Blondes of all varieties—platinum or golden, natural or dyed—pay attention! This summer, focus on keeping your hair shiny and healthy, since pale hues are more susceptible to damage from both the environment and the salon.
Bleach, the base of most blonde dye jobs, can automatically weaken the hair and its texture, which causes dryness and breakage. Without proper treatment, hair can fall out or look dull. Natural blondes need some help, too, as sun and chlorine cause lighter shades to turn brassy or even green, making hair appear sallow and dirty.
To help you combat those potential dangers, colorist Marie Robinson (of the famous Marie Robinson Salon in New York City), lends her expertise on keeping your blonde brilliant all summer long.
If you're not blonde yet, but want to make the change, Robinson has a few initial words of wisdom. "Before you dye your hair blonde, you should take into consideration maintenance—which depends on how blonde you're looking to be," she says. Most blonde clients take a trip to the salon every six to eight weeks for upkeep. "You'll also need to talk to your colorist and see if your hair is healthy enough and the right texture," she says.
With that said, see more of Robinson's advice below. Take notes!
Protect Yourself on a Sunny Day
"If you're going in the sun for an extended period, there are plenty of leave-in products with SPF," Robinson says, "and, of course, you can always wear a hat." These formulas are basically sunscreens for your hair: they form safeguarding shields around your strands, so harmful UV rays can't penetrate and cause damage.
Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil by Phyto, $30, sephora.com.
Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, $28, aveda.com.
Sun Shield Conditioning Spray by Paul Mitchell, $13, loxabeauty.com.
Prep Before You Hit the Pool
"In order to ensure your blonde stays bright and shiny, you will want to protect your hair before swimming in chlorine," says Robinson. "The easiest way is to wet the hair before, with water, or even spray in a leave-in conditioner to coat the hair before getting it submerged in chlorine."
Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Leave-In Conditioner, $11, carolsdaughter.com.
Green Tea & Calendula Leave-In Conditioning Mist, $24, johnmasters.com.
Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream, $4, garnierusa.com.
Put Down the Shampoo
"Shampooing less often is a good idea, as it strips hair of its natural oils." [Editor's note: But there are some great cleansers especially made for blondes!]
Delicate Volumizing Shampoo with Rose Extracts, $38, sephora.com.
Silver Shampoo by Sachajuan, $31, spacenk.com.
Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Colour Preserving Shampoo by John Frieda, $5, target.com.
Unplug Your Straightener
"Heat styling should be kept to a minimum," Robinson advises, "and remember to always apply a heat protectant product before curling or straightening."
Heat Shield Thermal Spray, $26, yourtheorie.com.
Beat the Heat Thermal Styling Spray by Not Your Mother's, $6, ulta.com.
Caviar Repairx Multivitamin Heat Protectant Spray by Alterna, $30, saksfifthavenue.com.
Slow Down on the Treatments
"Be weary of keratin and smoothing treatments. These treatments should be discussed with a colorist first, because they can yellow blondes." Any texturizing treatment, straightening or curling, should be consulted with your stylist.
Keep a Conditioning Schedule
"To keep blonde locks healthy, it's important to do weekly conditioning treatments and use a light leave-in conditioner."
Colorist Cure Hair Treatment by Osyrium, $55, marierobinsonsalon.com.
Color Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment Masque, $68, shuuemuraartofhair.com.
Sunflower Color Preserving Conditioner, $7, kiehls.com.
Alchemic Conditioner Golden, $29, davines.com.