HAIR | For when your hair feels like a fraying rope


By now you probably all know that I used to have bleached blonde hair. If you didn’t know that, well, now you do. Given my hair is naturally so dark, it was quite a mission to maintain the very pale blonde that I was after. It was an incredibly expensive time for me, and an incredibly damaging time for my hair. I’ll throw in some pictures of what my beautiful stunning perfect post-salon hair looked like, and then what it looked like every day (not so beautiful stunning perfect, no matter how hard I tried). The products pictured above are what kept my hair from dissolving completely!


This is post-salon blonde. So pure, so crisp, no roots, so Instagram-filtery. I honestly think the getting-your-hair-done excitement is mostly about the blowout, though – it looks fab, it feels smooth, and your hair does not look like a frayed rope that has been on a sailing boat for fifty years.

Let’s be real, if you’re colouring your hair, you’re doing some damage, especially if you’re lightening it at all. Your hair will probably feel dry. The thing I didn’t realise, and I think a lot of people don’t realise, is that most of the time bleached hair needs protein more than it needs moisture.

(You can tell whether your hair needs protein or moisture by pulling on both ends of a piece of hair while its wet. If it snaps, it needs moisture. If it stretches before snapping, it needs protein.)


This is a (shitty cellphone) photo of what my blonde hair looked like on an everyday basis. Never quite as good as when I left the salon. What made the difference between it looking like that and looking like complete crap, though, was a shitload of protein-restoring products.

The Redken Extreme CAT treatment (extreme cat! reow!) is a liquid you spray in wet hair, leave to soak and then rinse before using a hydrating conditioner. It doesn’t make your hair feel nice, but that’s kinda how protein treatments work. The bottle lasted forever at about one use a week.

For a much thicker, more intensive treatment I’d use the Phyto Phytokeratine Ultra-repairing mask. The thick creamy texture makes the mask feel like it’s doing some serious repair work on your hair, which is a good feeling if you’re despairing at how much it looks like straw. These treatments are great to focus on the ends of your hair, which is usually the most damaged part as it sees more bleaching and colouring cycles.

Last up is a product I still use at least once a week: the Kerastase Ciment Thermique. What makes this awesome is that it’s heat-activated, so you don’t feel that by blowdrying your hair you’re causing more damage – instead, you’re activating the treatment! It’s a leave-in cream that doesn’t weigh down the hair at all.

It’s important to remember, too, that even if you dye blonde hair darker, it’s still all dead and sad underneath, so you’ve still got to give it some protein love. I’ve only got a couple of inches of dead ex-blonde in my hair now, but I take good care of it nonetheless! Honestly, I’ve never seen good results from at-home/DIY hair treatments – plus I don’t like the idea of sleeping with coconut oil in my hair. Won’t it get EVERYTHING greasy (including my face)? What’s your hair treatment vibe?

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  • Lena

    I’ve done coconut oil treatments but only during the day, and I wear a shower cap like a very glamourous person, so it doesn’t get on my face. I think brunette suits you better than blonde, your hair looks fab now.

    • Thanks Lena, I agree actually – although it was fun to be blonde while it lasted! I don’t usually have the time during the day to be so glamorous but I might give it a try soon 🙂

  • Steph Hicks

    I’ve got blonde highlighted hair and just lately I’ve been using the Redken shampoo from that Extreme range and it’s really good! Also really good are the K-pak products from Joico, and the Absolute Repair range from L’Oreal 🙂

    • Oh yeah, Harriet loves the K-Pak range! Great rec 🙂