how to fix damaged hairSource: Jamie McCarthy/ Shutterstock

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

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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.

Detoxing Products

Eduardo says to always look for “Products with high-performance ingredients that will help restore your scalp and get rid of toxin build-up to promote healthy new growth.” Here are two of his faves:

best products for damaged hairSource: Act + Acre & Omorovizca

Act + Acre Scalp Detox, $42: “This cold-processed oil removes build-up and balances the scalp. Formulated to stimulate the scalp, supporting long term health for your scalp and hair.”

Omorovizca Revitalizing Scalp Mask,$75: “This is a pre-shampoo treatment to revitalize and detoxify. The key ingredient, Hungarian Moor mud is rich in calcium and magnesium to draw out impurities. A multitude of ingredients soothes the scalp while gently exfoliating to unblock follicles, topped off by a conditioning oil, which leaves the hair soft and silky.” Check out our DIY detox hair mask for an affordable option that works amazingly well to detox and balance the scalp.

Step 2: Optimization

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“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:

Cleanse

“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.” To cleanse, Eduardo recommends these products:

best products for damage hair Source: Dr. Alkaitis, Tropic Isle & Ace+Acre

Dr. Alkaitis Herbal Shampoo, $18: “This shampoo nourishes and balances scalp and hair roots to encourage growth. Plus, it works for all hair types.”

Act + Acre Hair Cleanse, $28: “This is amazing as it rebalances and nourishes while washing your hair. Rich in antioxidants, this gentle formula naturally protects your hair from free radical damage.”

Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento, $11: “Shampoo with red pimento, coconut, jojoba, and essential oils cleanses and removes buildup while adding volume and moisture to dry or damaged hair. Red pimento is a key ingredient in aiding hair growth by gently cleaning and detoxifying the scalp.” You can add a fee drops to your shampoo if you can’t find a shampoo that contains these ingredients.

Condition

“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. Here are his go-to conditioning products:

best products for damaged hair Source: Innersense & Sangre De Fruta

Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque, $35:” If you’ve got curly, kinky, or coarse hair; adding a hair mask to your routine in the shower is a great way to amp up the shine even more.”

Sangre de Fruta Botanical Conditioner, $52: “If you’ve got a fine texture, a light cream or lotion conditioner will give you shine without weight.”

Step 3: Protection

 

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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.”

Eduardo’s top products for protecting your mane:

best products for damaged hairSource: Uma & Tropic Isle Living

Uma Nourishing Hair Oil, $67: “Clarifying extracts of grapefruit and lemon remove impurities and nourish the hair for a truly healthy mane, enhancing elasticity and strengthening hair from root to end. Potent botanicals such as hibiscus and yerba de tago revive hair that has been stripped from over-processing and environmental pollutants, while Indian gooseberry and cypriol help the roots and add strength and deep nutrition for hair that shines.”

Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil, $14: For extra dry ends, apply hair oil once you’re out of the shower while hair is still damp.

best products for damaged hairSource: Lavett and Chine & Coola

Lavet and Chin Leave On Conditioner, $15: “This leave-in condition works for all hair types and protects the hair from heat styling.”

Coola Scalp and Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30: Spray directly on the scalp and on hair that is wet or dry to stay on top of sun safety from head to toe without leaving an oily residue.

For more nourishing products, check out these 8 products that’ll give your hair like Rapunzel.