If you've followed me for awhile on Instagram, you know i'm a pretty big fan of switching up my hair color. I've been pink, purple, blonde. I've done the ombre, done the balayage. But my biggest change was when i went from brunette to silver.
I had done a lot of research on how long the process would take. I read the articles about how it would do some damage to my hair. But what i didn't look too much into, was what the word, "damage" could actually translate to, and how much baby-ing my hair in that fragile of a state would really need.
I loved my silver hair, but after a year of hardcore bleaching to keep it that white, my hair had reached it's breaking point (literally). Not only did i suddenly have much less hair (it fell out. a lot.). The hair i did have was badly, badly broken. All of the hair underneath my head and by my neck was suddenly only a few inches long.
Naturally, i panicked. And went back into hardcore research mode. I tried tons of different things to help my hair regrow again. Here's what i noticed made the most difference to the point where even my hairstylist congratulated me:
1. Rosemary Essential Oil - I'm not an essential oil person (that is to say, i don't feel positively or negatively about them on a whole), but i swear this helps. I put a few drops into my shampoo and give my scalp a good massage.
2. Loma Shampoo & Conditioner - Broken, bleached hair is DRY hair. I've tried so many different shampoos and conditioners and this brand is LIFE CHANGING. Worth the $ if your hair is in bad shape or always thirsty.
3. Hair Masks - I use a good hair mask in place of a conditioner every other hair wash.
4. Serums - I use RUSK Thermal Serum on days i wash my hair and it's at its driest. I use Brazilian Blowout Acai Dry Oil on all the in between washing days, usually just on my ends.
5. A Silk Pillowcase - Supposedly the best thing to sleep on to prevent further hair damage. With my hair in crisis mode i will sleep on my pillow of silk, thank you.
BABYING YOUR HAIR:
1. Brush your hair. - I was so focused on washing my silver hair minimally to keep the color fresh, i was dry shampoo-ing the crap out of it. This made my ends so dry as the oil from my scalp was not getting to the bottom of my hair. Make sure you give your hair a good brushing to get the oil where it needs to go before dry shampoo!
2. Try wear it down often. - Putting your hair in those high buns and ponytails makes breakage happen even faster. I try to opt for a hat or low pony instead.
3. Watch out for keratin products - While using keratin based hair products can help strengthen your hair, putting too much keratin in will make your hair brittle. Which will then cause more breakage.
4. Minimal heat usage - I only use heat tools once a week, and then try to go with the flow til it's time time to wash my hair again.
Now that you've armed with the tools and knowledge you need, you'll want to figure out what hairstyle/color to do as you won't be able to bleach it again for quite some time. Meet with an experienced hairstylist, explain your journey, and figure out a game plan. You'll also most likely need to trim your hair to all the same length.
One of the nice things about having hair this light was even though my hair was damaged, i kind of had the freedom to go any direction since i was starting with a blank slate already. Me being me, i wasn't ready to throw up the white flag and go back to being a brunette. So my hairstylist and I decided to do a deep teal. Having a dark fantasy color is much less maintenance than going white or pastel. Deeper colors will last longer, i don't need to reach a bleached level 10 for upkeep, and my natural hair color kind of mixes in.
To help space out my hair appointments, i put a little hair dye (a mix of Ion Aqua Semi Permanent Hair Color in Aqua and Ion Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Gemstones Brights Jade) into a hair mask and use in place of my conditioner whenever i feel like it needs a refresh!
I hope that was helpful! Best of luck, and healthy hair wishes to you!