I’ve been getting a few questions lately about how to keep blonde highlights bright. I’m sure all you other blondies out there know the challenge I’m talking about: blonde highlights that look bright and amazing when you’re leaving the salon, but a couple weeks later they start turning golden (or worse – yellow & brassy!). Luckily, this problem can be easily solved, which is great news since it’s even harder to keep those blonde strands bright throughout the summer. Everything from UV rays to chlorine to air pollution, and even the water from your shower, can lead to dull and brassy strands. The following are a few of my favorite products to keep blonde highlights looking bright and to extend the time between salon visits. Hopefully they’ll answer some of your questions, and please let me know of any tips/tricks that work for you too!
Purple Shampoo and Conditioner
This is my #1 MUST when it comes to maintaining highlights. There are tons of purple shampoos and conditioners on the market. I’ve tried quite a few, but my hands-down favorite brand is Clarisol Shimmer Lights. It’s a deep, rich, purple product that truly tones down any brassiness and leaves your highlights bright & shimmery. Most of the time, you can either use a purple shampoo or a purple conditioner (you don’t have to use both), but I feel like the combination of the two really gets the best results. I’ll leave the shampoo on for about 2-3 minutes, rinse (sometimes repeat), and then leave the conditioner on for about 3-4 minutes before rinsing. The only downside to this brand is that the product is pretty drying, especially the conditioner. I typically use the shampoo as-is, but I mix a moisturizing conditioner with the purple conditioner in order to detangle my hair and keep it nourished. I also always use a leave-in conditioner once I have towel-dried my hair. I wash my hair every other day, and I usually incorporate the purple shampoo/conditioner every other time I wash it (so, about twice per week).
John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss
This is a gel-like product that you apply in the shower, after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair. You make sure your strands are coated from root to ends, and then you leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing completely. It’s recommended that you finish with a cold water rinse to really seal the cuticles and enhance shine. What this gloss does is tone-down brassiness and protects each strand of hair, which ultimately makes your highlights look even better. I use this product once a week. It comes in 2 blonde shades for blondes, as well as shades for brunettes and red heads. I use the cool blonde shade.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
I don’t know what we ever did before dry shampoo… it is a lifesaver! Apart from using it in lieu of washing your hair, dry shampoo is the best thing to add texture and volume. The problem with most products is that often times they tend to make blonde hair look dull or dirty. I tried several other dry shampoos and was never really happy with the results. They made my fine hair feel dirty and my blonde highlights look dull. I finally decided to try out Batiste, and I’m so glad I did. If you don’t have light hair, you probably don’t want to use Batiste because it leaves a white, powdery residue when you spray it. For blondes, that’s perfectly fine – you just massage in the dry shampoo, brush it through, and voila – it’s like a mini touch-up. It leaves my hair looking lighter and brighter whenever I use it.
If you spend a lot of time in the pool during the summer, be sure to use a clarifying shampoo regularly – maybe alternate the clarifying shampoo and purple shampoo each time you wash your hair. This will help keep your hair clean and healthy when you’re spending time in chlorinated and salty water. Nobody wants their blonde strands turning green in the swimming pool! And just why does that happen? A lot of pools are filled using well water, and copper happens to be a metal element found in a lot of well water. When chlorine is added to the pool, it oxidizes the copper – which leaves a greenish tint on your hair. It can happen to brunettes too, but it’s not as easy to see on them. And don’t be fooled – it can happen in salt water pools as well, since the salt water flows through a pump that turns it into chlorine in the pool. The best thing to do is to use a leave-in conditioner before you go swimming, wash your hair soon after being in the pool, and use a gloss once per week to help keep your cuticles sealed (thus creating a protective coat over your strands).