How to care for blonde hair
Caring for white and light hair doesn’t have to be a grey area. If you are fond of your blonde then find the freshest natural ingredients to help you create your dream hair. Unlock the secret to protecting fair hair and turn heads with dazzling colour.
What’s your perfect hair day?
A ‘one size fits all’ approach to fair hair can be tricky, so if you want golden hair to shine under the spotlight it’s best not to typecast it into the simple categories such as ‘dry’, ‘damaged’ or ‘oily’. After all, blondes have more substance, so why not shake up your thinking and focus on the effect you want to achieve to ensure your hair takes centre stage?
When it comes to lighter hair there is a huge range of products that claim to help keep platinum tresses, goldy locks, or silver grey looking vibrant. Yet instead of simply stocking up on products that promise the world and leave you feeling underwhelmed, it’s beneficial to think about how we use products as well as what we use. Try to keep in mind what you want from your hair and what look or feel you would like to create so you can start building up a menu of products and ingredients which suit your hair’s needs. Beginning to understand your hair (blonde or not) in a little more depth can empower you to build a bespoke hair menu for you. These steps can aid you in finding the right products so you can enjoy ‘happily ever after hair’.
What is blonde hair?
Produced in the cortex (the middle layer of the hair strand), the pigments pheomelanin and eumelanin determine which colour our hair is naturally. Lighter hair often grows without a medulla, which is the inner layer of the hair, and this doesn’t affect the function of the hair but means that fair hair is sometimes finer than that of brunettes. On the flip side, blondes often have a fuller head of hair than their dark-haired cousins.
The fine nature of fair hair means it must be treated with care as it can be quite fragile.
Cosmetic scientist and product inventor Daniel Campbell explains; "Linseed is great for finer hair as it is rich in protein and minerals and helps hydrate the hair, and olive oil is also good for tensile strength. Anything proteinaceous is great for flyaway hair and products which visibly swell the hair cuticle are effective at making the hair look fuller and more voluminous."
How do you take care of natural blonde hair?
It’s no secret that Mother Nature has provided us with some pretty phenomenal ingredients for looking after our hair, especially when it comes to keeping hair light and bright. But short of squeezing a lemon on your head (which lacks a little glamour) there are plenty of products which make use of these beautiful ingredients in a more practical way. From chamomile, rosemary, coconut and almond oil, to violet leaf or honey, there is a garden of amazing ingredients out there to be picked and made into healthy-hair concoctions.
One of the first things worth knowing is that naturally fair and coloured blonde hair are likely to differ in terms of what they need, as Daniel Campbell explains: "Whereas naturally blonde hair is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the hair strand, chemically blonde hair is achieved when peroxide penetrates the hair cuticle and denatures the colour protein." Chemically processed hair tends to be more porous, meaning the hair can take on pollutants more readily. Over time this can result in brassy tones, disappointing for those in search of enviably vibrant Marilyn hair.
As naturally blonde hair tends to be fine, it can become weighed down easily by using products which either do not suit the hair or through simply using too much. This can be helped by using less of a product, a lighter conditioner, applying hair treatments regularly (why not set aside 20 minutes once a week for a pampering?) or experimenting with which products suit your hair best. Of course all these factors may vary depending on what sort of style you want to create.
Turn to shampoo
The world of shampoo is full of mixed messages. Some say that we should lather up every other day, whilst others swear by putting the bottle down all together, so it’s no surprise we’re often left in the dark when it comes to knowing how often we should wash our hair. But nature’s rich array of oils, botanicals and butters allow us to care for our hair without the worry of stripping our hair of its natural oils or easily damaging the hair.
For fair heads with finer hair, Big shampoo will give larger-than-life volume and shine. Fresh organic lemon infusion and organic lime juice help the hair cuticles to lie flat so that they reflect more light. Whilst coconut oil softens, coarse sea salt, packed full of natural minerals, gives volume, shine and helps keep the scalp in good condition through exfoliation. Rich neroli oil is a wonderful all-round treat for your locks, thought to improve tensile strength to reduce snapping and leave your hair strong, healthy and smelling delightful.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an easy, peasy, lemon squeezy option for maintaining threads of gold, Montalbano is the answer. This sunny and uplifting solid shampoo is bursting with Sicilian lemon oil and lemon juice - a mild oxidising agent that works with the sun’s UV rays to quicken the brightening process. It’s a dreamy combination that makes for shiny, happy hair, meaning that you can enhance naturally lighter tones. On top of this, Montalbano contains green olives which improve the elasticity and tensile strength of the hair and rosemary for a calming and balancing effect on the scalp - perfect if you frequently dye your hair. Lather up for up to 80 washes from this little bar!
In the right condition
Conditioners work as an anti-static rinse, helping hair to lie smoothly and look sleeker. From rich American Cream to lighter Veganese, these conditioners contain a different anti-static which contributes to the different effects of each one. So the conditioner you choose will make a big difference to the end result. Unless you need hydration from root to tip, conditioners suit being applied part way down the hair, avoiding the scalp where oil is already present, stroking down the hair strands, leaving for a few minutes and then rinsing away.
A heavenly combination of neroli, orange blossom and rose absolute perfume the hair in Happy Happy Joy Joy, the lightest of the conditioners. Containing jojoba oil, the closest to our scalp’s natural oil, it has a low affinity for the hair, meaning it won’t weigh it down, and so is ideal for those with fine hair, but lots of it. Almond milk gently conditions and revives, whilst punchy grapefruit and orange flower keep hair vibrant and shiny. This seriously uplifting scent will linger as long as your shine. Prepare to turn heads.
Agar agar gel is a cleansing solution derived from seaweed that can be used to help soften the hair. This mineral-rich ingredient is used in Veganese, another light conditioner to moisturise the hair without weighing it down. With lavender and rosemary to balance the hair and keep it fresh and oil-free for longer and zesty organic lemon juice for brightness and shine, it is light enough that fine-haired, blonde belles can embrace hair full of volume and shine.
Protein rich soya milk and yoghurt make Retread conditioner super softening and conditioning, helping you to race towards healthy hair. This midweight, reparatory conditioner contains olive, avocado and jojoba oils to increase tensile strength and elasticity, sealing in moisture to every strand whilst retaining volume. In addition, agar agar gel coats the hair strands for a serum effect, leaving it touchably smooth. Scented with violet leaf, orange flower and neroli, Retread is bursting with cheerful botanics to keep both your hair and you happy.
If you seek a curtain of sleek, hydrated hair then sweet-scented vanilla, hydrating honey water and lanolin will help to lock in moisture in rich American Cream conditioner. Vitamin C packed strawberries and shine-enhancing oranges give this conditioner an ambrosial scent, while a strong anti-static charge makes it ideal for those who want frizz-free, shiny locks. The most conditioning of the range, it is ideal for hair that hits the bottle or very thick hair as it contains lanolin to leave your hair outstandingly smooth.
Don't lower the tone
While some favour golden tresses of sun-kissed blonde, others wish for the cooler side of the spectrum. Those who have pure platinum, white and silver toned hair require a slightly different tactic when it comes to maintaining their perfect blonde. Purple shampoos and conditioners can look a little daunting at first, but those big bottles of bold colour are a blonde’s best friend when it comes to banishing the brass. The violet tones within them work wonders in making hair brighter as it sits opposite to yellow tones on the colour spectrum, and so neutralises them giving a cooler tone to chemically lightened hair.
Daddy-O shampoo, created by Lush co-founder and trichologist Mark Constantine, contains violet pigment to tone the hair, whilst lemon and organic lime help the hair cuticles to lie flat and reflect more light, resulting in beautifully shiny hair. In addition, toothed wrack seaweed and extra virgin coconut oil hydrate and soften, while fine sea salt lifts the hair and gives body, nourishing each strand to keep hair silky smooth.
American Cream solid conditioner delivers filmstar shine, fresh orange juice and strawberry juice cleanse and brighten each strand, encouraging the hair cuticle to lie flat so that your hair reflects the light. Rebuilding your locks from within, hydrolysed wheat gluten will make your ‘do more resilient, repairing past damage by coating the hair and binding split ends together. Agave syrup gives hair a fuller finish for an effortless post blow dry look.
Another dynamic duo for silvery tresses is Aga’s conditioner and Fix vegan protein shampoo, some newer toning creations that can be found exclusively in specific stores, like Liverpool, Oxford Street and Shinjuku. Fix banishes the bottle in favour of being a naked, plastic free shampoo, and is packed with strengthening extra virgin olive oil. It also uses aquafaba, a protein rich alternative to eggs, that helps to protect the hair. Aga’s conditioner softens and boosts shine while imparting a cooler hue to bleach blonde hair. With conditioning argan oil to restore hydration and fresh plum juice for glossy shine it can be used whenever you want to keep those yellow tones at bay.
The finer things in life
Bursting with fresh fruit, moisturising butters and enriching essential oils, pre-wash and hot oil treatments are a recipe for happy hair. So what are you waiting for? Apply these ready-to-use or DIY treatments to dry hair to ensure the wealth of ingredients penetrate every strand.
Summery lemon, chamomile and saffron work in Marilyn hair treatment to give a sunkissed look, stopping brassiness, whilst extra virgin olive oil strengthens to help protect the hair from breakage. Soothing linseed also moisturises the hair without leaving it heavy, resulting in a lighter treatment which can be used regularly to maintain colour, shine and strength. Marilyn is your hair’s best friend.
When hair needs a little extra TLC, avocado, olive and almond oils hydrate and strengthen in Damaged hot oil treatment. Capable of enhancing shine and improving the hair’s elasticity no matter how processed your hair, this treatment can be diluted a little more for finer hair or left very concentrated for thicker hair. Sea salt will give your hair a little lift, whilst vitamin rich oils smooth the hair cuticles and lock in moisture, making hair more manageable and less prone to breakage. What’s more, this easy to use treatment makes 20 minutes of the day wonderfully decadent.
Finding the right products for your hair is both an art as well as a science but it needn’t be a chore. Whether you dip into dye, are naturally blonde or a silver fox, with the right toolkit of ingredients and an effect in mind you can ensure your fair hair remains your crowning glory.