five tips for taking care of blonde hair
Turning my hair routine on its head.
Going blonde was a night-and-day difference, both literally and figuratively. My natural color is an intense, dark brown — picture a Hershey’s “Special Dark” chocolate bar, if you will. I’ve been blonde for almost a year now. After all the root touchups and toning, my hair is about as blonde as it can be.
I will confess that I didn’t take proper care of my hair during the first few months; I wasn’t used to the special care and attention demanded by bleached strands. I kept scrubbing it clean every other day, as I’d done with my dark hair. I thought using conditioner would cancel out my shampooing habits… but I was definitely proved wrong, and my hair suffered a ton of breakage as a result. I’m still in the process of growing the damaged parts back out.
Realizing the error of my ways, I did a complete 180 on my hair routine. Here are my top tips and products for moisturized, healthy blonde hair.
Tip #1: Limit washing.
As someone with a bit of an oily scalp (hence the original habit of washing every other day), this was a tough habit to get into. Currently, I wash my hair twice a week. I’m very athletic and exercise almost daily, so I apply dry shampoo as needed. If I wake up with a bad case of bedhead (read: fringe sticking straight up) I’ll get my hair a little wet and then blow dry it — avoiding a full wash altogether. I also make sure I brush my hair daily, which helps distribute oil, smoothes out any flyaways, and avoids a gnarly grease trap.
Tip #2: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
I became extremely picky about what went into my hair after I started my blonde journey. There are some great drugstore brands out there, but personally, I’m skeptical of their ingredients and the effect they’ll have. My all-time favorite cleansing product is Hairstory’s New Wash. I could sing their praises all day long. (And I occasionally do… more about my love for their products here. You can also shop Hairstory’s entire product line through this link.)
Now technically, New Wash is supposed to replace shampoo and conditioner altogether. But with bleached blonde strands, my hair needs a little extra oomph. I quickly towel-dry my hair and then apply Coco and Eve’s amazing hair mask — seriously, this stuff smells so good. I use a thick-bristled detangling brush and coat my hair from root to tip. If my hair has felt oilier/more moisturized prior to washing, I’ll sometimes swap the mask out for Verb’s Ghost Conditioner. Whichever I choose, I let it sit on my hair for five to ten minutes while I do the rest of my shower routine.
Tip #3: Color correction.
I’ll always apply Kevin Murphy’s Blonde Angel, either during the conditioning step or after. It’s bright purple, making it crucial to keeping my blonde hair looking bright, not brassy. This is especially needed during the summer, when my hair has more direct sun exposure. I let the product sit on my head for about two minutes, every time I wash my hair.
Tip #4: Protect it like it’s gold.
And it kind of is gold, in a way, but anyways… Post-shower, I gently towel-dry my hair and let it air dry for a few minutes. I like to limit my hair’s exposure to heat as much as possible, and since I style it with a hairdryer, the air dry piece is crucial. Once it’s not sopping wet, it’s time to apply a heat-protecting balm. Shoutout to Hairstory again, because their Dressed Up lotion is my favorite. I work a pump’s worth of product through my hair, and detangle any knots with my fingers. Before I pull the hairdryer out, I also run some of Verb’s Ghost Oil through, concentrating on the shaft and ends — I don’t want to introduce extra oil to my scalp. The Ghost Oil is such a neat little product; it acts as a leave-in conditioner and smoothing treatment, and I can use it multiple times between washes if I need to. Which brings me to my final thought…
Tip #5: Maintain everything between washes.
This step really depends on how my hair is feeling in the days after washing. If it’s dry, I add more of the Ghost Oil. If it’s flat, I mist Hairstory’s Undressed texturizing spray in, and quickly blow dry for added texture. My current dry shampoo is from Batiste (their original scent) if my scalp gets too slick. I try to avoid tying my hair up too tightly during the day, including when I’m at the gym. I recommend purchasing a pack of those coiled hair ties, as they’re the best for reducing tension and preventing breakage.
Any products or tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments.