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 find out if your hair has been damaged from bleaching. 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. 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.
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! Reduced elasticity is a big problem, as this is what helps your hair to retain its flexibility and suppleness. 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.
Despite the hair seeming dry, dehydrated and in need of complete hydration, it is important to remember than thin, fragile hair won’t always benefit from treatments that are too heavy. It’s easy for the already weak hair strands to get weighed down and overly softened, so a gentle shampoo and conditioner 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 will 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 – so that over time hair can look frizzy, and feel dry. When these cuticles are laid flat, hair looks and feels healthier and shinier.
Blonde hair is far more porous than darker hair, and as such moisture can escape easily. 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 hair treatments with added keratin, a 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.
Over time your blonde shade can darken. This is often an unavoidable thing, and can be attributed to the structural damage in the hair shaft, environmental aggressors, or even to the impurities found in the water you wash your hair with. To keep hair looking at its best, it’s useful to care for it with a detoxifying shampoo and conditioner that will lift grime away from the hair effectively and gently.
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 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. On a colour spectrum purple/violet is the colour that neutralises yellow, so far from turning your hair purple, a tinted product will simply remove the dreaded yellow tinge from your locks.
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 will infuse warmth back into your hair colour, depositing reddish pigments that will neutralise yellowish-brown tendencies.