Managing and maintaining bright coloured hair

“Your hair’s so bright! How do you keep it so…..yellow?” It’s a question I’m asked on a near weekly basis, and while the shorthand answer is awkward laughter followed by “Oh I barely wash it” (half true) the truth of the matter is that it’s slightly more complicated than that. And by complicated I mean that having any fashion colour takes work. And money.  If you’re looking to go a bright or a pastel the ugly truth of it is that it takes time and dollar dollar bills to keep your hair healthy and looking it’s fine/fresh/fiercest.

You’re going to want to find a bomb ass colourist you can trust. If you can make your way to a Blow (there’s 2 in Glasgow) I can’t possibly recommend them enough and really can’t imagine anyone else looking after my hair at this point. However what you look for from a stylist may vary so take your time finding your perfect match. After all, your hair is your head suit. You wanna put your best foot forward.

I’m fairly fair so my hair lifts easy and doesn’t need too much bleaching, but it still benefits from a generous Olaplexing (we’ll get to that later) but first you want someone who can acess the damage and figure out the best way to get your hair colour to that pintrest dream you’ve been coveting. I feel like straight up we need to address that no matter how much they insist, no bitch has that pinterest perfect hair. While salons can get pretty damn close with fantasy fades , the colours that are pinned the most are styled, edited and tweaked within an inch of their life. I suppose in short you need to manage expectations. Also, you’re not going to go from a box dye black to Guy Tang metallics in one swift go. That shit takes time, care and a hell of a lot of colour correcting. Be ready to invest if you’re committing to some sexy new colour journey.

I’ve been going to Blow for the last few years so they have a pretty comprehensive understanding of my hair and it’s colour history (especially since they’ve been the babes behind some of my biggest hair changes in that time.) For my Manic Panic sunshine yellow I worked away from blue to a neon green. It was gentler on my hair and I loved it. At this point it’s more about maintenance which means occasional root and colour top ups (every 2 months) and colour top ups (roughly every 6 weeks.)  My hair is regularly exposed to all kinds of chemicals which no matter which way you cut it is not going to make it a happy panda. Luckily there is Olaplex – what can only be seen as a product from the hair gods which helps treat and maintain the hair and reduce any damage. Blow was one of the first salon’s in Scotland to offer this treatment thanks to their real knack of being on the cutting edge of emerging hair techniques and trends. The girls at Blow are flat out the only reason I’m not walking about with bald patches. Left to my own devices? Well Claire of the past had a penchant for 40 vol and falling asleep in it. The fact I managed to evade some pretty severe chemical burns still remains one of life’s great (and blessed) mysteries.

When it comes to at home I have a few carefully selected products that I use to keep my hair from packing its bags and leaving me forever.  Though when it comes down to it I’m a Davines loyalist. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually condition my hair EVERY time I wash it, and part of that is thanks to the Nou Nou shampoo.  Other than being super fun to say, Nou Nou’s shampoo for processed and damaged hair (that’ll be me then) gently cleanses while giving it a bit old nourishment boost with the added bonus of not stripping the colour. Head and Shoulders it ain’t and my hair is all the better and more manageable for it.  I’ll give my hair a once weekly treat with the Nou Nou mask which is this gloriously rich and thick mask that gives your hair all that sweet loving it so desperately needs.  So if you have dry damaged hair and want your hair to a) feel healthy b) smell amazing, get this all in about your barnett. Finally, when I do treat myself to a blow dry (see: 15 frantic minutes with my head upside down and the heat on full) I make sure I put on Your Hair Assistant Primer.  I cannot stress enough the importance of a good heat protector if you have processed hair and this little beauty works a treat. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I totally used to think shit like this was all artifice bullshit (do I really need like a billion hair products? No.) but turns out a few carefully chosen ones discovered through trial and error can make all the difference.

Other than that, it’s the usual. A gal keeps to hand a decent dry shampoo. I’ll wash my hair every 4-5 days and sleek on a Syoss Salonsplex between treatments. I keep any heat treatments to a minimum (I love an air dry of my hair though this is more due to laziness than any misplaced faux beauty guruism.)

Look, I would love to tell you that there is some magnificent easy life hack to the unicorn hair of dreams. I’ll always be a little bit sad seeing my hair wash away down the drain (please stay on my head) but unless I want to invest in a real excellent lace-front wig or embrace my natural blonde (hard pass on both) – bright coloured hair will remain my beauty vice.


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