Let’s be real, if you’re a blonde, you’re likely well versed in the practices of preserving your lovely locks (bless you, purple shampoo). But how well do you know about the things you shouldn’t be doing? To learn about the under-the-radar enemies of blonde hair, we tapped top colorists Marie Robinson, whose clients include Emma Stone and Michelle Williams, and LA-based colorist Jessica Gonzalez of Sally Hersherger salon who’s known for her balayage. You could be making these blonde hair mistakes and might not even know it.
You’re using the wrong products
Yes, purple shampoo is a non-negotiable for blondes, but you might think using the violet product allows you to have free reign with other products. Not quite the case. We all know blow drying daily is very damaging to hair, but for blondes, heat can be worse. If you take any heat to your hair, we’re looking at flat iron or curling iron, make sure they are clean of styling product build up or hair spray, as it can burn and discolor you hair, explains Robinson.
But it’s not just hot tools that can wreck havoc on hair. Blondes should particularly avoid protein-based haircare products. “Right now, protein-based shampoos and conditioners are really popular but unfortunately, using them too often can have the reverse effect and make the hair brittle,” cautions Gonzalez. Yikes! In addition, Gonzalez says you need to be conscious of the water you use to rinse. “I also always recommend that my clients check to see if the water they have at home is hard, which can cause mineral buildup, discoloration, dryness, and other problems,” she says. “Consider getting a water filter installed to help combat these issues.” Ultimately, it’s important to make sure that your care products are moisturizing, She recommends applying PRAVANA THE PERFECT BLONDE Seal & Protect Leave-In ($20, ulta.com) all over damp hair to help detangle and hydrate thirsty hair.
You’re using the wrong ingredients
We already know sulfates are no good for colored hair, but there are a number of other common ingredients found in haircare products that are actually harmful to your color. Robinson explains chamomile, an ingredient known for lightening, can actually cause yellowing in some blondes. However, she recommends Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo with Camomile and Cornflower ($34, sephora.com) because it’s brightening without being yellowing. Lastly, she says to avoid products that contain olive oil and argan oil, as they can have a darkening effect on blondes. Who knew?
You’re using the wrong DIY treatments
Everyone loves a good Pinterest DIY every now and then. But have you ever thought about the ingredients that go into the concoction? “Rich hydrating treatments are good for most blonde hair,” explains Robinson. She recommends using avocados, as they’re rich in minerals and fats, and eggs, as they’re full of protein and are softening for hair. (Gonzalez favors coconut oil.) These treatments don’t usually effect blonde hair color, explains Robinson, but again she warns against reaching for oils like argan, olive—even almond!—oil for their darkening and yellowing effects on hair.
You’re washing wrong
It might seem silly to care how your hair is washed, but it matters more than you know. “Another major mistake that blondes make is working shampoo down to the ends of their hair, which can dry it out,” says Gonzalez. “Shampoo should be massaged into the scalp, not the ends.”
You’re changing it up all wrong
It’s totally OK to switch it up from time to time. That’s the beauty of hair color! But for those with really blonde hair, making drastic decisions can be hard to handle in the long run. “If you are a serious blonde-lover and have desire to go dark, don’t—unless you are willing to have more honey or strawberry [hair], as it’s hard to get out all of the dark molecules left in blonde hair,” she cautions. “Sometimes it can take months to get it perfect again.”
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