I recently ventured into the ‘denim’ washed hair territory! Exciting, I know. Before this dark switch, however, I was silver, ultra-light lavender, and spectacularly damaged! At least when it comes to my hair- although we could argue other things as well. Let’s stick to a hair article for now.
My hair is fine, thin, and medium brown naturally. I colored it denim black, aka, a violet-blue sheen on dark hair, after bleaching it regularly for the last three years. Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate the ferocity with which my mousy brown hair rejects change.
My first experience bleaching had me doing it twice to get the shade to a light enough blonde. Then I toned. Then I waited. Then I spot bleached again to even thing out. Then I toned. Then I toned again because I was patchy violet. Then I blasted it with clarifying shampoo to fade all the violet. You get the picture.
Before I knew it, I was sitting with my silvery lavender hair (that’s still a bit patchy by the way.) And here’s the deal: it wasn’t frizzy or fried. It wasn’t breaking off, and it didn’t feel like straw. If you know what straw feels like, you’ll find damaged hair to be especially appalling. My ponytail was smooth in all its patchy glory! And after going my denim-dark, my hair is back to smooth and shiny. How?
- Before applying any bleach, saturated your hair with coconut oil. I should’ve done this from the get-go to minimize damage, but alas, I only discovered the magical powers of secretive Rapunzels everywhere after bleaching my hair the first time. Apply your bleach right over the coconut oil, and make sure the oil has been in your hair for AT LEAST 4 hours. I slept in mine then applied bleach the next day when I was spot treating. Your hair will feel significantly healthier.
- Apply coconut oil after bleaching/dyeing your hair. The protein in coconut oil coats your hair strands and fills in weak points. Make coconut oil your nightly ritual for a week after a damaging process.
- Stop using shampoo for a week! Give your hair a break. It’s thirsty and needs all the moisture it can get right now, so give it water, not alcohol. Pump it up with hydration instead of stripping the natural oils further. When you wash your hair, rinse it with water and conditioner.
- Keep on doing deep treatment masks! Coconut oil at night, deep conditioner for 1-2 hours during the day. Happy hair.
- Stop applying heat!! Seriously, put the heat tools away. If you need volume and bounce, wash your hair in the evening, towel dry, let it air-dry a bit, and put in velcro rollers! Now go to bed, wake up the next day, remove rollers, and enjoy the smooth volume! Feel free to do the same with smaller rollers for curls or learn how to pin curl.
- This one’s a biggie for me: Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment. Full disclosure, I’m NOT getting paid/asked to promote/free product. This is 100% a product I started using to make my hair manageable and breakage free. I use the shampoo (smells fine), the protein treatment (smells foul), and conditioner (smells like a man) post-dye/bleach. You can do this before killing your hair with (insert damaging process here), but I only found this product after bleaching. If you read reviews of this thing, it might sound scary and conjure up images of freeze-dried hair snapping off. If you believe you have a brain that operates, you can do this treatment! Just follow directions and do not agitate your hair while the protein treatment is drying/dry! The most repulsive part of this process is the slightly vomit-like smell of the protein treatment. It’s also a bit labor-intensive- but it’s worth it!
And as always, grab yourself some Olaplex, girl. I have the complete system at home that I bought for $250 a while back directly from Olaplex. The salon charges significantly more per treatment that you can do at home regularly.
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