Sunday 2 September 2018

How to Maintain Ash Blonde Hair

I'm a brunette who started to go blonde last Summer and haven't looked back yet. I love my natural brown hair, but I wanted to try something new and have found being an ashy shade of blonde suits my colouring quite well after admiring it on others with similar a similar skin tone to me.

My original salon experience to add highlights was a disaster. Despite having gone lighter before with no issues, the bayalage I had done was not the greatest and the warm tones in my natural, un-dyed hair just didn't lift, even with a cool toner applied. I appreciate that going blonde is a process, but I was surprised how far from my goal colour I was due to my previous experience with bleaching.

Not one to give up, about eight weeks later I tried another salon and was really happy with the results. I used Olaplex as part of both my colours which stops the bleach damaging your hair as much. With fine hair like mine, I didn't want to take any risks of my hair breaking off which it no doubt would without the Olaplex. My new colour had some lowlights with an ashy blonde to create some texture to the colour. 

I've been getting highlights every three to four months since last Autumn and I'm really pleased with my current colour- most recently done by the lovely Emma at Kate Preston salon in Fareham. 

See my blonde evolution below and read on for how I try to maintain my colour at home.

Purple shampoo is your best friend

Bleach London is an affordable range available in Boots in the UK and also online. I love the Silver shampoo which is a purple shampoo that knocks out any yellow, brassy tones which inevitably creep back into bleached hair. I also love the Smoky shampoo which adds darker, greyer tones. This shampoo gives a more low-key look to a highly lifted blonde and I use it now and again to add more ash to my hair. Both are not overly drying, but you will need to use a good conditioner afterwards.
The Charles Worthington toning violet range is also really good and affordable. I have been trying the Ultra Violet (higher strength) shampoo alongside the Violet conditioner and it is very effective at making your hair ash toned, even before I had my colour re-done. I've tried many purple shampoos and this range is up there with the best. It is available in Boots.

Condition and treat

Joico was the range recommended to me by the salon who fixed my blonde hair mishap and the K Pak Colour range is just fantastic. I've used the shampoo, conditioner, Deep Penetrating Reconstructor and Intense Hydrator (both treatments to fortify weak hair from processing). Like many people, I'd experimented with bleaching as a teenager only to be left with yellow hair and frazzled lengths. Having baby fine, spider-web like strands I knew that I couldn't just re-bleach my hair and hope for the best, so I was prepared to invest in good aftercare.The Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 is also really great. It's expensive, so I use it less than once a week, but whenever I apply it to shampooed hair, I leave it in for as long as possible and it really does give hair a soft, fluid texture.A fairly affordable product that is a great leave-in strengthening treatment is Redken's Anti-Snap . It has a slippery texture and does seem to work well with its fortifying ceramide and proteins formula.
One day I expect I will return to my brunette roots, but for now I love being blonde! 

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