I’ve been a faux blondie ever since I was 15, when I was still trying to work out a look of my own and wanted any colour besides my natural, mousey brown. Though my first trip to the hairdressers resulted in awful, stripy and brassy highlights from an apprentice hairdresser, I continued dying my hair in a bid to achieve light, bright locks.
At that age, my beauty icons were Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Jessica Simpson (all I ever watched was Newlyweds!), so I naturally gravitated towards the lighter end of the hairdye spectrum.
I’ve been having regular highlighting sessions for 8 years now, and in that time, I’ve probably had all 50 shades of blonde painted onto my locks, each time making my hair blonder and blonder. I’m quite certain that I’ve now found my perfect shade, as well as my soulmate hairdresser! I don’t mean to dramatise this, but it’s always a good moment when you know that you’ve found the right hairdresser for you - it means the search is over, and you don’t have to keep trying out salon after salon hoping that you’ll get paired with ‘the one’ who understands exactly what you want.
With 8 years of experience in the blonde stakes, I thought I’d compile some of my favourite ways to maintain the colour, because, as fellow blondies will agree with, nothing is more frustrating than root growth after just a few weeks! All this blonde business can be hard work, so here are some ways that I like to hold onto my highlights for as long as possible…
Tone up! Most salons will apply a toner to your hair after washing out the highlights, but it’s worth checking with your hairdresser that you will be receiving a toner treatment before you’re ushered over to the sink. A toner will remove any brassy tones in your hair, and should last up to 4 weeks, so it’s an essential step for me during my salon session. For at-home toning, try a silver or purple-toned shampoo - lots of high-street brands are doing them now, and they’re the perfect way of eliminating nasty brassiness in between salon sessions.
Lessen the lathering. Cutting down on lock-washing may seem scary, but committing to the bleach means that your hair is going to get a lot drier in texture, which is something I secretly like, as my hair naturally gets greasy quite quickly. A telltale sign that I need a trip to the hairdresser’s, besides my roots, is when my hair needs a rinse every day, so I’ve learned to invest in some good quality dry shampoo (Charles Worthington’s Balancing Act is way better than Batiste, FYI), and I’ve wholeheartedly embraced spending less time doing the tedious, washing-drying routine!
A wash-and-condition routine just for blondies. Over the years, I’ve learnt a few things about certain shampoo brands and what they can do for my blonde tresses. First up, I’ve heard rumours that Head & Shoulders is so harsh that it can strip your hair of colour - right or wrong, it’s not going anywhere near my head or shoulders.
Always wash and condition with products for colour-treated hair to amp up the longevity. I’ve tried lots of different shampoos and conditioners for colour-treated hair, but I always gravitate back to John Frieda’s ranges for blonde hair. Sheer, Colour Renew or Everlasting, I’ve never needed to look for any other wash range to lighten and brighten my gold hue. Right now, I’m chipping away at Everlasting Blonde, and swapping in the Colour Renew for when my hair’s looking a little more orange…noiiice.
Condition, condition, condition. Having said that, for those days when you do wash your hair (I wash mine around 3 times a week), always apply a rich conditioner to banish dry and split ends. Bleaching means damage, so don’t be shy with conditioner. If, like, me, your hair naturally leans towards the oilier side, concentrate the conditioner from mid-length down, and avoid your rootline. I use the Tresemme Keratin Mask, which I like to apply once a week, then on my regular wash I’ll go for either the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Colour Mate or one of the conditioners from John Frieda’s blonde range.
Honey, I’m Blonde! When I’m putting off my next bleaching session, I like to use a honey recipe to naturally lighten my hair. Forget lemon juice, Sun In (apparently, a hairdresser’s nightmare) or any drugstore products that claim to lighten your hair. Lemon juice will fry your locks, Sun In is a 90s-born disaster product that’s resulted in endless hair horror stories, and high street beauty products that claim to lighten your hair are jam-packed with nasty chemicals.
Instead, just mix honey with distilled water, and it will create its own tiny percentage of hydrogen peroxide. It’s also a natural moisturiser, so honey is my ultimate, two-birds-one-stone saviour in the flaxen hair department.
Now on to the giveaway. One lucky blondie will win a shampoo and conditioner set from John Frieda’s new Everlasting Blonde range, as well as a Deep Conditioner and Repairing Oil Elixir from the Full Repair range, to rule out brittle, damaged tresses.
7 runners-up will also win a set of Everlasting Blonde shampoo and conditioners too, so that’s 8 chances of winning in total! Fancy a set for yourself? All you have to do is follow me on Twitter (@ZoboWilliams), then leave a comment on this post telling me your ultimate haircare tip! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The boring, but necessary, Ts & Cs:
- Eight entrants will each win an Everlasting Blonde shampoo and conditioner
- One of the eight entrants will also win a Deep Conditioner and Repairing Oil Elixir from the Full Repair range.
- The competition ends at midnight (BST) on the 23rd August, 2013.
- This is an international giveaway.
- You must enter by the giveaway entry form above.
- I will announce the winners on my Twitter account (@ZoboWilliams) on the 24th August, 2013.
- Winners will have 24 hours to claim their prize. If no one claims the prize in that time, I reserve the right to select another winner.