My hair history is a bit crazy. In high school, I never had hair longer than shoulder length, and at one point I was rocking the pixie cut (or at least I thought I was..) Because I had short hair, I always had to style it. So using heat on my hair became a habit. Senior year I decided to grow my hair out, and right before beginning my freshman year of college I began to bleach the ends of my naturally dark hair.
Since then, my hair has been ombre-d, balayage-d, lightened all over, bleached, and toned countless times. (at one point it was a nice shade of gray) My hair is now a honey brown and actually pretty healthy, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, I just cut off around 3 inches of ends that were totally damaged and dead from mistreatment and over-bleaching.
If you want to know how I maintain my color while keeping my locks happy and healthy, read on!
- First things first.. don’t over do it with the bleaching and coloring. Your hair needs time to become strong again, and giving it time to “heal” between lightening sessions is very important. I’m no expert, but I would definitely ask your stylist how long you should wait before trying to go lighter again.
- Since my hair is naturally black, the lightened parts of my hair tend to get “brassy” or orange-toned. I personally don’t like this, as I tend to like the more ashy brown/blonde tones on me. To avoid brassiness, I use a purple shampoo. The brand I use is Not Your Mother’s and it works wonderfully. I find that it doesn’t dry out my hair like many purple shampoos do, and it does a good job of keeping brassiness at bay. It’s important to use color-friendly shampoos and conditioners if you want your color to last longer. Try to look for sulfate free products, as they are more gentle on the hair.
- I also don’t wash my hair every day. I know that sounds gross, but it keeps my hair from being dry and lifeless. The days that I don’t wash, I usually wear my hair “natural” (no straightening!) and put some dry shampoo in. But if it feels a little more greasy than normal, I’ll put it up in a messy bun.
- A habit I broke to keep my hair healthy is using heat. I rarely straighten my hair anymore, and I only curl it from time to time. I shower at night, so I usually have time to let my hair air-dry mostly, and then blast it with the blow dryer for a couple minutes (after I spray some heat protectant all over my hair). But other than that, I try to stay away from using heat on my hair because it helps it stay healthy and looking shiny. Also, rinsing your hair with cool water is a good habit to form. Really hot water is not good for your hair!
- My final tip is to use hair masks. I use L’Oreal’s Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm on my hair around 2-3 times a week. After shampooing and rinsing, I massage this into the roots of my hair and into the ends, then leave it on for around 5 minutes. Once I rinse with cool water, my hair is silky smoothy and tangle/knot free. I’ve been using this product for around two months now, and I can tell that my hair is already so much healthier and stronger than it was before.
I hope these tips have helped you and given you some pointers on how to get your hair back to where it’s happy and healthy. ❤