Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Suicide blonde - or how to survive severe hair damage.

I'm off to the salon tomorrow for my regular monthly root touch up (if I don't go every 4 weeks my hairdresser gets vicious!) and that put me in mind of putting together a blog on hair care for stressed out hair.

For a barnet that gets so much battering mine is holding together very well - my hairdresser is always surprised at how soft it is given the endless vintage styling - so here are my tips for taking care of damaged hair (whether blonde or not).

A good shampoo and conditioner:

This really is an essential - my recommendations are:

Goldwell Kerasilk:  This stuff really has been a revelation, especially the Ultra Rich Care shampoo and treatment conditioner.  I was introduced to this by the Nina of Nina’s Hair Parlour   and have been a convert ever since.  It smells wonderful and is the only shampoo that really makes my stressed locks smooth and silky.  I can’t see me changing products for a long time and, though pricey, as I only wash my hair once a week it lasts AGES!  I get mine at Sally’s.

Kerastase:  Also pricey but VERY, VERY good.  They also do a great range to protect your hair from the sun. This saved me on holiday. It comes highly recommended.

Tresemme:  Yes, Tresemme.   I have always been a big fan of Tresemme products (I suspect I’ll be raving about their Freeze Hold hairspray in a later blog post) and their range for coloured hair is excellent.  Also these products are SUPER affordable and VERY easily available – as they are stocked in most chemists including good old Boots and Superdrug.

Setting without tears

Hair setting and styling can be a damaging old business; heated tools, teasing the hair, tons of product...my tips are:

Avoid heat styling where possible – it really is much healthier and not that much harder to achieve a vintage look with traditional methods.  Personally I adore pin curls and perm rods (I get mine from the US via eBay - on the advice of fellow blonde Miss Lolita Haze at Vintage Starlet)  It did take me a while to get to grips (pardon the pun) with setting my hair cold but now t really is my preferred method.

Setting lotions – I’ve tried a few setting lotions in the past and my favourite is Lottabody – the classic purple kind, diluted 4:1 or so. It actually seems to do my hair good!  You can usually find this in ethnic hair shops or or eBay.

Maintaining your colour:

This bit really is for the blondes but a lot of ranges have similar products for other hair colours - I'm fairly sure Redken make a great shampoo for the redheads amongst us.

Blue shampoo – Personally I have the fear regarding brassy yellow hair (even though it suits me quite well – its my working class roots doncha-know!) and so finding something to tone it out is essential.  My favourite product for avoiding the brassies is Proclere Blue Frosting , again available from Sally's, but I have also heard great things about Lee Stafford's range at Boots.   I’ve already tried the hotshots which warm the scalp and these are fantastic for boosting the blue.

Rinses:  You can also buy products called "rinses" which last only one wash, for example La Roux – Fancifull.  Another recommendation from the wonderful Miss Lolita Haze.  This can be hard to get hold of in the UK and so I tend to rely on eBay.

Other advice and products:
And some final tips that work for me:

Silk pillowcase – this is the one thing I do not think I will ever change!  It has been positively miraculous!  As recommended to me by Billie, my colourist, a silk pillowcase really is a godsend for any kind of damaged hair.  Buying a pair of these has considerably slowed hair breakage at my temples and, as an added benefit, I wake up without pillow creases on my face.  Apparently in the long run sleeping on silk helps prevent wrinkles as their isn't so much "drag" against the skin.  We shall see!  I get mine from eBay but their are companies which specialise such as SilkSkin.  These babies seem pricey but they are 100% worth it and they last for ever!

Oh, and sleeping on silk makes me feel like a princess.  ;-)

Protein treatment – no matter how moisturising your conditioner is you should still regularly give your hair a protein treatment.  This helps prevent breakage, strengthening the protein in your hair ready for all that setting, teasing and brushing out that vintage sets require.

Don’t wash too often - dry and damaged hair needs gentle care and daily washing does it no good.

Trim regularly, even if you do it yourself!

 I hope I've given you some ideas for taking care of your ravaged barnet.  Let me know if you have any other hints and tips - I'm always glad for more ways to treat my hair.


  1. Great post, I have coloured hair but I go darker, will check out Tresemme..I kinda assumed because it is so cheap it can't be that good. Shame on me! x

  2. great tips..I also prefer sponge rollers and perms rods..havent got the hang of pin curls since my hair is so long..a satin pillow is a must.I love your blog :)

  3. ooh, I love the silk pillow tip! Must try this! I have a sister in law who works at Sephora so she gets me oodles of samples. I found that the Fekkai protein mask is amazing for the weekly hair treatment. Pricey if you don't have family to get you the discounts, but as you noted, WORTH IT when it comes to really great products that work and that tend to last a longer time because they are more concentrated and less filled with, well, filler.

  4. Oh, I forgot to mention that I really do think hair texture and health can be a major reflection of your internal health (example: I take fish oil pills every day and find my hair is much less dry since starting my regime. Also, my nails are much less brittle). So, it's sort of an inside-outside plan of attack ;)

  5. I've heard of silk pillows but never tried then, however now you're saying about the wrinkles I think I'll give it a go ;o)

    I have very thick hair and used to have it blonde when I was in my early 20s and it got wrecked so you're doing well! My red hair always stays in good condition, but the fading uuurgh!

  6. Love your blog - great stuff! I've got died and fried blonde hair, so this post is very helpful. First I'm going to check out those Hot Shots!

  7. Oh I hadn't heard the silk pillow tip - will need to try this for myself, how luxurious!

  8. Honestly - the silk pillowcase is the BEST thing I ever did for my hair or skin.