Blondes & Brass
When you leave the salon, your color is amazing, delicious perfection. Fast forward to a month later, and just like that, your stunning beige balayage is now a bit more on the macaroni and cheese side of the color spectrum. What happened?
Cultivating a beautiful healthy blonde can be so high maintenance—it requires a serious amount of upkeep and special attention. It’s even more of a challenge when you are a natural brunette who has worked her way up to the perfect ice blonde tone.
Chemically enhanced blondes turn brassy, in part, due to the increased porosity of the hair (post-bleaching). What does having porous hair actually mean? Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. Basically, your cuticle (the outermost layer) has been a little roughed up -causing the hair to act like a sponge and soak up everything, good and bad.
HARD WATER & MINERAL DEPOSITS
All blondes are vulnerable to the harsh effects of chlorine and sun and saltwater; basically, the elements of epic summer vacation. Pool chemicals and UV rays work together to sabotage precious strands of every color, but they’re particularly harsh on porous blonde hair. Over time, that exposure weakens the hair shaft and leaves hair more susceptible to breakage and damage—and of course, it also contributes to brassiness and (in some cases) green hair.
Not only is pool water, a brassiness magnet, but the quality of water in your shower could also be to blame. “Hard” water is water that has unusually high levels of mineral content. If this is the case- it is not helping the brass situation. Just like Brita filters for your drinking water, you can install a filter in your shower to soften your water. If that’s not an option, here are some fantastic products designed to eliminate mineral buildup and other pollutants that cause dullness.
Some of us have to break out the blow dryer and curling iron just to get our hair to look presentable. If heat styling is a must, be sure to prep hair with a heat protectant and keep that temperature low! (300-380 degrees)
Becoming comfortable with a round brush will make your blowout last longer and lessen the need for a secondary styling tool. Ask your stylists for some tips and recommendations during your next appointment!
Daily shampooing strips the hair of much needed nutrients and can throw the scalp off-balance, leading to increased oil production. Aim for cleansing no more than 3-4 times a week. If you can’t stand taking a break between washes, try using a cleansing conditioner or an apple cider vinegar rinse (I’m obsessed with this one) in lieu of traditional shampoo. A great dry shampoo can help get you by between washes, absorbing dirt and excess oils, all while adding volume and texture.
USING THE WRONG PRODUCTS
Think of your shampoo and conditioner as an insurance policy to protect your investment. Neglecting to use professional products is the fastest way to undo all of that hard work. Drugstore shampoos are cheap because they use cheap ingredients. (You can read more about that here.)
Professional shampoos, conditioners, and treatments specifically formulated for highlighted hair will help keep your mane brass-free while delivering moisture, UV protection, and shine. Kick it up a notch by pairing a color-depositing shampoo with a deep conditioning treatment twice a week.
YOUR NATURAL COLOR
If your hair isn’t naturally blonde, chances are you will always have to work to combat brassiness, it’s just how color theory works. Dark hair contains eumelanin, which is a dominant pigment comprised of mostly red/orange undertones.
Don’t stress, the perfect blonde is totally achievable for us natural brunettes! A little bit of planning and prep work will go a long way to get your mane ready for your next color appointment. Living life as a blonde bombshell may require a bit of work, but when you master your routine, it is so worth it.