Australian men and women, what does your hairdo say about you?

Haircare. It’s more than just the treatments, the shampoos, the conditioners and the cuts; it’s about the food you feed your hair and we’re not talking about a gastronomic six-course degustation.

Whether it’s short, long, hangs to the side or you’re still rocking a business at the front and party at the back kind of style, your haircare routine is more important than ever, especially leading up to summer.

Going above and beyond the standard wash, cut and blow-dry, we’ve collaborated with Australia’s favourite haircare line, Herbal Essences, to find out everything there is to know about maintaining healthy hair for the sizzling summer months in Australia.

First and foremost, for achieving luscious locks, it all comes down to the natural ingredients that are found in your products. And, to help wash out all of the nasties, Herbal Essences has announced its partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank – home to the largest and most diverse wild plant species seed bank in the world – to help save 20 native threatened plants from extinction in 2020 with their #Save20in2020 initiative.

Coming about after discovering that over 1000 species of Australia’s native plants are at risk thanks to climate change, habitat loss and an increasing impact of human activities, the Royal Botanic Gardens – with more than 260 years of experience in plant science – has been working alongside Herbal Essences to identify the real botanicals in their bio: renew hair products.

On top of that, the #Save20in2020 initiative aims to protect endangered plants and raise awareness of the global threat to plant biodiversity. It will help safeguard 20 threatened wild plant species across Australia and New Zealand from extinction, including thelymitrinae, rutaceae and verticordia nitens. 

To help you zhuzh up everything you know about haircare, we’ve sat down with Herbal Essences’ principal scientist, Saint Tiu, to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to haircare routines:

For both men and women, how often should we be washing our hair?

Our hair is constantly exposed to invisible free radicals that are present in the environment – may it be from the air that we breathe and the water we use to wash our hair. These free radicals are so tiny that they can penetrate inside the hair and sit there like ‘time bombs.’ When triggered by the damaging UV rays of the sun or harsh chemicals they explode and compromise the structural integrity of the hair’s core. When left untreated, the internal damage will eventually manifest outside of the hair making it look dull, dry, and lifeless over time.

That’s why it’s important to wash our hair as frequently as possible to better manage these free radicals. A recent study conducted by Herbal Essences revealed that those who wash their hair at least five times a week are more satisfied with their hair condition compared to those who wash less frequently. 

As for the Australian blokes out there, due to unique biological features like hormone and body size, men tend to have twice the amount of oil and sweat on their head compared to women. Men also have unique styling habits, often using durable and sticky materials that can easily attract dirt and dust from the environment. The culmination of these can have a negative effect on the quality of hair. 

In saying that, simply wetting hair with water isn’t enough to get rid of these residues, in fact, it may do more harm than good by exposing strands to free radicals. It is important to wash hair as frequently as possible and with effective products that can purify hair from these external stressors. Herbal Essences harnesses the power of plants to bring their positive effect in the shower – the natural antioxidants in the bio: renew blend traps, neutralises and removes the build-up of free radicals and is formulated for safe everyday use. 

Whether we’re wanting to repair, hydrate or nourish, what are some ingredients to look for when purchasing haircare products?

Saint recommends looking for naturally derived ingredients such as botanicals or plants within your hair products. And for this reason, that is why Herbal Essences has partnered with the world’s leading authority in plant science – the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London – to authenticate the quality and purity of our ingredients.

To achieve this, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank has assisted Herbal Essences in creating a range of haircare products using authenticated botanical ingredients that assist in nourishing hair and promoting growth include the following:

Birch Bark Extract

Birch bark is one of the most important plants in Chinese medicine, thought to improve immunity and quality of skin and hair. This can be found in the Herbal Essences bio:renew Sulfate Free Birch Bark Extract Shampoo and Conditioner.

More info

Golden Moringa

Considered one of the most nutrient rich plants on earth, Moringa stimulates hair growth and helps damaged hair follicles recover. This can be found in the Herbal Essences bio:renew Golden Moringa Shampoo and Conditioner.

More info

Passion Flower

For hundreds of years, this plant has been used in North and South America for food and therapeutic purposes. When Spanish explorers brought this to Europe, it was mostly used as homeopathic medicine. This can be found in the Herbal Essences bio:renew Passion Flower Shampoo and Conditioner.

More info

What are some things Australians can do to keep their hair healthy this summer 2020?

As we enter the warmer months and spend more time outdoors and at the beach, our hair is exposed to greater amounts of heat, humidity and saltwater. And for those dying their hair to lighter shades also means a higher level of chemical damage. These factors all tend to impose excessive stress that leads to dry, frizzy and harder to manage hair.

Protection and hydration are the keys to preserving the health and quality of your locks. This is where Herbal Essences’ natural antioxidants collection becomes truly essential, by blocking the damaging elements of the sun and colouring ingredients.

Just like how we quench our thirst with water, we have to also infuse hair with proper hydration. Herbal Essences bio: renew shampoos and conditioners are formulated with a range of hydrating ingredients that help seal essential moisture inside. As well as that, Herbal Essences bio: renew Repair Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner harnesses the essence of argan oil to enrich hair with nutrients and fats, leaving strands feeling like silk. To maximise the effectiveness of such ingredients, wash your hair frequently to cleanse away buildup of sweat and oil and provide consistent nourishment and conditioning.

For more information visit the Herbal Essences website.

Looking to pamper yourself and be sustainable at the same time? Check out these 7 Australian-made Sustainable Beauty Products that will help you feel good both inside and out. Or, if you’re looking to become more environmentally-friendly in your day-to-day activities, these 10 Subscription Boxes will treat yourself and the Earth.

All product images supplied by Herbal essences.