They don’t call blonde hair high-maintenance for no reason. Here two expert colourists breakdown exactly what to do to keep your locks in tip top condition, all season long.
We asked expert colourist Vincent Nobile, Colour Director of Headcase Hair and Anthony Nader, Owner of RAW Salon how to survive swimming, sand and endless sunshine without the side effects: post-pool green locks, brassiness and heat damage.
It’s no secret that lifting your natural hair colour a few shades lighter, or subjecting it to torturous amounts of bleach can do some damage, not only to your roots but to your wallet, too. That’s why it’s important to maintain your hair’s health to get the best out of your blonde – and it’s easier than you think.
Step 1. Use a smarter shampoo
When it comes to your daily shampoo and conditioner routine, it may seem like an easy place to skimp on quality product, but your regular wash actually does more than just clean. Depending on how your hair is looking and feeling it’s important to alternate between a nourishing treatment-esque shampoo and a colour-care one. “Having a recovery shampoo set is key, choose one with keratin so it’s repairing and strengthening,” explains Nobile. “Then when your blonde needs a little lift or sparkle I recommend a soft blonde shampoo, I don’t really like the strong staining ones as they dull down the colour.”
“But if you need to wash away unwanted brassy tones in a flash you can’t go back a mauve or purple-based shampoo,” adds Nader. “Just remember not to over-wash your hair, as it can unnecessarily wash out the salon-toner applied at the end of your colour service.”
Expert’s pick: Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Colour ($68, at David Jones)
Step 2. Turn to treatments
Don’t underestimate the power of a good quality treatment. You can colour and tone your strands as much as you like, but if they’re not in good nick it’s never going to look as good as it could. Buttery, soft blondes always pop when locks are hydrated and healthy.
“Maintain the condition of your hair with a restorative treatment,” says Nobile. “Keep a brush or a comb in the shower to brush your conditioner and treatments through, this will distribute the product through the whole hair and help it absorb better.”
Expert’s pick: Virtue Restorative Mask ($92, at Adore Beauty)
Step 3. Handle the heat
“Avoid overheating hair when blow drying and ironing by using a thermal protection spray,” says Nobile. “If your ends are damaged and broken they’ll never look their blondest. Whenever you overheat your hair (most common when straightening irons are set on max), you can burn and even singe the ends, not only does it take the shine out of hair, it leaves ends looking frizzy and dull.”
Nader agrees adding, “The more heat you subject your poor strands to, the quicker your hard earn dollars of being a natural blonde will appear dehydrated and dull, so simply turn down the temperature or cut back on heat styling together.”
Expert’s pick: Bondi Boost heat protectant spray ($32.95, at Bondi Boost)
Step 4. Wear protection
Just like wearing sunscreen all over your face and body, your hair needs a guard too. “Make a UV protectant leave-in-conditioner spray part of your sunscreen routine and use it whenever you’re out in the sun or at the beach,” says Nobile.
“My rule is to put it in your hair whenever you top up your sunscreen. It helps maintain your colour and prevents it from going dull and brassy.”
Expert’s pick: Oribe Foundation Mist ($39, at Headcase Hair)
Step 5. Simplify styling
Fuse hair care with styling by swapping out hair sprays for nutrient-rich serums. “Use a lightweight serum on lengths and ends as it showcases sheen and doesn’t make your strands appear dirty or oily either,” explains Nader.
“Go easy on all that over-using of dry shampoo. A little spritz here and there is accommodating for soaking up oily roots and of course adding new found texture, but too much of can lead to coating the hair and leaving it looking chalky.”
Expert’s pick: Garnier Fructis Anti-Frizz Soothing Serum Sleek & Shine ($3.97, at Chemist Warehouse)