Thursday, 30 May 2013

Haircare Advice for Blondes

I'd been planning this post before my disastrous trip to the hairdressers, thinking that my return to blonde would create the perfect opportunity for this post. Unfortunately, post-highlights I am still pretty much brunette (siiiigh). But hopefully there are still some blondies out there who will enjoy this post.

Lightening or bleaching your hair is always going to be damaging, and so keeping blonde hair in good condition can sometimes be very tricky. It's worth mentioning that if you have ever had bleach in your hair, dying over the blonde will not repair the hair - you should continue to look after the bleached hair as if it were blonde until the whole lot grows out. So, here are a few little things you can do to keep your barnet looking its best...

  • Use a deep conditioner regularly. This applies to all hair types, but is particularly important for people who have damaged their hair with harsh colours. Choose a hair mask that is specifically designed to hydrate, since the main trouble with lightened and particularly bleached hair is that it dries out extremely easily. It's not exactly a bargain, but my favourite deep conditioning treatment of all time is Molten Brown's Mer-rouge Conditioning Mask - read my full review here. Whatever treatment you choose, try to use it overnight for best results. If you don't have time then try wrapping the hair in clingfilm once the mask is applied and leave for an hour. Use a treatment at least once a week.
  • Use a hair oil. Using oils regularly can make such a difference to the moisture levels and therefore condition of your hair. Use an oil after washing your hair for soft and hydrated locks - I use Mythic Oil by L'Oreal which I love, but their popular Extraordinary Oil is cheaper and a massive favourite with the housemates. Make sure you choose the version aimed at coloured hair if you're not a natural blonde.
  • Use reconstructing shampoo. Shampoo is one of the harshest products you will use on your hair - its primary purpose is to strip your locks of their natural oils that keep them healthy. A hairdresser recommended I try L'Oreal's Absolut Repair Cellular Shampoo, which is designed specifically to reconstruct the damage caused by bleaching or over-treatment of the hair. The salon price of the shampoo is around £14 a bottle (no chance) but I managed to find a huuuuuuge salon-sized bottle of the stuff on Amazon for a tenner. It's fairly heavy for a shampoo so I wouldn't advise you use a huge amount of it, and be sure to wash it out thoroughly to prevent your hair from feeling greasy once dried. If you find that the shampoo leaves your hair feeling a little heavy, use it on the ends only, and use a natural ingredients shampoo on the roots. 
  • Get regular trims. Boring I know, but it's true. Even if you're trying to grow your hair out like me, it really isn't worth putting off a haircut when your ends are starting to go minging because it will only get worse, and you'll end up having to lop off more than was necessary. Try to have a trim every 6-10 weeks, even if you only get 1/2cm off each time.
  • Wash your hair less often. If you are a bottle-blonde and wash your hair every single day, OH MY GOD STOP.  Nobody, nnoobbooddyy needs to wash their hair every day - it might feel nice at the time but you are doing your hair serious damage, particularly if you blowdry and heat-treat your locks every time. Your hair will be retaining very little of its natural oils, making it dry, brittle and probably causing sluggish growth. Accept that at first your hair might look a little greasy, and skip a day before you wash it. The key is to keep going - don't relapse back into your old wash cycle or your hair will quickly become dependent. Try not to wash your hair more frequently than every three days, I promise you will notice the benefits before long and be amazed at how much longer it takes your hair to become greasy.
  • Don't brush your hair when wet. This is one of the most common mistakes people make, and one of the biggest causes of hair breakage, particularly on brittle coloured hair. Wet hair is weak, and yanking a hairbrush through it will rip the shafts apart. Instead, take your hairbrush into the shower and brush your hair whilst the conditioner is in. Then leave it until it's dry. Your hair will thank you for it.
Reading back over these tips I do realise that they are pretty basic, but if you follow them all then I promise you will quickly see a difference in the condition of your hair. I also realise that none of these tips are exclusive to blondes either, but if you have used harsh colours on your hair then this is when these things become more important. The obvious regulars also apply - try to cut down on the amount you straighten or curl your hair, and if possible avoid blow drying.

What are your top tips for keeping coloured hair in good condition?


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