Best Products for Spring Hair Renewal

Spring is here. Daffodils are in bloom, the birds are chirping, and the Farmers Market is flush with bright green veggies. It’s time to usher in that same cycle of renewal for all the strands that have had a rough go of winter, from delayed wash days, excessive heat styling, and all manner of styling we do to keep our tresses looking fab in the short term. 

Ground zero for all hair care is scalp care. For the past few years I’ve been obsessed with my scalp – it’s so challenging to keep it pristine with workouts, dry shampoos, and those rushed washed days. My obsession is driven in part by how tough it is to find good scalp care, scrubs especially. Most are harsh, with sulfates and salt crystals, if not sodium chloride which is a big no-no for keratin girls. My favorite charcoal-based formula was inexplicably discontinued, and I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement, if not an upgrade ever since. Iles Formula Scalp + Body Exfoliant is a popular offering in the award-winning brand’s collection for a reason. Not only is it designed to multi-task, it’s salt and sugar-free. The exfoliation comes from rice bran husk and kiwi-derived AHAs. Like all of Iles Formula, haircare, it’s free of sulfates, silicones, and parabens, and is scented with the brand’s signature bergamot-heavy Earl Grey fragrance.

Once the scalp is clean and detoxified, it’s the best base to allow hair-nourishing and growth-promoting treatments to penetrate into the hair follicle. KilgourMD’s patent-pending, dual non-minoxidil system harnesses the power of Vitamin C, peptides,  turmeric, rosemary, pumpkin seed, amla, and Redensyl®, Kilgour MD’s signature green tea derivative to whip the follicles into shape. By increasing circulation and stimulating stem cells, the dermatologist-designed solution is skincare level anti-aging serum for the scalp. Both the Prevention Scalp Serum and Treatment Scalp Serum are best applied at night and massaged for maximum absorption to maximize follicular health. 

A newly rejuvenated scalp deserves a clean botanical-based shampoo, conditioner, and treatment system, does it not? Though I discovered the brand in the winter, I’ve been saving Remilia’s Green Goddess Set for the spring. The vegan, sulfate-free, and sodium chloride-free botanical-based shampoo and conditioner, rich with rosemary, coconut, avocado oils, and green tea extract, is safe for both color-treated and keratin-treated hair. Just one shampoo leaves my hair super clean. The rich conditioner can be left on for up to five minutes for supple, detangled hair that’s fresh and not weighed down. 

On more indulgent wash days, the Green Coco Hair Mask, recommended at least once a week for 5-10 minutes, contains the same stimulating rosemary, green tea extract, and ultra-moisturizing coconut and avocado oils at more concentrated levels, as well as vegetable protein and amino acids for hair strengthening. Just one use of the Green Goddess shampoo and conditioner left my hair detangled, super shiny, and with an amazing clean fragrance, plus the added benefit of brightened highlights. To extend the benefits of the system, I popped open a Cosmocap, an individualized portion of keratin serum. For those who shower at the gym or travel a great deal, the portable packaging is a must for a girl on-the-go, as is the flip-top packaging of the shampoo conditioner. You’ll never have to worry about wasting these result-delivering products due to spillage. 

Because I believe we can never deep condition and treat hair enough between salon visits, I’ve made it a habit to incorporate professional-strength treatments into my at-home hair regimen at least once a month, namely the reigning hair care obsession for the last few years – bond building. My IG feed is overflowing with shampoos, conditioners, serums, leave-ins, and treatments that promise to repair hair damage at the molecular level and reseal the cuticle for increased manageability, shine, and healthy length. The greater the processing and damage, the greater the need to rebuild the hair, especially when addicted to a cocktail of highlights and flat irons. 

I’ve tried many of these treatments with varying degrees of satisfaction as most take several applications to pay off. Eufora’s Triple Bond Repair is not one of those. The formulation repairs not just one, but three hair bonds on the hair cuticle – disulfide bonds, hydrogen bonds, and salt bonds – for an overall restoration of the hair’s structure, elasticity, texture, and shape. From one application, my hair was remarkably rejuvenated, detangled and softer. As a textured girl, it’s easy to deduce hair health by the shape of the curl/wave pattern while wet. After rinsing, my hair formed the near-perfect ringlets of virgin hair. In a sulfate-free and sodium chloride-free base of aloe gel and fruit extracts, the clean Eufora’s Triple Bond Repair treatment is safe for all hair types.

As bond-building and deep moisturizing treatments are quite different, I alternate them or turn to Macadamia Natural Oil Bond Repair Masque for the best of both worlds. Unlike most bond-building products, this vegan formulation relies on organic compounds to counteract thermal and heat damage with the addition of one the most beautifying and underutilized oils –  macadamia oil. 

While most deep conditioners and hair treatments rely on jojoba oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and/or shea butter, macadamia is as much or more of a powerhouse. The nut of the Hawaiian tree, like other popular hair oils, is rich in Omega, 3, 6 9 Fatty Acids, with the distinction of being one of the rare sources of Omega 7, a monounsaturated fatty acid. It’s one of the richest oils I’ve ever used. After decades of coloring, bleaching and flat ironing my 3b hair, it remains the most nourishing for my hair type, leaving hair, even rebellious cowlicks and baby hairs, smooth and silky. As it’s a treatment mask, the brand recommendation is to leave it on for a minimum of 7 minutes to deeply penetrate the strands, with the addition of heat.

After I massaged the mask, concentrating on the ends, I put on a shower cap, and blasted underneath with a blowdryer at the warmest setting, every 5 minutes. After 20 minutes, I rinsed well, and finished with a cold shot – a necessary evil. Before spraying with leave-in conditioner, I could tell by the smoothed baby hairs, waves, and curls,  that my tresses from scalp to ends were in tip-top shape.


Gesha-Marie Bland


Not bland at all. Gesha-Marie Bland is an essayist, Vanity Fair-published film and television writer, and unrepentant beauty junkie who jumpstarted her career at NYU’s Master’s Program in Cinema Studies. In homage to her beauty icons Jeanne Moreau, Dolly Parton, and Grace Jones, she is forever in search of the perfect cat-eye liner, a killer pair of heels, and unforgettable statement accessories. Currently NYC-based, this dual American-French citizen still wears all-black and has a soft spot for clean beauty, pharmaceutical-grade actives, and most ingredients sourced from vineyards in the south of France. She loves New Wave cinema, Mary Gaitskill’s fiction, Spain, and matcha double-shots. After selling "The Ripper," her Alexander McQueen-Issie Blow biopic to the Cannes-winning production company Maven Pictures, she remains convinced fashion and couture are the next frontiers for edgy cinematic stories.