Quick Review: Shiseido Tsubaki – Shampoo & Conditioner (Moist) + a quick trip down memory lane

People always seem to think that cropped pixie cuts such as mine are low maintenance, but honestly, I have never fiddled around more with my hair than when my hair was short.

When it was waist long, I honestly did nothing – just a simple routine consisting of shampoo, conditioner and letting my hair air dry. Now, I’ve got all sorts of hair treatments and styling products, but shampooing and conditioning (or sometimes in reverse – first conditioning, then shampooing, to ) has stayed with me. I just had a quick little trip down memory lane and this is how my hair used to look – pretty much au naturel – vs now, and I can honestly say that I put in 1000% more effort than I did 15 years ago:

Today, I wanted to post a quick review of Tsubaki’s Moist Shampoo and Conditioner. I have never had bad experiences with Japanese hair care, and this duo is no exception.

Price, Quantity, Availability

I got both at Lalavla and paid ₩12,000, respectively, for each 450 ml bottle.

I like to get similar quantities as I tend to use up shampoo and conditioner at the same rate, though apparently, judging from past reviews that I have seen on the Interwebs, many people tend to run out of one or the other first.


As you can see from the below, the shampoo contains the dreaded ingredient that all beauty aficionados seem to hate: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or SLS. While my skin cannot tolerate SLS in any shape or form, it is ok as a shampoo. The conditioner appears to contain dimethicone, which also tends to be viewed as a dirty word in the beauty community. Personally, I don’t mind silicones nor dimethicones, be it in skincare or haircare.

Hair Shampoo: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycol Distearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Timonium Chloride Acrylamide/ Dimethyl Acrylamide Copolymer, Maltitol, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Lemon Extract, Rose Water, Royal Jelly Extract, Soybean Extract, Lauric Acid PEG-2, Sodium Sulfate, DPG, ingredients provided by oo35mm, Lauric Acid, Dimethiconol, Salicylic Acid, Edta-2NA, Citric Acid, Lauryl Sulfate Na, BG, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, FD & C Yellow No. 5, FD & C Yellow No. 6

Hair Conditioner: Water, Isopentyldiol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetanol, Behenyl, DPG, Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Maltitol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Steartrimonium Chloride, Polysilicon 13, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Lemon Extract, Rose Water, ingredients provided by oo35mm, Royal Jelly Extract, Soybean Extract, Isopropanol, Isopropyl Myristate, Lauric Acid PEG-2, Amodimethicone, Salicylic Acid, PPG-2-Desesu-12, Sodium Methyl Taurate, Edta-2Na, Setroimoniumukruroid, BG, Tocopherol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, FD & C Yellow No. 5, D & C Red No. 33

Scent, Look and Texture

Both the shampoo and the conditioner came out of the bottle an opaque, yet sparkling sort of silvery-white. They smelled slightly chemical and generic – kind of like the cheapest home brand shampoo that you can imagine may smell like. Both were a little runnier than I usually like and I have the suspicion that there is more water added compared to other Tsubaki shampoos that I have tried in the past. Both also had a little too much slip for my liking. They seemed to glide through my fingers and I found myself flinging the product on quickly before it had a chance to escape down the drain.

What the Company Says

I don’t know, actually! They have a Korean website but the Korean text basically just says that it is for dehydrated hair and that it drenches your hair in abundant moisture. Nothing about ingredients, not much in the way of ad copy or marketing promises. Weirdly, neither Shiseido nor Tsubaki seem to have official global websites. You can check their Korean site here (not an affiliated link, just something I copy pasted from my browser).

My Thoughts

Both products were lightly hydrating and they made my hair feel ok, nothing mind blowing in my books.

The shampoo cleaned my hair thoroughly without being too drying or leaving my hair overly squeaky clean. The conditioner was lightly hydrating and made my hair feel smooth. But outside of that, no extra benefits. No hair swishing, no nice scent, no nourishing feeling.

Keep in mind that my hubby gives me monthly trims so my hair is never in bad condition as the dead hair sprouting from the roots has only been dead for a few weeks at which point it gets chopped off again. My hair does not feel frizzy or dehydrated much and I don’t have any scalp issues either, so if your hair or scalp are reactive or problematic, I cannot tell you how you would fare with this one.

Concluding Thoughts

This duo was alright, but I much preferred Tsubaki’s Extra Moist (red bottle) offering, which I reviewed very briefly over here. Used in conjunction, they left my hair in an alright sort of condition but I will not be repurchasing and am planning instead to go back to Tsubaki’s Extra Moist range after this.

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