Blonde hair is notoriously difficult to care for. The decreased elasticity and increased porosity of your hair following bleaching is only half the battle; maintaining the tone of your blonde shade is another matter completely! Before you begin looking for help for your blonde locks, try out a couple of handy tricks to identify the level of damage to your hair:
1) First, test the elasticity of your hair by taking a single strand of wet hair and stretching it (hold onto the root so that you don’t pluck it from your scalp!) If it stretches out and then returns to its original state, then you have healthy hair that is in good condition. If it breaks or takes on a coiled appearance, then your hair needs some help.
2) The second trick is to test how porous your hair is: taking a couple of strands of hair, run your fingers upwards along the hair shafts. If it is rough, then your hair is porous and won’t retain moisture as easily.
As a whole, all blondes need intensive nourishment as the bleaching process can be pretty hardcore. There’s no big, bouncy blonde without lots of elasticity! Hair that suffers from a lack of flexibility is far more prone to breakage, as the hair shaft’s internal structure is left delicate and lifeless.
Although the hair may seem dry, dehydrated and in dire need of intensive hydration, it is important to remember than thin, fragile hair won’t always benefit from heavy treatments. It’s easy for the already weak hair strands to get weighed down and overly softened, so a gentle shampoo and conditioner such as Klorane Camomile Shampoo for Blonde Hair, £5.45 and the matching Klorane Camomile Brightening Cream Conditioner, £5.75 are a must.
A once a week deep conditioning treatment will also work wonders – as long as it’s kept to once a week. The benefits from Schwartzkopf BlondMe Brilliance Intense Treatment, £8.40will be far more substantial if used as a weekly treatment rather than a daily conditioner, and it will build up tensile strength gradually to reinforce the inner structure of your hair.
The porosity of the hair is an unevenness of the cuticle – the outermost layer of the hair. When these cuticles are left open, moisture is hard to retain. The chemical process of bleaching requires the pores to be open in order to be properly absorbed, and repeated bleaching may force the cuticle open permanently. A great way to correct porous hair before it reaches a state of disrepair are to use a hair treatment with added keratin such as Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, from £21.15, as keratin is the protein that makes up the fundamental structure of the hair strand. These proteins fill in the gaps of hair, although this is only a temporary solution. You need to keep up these protein treatments once a week to help hair to repair itself gradually.
There are so many different shades of blonde, and each one requires specific attention in order to keep it at its best. Light and cool tones will benefit from a violet-toned shampoo such as Joico Colour Endure Violet Shampoo, £9.00 to revive their colour; the hue cancels out any yellow tones that can make hair look brassy, tired and generally dull by depositing violet pigments into the hair.
Golden and caramel shades of blonde will benefit from a shampoo with warmer tones to bring out the softness and depth of their colour. The warmth in your blonde shade can become dull and washed-out over time, with the gentle rosy tones fading considerably. A soft blush-toned shampoo like the Schwarzkopf BlondMe Brilliance Shampoo Warm, £6.80 will infuse warmth back into your hair colour, depositing reddish pigments that will neutralise yellowish-brown tendencies.