It’s no surprise that I like to color my hair. I have been professionally lightening my hair over the last year in various sessions to achieve my current hair color. Caring for color-treated hair doesn’t stop once you leave the salon though. There are various components post salon visit that allow you to not only maintain your new hair color, but also the health of your hair.
Since being blonde, I have invested some coins in my post salon maintenance supplies, including various shampoos, conditioners, and treatments. There are some treatments that can be done at home, and then there are others that I suggest seeing a professional for! These are my favorite tips for at-home maintenance.
When lightening your hair, you are restructuring the make of the hair by breaking down bonds, which can often result in a change in curl pattern if done improperly. This is why it’s important to use a bonder during and after your service to ensure the strength of your hair.
Olaplex has become a very familiar word to me, especially during my lightening sessions in the salon. However, there is a way to get the same treatment at home with Olaplex No. 3 Repairing Treatment. This treatment is an at-home treatment used to strengthen your hair post chemical service to prevent breakage and damage. It contains the same active ingredient as the in-salon product, which “relinks the broken disulfide bonds in every type of hair providing real, structural repair that works from within” (Olaplex 2017).
If you are weary of the $28 price tag that comes with Olaplex No. 3, Redken has a post-service bond builder called pH-BONDER. Like Olaplex, this product can be used weekly on any hair type. Redken’s pH-Bonder helps to protect bonds and balance the hair’s pH at $16.
Purple shampoo is one of the best ways to keep brassiness at bay when washing your lightened hair at home. I have used Clairol’s Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner (about $9/each), Pravana Pure Lights Brightening Shampoo ($30) and Conditioner ($20), and now I am currently using Joico’s Color Balance Purple Shampoo ($16-34), which is amazing in my opinion. I feel like every time I come into contact with a purple shampoo, it’s an upgrade in some way - and that’s how it should be!
The Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo “gently cleanses while neutralizing yellow tones to maintain blonde/gray hair” (Ulta 2017). What’s even better about this shampoo is that it is formulated with a “Multi Spectrum Defense Complex” which helps to “protect color against fading while Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex repairs, protects, fights frizz, and adds shine with every single application” (Ulta 2017). Not only am I protecting my color, but I’m also repairing and strengthening my hair with every wash. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Lightening curly hair is a little crazy when you think about it. A drying chemical service on an already dry hair type sounds like an accident waiting to happen, but with the proper techniques and maintenance, it’s easy peasy! This is where steam treatments come in.
Unlike other color services, like going red, steaming the hair after it has been lightened is a great way to moisturize the hair from the inside out. I am currently using the Q-Redew, which is a handheld steamer that makes detangling and stretching hair a cinch. The Q-Redew is easy to use and requires very little clean post steam session.
To really make the most out of my steam session, I like to apply my favorite moisturizing deep conditioner. Since the steam helps to open the cuticle, it’s a great way for the ingredients in that deep conditioner to penetrate the strand to moisturize the hair. My favorite deep conditioners are the tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask, Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Hair Recovery Mask, and By Made Beautiful’s Intense Treatment Masque. Each conditioner has a great amount of slip and work well for steam treatments.
Coloring your hair is not only a commitment, but also an investment. If you are interested in lightening hair, I suggest investing in the above mentioned products. You’ll definitely thank me later.
This article was written in 2017 and has been updated.