Rewind a few years ago, and I would have never thought I could carry off blonde hair with my tanned complexion. And then the whole balayage revolution takes over, the two-toned hair coloring technique that makes you look like you live on an exotic beach. The upper portion remains darker (great for lazy bums like me as we don’t have to scoot to the salon for retouches), and from midway down its a whole load of artsy strokes of blonde!
Balayage is a work of art, and I wouldn’t trust any hairdresser to get it right. My hair was done for the second time by the very talented Roger from Station 10 Beauty Salon in Ramada Jumeirah hotel, and I am absolutely loving it! I’ve gone a little lighter on the blonde from last time as you can see below, and I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.
15 Tips & Tricks for Maintaining
- Conditioning often is key! Bleached blonde hair has already been stripped of color and moisture, and needs all the hydration it can get to avoid it turning to straw. If you are looking for a great hair mask for colored hair, I would highly recommend the Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask. This rich, indulgent hair mask is quickly absorbed into the hair without the after-grease, smells like an expensive, feminine eau de parfum, and is enriched with rare prickly pear, known for its highly moisturizing, naturally derived properties (exclusively available at Sephora).
- Use a Leave-In Conditioner atleast twice a week. A good leave-in conditioner acts as a moisturizer for the hair. I love the Phyto Phytokeratine Extreme Exceptional Cream. Especially created for very dry, brittle hair, this hard-working formula absorbs quickly into the hair without weighing it down, and adds texture, shine and bounce.
- Heat with Caution Avoid heat styling as much as possible. Because blonde hair is more dried out to begin with, heat styling really take a toll on your hair. When blow-drying, use a good quality protective spray like the Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray. This lightweight, mildly scented spray costs a fraction as compared to other big brands (only AED 25 at leading supermarkets!).
- Use a Cooler Setting Blow dry on the cooler setting, especially if you have to blow dry every day. This will do away with some major damage that hot air can cause.
- Go Purple! Strange as it may sound, purple shampoo keeps your hair color from turning brassy, which can happen with other shampoos that aren’t specifically formulated for blonde hair. I highly recommend the Lush Daddy-O Shampoo (click here for my complete review).
- Use a UV protective spray. Especially in the summer but also year round, make sure you’re guarding your hair against harmful UV rays that can change the color and dry out strands. I got recommended the Ever Pure Colour Care UV Filter Protective Mist by Roger at Station 10 Beauty Salon. Free of nasty sulphates and inbuilt with UV protection, this spray on formulation is easy to use on a daily basis.
- Use a Dry Shampoo. Find a dry shampoo that works for you. One of my favorites is the Sunsilk Dry Shampoo for Colored Hair, especially formulated for hair that has been dyed (click here for more info). Refreshing your hair without shampooing will help keep the color vibrant for longer.
- Don’t Re-Bleach the Ends. When going for retouches at a salon, ensure only the roots are redone, and not the ends. Already bleached hair can melt with too much retouching!
- Get Regular Trims. The more your hair has been bleached, the more prone it is to breakage, so dead ends need to be nipped in the bud.
- Use a Shine Spray. Once you’ve styled hair, finish it off with a shine spray to keep the color looking vibrant.
- Zero Out on the Copper. Make sure there’s not copper in your water supply, which can turn hair green. Combat this with an acidic hair rinse (a home remedy would be to dissolve an aspirin in water and spray it onto the hair).
- Cover Up. Wear a hat when you’re out in the sun for long periods of time. The sun can lighten your locks, but it can also turn your hair brassy.
- Dry with a Tee. Instead of a towel, use a t-shirt to dry your hair after a shower. Friction with a towel can cause frizz and unnecessary dryness, but the soft cotton of a t-shirt will maintain the natural moisture in your hair.
- Pool Caution: Before going for a dip in the pool, use bottled water to get your hair wet. If your hair is already soaking wet when you go into a pool, it won’t soak up the chlorine in the water, which is what can turn blonde hair green.
DIY Blonde Highlights: For natural highlights, mix pure lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and coat hair. Then, sit outside in the sun for about an hour and the lemon juice will naturally lighten up your hair a bit.