Whether my hair is natural blonde, white, or all the colors of the rainbow, I have to bleach my hair every few months. Over the years, I’ve wandered the aisles of CVS, Sally’s, and local hair salons, spending way too much money on any and all products with the words, “blonde”.
Here are the goos and gadgets that actually worked, either to repair or prevent damage caused by regularly dunking your head into hydrogen peroxide.
1. A Shower Cap
Try washing your hair only once a week. Seriously, since I started doing this, my hair has been so much happier. Yes, at first, my head smelled a little funky, and my scalp was noticeably oily, but after training my follicles for a few months, I can go well over a week between washes. I save money on shampoo and avoid hairdryer damage: win win win.
You probably already know this, but it took me a while to realize that even if you’re not washing your hair daily, you should probably still take showers. Which is why the shower cap is a lifesaver. Thanks, shower cap!
2. Hair Oil
Using hair oil might feel counterintuitive if your scalp gets gooey between your weekly washes, but this stuff is for your ends. Bleach famously dries out hair and the bits furthest away from those natural noggin oils will need a lil help. It’s on the pricier side, but I put an itty bitty half a pump of this Oribe Gold Lust Oil on my ends any time they get crunchy, and they immediately smooth out. For the record, I bought my bottle in 2012 and still have about a quarter of it left.
If you’re like, “ew, that is way too expensive, what is wrong with you,” I’ve also tried this $5 hair oil. The consistency is thicker, so definitely don’t work it too far up your hairs because you might end up looking like a spaghetti monster.
No matter what hair oil you go with, make sure that it doesn’t have any yellow color in it. Those hues will build up and create brass, which will make your hair look darker, WHICH will make you want to go to the salon more.
I wish there was an option to make my Olaplex come out of my shower-head. A scientist could probably explain it better, but this goo is basically personal training for hair. It builds up each strand’s strength and actually reverses damage. You can use it on damp hair for 10 minutes before you shampoo and condition, OR you can leave it in overnight. I have no real evidence that leaving it on longer works better, but gosh darn it does sleeping in fancy hair goo make it FEEL like it works better.
Olaplex smells like Juniper Breeze from Bath and Body Works and helped me finally grow my gross straw hair past my shoulders. If you want to read more about that journey, I wrote about it here.
This masque – please note the spelling makes it fancier – does two things. One, it contains so much purple color, it is like PAINT. All purple shampoos and conditioners deposit violet hues on your hair to balance out yellow, but this conditioner does it perfectly every time. In fact, if I want a more silverly look, I’ll leave it on a few minutes longer – that’s how well it works.
Secondly, and most importantly, this deep conditioner actually conditions. Deeply. I’ve tried many (MANY) blonde/purple products that deposit color but suck out moisture, but The Perfect Blonde leaves my hair soft for days.
5. Silk Pillowcase
I roll around in my sleep, crunching and floofing my hair all over the place. Silk pillowcases prevent that nightmarish sleep dance from damaging my hair. Plus, they keep your pillow cool!
6. Tangle Teezer Brush
Hmmm … how can I say this without being dramatic? Oh, I can’t. The Tangle Teezer Brush is the best, most wonderful brush I’ve ever used and I love it.
In the past, brushing hair hair sounded like a metal pipe being dragged over concrete – crunch crunch crunch. Remember in The Princess Diaries when Mia Thermopolis gets her makeover, but the hair stylist guy gets all mad because she, “broke-uh my brrrush!” That was me. That. Was. Me. Until Tangle Teezer.
(This is not sponsored by Tangle Teezer.)
Besides being the ~most fashionable~, scrunchies can help prevent breakage. They are way gentler than those super tight, thick black hair ties that you buy in a pack of 50, only to end up wearing one on your wrist for months, protecting it with your life because all 49 of its brethren mysteriously disappeared. (Seriously, what weird ghost is haunting us, collecting our hair ties?)
I started wearing scrunchies during workouts and sleepy times when I had extensions, and now understand how well they ward off split ends. Plus, they don’t leave a wonky ponytail dent in my hair, which means I don’t have to re-curl my hair, WHICH MEANS less heat on my hairs, which means less damage. I rest my case.