because then you don't need several adapters. You will be able to use/charge multiple products at one time.

I would also take whatever combs and especially brushes that you need. I know that I only use certain types that work with my uber thick hair and I often don't see the kind I need when I am looking for in other countries.

I would recommend doing some research on the climate you are going into a plan accordingly. For instance in a place that is very polluted you might want to plan to do more protective styling than your used to. I didn't plan the right way on my last trip to the US and I ended up wearing a shower cap and crocheted beanie over my hair which was full of Elasta DPR-11 because my hair is so used to the humid local weather that the dryness in Georgia plus spending so much more time in air conditioning really made it mad at me. I didn't know what to do and I feared damage so I just covered it up.

When travelling abroad for a long period of time I like to arrive with a hairstyle that I know doesn't take much effort such as braids or a weave because dealing with your hair can be a hassle when you are getting used to so many new things. If you think this is a good idea then I would take more braiding/weaving hair and any other necessary supplies to recreate and/or touch up the hairstyle as necessary. Phony ponies or cute hats and scarfs would be a must for emergencies. HTH
 
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yokoyokogirl

New Member
My friend going to Africa is going to be in Ghana I think. Aussie friend doesn't know where Down Under she will be...

Good advice on the lead thing, I will pass it on!!

Japanese ppl rarely use deodorant. A lot of them don't need it, as their diets help cut out the funk. Supposedly, if you don't eat crap, you don't smell like crap. But some Japanese ppl really really really need it!

As for washing powders, I had heard everything here sucked. But I have found a lot of Tide, Gain, and Downy in import shops...lucky for me, Costco is nearby and they have it all!!:grin:
 

Ballerina_Bun

Well-Known Member
My friend going to Africa is going to be in Ghana I think. Aussie friend doesn't know where Down Under she will be...

Good advice on the lead thing, I will pass it on!!

Japanese ppl rarely use deodorant. A lot of them don't need it, as their diets help cut out the funk. Supposedly, if you don't eat crap, you don't smell like crap. But some Japanese ppl really really really need it!

As for washing powders, I had heard everything here sucked. But I have found a lot of Tide, Gain, and Downy in import shops...lucky for me, Costco is nearby and they have it all!!:grin:

That was funny. I read a little bit of your blog. You have a nice sense of humour ... :grin:
 

yokoyokogirl

New Member
Thanks! I'm thinking of starting one here, just to get some stuff off my shoulders that I can't do on my blog. (Too many family members read the blog..)
 

HoneyA

Goal:Hip length stretched
Funny I had to do this same thing about two weeks ago, come up with five products out of my arsenal to take with me to Europe. I just took my shampoo, 1 DC, a bit of protein treatment in an empty oil bottle, shea butter, moisturiser, castor and olive oils (1 bottle each) and that was it. Just the bare essentials. Since I'll be going back home like 2x a year. I can always do my retouches then. So if you are relocating and are not sure what you'll find re: hair, then just take what you can't be without. Same thing for your skin, etc. I was coming to Europe but I still brought the deoderant I usually use.
 

almond eyes

Well-Known Member
Hello,

I work in Central Africa and I always bring excess luggage with me. I work not too far from the war zone. I make lists do research and decide on the quantity depending on how long it will take me to come back to the States. I am au natural because besides the fact that my hair cannot take relaxers, the water here is terrible and there are hardly any hair and beauty products. And if you do see Western hair and beauty products they are usually expired, diluted or tres cher (expensive). I have been living and working outside the US for so many years now so I feel very comfortable packing my arsenal which includes a 220v flat iron and blow dryer and pressing comb (which I rarely use). My friends and colleagues who don't do it wind up with serious hair and skin drama which I avoid.

Best,
Almond Eyes
 

yokoyokogirl

New Member
Thanks for the replies.

I told both of my friends what was recommended on here...I think living abroad is pretty exciting, but when it comes to doing our hair abroad..that's another story!:ohwell:
 

almond eyes

Well-Known Member
I forgot to add what I take back with me for my hair:

1. Shampoos
2. Conditioners
3. Deodorants
4. Hair Oils
5. Hair moisturisers

If I am going to be out of the States for a long time and not visit my relatives in West Africa then I take like 5 of each item, this can last me for at least six months.

Best,
Almond Eyes
 
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