There is a beautiful concept in the Japanese culture, and it is called Kawaii. Kawaii in the Japanese language means ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘cute’ and I saw much of it when I was in Japan. It reached our shores a long time ago too.

You’ve probably come across this idea that something intensively cute in the Japanese culture, such as a Hello Kitty lunchbox or a pair of socks with unicorn pattern. Kawaii relates to anything that is cute and fun, and it has taken over a large part of the Japanese culture, covering entertainment, food, popular culture, toy, behavior, and clothing style.

Originally the concept of Kawaii finds its roots in the Shogunate period where women were perceived as docile. The term kawaii was born. Nowadays it refers to anything cute and lovable, and this is definitely a style that is good for the soul! So how do you best embrace the Kawaii principles to reveal your own adorable sense of cuteness?


Start Gently

Kawaii is a very Japanese concept that, while it is being recognized in Western cultures, is not entirely adopted by other countries. In short, if you are concerned about comments and people pointing a curious finger at you, it’s maybe worth taking a subtle approach to your Kawaii style. You could pick a few playful objects for your everyday life at work or home, such as a pencil case with cute animal faces painted on it, a playful drawing or shape for your lunchbox, or maybe a little brooch.


If you feel that your lifestyle or your professional career doesn’t allow for such playfulness, adopting the typical Kawaii colors could be a step forward. You can look for pale yellow shades for your jumpers or your shirts for example, or embrace the girlie pink with argyle pink diamonds as a workwear jewelry. Even a cute pair of socks, especially with lace or delicate flowers, can make you feel Kawaii at heart. There’s no need to wear the whole manga uniform to embrace the cute trend.

What About Hairstyle?

If you are in a position where you can happily change your hairstyle without having an entire office laughing at you, then you should embrace the manga dye trend that has been around for the past few years. Hidden rainbow, rose gold, mermaid green, there are plenty of colorful, creative hairstyles that are typical of the Kawaii culture.

As long as you make sure to discuss your ideas with a color specialist who will be able to advise you and to get you to your ideal shade without damaging your hair, you can wear your Kawaii heart proudly on your head.


I’d Like Some Proper Manga Style

The next step in the Kawaii world is to change your clothing style to look more like your favorite animated character. What you wear depends entirely on of you and how comfortable you feel in a Manga outfit. Some styles are easy and consist only of a short skirt and a pair of high socks to do the trick. Others will require a more specific gear, such as a pair of fluffy ear muffs shaped to look like cat’s or bunny’s ears, or fairy tale dresses that need a certain dose of courage to wear. Explore the Kawaii trend at your own pace!

Relevant Podcasts

Senior hairstylists with Kinky Curly Straight, Alyse Santry (colour creative hairstyles) and Cherie Falco (rocking what you have) discuss 2017 trends in cut and colour in these two different podcasts.  You’ll hear about hidden rainbow and other trending colours plus hair care and top product recommendations.

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