This post was originally published in August 2014.
You walk out of the salon with gorgeous blond hair to rival Blake Lively’s, and for a few weeks, you start to believe that blondes really do have more fun… until you wake up one morning to a head full of brassy, fried hair. Sound familiar? We feel you. Blond hair is notoriously tough to maintain, and if you’re using the wrong products, you could be unintentionally sabotaging your flaxen strands.
We talked to Keratin Complex stylist Abraham Sprinkle and L’Oréal Paris consulting celebrity colorist Kari Hill (she counts Michelle Williams and Taylor Schilling as clients) to find out which products blondes must have in their arsenal.
Keep reading to see the essentials for caring for your blond hair—whether you’re freshly colored or already turning brassy.
Sure, purple shampoo sounds a little strange, but to prevent orangey hues from showing up in your hair or to neutralize them if they’re already there, you need to use violet-toned shampoo. Why? “If you look at the color wheel, what neutralizes this tone is purple or violet,” Sprinkle says. He recommends Keratin Complex Blondeshell Shampoo ($24), or you can try a product like Joico Color Endure Violet Shampoo ($16).
However, you can skip the purple if you’re a golden or honey-toned blond. Hill says that purple shampoo will cancel out those warm tones and make your color cooler. Instead, look for a moisturizing, not stripping, shampoo to help keep your color from fading. Try a nourishing version like Kérastase Bain Chroma Riche-Cleanse ($40).
Use an at-home gloss like John Frieda Color Refreshing Gloss ($10) once a week between coloring appointments to keep your hair shiny and the color bright. Be sure to ask your stylist if your hair is warm or cool-toned so you pick the right shade. Hill recommends L’Oréal Paris Brass Banisher ($9), “an ammonia-free, brass-reducing gloss that works in five minutes.”
“Think of blond [hair] as a delicate fabric,” Sprinkle says. “If one were to wash this garment in regular detergent, the fabrics would be weakened.” He says that a hair mask like Redken Blonde Idol ($21) restores and replenishes blond, color-treated hair—helping the color last longer.
Hill recommends using a hair mask as well and says her client Anna Faris (she of the perfectly platinum hair) swears by L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Overnight Hair Repair Treatment ($9).
“Remember: What the sun does to jeans also holds true for blondes,” Sprinkle says. In other words, too much sun exposure will seriously fade your hair color. “Protect your color by wearing hats, scarves, or using UV filters,” Hill says. You should be just as diligent when protecting your hair from the sun as you are protecting your skin, so look for products that contain UVA/UVB filters, like Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil ($28) and Davines Su Milk ($29).
We get it: Grow-out happens, and you can’t always immediately make it to the salon to hide your roots. That’s where a root concealer comes in. Rita Hazan’s Root Concealer ($25) is a temporary touch-up that you spray over your roots, and ColorWow’s Root Cover Up ($35) brushes on for easy camouflage.
Now that you know how to take care of blond hair, check out some gorgeous hair color inspiration!