The latest and hottest hair trend at the moment is all things Blonde. Scalp Bleaching, Balayage and Beach Blonde are all highly desired and sitting on most people’s Pinterest Boards, but you have tried and tried and still can’t seem to find a Colourist who can get you to that certain blonde you desire.
But did you ever think it may not be all about your Colourist but more about what you put in your hair, with your main culprit being your shampoo and conditioner.
You have heard hairdressers en mass proclaiming how bad these products are yet the top 4 Supermarket shampoo and conditioner brands make up 50% of the total sales. So we know they are bad but convenience, lack of education and just not being recommended by your Colourist could be all reasons why we reach to the Supermarket, full knowing what we are doing is not the best option for our hair.
But when it comes to being Blonde or going Blonde, could all those little nasties you read about that hang out in your Supermarket (or Priceline, Chemist Wharehouse etc) shampoos and conditioners actually be preventing you from achieving the blonde you desire.
Let’s run through the main culprits and their affect on your Blonde:
Ammonium- Ammonium is derived from Ammonia which is present in hair colour to help lighten hair. It opens the cuticle to let the colour penetrate into the hair shaft. The more ammonia, the more open the cuticle. If the colour is a blonde or bleach, this allows it to penetrate in further, therefore lightening the hair faster. In shampoo it is used as a foaming agent to give the shampoo lather but can also open the cuticle causing damage long term such as tangling and knotting. It is also known to be harsh on the scalp and make you more prone to scalp irritations and burning during the lightening process. An open cuticle means more damage to the hair when lightening and a faster blonde lift which results in more warmth and an uneven result. This lightening is also harder for your hairdresser to control and the uneven nature of lightening can cause breakage in areas with weaker hair or hair that is finer such as the crown and front hairline. This faster lightening can also cause the hair to become warm and heat up, creating more scalp sensitivity and possible burning of the skin. When teamed in a shampoo with Citric Acid or Alcohol this can also have a ‘lightening affect’ on the hair the way lemon juice in the sun does and not only cause your natural hair to lighten but your colour and toner to fade quicker. Avoid any shampoo with the word Ammonium in the first 4 ingredients. Other culprits are Guar Gum and Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium.
Silicones- Silicones have been known to be a big ‘no no’ nasty for a while and is used in shampoos and conditioners to give shine, detangle the hair and stop frizz but basically form a ‘plastic like’ coating over the hair making it feel and look cosmetically great but offers no nutrient values to the hair. Over time the hair starts to disintegrate internally as it isn’t receiving moisture under that coating. This coating prevents the bleach or lightening product from penetrating into the hair shaft, causing uneven and inconsistent lightening. A chemical reaction can occur causing the bleach to heat up, turn to liquid and slip right off the hair. This liquid then becomes dangerous if it comes in contact with the skin. If you have ever sat at a salon with foils in your hair and you have felt the foils heating up or expanding, you can blame the silicone in your hair. Again the chemical reaction can make the colour lift faster, creating a higher risk of breakage. Avoid any shampoo or conditioner with silicone present in the top 4 ingredients. Click here to see a list of the 29 Different Names for Silicone
Sodium Chloride- Yes that is run of the mill Table Salt and they use it in shampoos as a thickener so that big blob you squirt out can sit neatly inside your palm. We all love the way salt water at the beach make our hair feel…at the beach, but we also know the long term damage that salt water has on the hair such as lightening and eroding the hair. This Sodium Chloride is absorbed into the hair when you wash it and long term build up can literally eat away at the hair causing fine, brittle hair. This hair type is particularly dangerous to lighten due to it’s already weakened state and may cause the hair to snap very easily Avoid any products containing Sodium Chloride, including some Sea Salt Sprays.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)- These two nasties are known to destroy the keratin in the hair. Keratin is what hair is made of and it the foundation to how strong and dense the hair shaft is. Basically without keratin, hair will crumble. As hair strength is a key component when going Blonde, these 2 nasties are essential to avoid.
Other known Scalp Irritants- The last thing you want when having bleach or lightener applied is an irritated or sensitive scalp. This can cause discomfort and burning while the product processes. The following ingredients are known causes of scalp irritation: Lanolin, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Synthetic Colours and Fragrances and Alcohol.
So if you are already Blonde or thinking of going blonde it is time to bin those cheap, synthetic products and speak to your Colourist about their recommended products. Please let your Colourist know if you have been using Supermarket products before your colour service because it will affect the way the colour processes and reacts. It’s better to give them a ‘heads up’ first for the safety of your hair and skin. They may recommend a couple of washes with a Deep Cleansing shampoo to remove these impurities prior to colouring.
Either way, now is the time to start prepping your hair. Give it all the love it deserves and your gorgeous Blonde hair will thank you.
Written by Bleachdoll
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