I had "virgin hair" most of my life. ("Virgin hair" is what stylists call hair that has never been colored or chemically-treated.) Then, at 26, I decided to see if blondes really do have more fun and allowed the talented Emilee Coyle, now at Studio Platinum on Merritt Island, to give me a summer hair transformation. I have since gone from blonde, to blonder, to blondest, most recently under the careful care of Erin at IGK Miami.
I am addicted to being blonde. I look at pictures of myself as a brunette and, while my hair looks healthier—glossier, non-frizzy—the brown tresses don't suit me as well as the blonde ones. I don't look like me. So, I keep coloring it even as I watch its texture change, becoming progressively more dull and frayed from the chemicals as the conditioning treatment washes away from my hair in the weeks after my salon visits.
My mom was the one who made me realize how unhealthy my hair has started to look. Concerned that my hair was a warning sign of poor nutrition, she called an emergency mother-daughter meeting where she brought up her concerns. I quickly reassured her the state of my coif was a consequence of missing salon visits, not meals, and made a mental note to book an appointment with Erin immediately.
Erin's expertise comes at a hefty—albeit, well-worth—price tag so I can't always default to paying her a visit when my hair needs it. So, I have started relying on a three-tiered approach that is affordable and I can do at home to keep my summer hair healthy between visits:
1. Monthly: Hair masks for moisture
At least once a month, ideally every other week, I lather on a hair mask when I get out of the shower, braid my hair, watch an episode of The Americans, then rinse or wash it off. I love Palmer's Deep Conditioning Coconut Oil Formula and, when I'm feeling fancy, the Kérastase Résistance Masque Therapiste. They help my hair against dryness.
2. Weekly: Hair oils for shine
I blow-dry my hair—yes, I finally learned how—once a week. When I do, I help it look soft and silky with hair oils, specifically Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture's Brassica Seed Oil and Kérastase's Elixir Ultime Versatile Beautifying Oil. They both do the trick aesthetically-speaking, but I'm partial to the brassica seed oil because of its cotton candy-like scent.
3. Daily: Thickening shampoo for damage repair
Color-treated hair requires special shampoo to maintain its integrity. I have found shampoos that make my color last, but none of them seem to have done much to repair color damage. That's why I alternate them with Renpure Professional's Coconut Bamboo Thickening Shampoo. It helps with damage repair and I love that it is made from all-natural ingredients—a bonus considering the chemicals needed to keep my beautiful blonde locks.
How do you keep your summer hair healthy? What other advice do you have for counteracting the effects of coloring treatments? What hair products can you not live without? Leave a message below or send me a tweet @ThankYouMiami!