Perhaps I sound like a broken record at this point, but maintaining my blond is important to me. Over the last few years I’ve shifted my college highlights to something a bit more sombré (subtle ombré) in a dirty blond tone.
But recently I decided to kick things up a notch.
I booked an appointment to see Aura Friedman, the colorist for platinum strands at Sally Hershberger. Friedman is responsible for the lightened heads of Soo Joo Park, Sky Ferreira, and a ton of other cool-looking ladies, as evidenced by her Instagram. And hey, if Taylor Swift can go white-blond, so can I.
She assured me that I was in good hands and got to painting. As I sat with plastic wrap on my head and my trusty iPhone in my hand, we discussed how to maintain my soon-to-be lighter color. “It’s so hard,” I told her, “My color usually fades quickly and gets brassy after the first month.” Luckily, this wasn’t a problem that was specific to me. It turns out that a ton of Friedman’s clients struggle with the same blond reality.
Keep reading for how to keep your blond hair bright, not brassy.
Shampoo Less Frequently
“First and foremost, you want to avoid shampooing too often," Friedman says. "I recommend my blonds wash once a week. The less you wash it, the better it is for your hair and for your color. When you do wash, try to use cooler water—this helps to keep the cuticle closed and will allow the color to last longer.
When You Do Shampoo, Go Sulfate-Free
“It’s so important to invest in a high-quality, sulfate-free, color-protecting shampoo, ideally one that has UVA/UVB filters (which will protect your hair from the sun and prevent fading). I really like b3 Brazilian Bond Builder Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner ($30-$32). The product is formulated with bond-building technology, which helps to repair hair and prevent breakage each time you wash. And avoid purple shampoo. While it may help with brassiness, it is incredibly harsh and drying on the hair and can cause breakage.”
Use a Mask in Place of Your Regular Conditioner
“After each shampoo, I always recommend my clients use a deep-conditioning mask—b3 Brazilian Bond Builder has a great one. The Instant Restore & Protect Reconstructor ($36) uses polymers and proteins to fix hair bonds that break down after color or heat damage.”
Invest in a Pre-Shampoo Primer
“Before your shampoo, try using a pre-wash primer all over your hair. It will help to prevent mineral buildup on the ends and lock in color—I like the Nexxus Color Assure Primer ($22).”
Don’t Be Scared of Temporary Color
“If your color starts to get brassy, you can use a cool blond conditioner like Christophe Robin’s Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask With Temporary Coloring in Baby Blond ($51) or Davines Alchemic Conditioner in Silver ($23).”
Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Hat
“Wear a hat when you are out in the sun for extended periods of time. Apply (and leave in) a healthy dose of coconut oil when you’re outside. It has a natural SPF, and it’s super moisturizing.”
Are you obsessed with your hair color too? Find out why I identify as naturally blond, even though I dye my hair.