Blondes have more fun….or do they? I can’t lie, ever since I decided to bleach my hair I have been even more in love with my natural hair than before. Didn’t know it was possible but…
I LOVE the way my curls look much more defined now. When my hair was darker all the curls just kind of blended into each other because my curls are SUPER tight. Some added lightness definitely feels more spunky and more like my personality.
Bleaching your hair, especially if you’re natural, is NOTHING to take lightly ladies. I had been pondering on it for weeks. Bleach can be very damaging on your hair if not taken care of properly, so saying I researched this would be an understatement. Of course it helps because that I am a cosmetology student too, having access to more resources and products helped. I did two different strand tests just to make sure my curls could withstand the bleach, and my hair seemed to react fine to it. So I knew I would be alright if I went through with it.
sidenote: aint it RIDICULOUS how short my hair looks CURLY versus straight?! LoL smh, shrinkage is a *BLEEP*
I finally decided I was going to waltz on over the the Toni and Guy Hairdressing Academy and paid my girl Jackie Ochoa a visit to have her do my hair. I’ve always known that they are rockstars with color and formulating so I knew I could trust her. And this is what we came up with! BY THE WAY, I did leave my roots dark on purpose, it’s probably one of my favorite looks. I love the look of two-tone hair colors and since I don’t like to spend a lot of time at the salon I wanted a hair color that could grow out nicely with minimal maintenance. In a year or two since I’m growing my hair out it will just look like a huge curly ombre fro.
The purpose of this post is I wanted to chat with you all a little bit about how my hair care routine has changed now that my hair is bleached for those of you that may have bleached hair or may be wanting to do the same. I’ve almost had to completely change my hair care routine now, as if my hair wasn’t already porous enough it’s even more now! (If you don’t know what porous means, it’s basically a fancy way of saying you’re hair is on the dryer side.)
Products that I never really gave the time of day have now become my holy grail staple items. When I first for my hair done it was blow dried and ironed straight, and getting it back to curly was a little scary as I thought my hair had been damaged, it felt very VERY frail, thin, soft, and weak when I first tried going back to curly. I’m not gonna lie, I panicked a little bit thinking, WTF, I did a strand test, why is my hair acting brand new! But two days later my hair was completely back to normal.
So here’s my staple items and routine, bare in mind it LOOKS a lot more complicated than it actually is. Curly girl problem number 459: using the same products over and over again and getting different results. LOL story of my life! So I find that if I rotate product every so often that have the same purpose I get better results. IE, switching conditioners every other week, switching moisturizers every other day, etc
The FIRST thing I did to get my hair into shape was a PROTEIN TREATMENT. I wouldn’t recommend doing this more than twice a month as too much protein can be very drying for the hair. The Mizani Kerafuse treatment is an intense strengthening treatment that fortifies and strengthens the hair. I would recommend this for both natural and relaxed hair. When I do protein treatments regularly I notice my hair doesn’t shed/break off as frequently, it instantly feels stronger too. I have very dense but FINE hair and after doing a treatment it will temporarily feel more normal to coarse on some parts of my hair. The thing about protein treatments is after you’ve done one your hair won’t feel miraculous; if anything it will feel a little dry, it’s up to you to add back some of that moisture into your hair. The Queen Helene cholesterol treatment is awesome for bleached or over-processed hair. I’m going to make it point to get back to my once a month protein treatment and do a cholesterol treatment at least once every other week.
I rarely use shampoos anymore. Lately I’ve been taking a liking to cleansing conditioners or cowashing (cleansing with a conditioner) as it’s more moisturizing for my hair and doesn’t contain harsh sulfates. This one is from Lisa Rachel. It’s a DEAD ringer for the Wen haircare system and I will be reviewing this product soon. It’s worked wonders for my hair! I cleanse my hair about twice a week.
Speaking of Wen, since trying their system I still have some leftover SixThirteen that I intend to use until it’s gone. Some of my oldies but goodies include the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and Mane ‘N Tail Conditioner. I NEVER fully rinse out my conditioners FYI, I always keep a bit of it in as leave in.
After hopping out the shower and conditioning I’ll slap on some moisturizer. However, this can be a lengthy process since my hair is dense, I take small sections of my hair at a time so it can get moisturized evenly throughout. I’ll go back and forth between the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk (LOVE the coconut smell of this stuff) or the Wella Age Restore Restoring Treatment. The vegetable glycerine I got from Whole Foods and it was only like 5 bucks! I sometimes mix literally a drop of it with my moisturizers per section for added moisture. Vegetable glycerine is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture from the air.
I love the Eco Styler Gel because it really helps to lock my curls in place and keep them looking defined and shiny. It’s alcohol free and won’t have my hair feeling crunchy or dry.
Remember how I said earlier when I first bleached my hair and I tried going back to curly it felt super thin and fragile like? These two products helps restore its thickness a LOT instantly. First the Sebastian Thickefy Foam because it does exactly what it says it does: makes my hair feel thicker instantly. I do about 3 pumps and apply at the roots. And the Paul Mitchel Dramatic Repair for blondes is a keratin pick me up, my hair instantly feels softer and stronger, I get the perfect amount of protein AND moisture in one. This is usually the very last product I will use after I’ve styled my hair and I’m on the way out the door. Sidenote: Shoutout to my girl Azia Sawyer for putting me up on game about the Paul Mitchell stuff 😉
Sometimes to “seal” my ends or at night before going to bed I’ll rub a little coconut oil in my hair. If you think about it, the ends of your hair are years and years worth of old hair so it’s the most fragile and needs the most care. Sealing those ends off ensures the moisture stays locked in and keeps hair from breaking off. This coconut oil I get from Trader Joe’s smells awesome, I use it for my hair and body and it makes my hair feel super soft.
African Shea Butter
Because this stuff is so hard to the touch, I don’t use it for much more than around my hairline area when I’m wearing my hair up and I want to my hairline to stay nice and flat and neat. It’s WAY too hard, and I prefer softer shea butters without any extra additives like this one (I believe someone once told me it’s the palm oil that makes it super hard like that)
Good old fashioned clarifying shampoos like the one I use from Paul Mitchel work to really deep clean the hair and remove any buildup. Because I do use a ton of products in my hair and I don’t use shampoos I make it a point to deep clean it at least once a month, but when I don’t feel like dealing with that I do a vinegar rinse. Mix equal parts vinegar and water totaling about 6 ounces. After I’ve cleansed my hair in the shower I tilt my head all the way back and let the rinse glide through my hair. I’ve leave it in for a few minutes and rinse it out. I THEN ADD CONDITIONER for the simple fact that the apple cider vinegar smells awful. Some people do not advise you to add conditioner after a rinse but my hair can’t do anything without conditioner so that’s not an option for me lol. These you can purchase at your local Whole Foods are grocery stores.
And finally, what would a natural hair routine be without a good ol…
For deep conditioners sometimes I’ll just doctor my own up by taking regular conditioner, adding raw honey and oils and just sit under heat for 30 minutes. But when I don’t feel like doing all that I use the Nounou Pak from Davines. But let’s be honest, this bad boy is like $30 and AIN’T NOBODY got time, or the money, for all that (I got this on discount from my school, but other than that I wouldn’t even bother with that price.) The purpose of deep conditioning is allowing the product to penetrate the hair shaft, as oppose to instant conditioners which just coat the hair or get rinsed out. With that said, really any conditioner can become a deep treatment if you add heat which will then open the cuticle of the hair and allow it to penetrate. I do this at least once a week.
*sigh* doesn’t that sound like a lengthy and exhausting process? lol sometimes it can be lol but it’s not too bad. These are my hair care steps: Cleanse, condition, moisturize, add a little gel and style. I may add in some thickefy foam or the Paul Mitchel Dramatic Repair for some added bounce if need be. At night before I go to bed I’ll moisten my hair with a little water and add a little coconut oil, wrap it in a satin scarf and go to bed. Deep condition once a week and cholesterol treatment once a week. Protein treatment once a month and vinegar rinse maybe every other week if my hair starts to feel too gunky. Dassit!
IF you’re considering bleaching your hair, please do not try to DIY and see a professional stylist!!!! Some things are better left to a licensed cosmetologist and are not to be experimented with. Bleach is one of THE harshest ingredients you can put on your hair and yet time and time again we still do it. All in the name of beauty lol. I knew what I was getting myself into so I already had the right mindset, products and knowledge in place before I decided to go through with it. It’s not something you should rush into or do on a whim. And when in doubt strand test, strand test STRAND TEST. That way you can see if your curls will be compromised after they’ve been bleached.
If you’re natural hair is dark like mine and FINE in texture, also remember it may be more ideal to go lighter in stages maybe over the course of 6 months to a year, or even try highlights. That way you can get lighter in stages and work your way up to that Kelly Osbourne level 10 pastel/lavender blonde…JUST KIDDING 😛 To be quite honest for me considering how much more I have to take care of my hair now for it was still definitely worth it!! Now I’m sitting here thinking, what the heck took me so long?! This blonde curly fro realness is HOT!
Whoever said “blondes have more fun” probably should have stuck to “blondes have more work to do”, however I’m not complaining 😉
And lastly – there seems to be a lot of controversy stemming from being natural and having your hair colored and/or bleached. All I have to say is have several seats. It seems like a lot of women are trying to make being natural some type of exclusive, elite club that only a select few may have the privilege to be a part of. Little do many of them know PROFESSIONAL stylists could care less about all that. My natural hair texture is STILL the same, therefore, I consider my hair bleach blonde natural owning it and proud! Thank you very much!
Happy Bleaching! xo