We recently sat down with our go-to hairstylist, Eduardo Bravo – the man behind the hair of models like Joan Smalls and Ashley Graham – and he shared some of his expert need-to-know hair care rules. Ever since, we’ve been following them religiously, and honestly, it’s transformed our hair. What was once damaged, brittle hair is sleek, soft and healthy. So of course, we wanted to share his haircare wisdom with all of you.
Eduardo’s most important rule for having healthy hair? “A healthy and clean scalp is the key to thick, shiny, gorgeous hair. If your scalp is unhealthy, inflamed and full of toxins, imagine what quality of hair will grow; dull, thin and weak [hair] that falls out easily. My philosophy is simple; transform, optimize and protect. Think of each as building blocks to reach optimal scalp health and hair growth in which all three systems are used to cleanse, restore and prevent hair loss/damage from internal and external stressors,” Eduardo tells us.
Here’s Eduardo’s three-step process to reviving your mane to supermodel status.
Step 1: Transformation
Eduardo believes “Transformation is at the foundation and the most important step. This is about detoxifying your scalp to rejuvenate and renew the hair follicles and create a perfect environment for hair growth. Eliminating toxins include removing buildup from products, sebum, pollutants like smoke and pollution without stripping your scalp from its natural moisture.”
How To Detox Your Hair While Washing
“While you wash your hair, start at the back of the neck and work your way up to the top of your head using gentle but firm circular strokes. Then continue from your temples to the top again. Repeating this scalp massage for at least a minute. Doing so will improve scalp circulation, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the roots of the hair, help regenerate hair cells, unclog hair follicles so hair can grow without any hindrance, and most importantly, it improves the health of your scalp, which is the bedrock of your hair follicles,” explains Eduardo.
Step 2: Optimization
“Optimization comes next” states Eduardo. “This step is focused on prevention. The aim is to keep your youthful shine by using products that revitalize follicles and improve blood flow while preventing premature hair aging (and hair loss) by combating inflammation.” To thoroughly ‘optimize’ the hair, you need to focus on cleansing and conditioning:
“Focusing on a good scalp cleanser will balance out the hair by removing pollutants, debris, and oil. When using harsh shampoos, you may “over-cleanse” causing the follicles to produce more sebum to compensate, leaving you with oily hair a few hours after you’ve washed it.”
“After cleansing with the right shampoo you will find that your hair does not need conditioner as much. But when it comes to conditioning; different hair types need different degrees of moisture. Whether you’re looking to boost shine and softness, minimize frizz, eliminate tangles, or preserve and brighten your color. I recommend that you “listen” to your hair and condition accordingly” says Eduardo.
Step 3: Protection
Finally, the third step: protection: “Protection is at the top of the pyramid, which means it’s not a big part of the system but it’s the most important because this is how damage to our skin, scalp, and hair happens at a cellular level, ” Eduardo tells us. Put on your science coat for the next part, it’s about to get real technical: “Telomeres are the tails at the end of our chromosomes. When we are young, the tails are long, and as we age they shorten. Which means the key to anti-aging is to maintain a healthy long telomere. Environmental stressors like UV radiation, pollution, ozone, infrared and free radicals all accelerate DNA damage, which leads to aging. Using quality SPF broad-spectrum ingredients, antioxidants, and DNA repair enzymes will slow telomere aging leaving you with thicker, stronger hair.”