Every so often a buzzy, super ingredient comes along. When it does, our first thought is pretty much always—how can I use this on my mane? TBH we’re happy we’re not alone, especially as some of our fave brands continue to innovate, adding some of the best stuff on the planet into their products, or focusing solely on one killer ingredient and developing it to the umpteenth degree. Such is the case with seaweed. No, it’s not just a delicious sushi encasing, it actually works wonders on our strands and scalps. To find out the perks of this ubiquitous ocean herb, we tapped Lydia Sarfati, Repêchage® CEO and Founder and Bronwen Robinson, Bumble and bumble Executive Director of Education, as both are versed in the wonders of seaweed.
“Seaweed helps restore a youthful shine to damaged hair while protecting it from styling stress, color fading and frizz,” says Lydia. The CEO and Founder is definitely the authority; Repêchage has been researching the effects of seaweed for over 35 years. During this time, the brand has incorporated key species of seaweed into their formulas for specific cosmetic benefits. “Select seaweed plants with 18 amino acids, are known to act as building blocks of protein in the body, help restore damaged strands and chemically treated hair, while 12 vitamins and 42 trace elements and minerals infuse hair with a dramatic, youthful luster that lasts,” she adds.
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Seaweed’s benefits are numerous, but everything is dependent on how it is sourced. In other words, no, you probably can’t just go to the beach, get tangled up in seaweed and expect to emerge with mermaid hair. All Repêchage products, however, are made from sustainably harvested seaweed from the Coast of Maine and France, which does the trick. “The Repêchage Pure Filtrate of Seaweed complex is derived by a proprietary extraction method that creates a fluid containing all the rich seaweed phytonutrients in their most potent form,” says Lydia, before explaining more about this miracle green.
“Seaweed is such a beneficial ingredient because of its feeding process. It has no roots so it feeds through osmosis. This feeding process allows seaweed to become a dense concentration of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, macro elements, phytohormones and amino acids. Two species in particular, Laminaria digitata and Ascophyllum Nodosum, are both complete sources of nutrients, containing 42 trace elements and minerals, 18 amino acids, 12 vitamins, phyto hormones, and natural anti-oxidant material such as phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides, fucosterol and fucoxanthins,” she explains.
The future of seaweed is bright, literally. “Marine derived ingredients, including seaweed, are being studied for a host of important skin care applications, including photo-protection, as treatment against skin infection, atopic dermatitis, and as a skin whitening agent,” says Lydia. Seaweed may also be used to help lessen the effects of air pollution, specifically on the skin and hair. To incorporate seaweed into your haircare routine, Lydia suggests the Repêchage Hydra-Amino 18® Hair Spa Serum: $50.
Image via Repêchage
Seaweed is obvs an under-rated hyper charged all-natural ingredient, and education guru Bronwen Robinson further explains why. “Just the way green juice is good for the body, marine botanicals are good for the hair,” she says. “Seaweed is naturally hydrating to the scalp (which is especially good for seasonally dry scalp) and gives shine to strands, while its fatty and amino acids help keep hair strong.” There’s no one that won’t benefit from a little seaweed — “it’s really a great ingredient for all hair types,” she adds.
Image via Bumble and bumble
To get your seaweed fix right in the shower (aka pretend you’re actually under the sea), Bronwen recommends Bumble and bumble Seaweed Shampoo: $24 and Seaweed Conditioner: $25. “With a blend of marine seaweed, spirulina, and kelp, Seaweed Shampoo helps nourish hair without adding weight or stripping color – for fresh, clean, shiny locks. Then, opt for Seaweed Conditioner to detangle, nourish, soften, and add manageability,” she explains.