It’s probably safe to say that no one’s hair is in a particularly good way right now. For many, it has been months since they last sat in a salon chair. The luckier ones might have been able to slip an appointment in at some point towards the end of last year but will likely be overdue for some salon care by the time doors reopen. While the likes of split ends, dryness, and breakage might be rearing their ugly heads for basically everyone right now, if you have blonde hair, it’s likely your strands are suffering even more intensely.
The truth is that blonde hair requires a lot of extra care and attention to remain healthy, especially if it has been bleached or lightened. If you have blonde hair, you better believe that every time you sit down in the salon chair your stylist is making a number of very important moves to ensure your strands stay healthy. With any in-person expert help strictly off the cards for the time being, it’s important to know what you can do at home to help protect lengths from serious damage. So if you’re at a total loss with what to do about the state of your blonde hair right now, keep scrolling for all of the tips experts want you to know.
Hair porosity is definitely one of those really boring beauty terms that make you want to fall asleep whenever someone tries to explain it to you (it’s in that club along with the likes of free radicals and antioxidants, right?), but annoyingly, it’s actually really important. In short, hair porosity is all about how much moisture your hair can absorb. The more porous hair is, the more easily it absorbs moisture. However, the hair’s inability to retain the moisture it absorbs means highly porous hair is usually more prone to dryness, damage, and breakage.
Sadly, your blonde hair could be struggling with this issue. “Colour-treated blonde hair tends to be more porous,” says Harriet Muldoon, top colourist at Larry King for Redken and Pureology. The key to treating highly porous hair at home lies in the types of at-home treatments you’re using. “The new Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Water (launching 17 January) creates a second cuticle that adheres to the hair to fill porosity and increase manageability,” says Muldoon. Opting for products that aim to smooth and condition strands will likely result in glossier, silkier, and more manageable hair.
While high porosity will only affect those with bleached blonde hair, there is something to be said for the fragility of natural blonde hair, too. "Natural blonde hair is often fine and fragile and, therefore, needs a caring, gentle regimen, too,” says Dani Maci, colour degree specialist and manager at House of Charles Worthington Salons. Applicable for both those with natural and artificial blonde, while we’re spending time at home, it’s important not to put your hair through too much stress. “I recommend sleeping with your hair in a silk scarf or using silk pillowcases. This will help prevent it from becoming tangled and breaking,” she adds.
Colour-treated blonde hair is naturally drier at the best of times. However, given the current circumstances (and the time of the year), you can expect things to be worse than normal. “Blonde hair needs extra care right now because cold, dry air and central heating can make both your hair and scalp dehydrated, making it more prone to breakage. Considering we’re spending so much time inside with the heating on, it’s important to use nourishing products,” explains Paul Edmonds, Shu Uemura ambassador.
In order to counteract dryness and breakage, look for conditioning leave-in treatments and masks. “Make sure you use nourishing products overnight, too. If you work out in the mornings, apply a leave-in cream or serum before you start. If you’ve been exercising outside, don’t jump straight into the shower if your hair feels cold to the touch. Bring it back to room temperature first to minimise stress,” says Maci.
When it comes to keeping your blonde hair looking its best, your choice of shampoo is of utmost importance. “My biggest advice for blondes that find their hair is going brassy while salons are closed is to invest in a great silver shampoo. You want one that is pigmented and looks purple. My top tip is not to overuse—once a week should be enough,” says Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. The cooler and icier you want your blonde to look, the more highly pigmented your purple shampoo should be.
However, it is also worth noting that toning shampoos aren’t always the most nourishing. In fact, many can leave hair tangled and feeling exceptionally dry. While certain newer formulas contain hydrating agents to leave hair toned and nourished, if you’ve found yourself with a purple shampoo that leaves hair feeling worse off, all is not lost. “My tip is to mix the purple shampoo with your daily shampoo. This stops you from overtoning, too. Finish off with an intense hydrating treatment,” advises Muldoon.