Let me start off by saying not all home bleaching is bad. The way I use bleach? You're going to want and give that a miss. I have played it fast and loose with my hair in the past and while blue may have been the healthiest my hair has been in years I decided I wanted to put my through the ultimate endurance test. I wanted to go white.
I've been wanting to go lighter for some time now and I promised myself I would take it slow, under the care of a trained professional. Aided with a mix of dandruff shampoo to strip it and regular conditioning treatments I was convinced I'd be silver by April. This was not to be and I got shall we say, impatient. So I mixed some 40vol, set up my netflix and prepared myself for a home bleaching.
Want to spot where I went wrong there? Other than the way too high concentrate, I left the bleach on longer than I should have. The exact length is lost to the sands of time but historians guesstimate it at being between 60-90 minutes. Feel that? That's your own hair recoiling back in to the roots in horror.
Luckily I had mentally prepared myself to cut off some length (goodbye hair) and had a whole host of conditioning treatments to get me through the night. As I dried my hair with a towel there was definite moments of "This is it. This is the point where I have to chop all my hair off. I've gone too far." Of course, the loss of all my hair didn't in fact come to pass in which I believe is in no small part to the ridiculous and intensive conditioning programme I've put it on. I say programme but what I mean really is various conditioning treatments placed on my head. And it works. Who knew?
Restore and balance from Lush is a bit of a hero product for me. It travels with my everywhere. Every morning it's the finishing touch before going out the door, taming fly aways and generally giving my hair that little bit of refresher. I don't wash my hair everyday - my hair quite frankly can use all the natural oils it can get - and this guy always makes me feel a bit cleaner and more put together while giving my hair some sweet TLC.
Phyto conditioning mask
Not the cheapest conditioning mask but by far one of the best on the market I've used. Creamy and thick, this is a fast acting deep conditioner that is part of my weekly routine. Bonus points for lasting for ages. Made for ultra dry hair....and I mean, ultra dry hair, if this guy isn't already in your bathroom cabinet get it sorted.
Turns out the rumors are true and coconut oil truly s manna from heaven. It happens to be cheap as chips (around £2-3 for a small tub) and smells amazing. The fact it's a multi-purpose product is not lost of me and I love nothing more than using it as a body moisturiser after I've caked my hair in it. And let's make no bones about it. I truly cake my hair in it. While it's maybe not the easiest to work with in either it's solid or liquid form a little really does go a long way. I use this once a week as an intense overnight treatment but still works a treat if have it on for just shy of a few hours. You really have to scrub this beauty out with a good shampoo (Lush shampoo bars are my oil remover of choice, current favourite Jason and the Argan Oil) but it is so very much worth it. Lasts for ages, dirt cheap and worth all the hype. Evey last bit of it.
Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Shampoo & Conditioner
Vegan, colour safe and gluten free (though why a shampoo needs that credential I don't think I'll ever be quite sure of) but this has been a recent and welcome addition to my bathroom. Calming, soothing and super conditioning, this guy is perfect for a bit of hair repair.
For dry, damaged and weakened hair, this is the guy I slip on to my hair if I'm doing any hair treatments. And I mean any. I wouldn't put a hairdryer within 6 feet of my hair without a good old bit of protection. This little guy helps strengthen my hair and while isn't part of my regular routine (I prefer to towel dry more often than naught) but when I do turn up the heat, this guy is more than welcome.
The fact is, I'm never going to get my dream hair overnight, and trying to take short cuts only did a fair whack of damage. It's still got some blue tones at the moment but for now, I'm going to take the slow bath and listen to my head a bit more than my anxious impatient heart.