Summer is finally here and many people like to take this opportunity to lighten up their hair and give themselves sun-kissed locks, whilst others like to take it to the extreme and bleach their hair blonde. This is a step which shouldn’t be taken lightly. The process of bleaching the hair is extremely difficult to reverse, very easy to get wrong, and can be tremendously detrimental to the health of your hair. It is always best to let a professional do the job, although this will not negate any damage to the hair, but there are some things that you can do to limit the damage, whilst still achieving the look you’re dreaming of:
Do not wash the hair before the bleaching process
For some it’s force of habit to always arrive at the hair salon with freshly washed hair, but this is one instance when this is a big no go. When the hair is slightly oily the natural hair colour often lifts better. More importantly, leaving your hair dirty can allow a coat of natural oil to build up on the scalp that can help to protect against or diminish burning and irritation.
Lighten the hair gradually
Going from brunette to platinum overnight is drastic and simply a recipe for disaster. Making the process gradually allows the scalp and hair to recover in between lifting the hair’s natural colour, and also allows you to change your mind before the transition goes to far.
Consider root smudging
If you are changing from very dark to light blond, then a process called root smudging is something to consider. This involves leaving a slightly darker shade at the roots to prevent harsh root lines showing. This can also allow you to go slightly longer between colouring sessions if the skunk/Cruella de Vil two-tone look is not for you. As a natural light blonde I would also mention that it’s normal for roots to be very slightly darker, particularly in the summer, until they are exposed to the sun, so smudging can actually make the whole look much more authentic looking.
Chose a colour to suit your skin tone
Like the brunette colours there is a vast array of blonde shades to choose from and you’ll need to decide how light you want to go – dark dirty blonde or light blonde, and most important of all, decide which shade best flatters your skin tone. Is your skin is most suited to a cool blonde shade – pale, silvery icy shades with blue and violet tones, for instance platinum, beige, and ash, or a warm tone – blonde with red, orange and yellow undertones such as golden, caramel, honey and even strawberry blonde? Perhaps your skin is somewhere in the middle and would best suit a mix of both cool and warm such as wheat or butter blonde, or is neutral and can carry either warm or cool shades.
Think about your hairstyle
You may also want to reconsider your hairstyle. If you are looking for something low maintenance then a fringe is not for you since it will draw attention to dark roots, and necessitate bleaching the roots more often in order to prevent having a dark growth of hair right on display across the forehead, which isn’t a good look.
Understand it’s high maintenance before you commit
Once you bleach your hair, even with smudged roots, you’re on a never ending carousel of salon visits, and spending extra time and money on maintaining your look. You’ll be constantly scheduling touch-ups and root dyes, and applying conditioning treatments to counteract any damage. Even if you go for the smudged root look, your hair care routine is about to drastically change. Plus your hair products will need adjusting which is more expense.
Bleaching your hair can have a detrimental effect on it, and can lead to dryness, brittleness and breakage. Even natural blonde which is undyed/unbleached hair is finer and more fragile than other colours, and the most easily damaged. To combat these adverse effects you will need to start a whole new care regime of pre-shampoo conditioning, overnight conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners. Sounds expensive? It doesn’t need to be, natural oils can meet all of your hair needs, and because they are natural you know that they are not having any adverse effects on your health in general and contain hair-loving nutrients to restore the health of your hair. Whatsmore, they are also multi-functional.
This oil penetrates deeply into the hair follicles and structure to nourish, rehydrate and restore damage, and eliminate split ends and brittleness. It is highly recommended for over processed, sun damaged, chemically treated or weak hair. Wheatgerm oil normalises the sebaceous glands to remedy a dry, itchy, flaking or oily scalp, whilst its antifungal properties inhibit dandruff. This hair saviour helps to fortify the root and restores the elasticity of the hair – increasing flexibility, smoothing the cuticles, filling in the cracks, and protecting against breakage and hair fall. Since wheatgerm oil is an emollient, it protects against frizz and static, and provides a protective shield against negative environmental factors and styling damage. With its ability to stimulate circulation, along with the vast array of essential nutrients it imparts, wheatgerm oil helps to achieve optimum conditions for hair growth. Hair will grow thicker and volume will be increased even for fine or thinning hair.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil has superior abilities to treat brittle and weak hair and hair loss. Promotes scalp health as it calms and reduces the symptoms of dandruff, dermatitis and psoriasis,and is non-comedogenic. A scalp massage also boosts blood circulation to the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles and boosts growth. This oil is also shown to block the production of the hormone DHT that causes hair loss. Grapeseed oil effectively protects against UV, oxidant and heat damage, strengthens the hair structure and restores texture, and is perfect for adding shine, reducing frizz and untangling the hair.
Argan oil deeply nourishes the scalp and roots, balances sebum production and restores the pH level of the hair. It’s a natural moisturiser and penetrates the cortex to nourish the hair shaft, helping to repair damage from within. The oil forms a protective layer around each strand to protect against oxidative stress, water absorption, heat, chemical and UV damage, and imparts shine, smooths the hair and reduces frizz. Argan oil regenerates the cells, and actively strengthens the hair. It promotes elasticity and protects against brittleness, breakage and split ends. Regular use accelerates the production of keratin, stimulates hair growth and protects against hair fall and loss. A study demonstrated that argan oil is able to rejuvenate coloured hair. It regulates oil balance, and its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties promote a healthy scalp and protect against conditions like dandruff and dermatitis. Leaves the hair soft, smooth, shiny and manageable.
Hair Food Oil
An elixir of natural oils (black seed oil, rucola seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, castor oil, essential oils), specially formulated to care for damaged and coloured hair and reduce hair fall. This nurturing blend will nourish the hair follicles, strengthen and repair damaged hair and split ends, eliminate dandruff, protect against further damage and stimulate growth. The hair structure will be replenished, more elastic and retain a healthy shine and silkiness.
Coconut oil is an emollient which deeply penetrates dry hair and stays inside instead of easily evaporating. It protects the hair against protein loss and damage when wet, when the hair is typically at its most vulnerable. Coconut oil smooths the cuticle to eliminate frizz and help to repair damage and split ends, and protect against further damage. Coconut oil moisturises each strand and acts as a heat and UV protectant. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties to help treat dandruff, and will nourish the skin and help to lock in moisture to alleviate a dry scalp.
How to use:
Pre-wash: Suitable for all oils. Apply to dry hair 20-30 minutes before the usual hair wash routine (All oils).
An intensive overnight mask: Suitable for all oils. Apply to damp hair. Warm the oil slightly to make it easier to use, and massage into the scalp with the fingertips, then gently spread throughout the hair from roots to tip and use a wide toothed comb to detangle the hair. Wrap the hair in a warm towel. Shampoo out with a mild, alcohol free shampoo. Use 1-2 times a week for best results. Note: if the oil of your choice seems too thick for your hair type, you can dilute it with a lightweight oil such as argan or grapeseed.
A remedy to revive dry ends between washes: Suitable for Coconut, Argan, Grapeseed. Warm a little in the hands to apply to dry ends, and apply sparingly ().
A wash-out conditioner: Suitable for Grapeseed oil. Simply apply to the damp hair after washing and rinse out with water.
A leave-in conditioner before heat styling or to reduce frizz: Suitable for Argan oil. Apply a couple of drops to the palms of your hands and smooth through the damp hair.
A spray for frizz control: Suitable for Grapeseed oil. Add a tablespoon to one cup of distilled water in a spray bottle, shake well and spray liberally to frizzy hair.
A styling product to define curls: Suitable for Argan oil. Apply a couple of drops to the palms of your hands and apply to dry hair where needed.
Whatever your hair concerns, colour or condition, natural oils can find a solution for your problems. So if you want to take the plunge and go blonde this year, stock up on some natural oils for your haircare regime. After all you’ll never know if blondes really do have more fun if your too busy fretting over your hair’s condition.