Weeks after colouring your hair blonde is when it starts to happen, the shade you left the salon with is changing, and now your hair has taken on an undesired yellow, orange or sometimes even red tone. What gives?
Many assume this is your blonde hair colour fading but that’s not actually the case. Unlike colour enhanced brunettes and redheads that have pigments that fade between appointments, blonde hair lacks pigment so it doesn’t actually fade. The problem lies with how vulnerable it is to its surroundings, it tends to pick up different tones and also easily dries out which leads to dullness and breakage.
Whether you’re icy blonde, champagne or honey you know the struggle is real when it comes to keeping blonde locks free of brassiness, healthy and hydrated. Here are our tips and product recommendations that will help you get the most out of your beautiful blonde colour.
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil, $69.
Choose your oils wisely
Many blondes (myself included) have had certain styling and treatment products stain our strands. Some oils contain ingredients that coat the hair and don’t allow future dyes to penetrate the hair. Other’s such as chamomile, and certain olive oil and argan oils can have a yellowing and darkening effect on blondes. Try Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil, $69. Apply this nourishing and protective oil onto damp hair, it helps protect hair from dryness, frizz and UV damage.
Revlon Profesional Bond Maintainer, $30, salonmastersrpb.ca/revlonprocanada/salonlocator
Strengthen from the start
Have you heard of Olaplex? It was one of the first products to come to salons a few years ago that works to mend the structure of the hair. When you lift hair colour it actually eats away at your hair’s protein reserves. That’s why when you go blonde you have more breakage—it just comes with the territory of going lighter. What Olaplex does is it links split ends and bonds back together, preventing damage. Since its introduction it’s taken off, with colourists mixing it in hair colour mixtures.
Revlon Professional’s just came out with a similar product line called Blonderful. Just like Olaplex, it's a in-salon treatment that buffers your hair from the damaging effects of peroxide and eliminates the need to use a separate “plex” product in the colour mixture. They call their version Plexforce and it’s already pre-mixed with the lightener. After applying the lightener, cooking, rinsing, and toning the hair the service includes what they call a Bond Defender treatment. This step reduces the risk of damage or breakage in the hair. You're encouraged to leave the service with an at-home treatment called Bond Maintainer. “Unlike traditional treatments that you can only use once or twice a week you can use this as much as you want,” says Matthew James a colourist at Fiorio in Toronto. “It really does repair your hair.” He recommends to apply it to your hair before you go to the gym, so it can really sink into strands, then wash out with shampoo and then apply conditioner or a hydrating mask.
You might be washing wrong
For most people, washing your hair is one of those “life skills” you mastered a long, long time ago. But maybe not? Blondes should never work shampoo into their mid-lengths and ends because it dries out hair. Instead focus on massaging shampoo into the scalp. If you're looking for a squeaky clean feel with loads of shine, try a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water and add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to mask the odour. The vinegar closes your hair's cuticle properly, so product sits on top of the strands and bounces off for a high shine effect.
If you recently had your colour done and it’s taking on a warmer hue quickly perhaps an appointment to get a toner applied can tied you over till your next appointment. Toner is a translucent deposit of haircolour that fades in a few weeks and it can be a great brassy hair fix. Toning can correct the unwanted yellow tones lingering on your hair since it contains just enough pigment to improve your haircolor. Plus, the service will enhance the shine levels of your strands in the process.
Blondme Tone Enhancing Bonding Shampoo, $17 and Blondme Tone Enhancing Bonding Mask, $26.
Believe in the power of purple
Fight off brassy tones that try and creep into your ash white strands with some purple tinged products. The colour purple sits directly opposite yellow on the colour wheel, the former helps counteract the latter. Purple shampoos and masks will have the most effect on your colour, if you're looking for an even more dramatic colour shift then leave your shampoo (or mask) on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Schwarzkopf recently revamped their Blondme range, which is made to nourish and maintain blonde hair colour. It even focuses on three different kinds of tones: cool, warm and all blondes—the cool is the most potent. It starts with a cleansing yet pigmented shampoo that neutralizes yellow tones while also creating new bonds in the hair fibres to strengthen. The Blondme Tone Enhancing Bonding Mask is also pigmented (purple) to create a cool ash tone while conditioning hair, yet it’s not heavy so it’s perfect for fine hair.