So you’ve bleached your hair to pastel perfection. Now what?
Step one is moisturization. No matter if you did your bleaching at-home or in-salon, your tresses are going to be dehydrated 24/7, and are going to need constant work to keep bouncy and smooth instead of straw-like and broken.
You can start with oils like argan oil,
And start incorporating deep conditioners and hair masks into your shower routine.
To be honest, any super thick and moisturizing deep conditioner or hair mask will do the trick. Just make sure that if your hair is bleached and dyed, you should look for one that is color safe.
If you went from dark brown/black hair to platinum blonde, like I did, don’t be afraid of over doing your moisturizing. Your hair NEEDS it.
A hair industry secret that is perfect for damaged hair is Olaplex. It is a 3 step process that rebinds the sulfide bonds in damaged hair. Steps 1 and 2 can only be done in salons, and can be a quite expensive treatment, but step 3 can be used at-home as a nice refresher.
Although the in-salon services can be pricey, if your hair is DEAD and you have the cash, I 110% recommend that you do it. I came into the salon with thin, wiry hair, and left actual hair that resembled my pre-bleach, smooth, shiny texture. MIRACLES!!!
Once you have moisture down, it’s time to make sure your hair stays cool, both in style and color tone. What does that mean? Bleached hair, untoned, especially if you are starting from a dark natural color, is usually quite “brassy”. What is brassy? It’s the orangy-yellow tone that bleached hair takes on. It is usually a hair standard to tone hair after you bleach it to take care of the brassiness.
The following image shows untoned hair on the left, and toned on the right:
Toners themselves usually come in purple tones to combat yellowness, and blue tones to combat orangeness. Toning, like bleaching, damages your hair, because both are done using developer, which opens the hair cuticle.
At-home toning touch ups are usually non-damaging. They come in the form of purple shampoo, and if you have light-platinum blonde or silver hair, it is a must have in your shower routine. The most well known and potent toning shampoos and conditioners are Clairol Shimmer Lights.
What I did not know until I had my first salon bleaching (previously I bleached at-home with a friend) is that Shimmer Lights can be quite drying. Thus, whenever I condition, I mix a little bit of the Shimmer Lights conditioner into a lot of a thick, heavy deep conditioner, and let it sit and moisturize. That does the trick.
Other blonde hair products come in purple shades to also subtly tone. One I have been using since the very beginning is It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In for Blondes.
It always does me good!
A note about at-home toning. A trend that is catching on right now is “damage-free toning”, which uses purple and blue semi-permanent hair dye mixed with conditioner, and applied like a toner. Unless you know exactly what you are doing DO NOT TRY THIS. AND MOST OF ALL, DO NOT USE THIS:
It can turn platinum blonde hair BRIGHT PURPLE (sadly I know this from experience). Leave this method to the professionals, who do actually do this often in junction with toning to reduce damage.
Besides toning and moisturizing, treat your hair as gently as possible. Minimize heat styling and aggressive towel drying. Keep those tresses you burned your scalp to achieve as luxurious as possible!