How To Keep Your Over-Processed Bleach Blonde Hair From Looking Like Over-Processed Bleach Blonde Hair

This is for you, non-blonde who's considering going blonde for the first time. (And also all of you who are already bleaching their hair but going about it all wrong.)
Publish date:
March 8, 2013
blondes, hair color, How-To, blonde hair, argan oil, redken, Lee Stafford

Some “redheads” may argue, but I think blonde hair is by far the hardest to maintain. So much can go wrong.

There’s nothing tackier than a botched blonde dye job. You know what I’m talking about: the yellow to burnt-orange shade that looks like urine-soaked straw. Nothing says “and also, my shoes are plastic” like deep-fried blonde.

And even if you go to the best of the best hair salon and drop a cool $500 to make your hair as blonde as a Norwegian Barbie, it will still look like you emptied a bottle of peroxide on your head and called it a day if you don’t take the time to maintain it.

If you’re going to do blonde, then do it right or don’t do it at all. I’m not suggesting you pay for Rita Hazan herself to color your hair (although that would be awesome); I’m just saying most mid-shelf salons are great at giving you maximum blonde with minimum brass for around $200. Not cheap, but doable if you’re serious about it.

Oh, and if you’re generic-brown-rice-broke, make friends with a colorist and then bribe them with booze to do your hair.

So now you’re all blonde and looking good. So how do you keep your hair from fading, drying out and making you look like you’re wearing a wig for the next six weeks?

If you take any of my advice, let it be this: wash your hair only twice a week. If you’re bleaching your hair every six weeks, you’re drying it out. When you wash your hair, you’re drying it out. All that dryness will cause it to break and fall out a la January Jones (no hate there, btw--January Jones is perfection and you can’t tell me any different).

If limiting your dates with a shampoo bottle is causing you to feel disgusting, make room for a new friend: dry shampoo.

But let’s get back to regular shampoo. Your hair will inevitably fade, but to counter all that brassiness, get a bottle of purple shampoo, like Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes Shampoo. When used sporadically, it helps maintain a fresher tone.

Remember, though: just because you’re not washing your hair every five minutes doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using conditioner. I love Redken’s Body Full Light Conditioner and soak my hair in it for a good five minutes in the shower. Use the time to soap up, shave, get off, etc.

Next step is oil. Some prefer Moroccanoil; I think any argan oil will do. I know, I know, everyone's talking about argan oil products, but that's because they do good things to damaged hair. Use your chosen oil sparingly and apply it from the lower shaft of your hair through out your ends. Don’t apply to the roots unless you want to wash your hair all over again.

My final word of advice: get touched up only every six to eight weeks instead of once a month, especially if you’re rocking the platinum blonde look, like I am. As painful as it will be to see your roots become more and more obvious (although some people really dig that look), the extra time will be worth how much faster your newborn hair will pick up the color (less time spent on processing) and how much softer and more natural your hair will look and feel in the long run.

OK, veteran bleach-blondes, let me hear about what you guys do to maintain your blondeness. Any other products I should know about?