You can style it, color it, and cut it. As versatile as our hair is at expressing our personality, it’s not all fun and games. A lot of the cool things we can do to our hair can really wear it down. I went silver last year and this year I’m purple, all that lifting left my hair dry and brittle. What can you do to help nurture and protect your hair? Say hello to your new friends: protein and oils!
Once upon a time (last year) I said to myself “I want grey hair!” and bleached the absolute shit out of my hair. My hair is naturally black and getting to grey requires lifting hair past the yellow phase to as light as it can possibly get. This meant my hair and my scalp took a beating. Luckily my scalp is skin and will regenerate on its own (although I’ll talk about why you should be careful with bleach on the scalp) but hair does not regenerate after it grows, so I had to put it through some rehab. Here are some of my favorite products I used on the road to hair recovery.
Lifted hair is a double edged sword. The initial process strips the hair of natural oils and makes it harder for hair to retain oils. Parched hair isn’t cute, so I made sure to keep it hydrated and shiny with two of my favorite oil products.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer
I really enjoy this primer because it’s multi functional and provides a great base for making your hair manageable. It provides UV protection to prevent fading due to the sun, heat protection from your styling tools, and leaves hair shiny without looking greasy
I use this after towel drying my hair, preferring to pump a few sprits into my hand and then running it evenly through my hair. Try to focus spreading this through you mid shaft to the ends if you have longer hair, as that’s where most of your dryness will be.
Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oleo-Complexe
This stuff is amazing. It’s a HEAVY oil that intensely moisturizes and softens, so it’s probably not ideal for fine hair that’s easily weighed down. My favorite things about this oil is that it disappears into the hair despite being thick. I like to use this as a “mask” after my showers, towel drying my hair and running a pump or two through my hair. It’ll typically completely absorbed by the time I crawl into bed, leaving my hair super soft the next morning.
Protein is the second thing that is stripped from your hair when removing pigment. Once protein is gone it can’t be permanently replaced, so you have to occasionally use protein products to help fill the “holes” in your hair. However, if you use protein products too often you can accumulate buildup of protein that’ll coat your hair, making it feel stiff and nasty. I use my protein treatments only 2-3 times a week to avoid buildup.
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair
I’m going to be rather upfront about Aveda not being my favorite brand. Their products don’t offer what I need for my dry and coarse hair. However, this protein cream was recommended to me and I ended up really liking it. It is a light-weight protein cream that I run through damp hair before blow drying and styling. Along with softening and repairing the hair, it also protects your fragile hair from heat damage as you style it.
Caviar Re-Texturizing Protein Cream
This is my go to protein cream, hands down. It functions as a great leave in conditioner that’ll leave your hair polished and shining, something that I don’t get from Aveda products. When I use this cream, I tend to not use much of anything else in my hair because it covers all of my hair needs. This cream might be a little too heavy for fine hair, but it’s all up to how much you use as it’s highly concentrated.
Caviar Instant Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner
When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, you want something that isn’t harsh on your color or your hair. Caviar once against wins a spot in my heart with this shampoo and conditioner combo. Their products are free of sulfates (which I’m typically fine with) that can quickly strip your color/toner from your hair and shorten the lifespan of your desired shade. They really helped keep my silver hair manageable and tangle free. These shampoo and conditioner are fit for fine hair too, providing light weight recovery that isn’t as heavy as the protein cream.
Don’t wash your hair everyday! You’ve probably heard it before, but I’m going to tell you again, stop washing your hair every day! Every time you wash your hair, you’re washing away your natural moisturizing oils AND your color! I currently have purple hair and every time I shampoo it creates a river of purple in my tub and I emerge just a little more brassy every time. It might taken an adjustment period to get use to only rinsing your hair with water, but after a week or two you’ll go 3 days without a shampoo and think nothing of it.
Be careful with your scalp! 40 volume on your scalp is going to burn and you can get chemical burns on your head. Doesn’t matter how “natural” or “chemical” you go, it all does the same thing. Try to keep high volume developer off your scalp, or use a lower volume developer. You might have to go through a few rounds of lifting to get to your desired level, but trust me when I say your scalp will thank you. Chemical burns on your scalp can cause scarring, which in turn leads to bald spots. No one wants that.