5 Ways To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy
Sometimes we like our light hair to be dark and other times our dark hair to be lighter. I know I go back and forth pretty regularly, especially with the changing of the seasons. In the springtime, I head to the hair salon for blonde highlights and in the fall it’s time for lowlights to be added.
However, adding highlights isn’t just about being indecisive. When hair is all one solid color it tends to look dull and flat. Highlights create the illusion of volume and depth. They can also frame the face and enhance your skin tone. Highlights are also less damaging than all-over color and much easier to maintain.
But anyone with color-treated hair knows that all that switching back and forth can leave your hair feeling dry and damaged. It would be so much easier to be satisfied with my natural hair, but that would be boring. Since this is something I deal with on a somewhat regular basis I figured I’d share some of the ways I maintain my color and keep my highlighted hair healthy.
How To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy
These are the top 5 things I think should be done to protect your lightened hair and keep your color looking its best.
Shampoo And Conditioner
It’s important to find a shampoo and conditioner that’s right for your hair type. Also, check the ingredients to make sure that it’s a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are a pretty standard ingredient in shampoos and other cleaning products. They’re what’s responsible for creating that thick lather we love. But they also strip our hair of moisture and cause fading of our hair color.
Gently massage shampoo into your scalp. Avoid any rough scrubbing which will cause frizz and lead to breakage. If you have an oily scalp avoid putting conditioner directly on it and instead focus on applying it midshaft down to the ends.
Reduce How Frequently You Wash Your Hair
Over-washing your hair is a big NO. Washing your hair strips the oil from the hair cuticle. Doing this too often will dry it out making it more prone to breakage. Likewise, it will also dry out your scalp. Having a dry scalp will usually result in one of two things. First off, it could leave your scalp feeling tight, itchy, and starting to flake. Not something anyone wants! Secondly, continually stripping away all the oil can cause your scalp to start overproducing oil leaving you with oily greasy looking hair. To break this cycle, slowly start lengthening the time between washes. It may not feel good at first, but your scalp will adjust and your hair will be healthier for it.
Use A Good Quality Hair Mask And Conditioning Treatments
At least once a week use a hair mask intended to help fix your biggest problem. If you’re dealing with breakage and split ends, a treatment like Olaplex can help you. Olaplex works by restoring the broken bonds in compromised and damaged hair from the inside out. Split ends happen for a number of reasons, but is definitely an unfortunate side effect of blonde highlights. The good news is this type of treatment helps repair existing damage, as well as helps prevent future damage from occurring.
If your hair is feeling dry, find a good hydrating hair mask that will help replace lost moisture. Also applying hair oil to dry hair will further help lock in moisture and reduce frizz.
Avoid Heat Styling As Much As Possible
If you’re really serious about repairing damage and keeping your hair healthy, do your best to avoid heat styling tools! For most of us, that’s not going to happen. There are some steps you can take to protect your hair before styling or try and limit how often you style with heat. For example, apply a leave-in conditioner to damp hair before blow drying. Or better yet, let your hair air dry instead of using the blowdryer at all. For normal hair, the temperature on styling tools should remain under 300 degrees. It’s best to try and limit how often you straighten or curl your hair, but be sure to always use a heat protectant spray! I’ve found that if I let my hair air dry and then wait till the next day to curl it, my curls will usually last until I next wash it. Under normal circumstances, I can wash my hair once a week and be fine. I know that doesn’t work for everyone though. So using a dry shampoo once your hair starts to feel oily can buy you an extra day or two.
Sleep With A Silk Pillowcase
The smooth texture of silk allows hair to glide over it without any friction, which means waking up with less frizz and tangles. Also, unlike cotton which is very porous, silk won’t dry out your hair by absorbing its moisture while you sleep. The Slip silk pillowcases are my favorite. I’ve been able to see a noticeable difference in the health of my colored hair since I started using them. Sleeping on silk is also much better for your face when it comes to avoiding wrinkles. This is a major added bonus!
Keeping Healthy Hair
I’ll finish off by saying that I believe anyone can have healthy highlighted or color-treated hair as long as a few extra steps are taken. Once you develop a hair care, and color maintenance routine, it gets easier and you no longer have to put so much thought into it.
If you have any tips or favorite products please let me know in the comments below!