How to save your bleached hair

A love letter to fake blondes

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
There are lots of products that can help repair your hair.

At Queens, a lot of students are blonde-haired—and not naturally.

I’m no exception. I’ve spent countless hours of my life sitting in a salon chair, bleaching every last healthy cell out of my head to make my dark hair a bright butter blonde. In doing so, I’ve become quite acquainted with split ends and damaged hair.

Instead of going back to my natural colour as any sane person would do, I curated the best routine for keeping a bleached look while also prioritizing hair health.

Seven, eight, repair

When my stylist reprimanded me for my damaged hair, she encouraged me to buy products to repair what I’ve so badly broken. I originally thought her intentions were simply to make a profit, but after some convincing, I caved and bought them—and I’m so happy I did.   

The Olaplex No. 8 bond intense moisture mask has saved my hair. Meant to be used on a weekly basis, this mask is made up of highly concentrated bonding chemicals that repair broken hair and deeply moisturize any dryness. Put it on while your hair is damp, leave it in for 10 minutes, and then rinse. It’s that simple.

Not only do I feel the difference in my hair, I can truly see it—and so did my stylist after I had been using it for four months.

I pair this mask with the Olaplex No .7 bonding oil. It’s a styling oil that gives your hair shine while controlling frizz and repairing compromised hair.

All it takes is a couple of drops on your hand, and you run it through your styled hair—not so much on your roots, but on your ends. It aids in protection and style.

If you’re serious about working to fix your damaged hair, these two products are my number one suggestion. After using both, I’ve seen a big difference in my hair, and you will too.

Fall in love with Kevin Murphy

Re-adjust the basics: shampoo and conditioner.

Kevin Murphy’s Repair-Me shampoo and conditioner will be your new best friend. They’re high in amino acids and proteins which focus on hydrating your hair, as well as a variety of botanical extracts which work to strengthen broken hair.

The downfall of Murphy’s products is their higher-end price—though your consistent bleaching is more expensive. So, more expensive shampoo with healthier hair or split ends and bad cleansers that make it worse? Pick your battles, my friends.

Be your own stylist

Your biggest enemy is heat styling products. I know everyone wants to look their best each day, but you can accomplish this without straightening or curling your hair constantly.

Instead, create a hair wash schedule that requires no more than 3 wet hair days a week.

Washing your hair too much actually pulls moisture out of it and retrieves oil faster. Washing your hair less often keeps it more hydrated, less oily, and gives you less of a reason to blow-dry and apply heat styling tools.

For the non-hair-wash days, look into easy hairstyles on Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok so you can avoid applying heat. Simple styles like a low bun, high ponytail, or twin braids are perfect day three hairstyles that require no heat and still look amazing.

If you’re going to dance with the devil, at least do it right

I can’t convince you not to style your hair with heat every once and awhile—we all do it. I only ask you take advantage of the safeguards that prevent extreme damage.

Goldwell Stylesign’s Just Smooth heat protectant is your saving grace. A couple of sprays before you blow dry is crucial, but if you’re like me and do the most to prevent damage, give your hair a couple more sprays before you straighten or curl it.

Lastly, buy proper styling tools. A straightener or curler that doesn’t work great and makes you go over your hair more than once is not going to aid in hair recovery. If you’re going to apply heat, make sure you do it in one go. A straightener that really gets the job done is Mint’s Cosmo flat iron


While we should probably unpack our desire to change our appearance, rather than how to maintain the faux colour, it’s important to keep your hair healthy.

Make the changes to improve your hair health. Trust me, both you and your hairdresser will be happy.


Beauty, Blondes, Blondies, hair care, Hairstyles, Health

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