Monday, 8 August 2016

Damaged, Bleached Hair Care Routine.

I've been bleaching my hair since I was 14, I like to think I'm a bit of a bleach veteran by now and while my hair isn't perfect, it could be a lot worse considering the amount of damage I do to it. This isn't just for bleached hair, a lot of these steps will cover how to strengthen naturally weak hair or hair that gets put through a lot with heat. If you have naturally weak hair that is bleached and goes through the GHDs on the daily then this post is particularly perfect for you! I try so many different masks and post shower treatments; but this is just a quick look into some of the products that I think make a massive difference.

Starting with shampoo; where all good hair care routines start. I alternate between a cleansing/reparative shampoo and a purple shampoo so if you'd like me to chat about silver hair care products in the future send me a tweet or Instagram comment (@GraceyOConnell for both)! Aside from that, I've been pretty vocal on my blog that I'm a big fan of Schwarzkopf and I use their shampoos religiously; it doesn't matter which one it is - and I've tried a lot of them! I don't think you need to spend an arm and a leg for all of your hair care, but I do personally notice a difference when I'm not using a couple of Schwarzkopf products on my hair in the shower. I've been using their products for about 6 years now and really saw a change in my hair when I was in France without their products for the year. I feel like everyone has their brand of fancy hair stuff; Kérastase, Redkin, Bumble and Bumble or Pureology for others, Schwarzkopf just covers all my needs.
 If you're looking for a shampoo and your hair is damaged I would highly highly recommend the Fibreforce range. I reviewed it here when I first started my blog and it saved my hair when it all fell out and snapped off (bleach + hair curling catches up on you when your 16 year old self doesn't look after your hair). A keratin based shampoo restores the natural keratin (protein) in your hair and I've loved this entire range for a long time!

The newest addition to my Schwarzkopf shampoo collection is the brand new Fibreflex* and I am so so impressed. It's equally perfect for lightened or coloured hair, especially freshly bleached hair. I got my hair coloured and toned over a month ago, this is the only shampoo I've been using on it since and it has kept my colour looking so fresh, my hair so shiny and most importantly feeling amazingly strong. The Fibreflex range is a whole "in-salon process/treatment" which maintains the structure of the hair (the structure that is typically damaged through colouring). There's a really interesting science behind this range (like most!) and I know Schwarzkopf has spent a lot of time in the research for this. It protects the hair during the colouring process and this hair care is now available at home in your own shower with the shampoo and a colour maintainer. If you have gone through some serious damage through colouring or bleaching your hair then I would highly recommend this; I've noticed a really big difference in such a short space of time.

I think it's so important to use a mask or treatment on the hair if your hair is bleached or damaged. I have tried a lot of masks over the years and I really enjoy most of the Schwarzkopf ones and the Lee Stafford For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length (why... why such a long name?). I recently used up a couple of travel sized Bonacure masks for really damaged hair and I was very impressed, I'd really recommend them for thick damaged hair. I do switch it up and try a different one almost every time, though. If your hair is thinner like mine, I can't recommend the Fibreforce mask (not pictured because I don't currently have a pot, but I have gone through about 4 tubs of this and if you were to try anything from the range I would recommend this!)
The Lee Stafford mask smells like old ladies but I do think it helps with hair growth which is something I struggled with when my hair was at the height of damage; it's something I will continue to buy on 3 for 2 in Boots. Definitely a great product to try if your hair is at that awkward stage where it just won't grow.

If I haven't had time to sit with a mask in but want to add some extra care to my hair I'll go in with a spray-in conditioner. Not a super necessary step but if you're pretty lazy (or you extra like that) I've often just shampooed and gone in with this for a quick hair fix. I've only tried the Fibreforce one again but it just suits my hair so well, and I'm a fan of any keratin based products for your hair.


The last step in my hair care routine is one that happens out of the shower, heat protectant. I am ashamed to admit I never used this in my routine before and it's no surprise I had no hair left on my head when it all snapped off - I don't put any heat on my hair now unless I have a spritz of protector on my locks. I don't find this necessarily reverses damage like the hair treatments do, but this absolutely minimizes further potential damage from heat and just generally makes my hair look and smell better after it's been styled. I'm not super loyal to a particular one, but I always buy it in the likes of Boots and I just need one that can be used on both wet hair before blow-drying and dry hair before straightening or curling. Often they're fine in damp hair but put it to dry hair and it will leave it looking greasy or feeling crunchy. I've previously used a TRESemmé one in a black bottle with red cap, something with keratin in the name and I LOVED it, I'd really recommend it if you're on that keratin band wagon like I am.
Currently I'm using a VO5 one; not a brand I ever gravitate towards but it was upon a friend's recommendation and I have to say I really like it. You have to shake it well before use as it separates slightly but it has a really find shimmer in the bottle when you look up close. This doesn't put glitter in your hair but it leaves it looking SO glossy and swoooooshy. A great bargain buy!

Another item that isn't necessarily a product or treatment but is crucial to keeping my hair in good condition is a Tangle Teezer. I was so skeptical when I first bough it (about 4 years ago...) but I was converted almost instantly. Nothing worse than having that bubblegum feel to bleached hair when it's wet and attacking it with a big paddle brush and pulling hair out like 2 girls fighting over a curry chip outside Supermacs at 3am. I digress; this is fab. I have several dotted all over the house, in my bag, in my room at uni etc. I have actually forgotten it on a trip before and bought one the next day because once you use this little gem you won't want to go back. It minimizes damage on wet and dry hair and makes brushing my bird's nest 10 times easier and less of a (sore) chore.

I wish I could say I was fuss-free with my hair care, but this is a total lie. I like to think of it as a nice extra pampering beauty step. I love saving up to get my hair done in a salon and I don't see the point in spending money getting your hair done once only to not look after it when you get home - it's a two way street when you colour your hair. I also know that because of the nature of my hair it does need a little extra TLC. What are your hair must-haves for damaged locks? Let me know below and we'll all swoosh and swish our hairs together like a L'Oréal "Because You're Worth It" squad.