Back in the late seventies, going blonde was all the rage. Everyone from housewives to the front-men of rock n’ roll bands suddenly started sporting a blonde mane, and Rod Stewart even insisted that Blondes Have More Fun with his 1978 disco-inspired album.
While we’ve all come to accept that changing up our hair colour now and then doesn’t necessarily make us more fun, we stand by the fact that it does boost our confidence and enhance our overall style.
Blonde is a favourite go-to colour. It can have the same effect as slapping a new layer of paint onto a fading wall – it brightens not just our hair but our facial features, giving us a glowing and youthful look.
Only 2% of the population have naturally blonde hair, seeing as most blondes tend to go darker once they hit puberty. Many questionable products have been used to go blonde throughout history, including pigeon dung and horse urine.
It wasn’t until 1818, when hydrogen peroxide was discovered, that this became and remains, the most popular method of bleaching hair. And while this is the best and safest method for dying your hair blonde, it is quite aggressive – especially on curly hair.
If you’re a natural or have finally worked up the courage to go blonde and are wondering how to best maintain the colour and your curls, here are seven helpful tips and tricks.
No-Poo Shampoos and Conditioners
It’s no secret that curls need a whole lot of love, care and quality products to keep them happy, bouncy and nourished. Curls may look feisty and strong, but they are actually rather delicate and easily prone to breakage.
This is because curls tend to be very dry, making them much more susceptible to brittleness, heat damage and frizz. Add to that a hydrogen peroxide treatment, which dries out your hair even more, and you’ll really have to step up your hair care routine.
One of the best ways to tend to your curls’ hydrating and moisturizing needs, is by opting for no-poo shampoos and conditioners for your regular hair care routine. These shampoos are free of sulphates and other chemicals that strip your hair of its natural oils.
Not only will they help to maintain your natural or dyed blonde hair, but no-poo shampoos will also work wonders on your curls, leaving them feeling soft and healthy, and looking fabulous.
Going to the salon – or turning to YouTube tutorials – for regular trims should form part of everyone’s haircare and maintenance program, but it is essential for curls. Curls are naturally dry, causing ends to split much faster.
Whether your curls are naturally blonde or have undergone a colour treatment, this combo is extremely needy and breakage and split ends will be much more noticeable.
Think of your curls like a plant or a flower. The best thing to do when you see the bottom leaves of a plant breaking or drying out is to cut it right back.
They are sucking the energy out of the healthy parts of the plants; by getting rid of them, the plant can pour all its nutrients and energy into growing strong. The same is true for your curls. Getting those ends trimmed will revive and invigorate damaged hair.
If your curls are dyed blonde, this is also a great way to stop the colour from growing out too quickly and maintaining a uniform look from root to tip.
Strengthening & Growth Promoting Hair Masks and Oils
One of the biggest frustrations curly-haired folk face is the fact that they’re extremely idle – in other words, they take their sweet, sweet time to grow in infuriatingly slow motion. Colour treated hair can take even longer to grow as its integrity has been compromised by chemicals.
A wonderful way to strengthen your curls and promote growth is by regularly treating yourself to nourishing, vitamin-rich oils and hair masks. These aren’t just good for your curls but your soul too – soft and silky to the touch, you’ll feel like the star of a Pantene ad.
For colour-treated textured type 3 or 4 curls, try Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Strengthen & Restore Treatment Mask with organic, fair-trade shea butter. For naturally blonde, loosely textures curls, try the Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask with silk proteins.
A Quality PH Bonder
Many of us curly folk have been put off the idea of colour-treating our hair as we’re aware of how time-consuming it is to properly maintain it. Plus, there’s that other factor to consider: it can have damaging effects on our hair and follicles.
Fortunately, there’s one way to hold on to that salon-fresh look and keep your hair healthy all at the same time. Using a PH bonder during and after the colouring process, will maintain your hair’s natural PH and prevent damage to the follicles.
Products such as the Redken Post-Service pH Bonder, will ensure your curls do not suffer under the colour-treatment process and maintenance. Apply once a week after your regular washing routine to keep your blonde curls healthy and shiny.
Regular Steam Treatments
Heat treatments aren’t the best choice for curly hair, they only end up drying out our hair more. Steam treatments, on the other hand, have the opposite effect.
The same way a good schwitz opens up our pores, a steamer will open our hair up to receiving moisturizing and nourishing goodness. If you’re eager to maintain your curly blonde hair, a hair steamer could change up your curl game forever.
A steam treatment will moisturize your hair from the inside out, especially when used in combination with a nourishing deep conditioner. The steam opens the cuticles, making it the most efficient method for your conditioner to penetrate deeply and effectively.
A Curl-Friendly Box Hair Dye
Going blonde is a commitment, and a pricey one at that. It needs regular maintenance, especially in terms of covering up roots and freshening up fading colour treatments. And not all of us can afford to hit the salon every couple of months.
To save on costs, you can always opt for a box hair dye, as long as you make sure it is curl friendly and made with moisturizing ingredients or that it comes with after-treatments such as conditioners or masks.
Try to go with natural-looking shades. A rule of thumb is, the brighter and funkier the colour, the harsher the ingredients. Avoid the peroxide look in favour of a strawberry or honey blonde, available from many brands that offer gentle and hydrating dyes.
Gentle Loving Care
If you’re a naturally curly blonde or have recently dyed your coils, know that you need to commit to this needy relationship 100% for top, sustainable results.
Conditioning your hair every week isn’t going to suffice – they need regular pampering sessions and gentle, loving care in the form of quality products such as sulphate-free, no-poo shampoos, strengthening hair masks and growth-promoting, nourishing oils.
You must also factor in regular salon visits, unless you have the tools and know-how to trim, steam and dye your hair at-home because, the only way to maintain your curls’ sunny and bouncy look, is by giving them the attention they deserve.