Earlier this month I went to San Diego to celebrate my birthday with my best friend Gina. During my trip, I popped up to Laguna Niguel to see my cousin Kendall, a recent cosmetology school graduate who’s kicking ass early in her career. I’ve been wanting highlights, and there was no better way to get them than to let my cousin use her new, awesome skills on me!
As expected, they turned out great, and after many years of generally being a very dark brunette, I am now a very ash blonde. I love my new look and it really has me feeling myself on so many levels - getting rid of ugly clothes that don’t go with my shiny new do’, taking the time to do my makeup and hair whenever I’m gonna see people.
However, it is a lot of work and I do not recommend it if you don’t have either the money or the patience to take care of it properly. Here’s what I’m doing to avoid being Hay Bale Head, queen of Brassyland.
"What shampoo and conditioner do you use?"
Your stylist is not asking you this to trap you into buying her products after your service (although, you should buy them because your girl works hard and that’s how you get REAL salon results at home).
Here’s how I look at drugstore shampoo: Its like gas station sushi - just because they sell it there, doesn’t mean you should buy it or consume it!
Sulfates, alcohol, literal water, silicon, all of these are things that pump up drugstore haircare product volume but destroy your hair by stripping it, coating it in a nasty coating, or wasting your money on mostly water. Not all drugstore shampoos are the worst thing in the world, but if you’ve just spent $100+ on a new hair color, why would you not invest a little on better products?
I have been using Function of Beauty since July, and my only complaint is that the conditioner could be more moisturizing, which after talking to customer service should be addressed in my next bottle. I also do not hear complaints, groans, sighs, or shocked pauses when I tell my stylists what I’m using - a good sign!
Click to get $5 off your first Function of Beauty order, on me!
Wait but then I need two shampoos?
Yes - if you go lighter, you may now need a purple shampoo. Purple being opposite yellow on the color wheel means that the purple tones in the shampoo help cancel out unwanted brassy (aka unwanted warm) tones in ashy or platinum hair.
Living in a rural area, I also have extremely hard water, and even with a water softener, I can tell when I don’t use purple shampoo often enough. Hard water makes brassiness worse, so I went with super powerful Finola No Yellow purple shampoo, mixed 1:1 with my normal FoB shampoo
It’s getting hot in here...
As my once platinum blonde sister told me, “You’re really going to have to do your hair now...” I didn’t understand what she meant at the time, but it turns out my hair no longer looks all that great when I let it air dry naturally unmanipulated. Weird.
I have had to learn to blow out my hair, and while it looks fantastic, its time consuming and physically exhausting even with shoulder-length hair. I have my eye on either the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush or the Gold N Hot Professional Ionic Volumizer Dryer and Styler for Textured Hair to help speed up this process - I’m inclined to go with the Gold N Hot as its geared towards more textured hair and is a little more inexpensive.
I am super into IGK Next Level Nordic Cotton Volumizing Volume Mist. I have a lot of hair in quantity, but the individual strands are very fine and easily held down. This mist pumps up my hair and helps it maintain the bounce between washes, which is great since I only wash my hair twice a week if I can help it, and since it does double duty to protect from the heat I can get away with less product weighing me down.
Not into hay bale head? Me neither.
The first time I washed my hair after Kendall had given me an awesome blowout, I was devastated by the texture of my hair after air drying. It felt like absolute shit and for the first time since the bleach went on I started to regret my decision. That’s because I stupidly neglected to purchase a bond builder before washing - don’t be like me.
A bonder “reforms the disulfide bonds that make up the hair, according to colorist Tina Outen“. I do not know much about using a bonding system during the coloring process (I am not a stylist and don’t claim to be one, I just listen and do my research), but I do know that using a bonding product after service is the only way I have found to actually repair my hair, rather than just slicking it smooth between washes.
I have been using IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask spray (why are all of their product names so long) to help repair my hair, and it makes a night-and-day difference.
All in all, I love my hair and actually have been having a lot of fun treating myself to new luxury products and hanging out pampering my mane. I am glad I took the plunge and did something out of my normal choice zone.
Thanks Kendall - see you in December for a touch-up and the holidays!