Product Review: Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick

Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50
Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50

I had no idea the brand Utena was still in business until I spotted this on Adambeauty.com. Years ago, when Joseibi.com was an online store, I wanted to sell Utena products because I had tried them during a trip to Japan, and for the price, I thought the quality was pretty good. It’s a drug-store level brand, but I was fond of it.

Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50
Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50

This was quite hyped in many popular Japanese magazines (“Over 9 million units sold”), and I needed something to tame the flyaways exacerbated by the indoor heat (we had 3 rounds of Polar Vortex this winter!). Also, I got bangs now, and they are a lot more high maintenance than my previous one-length hair cut, so I have been using more hair styling products.

Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50
Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50

This is a hair styling stick that will tame flyaways and provide a more or less natural (‘nuanced’) hold for loose strands. It’s neat because you don’t have to get your hands sticky, and for the most part, it works beautifully. You don’t need a whole lot at a time, or it will feel sticky and oily.

Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50
Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick, 15g, US$8.50

It has no fragrance which is perfect, because I find that many hair styling products (particularly the western brands such as Aussie, which I can’t stand) give me a headache because of their heavy fragrances. I use Matomage on my bangs and at the top of my crown to tame the static flyaways; this is also great if you pull your hair up on a ponytail and need to fix the loose strands at the nape.

The only minor gripe I have with this is the residue it leaves behind. You need to be very light handed, or if you as much as go over the same area twice, you will see white residue on your hair. If you aren’t careful, you won’t even know, and you could walk around looking like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, even though you want to be the pretty woman 😉 It can be sticky/oily as well, so you need to be very light handed when using Matomage.

Overall, it’s a pretty neat product. It is available at Adambeauty.com for US$8.50.

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