It’s been over a year now since I bleached my hair and it is both the best and worst decision I have ever made. On the one hand, I absolutely adore my silvery white locks – and I have never received so many compliments from strangers about my hair colour. On the other, it’s no walk in the park to look after over-processed hair – it can be very high maintenance! However, it is possible, and when my hairdresser told me that she has never seen bleached hair in such good condition it did make me do a little fist pump in my head.
So if you are looking to grab the bleach bottle and go all in, or if you already have silvery white hair, here are my top tips for maintaining the colour and condition without too much fuss:
Tip #1: Refrain from washing your hair every day
I wash my hair twice, sometimes three times a week. Some people might wrinkle their nose at that, but it’s honestly all my hair needs. Bleach is extremely drying, and over-washing my hair makes it frizzy, dry and it dulls the colour quicker. When I do reach for the shower head, I make an event of it – using clarifying shampoos to take out any build-up and indulging in a moisturising hair mask.
Tip # 2: Use a purple shampoo/toner
This is essential to keeping your colour fresh in between salon visits. There are lots of different purple shampoos but my go to brands are Bleach London and L’Oreal Professionnel. Depending on how dull my hair has become, I leave the purple shampoo on from anything between 3-15 minutes. Do be careful with these hair toners, as they can leave your hair with a violet hue if left on for too long! The L’Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo is my fave – I slap it on once a week and it keeps my hair looking icy.
Tip #3: Invest in a hydrating mask
If your hair is bleached, it is going to need all the moisture it can get. I rarely opt for normal conditioner these days, swapping it in favour of the Pantene Hydra Intensify mask. This mask is only £6.99 and you can leave on for as little as five minutes. I usually wait for it to do its job whilst shaving my legs or applying some in-shower tan. It leaves my hair silky soft and ensures that I don’t have to tug a hairbrush through it when wet. I couldn’t recommend this mask enough, it beats any other moisturising treatment I have ever tried.
Tip #4: Ask your salon if they use Olaplex
If your salon offers Olaplex as a treatment, it is well worth the extra. In the salon, hairdressers usually use Olaplex 1 and 2, and you can buy Number 3 to take home. My hair always feels incredible after using it, and I have silky smooth locks for a good few weeks afterwards. It makes your hair feel ‘normal’, and not bleached.
Tip #5: Never skip heat protectant
Another essential for bleach heads who use heat styling products. Using a heat protectant spray such as the TRESemme Protect Heat Defence Styling Spray will ensure that you beat the frizz and don’t frazzle your ends. I give my hair a good spritz after combing through, and then ruffle it between my fingers to make sure it is evenly distributed. It makes all the difference and I never skip this step in my hair routine.
Tip #6: Don’t forgo a regular trim
I am currently growing my hair and there is always temptation to skip my cut when I go to the salon. However, getting your hair cut every 6-8 weeks will actually make it grow faster, and make sure that the condition is maintained. If you leave your hair for months on end, it has the opportunity to split and you may find yourself having to cut more inches off when you finally go for the chop. I always ask for my hairdresser to take off the minimum, but always the damaged ends.
Tip #7: Keep up the colour
Silver white hair is high maintenance, and to keep the colour you will need to get your bleach and toner topped up every six weeks. It’s a commitment, but there’s nothing better than walking out from your hairdressers with a full head of swishy icy blonde hair. Any less than six weeks and dark roots will begin to show and brassiness will appear.
Tip #8: Use a wet brush to avoid breakage
And finally, bleached hair can get very tangly after washing, so tugging a normal hairbrush through it will do nothing but damage. Invest a tenner on a Tangle Teezer or a Wet Brush, which are saviors when it comes to combing wet hair through. If you combine this with a mask from Tip #3, you shouldn’t have any problems with knots.
What are your tips for maintaining bleached blonde hair? Share your secrets with me on Twitter at @sophiefryer