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I have bleached my hair many, many times.
As you can see in the photos, my hair is naturally very dark so, in the past, achieving bleach blonde has been challenging, to say the least – and again, I have done it several times. Anyone who knows anything about bleaching hair, will know that it takes more than one session to get dark hair to the right level. Even after you’ve bleached it the right amount, you still need to tone it. The entire process puts your hair through so much and if you have no idea how to look after it, it’s only going to get worse.
At the end of 2017, my hair was very blonde to the point that it was almost white/silvery. I wanted to keep it at that level but every time I bleached and toned the roots, I noticed the already bleached sections were slowly becoming more damaged and I eventually experienced breakage. I know, hair dressers are probably rolling their eyes right now. I know, I know, that I should have had my hair my professionally done but I think after bleaching it so many times in the past, I got a little too cocky. I have learnt my lesson.
For more back story,
I have been bleaching my hair by myself since I was 16. I have really dark eyebrows and eyes which meant no salon in my mellow af countryside town wanted to bleach my hair because they thought it would look horrific. Essentially, if I wanted it, I pretty much had to do it myself.
In February 2018, I made the executive decision to stop bleaching my hair and dye it back to brunette. Over a month later, I finally got the courage to cut the ends off. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have been less than enthusiastic about the situation. I initially hated it so much, I ended up buying two wigs from Amazon. I am aware it’s a bit ridiculous but I honestly don’t care if people think it’s dumb. I have had long hair for most of my life so I feel uncomfortable having it a short length.
My long-term plan is to keep growing my hair out and cut the ends somewhat regularly. Only once all the bleached/dyed hair is gone, will I even consider bleaching it again and when that day comes, I will almost definitely get a professional to do it.
I am no hair dresser so my advice is very rugged and non-technical. I am not sure if any of the products I mention actually repair bleached hair but I know that they have helped me enhance the appearance and feel of mine. I read a scope of reviews for each product mentioned and unsurprisingly, they are varied. I really advise you to read them yourself before you make a judgement. Certain products mentioned may work on my hair type but not on yours. Long story short, I can’t assure you that they’ll work for you. Ironically, some of the products I speak less fondly of have pretty good reviews – like the Living Proof Shampoo and Conditioner.
All products mentioned are linked below.
My Favourite Product
Verb Hydrating Mask 10/10 – At first I was sceptical because as consumers, we are taught to believe that the more you spend, the better the quality of the product and outcome. Like many, I am hesitant to buy cheap ‘miracle’ products, however, this did not disappoint. It made my hair feel SO soft. For me, the only downside of this product is that it reminded that I had forgotten what soft hair felt like. I have gone back and bought this time and time again. In fact, I am actually going to go to the mall tomorrow and stock up on it.
I only recommend buying these if you have cash to spare – not because their end results aren’t as good as the Verb Hydrating Mask but because the following are a tad more expensive. They are by no means ‘miracle’ products but they did help me a lot. If you can afford them, go for it, they worked for me, but if you have limited funds and really want to improve the quality of your hair, it is not absolutely essential that you have to buy all of the products listed.
IGK Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil 9/10 – Okay, I was so obsessed with product, I ended up using it too liberally and only had it for about a week and a half. It left my hair feeling silky and soft for a long time after I had applied it. I am probably going to buy it again when I go to the mall tomorrow.
Bumble and Bumble Bb. While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Mask 9/10 – What a mouthful. This product is incredible and is definitely worth the money, however, I only got 1-2 applications from the pot so I am a bit reluctant to buy it again. I do recommend trying this though at least once. The mask seems to work for a lot of people. I will probably only buy it again if I have a special event coming up.
IGK Prenup Instant Spray Hair Mask 8/10 – I really liked this product and I used it a lot. In fact, it was the first product I used in my quest to improve my hair. I actually don’t know why I never bought it again. I think I just never got around to it. This product gave me faith that it would eventually be possible, one day, maybe, to have decent hair again. Even though, I loved this product, I preferred the IGK Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil.
Hask UnWined Red Wine 10-in-1 Leave-In Spray 8/10 – Okay, this one isn’t that expensive – it’s about $9. Originally, I bought it as a novelty but it turned out to be pretty impressive. I doused my hair in it at every opportunity and I was surprised that it actually made it feel significantly better. Plus, the smell is amazing. This is definitely an option if you’re out-and-about and need to touch up your hair.
IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel 7/10 – This is a good product, I like it but it’s not my favourite option. Having said that, it’s the only product I still have left which means it has lasted me months. In my eyes, this makes pretty good value for money. I also use this product to keep down stray hairs when I’ve finished styling my hair.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Now, I tried Living Proof’s Restore Shampoo and Conditioner and even though I have linked both below, I was fairly underwhelmed for the price. A 236ml/8 fl oz bottle is $29! The results were good but I never even contemplated buying these products again because I don’t see how I could afford to do so on a regular basis. Needless to say, the reviews on the Sephora website are strong. If you are emotionally ready to pay $60 for products which may not work, by all means try it. It may not be a good option for frequent application but I used both products roughly two times a week so they lasted longer. I have no doubts that they contributed to improving my hair and I would recommend them, however, don’t expect overnight results. I don’t regret buying these products but I don’t think my hair would have significantly improved if I was relying on them solely without the products listed above.
Instead, I have been using the standard Aussie Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s not expensive and it does the trick. Again, I know very little about the technical side of hair but I operate under the understanding that you don’t need to spend $$$ on something you use as frequently as shampoo and conditioner to get results. To clarify, I mean that some expensive shampoos and conditioners over-charge you when a basic bottle could create more or less the same effect.
All in all, I can’t definitively say what will work and what won’t. It’s taken me 6 months to work out what products I like. As tedious as it sounds, it’s just a case of trial and error. One last idea that I didn’t mention is that you can try applying coconut oil to your hair. You’ll have to Google how to do it because there are so many methods you could try. Oh, and I tried to avoid straightening, curling and using a hair dryer. It’s a no-brainer that applying heat damages hair but I thought I should mention it as limiting this definitely prevented further damage.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this!
Dress / Target March 2018
Shoes / Jimmy Choo
Bracelet / Kate Spade
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