Gyaru: Eye-catching Japanese style

Gyaru: Eye-catching Japanese style

There is no doubt that Japanese pop culture is a sort of melting pot of trends. People come from all walks of life and have completely different styles. There are minimalists, streetwear enthusiasts, cosplay fans, and fashionistas from the Harajuku district in Tokyo. So, it's quite easy for Japanese people to find a group they identify with...

The gyaru girls' style is one of the most interesting stylistic movements in Japan. It's a perfect example of the many unique fashion trends that Japanese women have embraced and identified with.

What is a gyaru girl?

Gyaru Aircut

The Japanese word Gyaru simply means "girl." Literally speaking, gyaru girl would be synonymous with "girl girl." The term yaru is associated with girls, so the Japanese have become accustomed to saying gyaru girl even though it's redundant...

The gyaru phenomenon is a form of cultural movement that defines girls with an eye-catching style. Another definition of the term "girl" would be "gal," which was a word used to describe a very cool and trendy girl. The description of a gyaru girl is someone who wears flashy (seemingly sexy) clothes and has an extroverted personality.

Gyaru girls are typically blonde, resembling the stereotype of the ditzy American blonde.

The gyaru culture and its style have evolved over the years. In fact, since the term "gyaru girl" was coined in the 90s, this Japanese style has undergone numerous changes in terms of fashion, trends, and physical characteristics.

There is no exact history of how it started. Adults simply noticed that many high school girls looked alike and dressed in the same way. Since then, variations of this fashion have emerged, such as the kogyaru Japanese look.

How to adopt the Gyaru style?

The key to truly understanding Japan's gyaru girls is to first become familiar with the many complex categories that stem from it. This section of the article will quickly review the dozen subcultures that make up the entire gyaru phenomenon.

Gyaru fashion style


Of course, the main subculture is gyaru-kei, which is the default gyaru style. It's considered the most mainstream and is associated with gyaru girls who are new to this style...

Not all gyaru style variations are as extroverted, there are:

  • Amekaji styles
  • Romantic gal
  • Bohemian
  • Rocker

These styles are extremely similar to those worn daily by girls in the United States.

Gyaru hime

The second subculture of gyaru is gyaru hime. In this unique style, girls love to dress like princesses. This doesn't necessarily mean wearing a long dress every day, but hime gyaru girls are obsessed with the idea of wearing pastel-colored dresses, paired with heels and jewelry. On the other hand, the Amuro subculture of gyaru involves dressing like an R&B artist from the 2000s.

Kogyaru style

It refers to high school girls who still wear a Japanese uniform but have customized it to reflect their own sense of fashion. This style is highly representative of Western style. It is common for these girls to have artificially tanned skin and blonde hair.

Yamamba and Banba style

This Japanese fashion is a bit too extreme and isn't for everyone as it involves putting ridiculous white makeup all over the face. This loud makeup is itself paired with loud Hawaiian-themed clothing.

Banba style is a subtler version of yamamba. There's no more ridiculous makeup, but the clothes are still colorful. Between these two subcultures lies the manba style, which is a mix of both.

Ganguro style

This fashion style was extremely popular in the 90s. Usually, girls who wanted to enhance the Japanese ganguro style had a very deep tan that looked completely artificial. Having very dark skin was inspired by Western culture,

Japanese fashion

During the summer, the outfits are very light compared to those of September, October, November, December, and January. This means that from the last three months (March, April, and May) to the next three months (June, July, and August), Japanese styles will be light and airy.

Long hems and loose clothing are very popular during this period. Japanese women all have a long skirt in their wardrobe or dressing room.

Loose clothing has always been fashionable in Japan. Of course, gyaru girls are supposed to bring their own touch regardless of the season or type of ready-to-wear. Some Gyaru subcultures adopt avant-garde Japanese looks, and others kawaii looks. Thanks to the multiplicity of fashions, Japanese women can take a long cardigan, and style it in different ways to adapt it to their own sense of style. Of course, these trends are likely to change according to the time of year...

Makeup in Japan

Gyaru false eyelashes

In the Land of the Rising Sun, it is interesting to see how the gyaru style has evolved over the years. For decades, the gyaru style featured extremely intense hairstyles and makeup, including styles such as manba, yamanba, and banba. Girls would intentionally overdo it with mascara, false eyelashes, foundation, blush, gloss, eyeshadow, glitter, eyeliner, lipstick, and self-tanning cream...

Walking through the streets of Tokyo or Kyoto today, it would be extremely difficult to find someone wearing this type of makeup. Today's basic makeup aims to mimic natural skin, giving the impression that there is no makeup when in reality there is.

The secret of Japanese society members to achieve skin that looks smooth and pure is to have healthy skin. They use a large number of skincare products to keep it in the best condition. The key is to have a well-established skincare routine, filled with products that suit one's skin type.

Another Japanese secret related to skin beauty is sunscreen. The Japanese, like the South Koreans, are obsessed with sunscreens. Even though this obsession is much more pronounced in Korea, some of the world’s most popular brands actually come from Japan. For example, the brand Biore is acclaimed worldwide for its top-notch sunscreen products.

In line with natural makeup, the Japanese are also fans of minimalist makeup. This type of makeup product offers sheer coverage for lips and cheeks. It provides a natural and healthy glow. There are many brands that sell superb shades in Japan, as most local Japanese brands adhere to the rule of light makeup.

Japanese people are not particularly fond of opaque, matte lipsticks that dry out the lips.

There is a very diverse range of hairstyles throughout Japan. The usual blonde of gyaru girls is gone, as is eccentric Japanese makeup. It has since been replaced by more flattering colors like ash blonde and light brown. Some Japanese women still wear blonde hair but with taste.

In recent years, one hair trend that has taken the world by storm is the long bob, also called "lob." It is a haircut that resembles a bob but is cut to a much longer length (i.e., at the neck level).

Gyaru Nails

One aspect of the gyaru style that has remained very strong over the years is that of nails. In some ways, it is still socially acceptable to wear colorful and long nails rather than anything else. For Japanese girls, nail art is a form of expression of their personal style.

Gyaru girls definitely love floral-patterned nails. This form of nail art is not only pretty, it is also interesting as it uses real flowers that have dried and are paired with small stones and beads to complement them.

Another particularly trendy nail art style in Japan is the nuance nails. As the name suggests, the design of this nail art is a "nuance," which means there is no uniform design. Each nail has a unique design that is similar to the overall theme. Given the creativity of the Japanese, the possibilities for nuance nail design are endless.

The Gyaru Style and Japanese Manga

Gyaru Anime

Gyaru fashion has influenced the realm of Japan in general and women's fashion. That's why there are Japanese cartoons and manga featuring characters associated with gyaru culture. One of the most popular mangas that features a gyaru heroine is Gal Gohan. It's common to see this character in cosplay at Comiket, or at Japan Expo Sud...

The manga Gal Gohan is also known as Gyaru Cooking. This name is extremely relevant to the plot of the story. It features a heroine described as a gyaru. In fact, the manga portrays the heroine as the "most gyaru girl in school," which is extremely evident in the illustrations used for the manga. In this manga style, the girl is very tanned as gyaru girls are.

The manga gives an idea of how gyaru girls act and also gives us indications of how they are perceived by Japanese society. Therefore, this manga is an excellent way for all fans of manga mania and Otaku culture to discover Gyaru...

If you want to learn more about other Japanese styles and you don't have the chance to travel to Japan to discover the fashion madness of Shibuya or Harajuku... We recommend you read our guide to Japanese fashion. You will discover the subtleties of the lolita, gothic, cyberpunk, streetwear, or bosozoku looks.


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