Hair Rehab With Mark Townsend
“The roots need the least amount of work because it’s the newest, freshest hair, and the oils and sebum from the scalp have a chance to get on that hair. This is mother nature’s best conditioner.
It’s really about rehabbing the ends with regular trims. Once a hair is split there really is no fixing it, you can hide it with a blowout or a good serum, but it never repairs itself; you have to trim it.
If you’re maintaining a cut, it will take every 8 to 10 weeks, but if you have long hair, go three times a year and get a quarter of an inch cut off the ends to keep the hair healthy. Healthy hair dries the best, so you’ve got to get moisture in there. So many women are afraid of moisture because it’s gonna weigh their hair down, but everyone’s hair is thirsty no matter what.
I’m a huge, huge believer in coconut oil; I think it’s amazing. Depending on how thick or coarse or fine your hair is, depends on how much you would dilute it. I make a conditioner every month, it’s 1 cup of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon each of: jojoba oil, vitamin e, almond oil, and macadamia oil — all the lipids and fatty acids that your hair desperately needs. Nut oils have a tiny molecule so they can penetrate inside the hair shaft, whereas a silicone can’t.
Use coconut oil on your ends once a week, every two weeks. Women with fine hair can use it as a pre-shampoo; put it on yours ends for 10-minutes and then shampoo. A little bit of the oil will stay behind when you rinse and protect it from the shampoo which is gonna dry out your ends. If it’s possible to only shampoo your roots when you’re in the shower, it’s a huge benefit for the rest of your hair.
My homemade coconut conditioner came up because Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were going away on vacation to two different beach locales and I told them to put it in their hair everyday. If you’re going in the sun — when you’re going to the beach, especially when you’re going in the pool — coat your hair with this because the sun, the sand, and the salt is so drying. The two of them both texted me saying ‘I don’t know what is in this jar but I need more of it,’ so that’s how it became a monthly thing. If you’re not in the mood to make your own, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your favorite conditioner.
They really are wash-and-go girls, they’ve learned how to take such good care of their hair that they don’t ever need blowouts anymore. That has inspired me to spread the knowledge to all my clients. But if you do have finer hair, the coconut oil might be a little too much for you.
One thing that terrifies me is that women are afraid of conditioner and it should be your best friend. There are so many light conditioners on the market now. You can even find light spray-in ones. If you wet your hair, you can skip shampoo, but you can never skip conditioner, even if it’s on the last 5 or 6 inches of the hair… even just the last inch, hair needs conditioner really, really badly.
Styling products have evolved in such a huge way now. Im a huge, huge, huge fan of mousse. Mousse from the ’80s and ’90s would completely evaporate before you even put it in your hair because it had so much alcohol in it. Our mousse now turns into a lotion because there’s so much moisturizer in it. One of my favorite things to do for my clients that are letting their hair dry naturally is to use mousse because it dries soft now and seals up the cuticle. It’s not like those ’80s mousses — you would have a big afro on your head even if you had straight hair.
The Dove Curls Mousse ($5) literally turns into a lotion and it doesn’t evaporate. I put it on wet hair before blow drying and on dry hair for a real piece-y effect. I was working with Nicola Peltz once, that’s how I discovered mousse on dry hair, we had put all this great texture in her hair and I didn’t have any salt spray on me and out of necessity I used this mousse in her dry hair and it dried so cool, it was super shiny and soft and piece-y at the same time.
Put the mousse in, root to end, all the way down, when hair is damp and then let it dry completely on its own. I love the Dove mousse, if you’re going for another brand just make sure alcohol is not the first ingredient. Go for a moisturizing rather than volumizing one which will have more alcohol in it and it’s not meant for hair drying. If you have a lot of damage, there are so many great serums on the market now. The ’90s was such an inventive time hair product-wise, but we have come leaps and bounds away from that.
When silicones first came out, they were so heavy, everybody looked like they had greasy hair. At the time it was amazing, but we have serums that are so much lighter now. I love Serge Normant dry oil spray ($24); it’s a styling product that is also a conditioner.
I’ve learned all of my tricks from Ashley and Mary Kate because they are natural, air-dry kind-of girls. Worst-case scenario I have to use a diffuser every now and then if their hair is too wet, but they never want to change their texture and it’s inspired me to get other women to keep their texture. It’s not about those blowouts anymore, rock your texture.
Dry shampoo is not a dry shampoo anymore: Any hair-dresser will tell you it’s their go-to styling product. When the hair is done — if I’ve let the hair dry completely natural — I can go back with a dry shampoo, it gets volume at the roots because you’re leaving it in not brushing it out. The powders and starches build on top of each other and create volume that lasts much longer than a hair spray, there’s no alcohol in it to dry out the hair, keeps it healthy and it’s a great product for in-between shampoos. If you do have those oily roots, dry shampoo every two or three days is so much healthier.
My favorite dry shampoo for volume and texture is Dove ($4). It’s kind of the end-all be-all of dry shampoos. I really love what Elizabeth and James’ dry shampoos ($28) do because they have na touch of wax to them, giving you amazing texture. Women want to touch their hair, so I very rarely use hairspray anymore. Dry shampoo will give enough volume and enough hold that it stays touchable and soft.
My life is about trying to make women’s hair healthy, don’t over do it. So many women don’t even know their natural texture because they are afraid of it and are so used to having it blown out. Let your hair air dry and play around with it, get to know your natural texture because you can’t really properly change it yourself until you know how to work with your natural texture.”