Maybe you found inspiration surfing social media, and decided to take your color into your own hands. Maybe you thought the online beauty gurus were overdoing it when they warned you against tackling a DIY blond dye job. Whatever the case, you decided to try your hand at going bleach blond without the right tools and know-how.
They say that blondes have more fun. But no one told you that being blonde is super high maintenance! Once you washed your hair, you painfully realized what a huge mistake it was to try to get your hair to turn Marilyn-Monroe white all on your own. The color came out completely wrong, even though you made sure to take your time with it. It's stringy, dry, and it sort of looks like you deep-fried your hair.
Now, there's no point in crying. You've got a messy rat's nest on your head and you need to fix it ASAP or you're not leaving the house until it grows out. So how do you completely restore hair that's been bleached within an inch of its life? Let me show you these 20 little tricks I learned after years of playing with fire (and getting burned).
20 First Of All, Get On A Coconut Oil Hair Diet
Coconut oil is full of anti-microbial properties that fight infections, including fungus. Lauric and fatty acids can also condition your scalp, which helps your hair to regrow. This natural butter has the power to strengthen your hair (even though it's been virtually destroyed) and give it that lush, shiny, manageable look you desperately need.
Coconut oil is actually is 100% fat and it's packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that will help nourish your hair back to health.
So instead of going for store-bought conditioners, try drowning your locks with coconut oil instead. Apply it on your entire hair as often as possible for at least a month. You'll see incredible results after the very first time you apply, but it'll take a month for your hair to come back to life.
19 Try An Avocado Hair Mask On Your Mane
Hair masks are awesome because they can repair a lot of the horrible, horrible things we do to our hair (guilty as charged). You can create a homemade hair mask with just two tablespoons of avocado. Then, apply the delicious mix to your scalp and your hair and wrap it up with plastic. Now, it's time for Netflix and chill or to read a magazine for half an hour.
If you want to leave it for an entire hour, even better! Afterward, remove the plastic and rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Then apply conditioner as usual and rinse your hair again with cold water. This is an incredible way to moisturize your hair if it's all dried up after you color treated it or bleached it to bits.
18 Add Coconut, Avocado, Honey, And Olive Oil To A Cheap Store-Bought Hair Mask
But if both coconut oil and avocado are packed with fatty acids, wouldn't it be smart to mix them up? Bingo!
Combine the power of one of the many natural elixirs Mother Nature has to offer and create one powerful restorative hair mask that will add shine back into your hair.
While you're at it, try adding a few more hair-friendly ingredients as well. Add 2 tbsp each of honey, olive oil, and avocado plus as much coconut oil as you need to a store-bought regular hair mask. Mix it all up and keep it in the bathroom. To use, first wash your hair with an ultra cleansing shampoo that helps you get rid of build up. Apply the heavy-duty mask for a few minutes. Rinse it off and then finish by sealing the hair with conditioner. This technique will help the oils penetrate each and every hair strand, which will add maximum moisture to ultra dehydrated hair.
If you repeat this process for an entire month, your hair will thank you for it.
17 Submerge Your Thirsty Broken Locks In Argan Oil (For At Least A Month!)
Everyone's damaged their hair at one point or another, but you can actually restore your locks by submerging them in argan oil every chance you get. This type of oil is squeezed out of a nut that grows from the argan tree and it has healing and moisturizing properties that can help reverse the damage.
Argan oil contains Vitamin E, which is a key ingredient in any type of product that promises to rebuild the structure in your hair. It can stimulate your hair follicles so that your hair grows while providing moisture to the damaged hair you already have. Do keep in mind that argan oil is kind of heavy, so if you plan on applying some to your hair, make sure you don't have to go to work or hit the mall later on.
16 Whatever You Do, DON'T Wash Your Hair Every Day
It's natural to assume that washing your hair every day is good for you because you're washing away sweat, build-up, grease, dandruff, and all those germs that are festering in your hair.
But washing your hair every day actually gets rid of the natural oil that keeps it moisturized.
Try to wash your hair every two to three days instead. This will prevent your hair from getting all dried up. If you have to wash your hair, then try dry shampoos, which will keep your hair looking nice until your next wash. But if you're serious about cleansing and restoring your hair for once and for all, don't add any styling products to it- besides a good homemade oil mask or moisturizing mask.
15 Don't Comb Your Sad, Sad Locks Until They're Completely Dry (I Mean It!)
The obvious disadvantage of combing your hair when it's wet is that it promotes hair shrinkage. We all know it, but we can't help ourselves from combing our hair the second we step off the shower. That's a big no-no now that you're going on a healthy hair routine. Keep in mind that your hair is weaker when it's wet, so as you comb, you can break it or cause split ends to form.
So, you're better off just waiting for it to dry. Now, this doesn't mean that you can't dampen the hair a bit with some purified water or a few drops of essential oils like argan and almond oil to make combing easier without causing too much damage. But try to refrain from playing around with your hair too much, if at all.
14 Use A Blow Dryer With A Cold-Air Setting ONLY (Or Just Let It Air Dry)
When your hair is damaged, the last thing you need is to deprive it of moisture. But if you use a blow dryer, that's exactly what you'll do.
The only thing that hot air does to your lovely locks is to dehydrate them even more.
So if you're pressed for time and need to leave the house in a rush, try using a dryer on a cold air setting to dry your hair.
If you don't really need your hair to be dry right this second, then try doing other things while you're getting ready and just let your hair air dry on its own. The latter is definitely a better option because your hair has already been through way too much. Poor thing. Is there such a thing as hair therapy?
13 When Retouching Or Adding Highlights, Use Olaplex, No Matter What You Do
Olaplex can save your damaged hair by rebuilding the damaged disulfide bonds that have been wrecked by over-bleaching. It can restore the integrity of your locks and rebuild their strength while your stylist is working on retouching your color. But it's a three-stage process. You mix the first treatment, which is the bond multiplier with the lightener or color you're using. Then you apply the second stage, which is the bond perfector, after you've shampooed the lightener in or rinsed the color from your hair.
Lastly, use the hair perfector on your damp hair, comb it, and leave it there for ten minutes. Keep in mind that only professionals should play around with this baby, but it's seriously the only way to go blonde without ruining your hair. How do you think Kylie and Kim were able to go from black to platinum blonde while still keeping their hair on point? Olaplex, baby!
12 Add A Little Liquid Keratin
Try the Schwarzkopf’s Gliss Hair Repair with Liquid Keratin every now and then to add an extra kick. Hair masks and deep conditioners are only awesome when you have the time to use them and sit down at home, waiting 'til it's time to rinse them off.
But this repairing treatment contains keratin- which provides relief to dry hair strands- and it stays in.
All you have to do is apply the repair spray to dry hair and leave it in. Then comb through so you disperse the Keratin evenly. Afterward, style your hair the way you normally do. Now, is that easy or what?
11 Don't Use Hot Water On Your Lovely (But Totally Dehydrated) Locks
Hot water is going to do a number on your hair, and what you'll end up with is dehydrated hair, even if you used a conditioner. Your scalp will suffer too, as you'd be washing it excessively, which might turn your roots greasier a lot faster than before.
So, next time you wash your hair, use warm water- not hot. When you're done washing, blast your hair with some cold water to finish off. This will close the hair cuticles and reduce the chances of ending up with frizzy hair. It really is that simple- and this step will certainly prevent your dehydrated locks from getting worse.
10 It May Be Time To Start Using A Different Brand Of Hair Dye
If your hair has gotten really damaged because of the cheap brand of hair dye you've been using (can't blame you though!), you might want to consider switching to a new one. But manufacturers have different base platforms for their colors, which in turn gives you a different color if you choose the wrong one. So make sure to use a color chart to select the exact color you want.
If you don't want to mess it up again, you might be better off going to a professional to have your hair colored.
If you opt to buy another hair color kit, you risk even further damage by reapplying until you get the color right. But as far as brands go, they all use chemical-laden ingredients that can be harsh to your hair, so tread carefully.
9 Silicone Dimethicone Is The Enemy: Avoid Buying Hair Products That Contain This Ingredient
Silicone Dimethicone is a non-water solution that stops essential oils and other moisturizing elements from penetrating your hair. Sure, you might love the way it makes your hair look smooth and soft at first, but it's difficult to remove and it builds up. The only way to get rid of it is by using a sulfate shampoo, which can be harsh on color-treated hair.
So listen- if you want your hair to remain hydrated, get rid of any product that contains Silicone Dimethicone. If you're feeling adventurous and really want to tackle the issue, try going on a "no poo" diet, which means you're going to have to start using sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner from now on. It'll feel gross for a month or so, but soon enough, your mane will be shining and looking as silky smooth as it was before you bleached it.
8 Try A Great Leave-In Conditioning Treatment
When your hair is all frizzy and you need a quick fix, try using a leave-in conditioner that manages rebellious and dehydrated hair. A great product like Infusium 23 Leave-in Treatment Repair might be exactly what you need. You can apply it to your hair right after you finish showering.
Unlike conventional conditioners, you can leave-in and go about your day while it works its magic keeping your hair tamed and moisturized.
It also protects color treated hair, especially when you use a blow dryer. If you plan on going on a sulfate-free hair diet, try Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner, which is around $20, but so worth it.
7 Avoid Going To The Swimming Pool Or The Beach For A While
Chlorinated water is not your hair's bestie. In fact, they've been frenemies for life! It will dry your hair out, and if you dyed your hair blonde, you're in deep trouble, sis! The chlorine tends to react to the dye that you used, which will cause your hair color to turn green.
If you have to go into the swimming pool and your hair is blonde, wear a swimming cap. Put on an SPF, chlorine-proof protector in your hair beforehand, too, especially if you go to the beach. The sun can make your hair frizzy and brittle, which will be a pain to detangle later on.
6 Switch Your Old Brush For A Wide-Tooth Comb
Remember how we mentioned that wet hair is far more vulnerable to breakage than dry hair? Well, if you simply must comb your wet hair, then make sure you're using a wide-tooth comb to do it.
A wide-tooth comb can reduce your odds of ripping out your hair by over 50%.
Yeah, that's so insane, I can't believe we haven't been doing this all along! To start, you'll need to start part your hair down the middle of your head. Then you'll comb from the bottom up in small sections. If you happen to run into any serious tangles, don't pull- use your fingers to detangle your hair.
5 It May Be Time To Chop Off The Ends And Just Let It Go
You probably don't want to hear this, but sometimes, you're better off not swimming against the current. There are only so many treatments you can apply to your hair, and if you don't feel like walking around with a ton of essential oils in your hair the entire summer, then you need to get rid of the areas that are damaged.
You don't need to chop it all of, but you do need to get rid of the areas that are completely kaput. At this point, your hair is probably already over-processed with bleach and hair dye, so you don't really have a lot to lose here... except the length. In most cases, the damage won't go away unless you chop your hair off and start all over.
4 Use Deep Conditioning Masks (High End Or Drugstore)
Deep conditioning masks contain low molecular-weight ingredients that are able to penetrate through the deepest layers of your hair strands. When you're out looking for a high-end or drugstore product, check to see that the deep condition mask contains argan oil and fatty acids.
Healthy oils can restore moisture to your hair and make your strands look silky, radiant, and swoon-worthy.
Conditioning masks will also help to rebalance your scalp while continuing to strengthen and improve your hair's elasticity, too. If you plan on detoxifying your hair, you'll need to find a mask that's sulfate-free and full of fatty acids.
3 Ombré And Balayage Will Save Your (Hair's) Life For A While
You've always wanted to try natural highlights that are strong and daring. Well, now you can- by taking advantage of a disadvantage. Instead of retouching your roots with bleach, which will likely only make things worse, allow your natural hair to grow back. You can also dye the roots without using any bleach so that the contrast between your midsection and your roots isn't too big.
What this will do is create an ombre effect that starts with a darker color at the root of your hair and lightens as you go further down, without any overlapping. And rest assured, it looks absolutely flattering on everyone.
2 Go For SPF-Packed Hair Products If You're Going To Spend Time Under The Sun
We all know the sun can really do a number on our skin, but we tend to forget about our locks. Hair is just as vulnerable to the sun as your skin. If you allow your hair to remain exposed to UV rays for too long, it might become brittle and dry. It can also cause the color in your hair to fade away too.
Damaged hair is only going to get worse in the sun.
So, before you leave the house, apply a sulfate-free leave-in conditioner that also contains SPF. Coconut oil also makes a great sunscreen and provides an SPF level protection of 8. Of course, the best protection would be to wear a brimmed hat to guarantee maximum hair (and skin) safety.
1 Time Heals All Hair Wounds
Sometimes the best thing that you can do to your hair when it's badly damaged is to leave it alone and allow time to heal it. Remember that once you've bleached and dyed, the chemical makeup of your hair will be different for a long time, as you've essentially stripped the external layer of your hair.
The only real way your hair is going to return to its healthy state again is to allow it to grow. But of course, if you simply can't wait, you can continue using hair masks to give your hair the nourishment and moisture it so desperately needs. And hey, it may be the right time to start playing around with wigs while your hair grows back- so there's always a silver lining, right?