If you’re a blonde you’ll know exactly what I mean when I reference the prickle of fear that co-incides with words like ‘mousey’ and ‘strawberry’, or even – whisper it – ‘brassy’. As a hair type, we belong in a uniquely stressful bracket that affords us circa 2-3 weeks of optimal colour post-foils (or balayage etc but you get my point), before our box-fresh hair descends into total anarchy.
When I was writing for Marie Claire, we had four blondes on the beauty desk – me, Jess, Cassie, and Lisa. So we did what any group of hair co-ords would do – we wrote an article about how we all get (and stay) blonde. We all had different methods and different experiences of the process – from memory I was full foils, Cassie was Balayage, Jess was… ombre? And I’m pretty sure Lisa’s was free-hand. But where the advice sort of fell down was the lack of after-care. We banged on about how we cope with the length and ultimate frequency of salon appointments, whilst stoically ignoring the obvious need to home care afterwards.
So – circa seven years later, here’s how to keep blonde hair blonde for longer. Sorry for the wait….. ;).
Purple shampoos are the absolute God-send for blondes. Purple is opposite yellow on the colour wheel, which means that slathering hair in purple pigment neutralises the associated warmth. I alternate between a purple shampoo one wash (week. Shh) and something with more targeted hydration the next. Also worth noting that if you have any long-lasting knots, the purple is likely to sit in the tangle and not rinse out properly. Me and my purple knot learnt this the hard way. It was not pretty.
Same principle as shampoo, but generally a less violent shade of purple, on the understanding that you can leave it on a bit longer. Of course, you can take this too far – my sister once ignored the minutes instruction and went for a solid 20 min soak so ended up with purple stained hair. Which made pretending she hadn’t stolen my products all the more tricky to achieve.
Since blonde hair tends to be more porous that other colours, sprays work really well as the micro-fine pigment can penetrate the hair shaft most efficiently. Sprays have the added benefit of not over-loading hair, which lessens the risk of actually turning hair lilac by accident.
The latest in my arsenal of happy-blonde products is a serum. Some brands offer ones with the purple pigment, others just miss out the kinds of ingredients that can cause lighter hairs grief. Lighter formulas are always best for blondes, and if you’re going for an oil make sure you use it sparingly (best way I’ve found to achieve this is mixing a small amount with a serum, coating your hands with the combo, and gently running hands through hair).
DISLAIMER: Post contains gifted products and affiliate links. All views and opinions my own.