Ok. I lasted a while. But full cold-turkey on salons was always going to have a shelf-life. Because outside of the obvious luxury that salon appointments present, there is a practical benefit, too. Hear me out..
So like I said, I’ve stepped away from my heavy reliance on hair salons, in favour of a slightly more DIY attitude. After the catalogue of hair-tastrophies I experienced over lockdown, being a little more independent just felt like the right thing to do. And so far, it’s going pretty well. But there’s a a couple of loopholes. Because whilst I’m all-for self-styling, I draw the line at attempting a trim or colour – largely because I tried this in the past. And it went horribly, horribly wrong.
So my colour appointments remain in-place. But in the spirit of minimising time in the stylist’s chair, it felt prudent to space these out a little more than in the past. So. Less frequent hash colour appointments are an obvious step. But then there are all the trappings of not-so-freshly-highlighted blonde to contend with: brassiness, root growth, colour fade to name but a few. Luckily – as it transpires – there are products specifically designed to cater for all tones of blonde….
To tone down brassiness
You know when your ashy blonde tones start to look more golden, *warm* or – let’s face it – orangey than you’d like? That’s where purple shampoo comes in. The opposite side of the colour wheel to yellow is purple, so highly pigmented shampoos, conditioners and masks will tone down any unwanted brassiness and warmth. Simply put, purple shampoo can reverse a multitude of sins. BUT. Not all purple shampoos were created equal. It’s easy to accidentally work against yourself as a blonde, so be careful what you wish for. Look out for nasties like sulphates that will stop the penetration of useful moisturising ingredients, and silicones that create almost a false sheen on your hair but over time build up to cause problems heaviness and breakage.
Moroccain Oil – The heroes of hair health recently added to their signature line with possibly the most pigmented purple shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever seen.
Redken Colour Extend Blondage – Ultra-violet pigments provide powerful colour correction, and the range includes a mask for extra hydration.
Maria Nila Sheer Silver – Added black berry extract to really target golden shades works with neutralising violet pigments. The formula also contains Colour Guard Complex to protect hair and reduce the colour loss associated with washing, heat styling, UV rays and free radicals.
L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo – An old faithful of mine, with added magnesium to help combat yellow tones, promoting a clarified and radiant result.
To up condition
Blonde hair is especially prone to dryness and breakage, so intensive treatments are all the more necessary. The basic premise here is to look for ones that are particularly hydrating, but there are other secret weapons available too. Hair is 95% keratin, witch is a fibrous, helicoidal protein, created from a series of bonds, which can fray and snap as the result of brushing, heat styling, colouring…. just about anything, really. The recent storm won’t have helped, either ;).
Olaplex – Probably the original and arguably the leader in the field is Olaplex, which started as salon-only, but is now available at home, using patented bond-building technology.
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate – Exceptional damage reverse using a bonding care complex to improve hair strength. An added bonus is that the shampoo is pH-balancing, which helps defend against the negative effects of hair coloring, styling tools, and even water.
Revolution Haircare Plex 3 Bond Restore Treatment – Part of a four step routine, designed to dramatically enhance the hair’s condition.
To increase shine
It’s well known that blonde hair is less glossy and shiny than other colours, due to the raised cuticles on the hair lengths. Gloss treatments have been specifically designed with this in mind, and some last up to several washes.
The Hair Boss – The brain child of award-wining colourist Lisa Shephard, this semi-permanent formula wraps itself around the outer layer of the hair to manually smooth down cuticles. Hair looks instantly healthier, up to six washes.
Kérastase Chroma Absolu Soin Acide Chroma Gloss – A highly restorative, high-shine treatment powered by innovative acidic care technology. Helps control hair’s porosity (and therefore minimises absorption of external aggressors), added 0.7% lactic acid gently exfoliates the surface of the hair to restore clarity and vibrancy to colour.
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Wonder Water 8 Second Hair Treatment – Breakthrough Lamellar Technology fills gaps in damaged areas of the hair fibre leaving hair touchably smooth with a high shine. The USP of this is that only the damaged parts of hair are targeted, which means no unnecessary build-up.