So you’ve decided to literally live your life like it’s golden by dyeing your afro blonde. All we can say is: you better werque! Solange Knowles recently lightened her hair to a warm blonde hue, and while she is definitely (once again) giving us some serious hair envy, the process of lightening Afro-textured hair can be intense. Thankfully, there are ways to keep your strands healthy, shiny, and bombshell-worthy — even after putting those harsh chemicals on your head.
Of course, when you’re bleaching natural hair, there is a bit of prep work involved. Discuss with your colorist if a treatment and cutting your ends are necessary. “First do a trim so the ends are not susceptible to damage,” suggests Coby Alcantar, Oribe Director of Training and Content. Another good way to help prevent damage is to start using treatments weeks before bleaching. “Oribe’s new Gold Lust Pre-Shampoo Intensive Treatment strengthen[s] hair inside the cortex and cuticle…the treatment is specifically designed with lipids — think of a bodybuilder who uses proteins to enhance [their] muscle performance.”
Condition, condition, condition!
It’s important to mention that when bleaching natural hair, your curl pattern may be altered a bit, as it may take a few tries to get the desired shade. “Permanent colour and bleach can cause your natural hair to lose elasticity, [and make] your curls and kinks slightly looser/straighter,” notes award-winning hair extraordinaire Andre Walker whose clientele includes Oprah Winfrey (for 30 years!), Michelle Obama, and Halle Berry, to name a few. “If you notice your hair texture getting looser, then it’s time to condition more.”
Another major pro tip: Cut back on the suds! Shampooing can too often dry out your strands, so imagine what it can do to colour-treated hair. As going blonde strips your hair of its natural hue, keeping your hair hydrated it is key. Walker’s TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner contains Keratin, which is a protein found in natural hair. So essentially, you are helping to restore hair by directly infusing it with protein.
Bleaching your hair weakens it and causes dryness, so it’s important to get regular trims as your hair grows out. “The cut and color are a statement in itself,” says Michael Forrey, Senior Creative Director at Sassoon Salon. “So hit the salon every five to six weeks to keep hair healthy and freshen up ends.” Another way to keep strands fresh is by adding a nourishing styling product to your stash. Think of it this way: When it’s cold out, you use a heavy moisturizer to avoid cracked, dry skin. The same principle goes for your bleached hair — you want to restore it to its bouncy, defined state. For however you style your hair, we recommend Alterna Haircare Caviar Omega + Anti-Frizz Dry Oil Mist. It’s chock full of fatty acids to coat your strands, combat brittleness, and leave your hair shiny and soft.
How you sleep at night is also an important factor in maintaining your hair health. “You will see a little hair on your pillow,” celebrity stylist Nelson Vercher of the Rita Hazan Salon, whose clients include Kelly Rowland and Carmen Ejogo told us. “The best thing you can do for your hair is use less heat and treat the scalp as well as the hair.” Try Rene Furterer Karinga Hydrating Styling Cream. And since nothing is more restorative than catching some Z’s, get a little rest — just be mindful of your hair. “We all toss and turn when we sleep at night, which can cause tension on the hair,” adds Forrey. “Swap your cotton pillowcase in for silk for less breakage, knots, and split ends.”
Now go forth with your fabulous ‘fro, and prove that blondes have more fun!
Taken from Allure. Read the original here.