Find out why this natural ingredient extraction method will supercharge your hair…
“Our ingredients are essentially equivalent to a weekly wheatgrass shot for your hair,” says editorial hairstylist Helen Reavey, who together with her husband, recently co-founded Act+Acre. Similar to your go-to juices and tonics, the revolutionary haircare range uses cold processing — rather than the industry standard of extreme heat — to extract super potent doses of nutrients from its natural ingredients, like moringa oil, baobab oil, amaranth oil and basil leaf. The result: Super healthy, well-nourished hair.
The (very) cool idea came to Reavey after working in the trenches, on photo shoots and fashion runways, surrounded by damaged hair. Tired of subpar products on the market, Reavey questioned the belief that “the current process for creating emulsions — boiling the ingredients for hours on end — was the only way to achieve favorable results.” So instead, she “wanted to challenge the market” to come up with alternative, alongside a team of chemist, physicists and hair experts.
Here, Reavey opens our eyes to a new way of thinking about shampoo, conditioners and scalp products that will not only transform hair, but also our environmental impact. And by switching up your haircare routine, you too can be part of the change.
How did you get your start in the beauty industry?
“After university, I became a hairstylist, followed by an art director for a Dublin-based salon. I always dreamed of living in New York and I was fortunate enough to start my New York career with hair legend Sam McKnight in 2013. Under his direction, I styled fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and eventually signed with an agency and started directing my own shows.”
What inspired you to create Act+Acre?
“I began to really examine the haircare industry and the products that were being served. I quickly realized that the industry was miles behind the cosmetics industry or any other industry for that matter… For generations, the haircare industry has been using chemicals to achieve product performance. The addition of these harsh chemicals is to compensate for the fact that nutrients evaporate throughout the traditional high-heat production process. I completely disagreed with [this practice]. We wanted to create a product with integrity, so we developed a patented cold-processed method.”
Can you tell us how cold processing works and why it’s so radical?
“Our patented cold-processed method eliminates heat and uses cold water at high pressure to combine our essential oils and ingredients. By not using heat we can reduce energy usage by 90 percent. This ensures the active ingredients remain fresh and highly potent — just as nature intended. Clinical studies show that the ingredients in our end products retain 97 percent of their efficacy, unlike the industry average of 3 percent.”
Should we apply the Cold Processed Hair Cleanse like a traditional shampoo?
“Because our Hair Cleanse is sulfate-free, it can take a little extra effort for it to produce a lather, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use more. We always recommend using a small amount — typically a capful — massaging it between your hands while adding a small amount of running water. Beginning at the nape of the neck, we massage the product in while working your way to the front — giving the product a chance to produce an efficient lather.”
What makes the Cold Processed Hair Conditioner so unique?
“Because our conditioner is silicone-free, it feels like a much lighter product than other conditioners. Again, we recommend using a small amount, and taking the extra minute to really massage it into the hair shaft. As it doesn’t coat the hair with a typical residue, which happens with silicone-containing products, it rinses out much easier and your hair dries considerably faster as a result.”
What are your pro tips for using the Cold Processed Scalp Detox?
“Apply it very sparingly, directly to the scalp, once a week. It’s a very concentrated solution — full of all the good stuff! — so we recommend avoiding the hair shaft, to reduce oil residue post-cleanse. Massage the detox solution in gently to stimulate scalp circulation and then leave for 15 to 20 minutes before cleansing for maximum results. Top tip is to double cleanse after using this to ensure all of the oil is removed.”
How else do you keep your hair and scalp healthy?
“My routine generally consists of rinsing off my Scalp Detox treatment that I leave on overnight with the Hair Cleanse and Conditioner. Then I put a little oil on my ends to help blow dry and nourish my blonde. I think healthy hair always looks good, so I try to stay away from styling products, which are typically petroleum or silicone-based. I always try to be gentle and kind to my hair, whether that means using silk scrunchies rather than harsh elastic bands, which can result in hair breakage. And I try to give myself a scalp massage at least once a week. I use a bamboo comb on wet hair, starting from the bottom up to the root, and combing very gently. This stimulates the hair follicle, promoting healthy hair growth — and additionally it feels amazing!”
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