I grew up with naturally dark blonde hair, but for the past seven years, I’ve been dying my hair dark brown. I was in love with that color choice up until this past September, when I started feeling really bored with my hair. So, since then, I’ve been gradually going lighter. Right now, my color is a mix of light brown and dark blonde, with light blonde highlights. But my plan is to go blonde completely, a la my hair idol Nina Agdal.
Why have I been so slow with this whole process? Well, for one thing, I’m scared of making such a big change. For another thing, bleaching your locks is SO bad for your hair. So, so damaging. I absolutely love my hair color right now, but I hate how bleach makes my hair feel. From the second I started going lighter, I noticed a tremendous difference in my hair. When I would dye my hair dark, I would leave the salon feeling like my hair was shinier and healthier. Now after each bleaching session, my hair feels more dry, breaks more easily, and looks more brassy. Ugh.
With the warmer weather coming up (sometime soon, I swear), I know a lot more people who are considering bleaching their hair and going lighter. If you’re thinking about doing the same, or even if you already have, you need to start taking better care of your hair so that you don’t completely destroy it. Here are 10 things you absolutely must do after bleaching your hair. Thank me later.
Cut Down On Washing Your HairYou shouldn't shampoo your hair too often no matter what color hair you have, but if you're bleaching it, you should be even more careful. Buy yourself a shower cap so you can wash your body, and start going about three days without shampooing your hair. If it starts too look greasy or flat, just use dry shampoo. I only shampoo my hair about twice a week, and it definitely feels better. Dry shampoo is a miracle, and I love this one by Garnier. It gives you volume, doesn't leave behind any residue, smells good, and leaves my hair looking like I just got a fresh blowout. You can buy this here
Use Deep Conditioner Once A WeekBleaching your hair makes it way more dry and brittle, and the only way to reverse those effects is to give your hair more moisture. Instead of relying on regular conditioner, start using deep conditioner at least once a week. I've found that using deep conditioner more often than that leaves my hair feeling greasy and weighed down, but some people do it every three days - it depends on your hair type. I love this one by L'Oreal. I put it on in the shower, leave it for three-five minutes, and then wash it out. It leaves my hair feeling so soft. You can buy this here
Stop Using So Much Heat On Your HairLike I said, bleach leaves your hair very dry. Styling with heat is bad for any kind of hair, especially bleached hair. Try to avoid using your blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron as much as possible. Start letting your hair dry on it's own as often as you can. Putting too much heat on your hair is going to fry it even more, and leave it super damaged. My sister bleaches her hair, and uses her flat iron like crazy - things got so bad that her hair actually stopped growing for a few years. Try to avoid that! Source: ShutterStock
Start Using A Heat Protectant SprayAs a girl with wavy, sometimes unruly hair, I understand that sometimes you need to use a blow dryer, flat iron or curling wand. If you're going to use heat styling, you absolutely must use a heat protectant spray. I love this Vidal Sassoon heat protectant and shine spray. It smells really good, and leaves my hair looking shinier - plus, I know it's protecting it from the extra heat! Another tip if you're going to use hot tools for your hair is what I do: I blow dry my roots for a minute or two, then let the ends of my hair dry on their own. Then I touch things up just a little bit with a flat iron or curling wand. If you have the time, this is a much better option. You can buy this here
Pay Attention To Your Split EndsDry, bleached hair almost always equals lots of split ends. And while at least a few split ends are unavoidable, you shouldn't ignore them completely. Buy a product to try to prevent them - I've heard a lot of good things about this Aussie one, and I'm going to buy it this weekend. You can buy this here
Use Leave-In Conditioner After Every ShowerLike I've said a few times, getting blonde hair means more brittle, weak locks. That means you need to be extra careful with your hair, especially when it's wet. Don't just rip a comb through wet hair. Use a leave-in conditioner of your choice (I like this one) when it's wet, and then brush through your hair gently... this will give your hair more moisture and untangle any knots. You can buy this here
Protect Your Hair From The SunDry, bleached hair should not be in the sun unprotected... that's a recipe for more damage. Find products that promise UV protection. If you're going to be in the sun a lot, start wearing hats or even pretty scarves. I spend a lot of time at the beach during the summer, so I know I'm going to have a hard time this year, but I'm going to buy products to try to make sure I prevent any damage I can. Source: ShutterStock
Use An Overnight Mask At Least Twice A MonthDeep conditioning once or twice a week isn't exactly enough moisture for your newly bleached hair. You should also be using overnight hair masks about once a week - or if you don't have time, at least try for twice a month. I love this L'Oreal one - it makes your hair feel stronger, which leads to less breakage and split ends. I smooth this over my dry hair at night before bed, and it instantly soaks in. It doesn't feel heavy or smear on your pillow. I mean, I wouldn't go out with this in my hair, but I don't think anyone would. In the morning, you wash it out in the shower. All the work happens while you're sleeping! Source: ShutterStock
Invest In A Good OilHair oils can really change your life. Just a little drop of a good hair oil can make your locks look shinier, feel softer, and just become generally healthier. I am obsessed with Josie Maran's Light Argan Oil and I use it every day. It doesn't weigh my hair down, but it does make it feel and look better. Plus, you can also use this on your skin. It's expensive, but you don't need a lot of it each day, so one little bottle could last you a long time. I have a bottle of Moroccan Oil I've been using for a full year! You can buy this here
Get Regular TrimsRemember when we were talking about split ends before? Well, you need regular haircuts or trims in order to keep those in check. Getting a trim on a regular basis ensures that you're getting rid of the dead hair and leaving room for your more healthy hair. Trims also help your hair grow faster and leave your locks looking great. Totally worth the time. Source; ShutterStock
Have you ever bleached your hair? Did you notice a difference? What color hair do you have? Tell me in the comments.