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Are perms allowed in Japanese schools?


In this article, we will delve into the topic of whether perms are allowed in Japanese schools. Japan has a strict dress code policy in schools, and many students abide by it. However, there seems to be some confusion regarding perms, as they are a popular hairstyle in Japan. Therefore, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations surrounding hairstyles in Japanese schools.

History of Japanese School Dress Code

Japan has had a strict dress code policy in schools since the Meiji Era. The policy aimed to create a sense of unity and discipline among students. The guidelines have been revised several times over the years, but the basic principles remain the same.

Japanese Snack Box

What is Allowed?

According to the current guidelines, students’ hair must be natural color and kept clean and neat at all times. Hair accessories must be black or navy blue and simple in design. For boys, hair should not touch their collars or ears. Girls can tie their hair back but must keep it above their shoulders.

What is Not Allowed?

Hairstyles that are deemed too flashy or extreme are not allowed. This includes bright hair colors, shaved heads, and mohawks. Students are also not allowed to wear any accessories that stand out, such as large bows or hairpins.

Perms in Japan

Perms are a popular hairstyle in Japan and have been for many years. However, some schools do not allow them as they can be seen as too extreme or flashy. It ultimately depends on the school’s discretion and interpretation of the dress code guidelines.

Why Perms May Be Disallowed

Some schools may disallow perms as they may be seen as too distracting or disruptive to the learning environment. Additionally, perms require chemicals and heat treatments that may damage hair over time. Schools may want to discourage students from damaging their hair for health reasons.

Exceptions to Rules

There may be exceptions to these rules for medical or religious reasons. For example, a student may need to wear a headscarf for religious purposes or may have a medical condition that requires them to keep their hair covered.

Punishments for Dress Code Violations

If a student violates the dress code policy, they may be asked to change their appearance or face disciplinary action. The disciplinary action can range from verbal warnings to suspension from school.

Public vs Private Schools

Public schools tend to have stricter dress code policies than private schools. Private schools often allow more flexibility with hairstyles and accessories as they do not receive government funding and can set their own rules.

Cultural Significance of Hair in Japan

Hair has significant cultural importance in Japan and is often seen as an extension of one’s identity. Certain hairstyles are associated with different eras or professions. For example, geisha traditionally wear intricate updos with ornate hair accessories.

The Future of School Dress Code Policy

As times change, so do dress codes. Some schools in Japan have already started relaxing their dress code policies to allow more freedom for individual expression while still adhering to the basic principles of cleanliness and neatness.


In conclusion, perms may or may not be allowed in Japanese schools depending on the school’s interpretation of the dress code guidelines. It is essential for students and parents to understand these policies to avoid any disciplinary action. Hairstyles play a significant role in Japanese culture, but it is essential to balance cultural significance with practicality and health concerns.

What are Japanese school rules on hair?

Starting March 31, 2022, public high school students in Tokyo will no longer be required to dye their hair black or wear specific colored undergarments. This change comes after criticism of rules that have long restricted students’ self-expression in Japanese schools, which have traditionally enforced strict guidelines for appearance and behavior.

What is not allowed in Japan schools?

In Japanese schools, it is important for students to maintain a natural appearance. High school girls are not allowed to wear makeup, dye their hair, apply nail polish or jewelry as school officials believe that such things can be a distraction to their studies, and therefore, when they are at school, they are expected to devote their full attention to their studies.

Can you have curly hair in Japan?

In Japan, curly hair is not as common as it is in other places, which makes it challenging to find suitable hair care products. Additionally, the seasons in Japan can be harsh for those with curly hair, adding to the difficulty of maintaining it.

Do Japanese schools allow hair dye?

As of March 12, 2022, all public high schools in Tokyo have eliminated rules that required students to color their non-black hair and follow strict underwear color regulations. Additionally, a popular boys’ hairstyle that was previously banned is now allowed. The decision was made during a scheduled meeting of the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education.

Do Japanese schools allow curly hair?

In Japan’s public schools, students are only allowed to have straight black hair and are not permitted to bleach, dye, or perm it. However, students with naturally light or curly hair may be required to straighten or dye it until it matches the necessary shade of black.

Are Japanese schools strict about hair?

In 2022, news articles reported on strict school regulations in Japan that included rules on the colors of students’ hair and underwear, as well as limitations on dating and socializing during lunch. These regulations were referred to as “black” rules due to their excessive strictness.

It should be noted that dress code policies in Japanese schools are not unique to the country. Many countries around the world have similar policies in place to promote discipline and unity among students. However, the strictness of these policies may vary from country to country.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards allowing more individual expression in dress and appearance in schools. Some argue that strict dress codes can be oppressive and limit students’ creativity and self-expression. On the other hand, proponents of dress codes argue that they promote professionalism and respect for authority.

Ultimately, it is up to each school to decide what dress code policies they want to implement. It is important for schools to strike a balance between promoting discipline and individual expression while also considering practicality and health concerns.

In conclusion, the debate over whether perms are allowed in Japanese schools highlights the importance of understanding dress code policies in educational institutions. While cultural significance and personal expression are important factors to consider, schools must also prioritize practicality and health concerns when setting their dress code policies.

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