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Blonde Maintenance (The Real Deal)

Calling all blondes, or future blondes, this post is for you. We all know that blondes have more fun but do you know what it takes to keep your blonde bright, beautiful and healthy? While it might seem easy, go to the salon, they highlight your hair, you go home feeling fresh and bright, it isn't that simple. Maintaining blonde hair isn't a walk in the park at first, but once you get the hang of it, if will become second nature. So within this post I will show you step by step how you can incorporate your blonde maintenance into your day to day routine.

Buying The Right Products

First thing is first... Buy professional products from your hairdresser! You just invested in this beautiful blonde hair, you sat in the salon for hours, do NOT go home and throw drugstore products on it. Do not use cheap shampoo or conditioner, do not throw on that so-called "keratin" oil, or "repairing" mask on your freshly lightened hair. You may not know it yet, but those products are slowly drying your hair out. You may see results you like for the initial week or month, but once you switch to a quality product line, you will truly see just how damaging those drugstore products are.

All drug store products have one or more of the following damaging agents in them: silicone, DMDM Hydantoin, and/or drying alcohols/perfumes. These agents will build up over time and start to kill the hair.


While some silicones can be good for your hair, rarely are good silicone put in drugstore products, as they are too expensive to sell for drugstore prices. Bad silicones will build up everytime the product is used, which will build a layer on top of the hair cuticle, unable to be washed away with a regular shampoo. Once silicone builds up, the cuticle of the hair cannot let oxygen into the core of the hair strand, which will slowly kill it over time.

DMDM Hydantoin

DMDM Hydantoin is a chemical used in nearly every drug store product, but you may be surprised to know it is also used in building materials. Not only that, but when it mixes with water, it turns into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used to preserve things, such as animals. If you're still wondering why it is bad for hair, it will quickly dry out the hair, swelling the cuticle and killing the hair from the inside out.


Alcohols and perfumes are found in many shampoos and conditioners, while a little does nothing to the hair, too much will severely dry out the hair. Any product that smells very strong is bad for the hair, any product that relies solely on smelling good, and that is their only selling point, is only going to dry the hair out. Herbal Essence is the first example of this kind of product.

Locking in Moisture

When hair is lightened, it is stripped of the natural pigment, which does dry the hair out. While your hair stylist is able to keep your hair healthy during the appointment, it is your responsibility to maintain its health after you go home. This means weekly deep conditioning, if not more often than that. Make sure you are using a high quality mask for moisture. If your hair is damaged, use a reparative mask, but only is your hair is damaged. If it is healthy, and just needs moisture, adding too much protein to the cuticle will actually damage that hair.

Deep condition once a week, keep the mask in for at least 30 minutes. My favorite way to deep condition hair is on the last possible day you can go without washing your hair (should be about 6 days), apply the mask to damp hair, put a cap on, and leave it on overnight while you sleep. The longer the hair mask stays on your hair, the longer it will get to work its magic. This is essential to keeping your hair healthy.

Toning Regularly

Your stylist should tell you how regularly you should have your hair re-toned, as toner does fade. Toner is not a permanent color, and will always fade, how quick depends on how long it was on for and what the level of the hair was before toning. It also depends on how healthy the hair is, as unhealthy hair will not hold color.

For brighter colors such as platinum blonde, white, silver, and light lavender will need to be re-toned fairly quickly, as the toner will neutralize the leftover yellow pigment from the hair, making it the desired end result. Usually for very light blonde shades, where the client wishes to see no yellow, or little to no warmth, the hair will need to be re-toned every 2-3 weeks. For medium to natural shades of blonde, the hair will need to be re-toned every 3-4 weeks depending on the underlying pigment in the clients hair.

Toner refreshes are fairly quick and easy, they can usually be done in under an hour. Toner also don't cost an arm and a leg to refresh, so there is no excuse not to get your hair re-toned when it needs to be done.

Getting Proper Retouches

You must get your hair retouched according to your stylist recommendations to avoid a color correction, yellow banding around the head, splotchy touch ups, and over-processed hair. This is mostly for high maintenance blondes such as lift and tones (full blonde from root to end), and full highlights. These blondes need to be touched up every 4-5 weeks, without fail. If a guest waits longer than that amount of time in between touch-ups, the stylist may not be able to guarantee an even blonde. When a guest comes within the recommended time frame, the stylist can ensure your appointment goes smooth, and no time is wasted.

Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo is NOT a toner. Purple shampoo is meant purely for maintenance at home. If your hair is orange, purple shampoo will not magically make it blonde, and it will not magically tone it to anything, your hair will still be orange no matter how long you leave it on for.

Purple shampoo is also not a cleansing shampoo. This means it should not be used everyday as a regular shampoo. In constant, regular usage, purple shampoo will severely dry the hair out, will coat the hair in a purple pigment even if you can't visibly see it, which will also make it harder to keep your hair healthy when you get a retouch done. Purple shampoo should be used AT MOST once a week, if that.

Purple shampoo is formulated for blondes that have yellow pigment left behind after lightener is applied. Purple is directly across from yellow on the color wheel. When you mix 3 colors that are conflicting each other, they will neutralize each other, assuming it's 50% to 50%. So if you are a guest who has very light highlights, and when the toner starts to fade and you see a light yellow popping through, that is when you should use purple shampoo.

Start off by washing your hair with a gentle clarifying shampoo (clarifying shampoo should also not be used everyday, only on occasion to cleanse product and oil build up, clarifying shampoo will also dry out the hair is used regularly). After you have clarified the hair of impurities, you can apply the purple shampoo. The best way to apply purple shampoo is actually quite different from how you apply regular shampoo. You will want to pour some in your hand, but instead of sudsing it up, just spread it around your hands and apply it to your hair, trying not to create any suds. When your create bubbles, the pigment has less time to work as a toner. You will want to apply it to damp, not sopping wet hair, so there is just enough water to spread it around the hair easier. If there is too much water, there will be too much of a barrier, and a higher chance of making suds. You can let it sit on your hair for up to 15 minutes, but after that it will start to dry out the hair, recommended time is just 5 minutes.

This is not an alternative to going to the salon to refresh your toner, this is simply a way to care for your hair at home in between visits. You should only use a high quality purple shampoo, recommended by your stylist, to keep your hair looking high quality. Low quality purple shampoo will have an unregulated amount of purple pigment in it. Which means it could have barely any useful purple pigment, or it could have an excessive amount of cheap colored purple pigment that will most likely coat the hair with a splotchy color.

Being a blonde is bold, fun and beautiful but you need to know what it takes to keep your blonde healthy and looking gorgeous all the time. Follow these rules and you're basic hair care routine, and you are guaranteed to love your hair everyday. If you have more questions on how you can properly take care of your blonde hair, feel free to contact me through my website or email me at

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