For years, I had colored my hair and not in a way that was keeping it healthy. Before Costa was born, I decided to stop coloring my hair and went back to my natural color, kind of in-between dirty blonde and light brown. This past year, I started to think about going super blonde again but wanted to find a way to keep my hair feeling healthy and soft, not fried from the bleaching process. Cut to Deanna of Deca Salon in Los Angeles. She is so talented with color and has carried me through getting my hair to that super blonde color while still having it feel healthy and nourished. Here are her tips for keeping your blonde hair healthy!
Hi! I’m Deanna, co-owner of Deca Hair in Beverly Hills, CA. As a hairdresser for almost 15 years, one of the most commonly asked questions I get is, “how do I keep my blonde hair healthy?” Recently, clients have been calling to get their hair highlighted or lightened after being cooped up in the house through this pandemic. Everyone needs a little pick me up these days. But, if you are not naturally blonde (98% of people aren’t), this is not always the most simple task. Blonde hair is hair that has been stripped of protein, keratin, and vital oils. The internet and social media are flooded with images these days of women going from dark to blonde in a few short hours, but what you don’t see is how these people maintain these seemingly healthy shiny looks after all that chemical processing. When the hair has been depleted, a daily dose of nutrients must be put back into the hair if you want to maintain your look and keep it manageable.
The first step, and always a non-negotiable, is picking a shampoo and conditioner. My favorite line I have relied on for years now is Davines. They offer so many options for color-treated hair, but my favorite is their OI line. The shampoo and conditioner is infused with Roucou oil and antioxidants. This protects the hair from environmental and uv damage and moisturizes, and helps restore the stripped-out effects of bleaching. While this line is very hydrating, it’s still light enough for people with fine hair as well. People often ask how often they need to wash, and this is really based on the amount of processing you have done to your hair and oil production. Refer to your colorist for this, but a good rule of thumb is every 2-3 days.
Second, after washing your hair, it’s probably a tangled mess. How will you ever get a comb or brush through it? I recommend using a “wet brush” along with a leave-in detangler or conditioner. The wet brush has very soft bristles, which allow you to brush through without breakage. Start at your ends and work your way section by section up to the roots. Davines OI line has an All In One Milk Spray. I like the spray option because it allows the product to be evenly distributed throughout the hair. The milk adds moisture, shine, heat protection, softness and allows to get the brush through smoothly.
Third, after you have shampooed, conditioned, and detangled, you can now add styling products. This will differ from person to person depending on the amount of bleaching and length or style of hair. If you are a wash-and-go gal, you can spray on a little OI oil on your ends for a little added moisture and frizz control. A volumizer/texture spray is ok but use sparingly to avoid drying out the fragile locks since you are blonde. I recommend Volume-Boosting Mousse by Davines or Sachajuan Ocean Mist. For both of these products, keep application near the root area to avoid drying out the hair’s ends. This is the same if you are using dry shampoo as well. Powders and alcohols are very drying, so use only when needed for oily roots areas.
Fourth, in between washing and styling, sleep with your hair in a braid and use a soft pillowcase. Blissy has a great silk case that is great for your hair and soft on your skin. Before braiding your hair, add a few drops of your favorite oil to the ends. I recommend OI oil. The oil can be used on wet or dry hair to add softness, shine, and lightweight moisture. If you are using on dry hair, use one to two pumps, distribute in the palm of your hands first, then use sparingly on the mid-shaft and ends, avoiding the roots. A soft foam or fabric hair tie is fine to use but just make sure this is not too tight as added stress to hair can lead to breakage.
Fifth, and probably most important, is a weekly or bi-weekly mask. You can alternate between a few recommended brands. There are usually two categories for mask, protein or moisture. Proteins will add strength/structure to the delicate blonde strands, and moisture will add softness and shine. Davines Nourishing Hair Building Pack is great for strengthening the hair. OI Butter is AMAZING for moisture. It’s like butter for the hair making it super soft. I also like Olaplaex No.0 and No.3. These are great pre-wash treatments, and their No. 6 leave-in smoother is a nourishing follow-up for use after washing. Olaplex is excellent for reattaching the bonds that have been broken in the lightning process. You can also ask your colorist or stylist for an in-salon treatment to be added to your services after your highlights or before your cut. There are so many great options out there for this.
It may seem like a lot to maintain beautiful blond hair, and it is. I tell all my clients it is just as important to follow the steps at home as it is for you to maintain your regular salon visits. The biggest thing to remember is that all blonde hair is damaged hair. It’s hair that has been stripped of vital nutrients, and if you want it to look great, you must add moisture protein. Also, try to limit the use of hot tools/ blow driers as they strip out the hair’s nutrients. I hope this is helpful if you are thinking of taking the plunge into the blonde hair life. Cause if you ask me, blondes DO have more fun!