My hair type is dry with some damage due to bleaching. I’ve managed to control the damage to a minimum with good hair masks and increase the softness.
People often confuse hair products targeted at damaged hair with hydrating/softening products – they are different. Once the hair is damaged, you can use products to temporarily make it look and feel better (with continued use) or chop it off. With hair softening products, again you will need to continue use – it won’t soften your hair forever if you use it a few times.
Along with skincare, I’m a believer in having different products for your hair. Like with your face, you have different products for different needs, and your hair has different needs. For example I like different products for damage, softness, brassiness and body/volume – I want it all.
I colour my hair at home because it’s so convenient, quick and cheaper. Because of this, I’m a lot more likely to damage my hair with the bleach. My hair used to be super dry after I colored it and my roots are more of a orange tint for up to a week afterwards.
My hairdresser had told me (more than once) to take care with the ends etc as I was damaging them with bleach. I went through a brief stage of trying to move away from the bleach because I wanted to save my hair. I went back to bleach because I missed it and I didn’t like the three different shades of colour in my hair – I had bleach on the ends, a line of dark blonde tint and then roots. It was not a pretty picture.
To take control of dry and damaged hair, I use pre-shampoo treatments, double shampoo, conditioner and hair masks. Below is the ways/products I recommend.
Pre-shampoo treatments are great for those that want to shampoo and condition their hair quickly in the bath/shower. Generally these treatments need to be added to damp hair – simply wet your hands and run it through your hair. They are left in your hair for 20 mins or more. So you could do this before you leave bath/shower and then do your stuff.
My fave pre-shampoo treatments are the *Elasticizer from Philip Kingsley and the Repair Oil from Khali Min – I’ve previously reviewed these on separate blog posts.
*If your hair is badly damaged, you may not notice the softness difference until your hair is in better condition.
I double shampoo my hair – I treat it like my face with a double cleanse. I do this because I use products like dry shampoo, leave in conditioners etc and it’s good for the scalp. I’ve read that the first shampoo should be something for basic needs and I use one for something like body. The second shampoo application should be selected for something more meaningful so I’ll use a blonde shampoo or a hydrating one.
For ‘standard’ shampoos, I love the balancing, moisture, body shampoos from Philip Kingsley.
For blonde shampoos, I love the daily and weekly blonde (purple) shampoo from Philip Kingsley – yes I have a big soft spot for this brand. And also the L’Oréal purple shampoo. Tip: If your hair colour turns too purple, use a standard Head & Shoulders shampoo – this stuff strips the hair.
Time shampoo stays on for: 10-20 seconds.
Without fail, I will use a hydrating conditioner. I use a standard conditioner like a primer for my hair mask.
Time conditioner stays on for: 10 seconds.
Damage Control Tips for bleaching:
Get your hair trimmed regularly to get rid of the damaged ends.
The night before I bleach my hair I’ve started drenching my hair in a repair oil. I highly recommended the Khali Min repair oil – I’ve previously reviewed this on a separate blog post. It smells amazing and makes my hair soft and slick – I do use other products afterwards (I.e hair oil and leave in conditioner). Brands can give the impression that you’ll only need their product, but in my experience you need more. I’m ok with that though because I’m extra.
Damage Control for general haircare:
I use some of the Olaplex range – this stuff is great with consistent use. Olaplex numbers their products and I’ve summarized them below.
*No 0 – It’s a pre-shampoo hair bonding treatment. You drench you’re hair in this for 15/20 mins.
*No 3 – The follow on pre-shampoo treatment. After you’ve used No 0, you add this and leave in for 15 mins. They say you only need a pea size amount but I use use more.
*With continued use, these help repair damaged hair.
No 6 – This is a leave in conditioner and it’s great. Earlier in the year the ends of my hair were super dry – I’m talking fraying at the ends. This stuff sorts it right out – to be clear though, I use all these other products along with it.
No 7 – This is a hair bonding oil that targets damaged hair. It’s a great oil but it works great along with the other products. I’ve tried some hair oils and it feels like they superficially smooth my hair – this has longer staying power in my hair.
These Olaplex products work better on damaged hair. If you’re after softening, you will need to add separate to your hair routine.
I’ve recently invested in a Dyson hairdryer to protect my locks – it’s sooo expensive but it’s an investment in my hair. My hair is definitely more smoother when I use this.
Limit using heated hair tools. It’s easter to get away with this during this Coronavirus period.
Leave in/de-tangle hair sprays are essential as my hair can get tangled in hair towels.
When my dry and damaged hair was at its worst, I used the It’s a 10 – miracle hair mask. This was the product that made my hair turn a corner. After a couple of uses (leaving on for 20mins or more) my hair felt less damaged and softer. Once I used this miracle product up, my hair started to work well with other softening hair products.
Even if you’re treating your hair for damage, also add products for softness. I’ve tried a range of hair masks and they are great in their own ways. Hair masks are to be added to wet hair that’s just been shampooed and conditioned. Personally I always leave on 20 minutes or longer (if I get distracted).
If your hair is super damaged, you will need to improve this to notice the difference of hydrating products.
The Garnier Hair Food products are affordable and great. Asda sells them for around £3.50. These can be used as a mask, conditioner and leave-in conditioner. I use these as a hair mask for 20mins and my hair is super soft.
The Gisou honey hair mask smells so beautiful and it costs approximately £50. Again use this for 20mins. It smells god damn amazing and it’s softens your hair but other more affordable products (I.e. Garnier hair food) work better on my hair.
Boots sells packets of hair masks from the Mane Club for £2.99 and you can get around 3 uses from them. Again leave in for 20 minutes. I love this brand so much because they soften my hair and it smells great. They have fun packaging too. These would be a great stocking filler.
72 Hair sell a lovely hair mask. It’s an affordable brand and it’s a nice thick texture. It’s like a more affordable version of the Japanese Shiseido hair mask (which I also love).
This brings me on nicely to the Shiseido Fino hair mask, which I got on holiday in Japan. This mask is nicely thick and it really softens my hair. It only works on my hair if I use it for 20 minutes or more – it didn’t seem to do much if I left it on for 10 minutes or less.
I had low expectations of the Sol De Janeiro Shampoo and Conditioner. I thought their thing was bodycare only – not haircare but I was wrong and I’m ok with that. I love the fragrance of this and it actually hydrates my dry hair. I noticed this from looking at the ends of my hair. Don’t get me wrong, I still need other products but this stuff is good. The scent doesn’t last that long but I expect that because I use other products for the hair mask and leave in conditioner etc.
Hair oils are a must for me. There’s so many varieties from pre-shampoo treatments to hair oils that can be used with hairdryers etc.
Sometimes I add hair oils to pre-shampoo treatments or hair masks to give my hair an added boost. And then I’ll add oils to my damp and dry hair. They say to add hair oil to your hair the day after you have washed it to add body – I do that anyway.
You could also use multi-use oils on your hair/hair mask. The cult Nuxe oil is great for hair.
I also recommend treating your hair to a hair perfume. You could simply spray a standard perfume on your hair but a hair perfume is less drying and a lot cheaper.
Leave in conditioners:
These are a great step because it’s another layer of hydration to your hair. My faves are from Khali Min (previously reviewed) and the Olaplex No6.
Hair Protein sprays are great but take care not to overuse them as they can impact hydration of hair. They add a immediate temporary damage control to your hair.
Hair, Skin and Nail supplements:
These work however they generally take 3 months or more to notice a difference to your hair. This is because your hair gets last place on nutrients.
From re-reading this post I understand that I’m quite OTT about my hair but I love doing the treatments – it’s part and parcel of bleached hair and it relaxes me. I love performing all the steps and it’s good for my mental health. I used to hate having dry hair but I don’t mind it now because there’s so many great products I get to use.
The key thing I do to keep my hair looking and feeling good is to leave hair treatments in my hair for 20 minutes – the rule of 20.
I was kindly gifted products from Khali Min, Philip Kingsley, 72 Hair and Olaplex – they are happily a part of my permanent haircare routine.