The other night after watching Wreck-It Ralph with my boyfriend, we met up with some friends afterward. Somehow the conversation of hair care came up as my friend mentioned that she's been trying to revive (or rather keep her hair) moisturized and healthy after dyeing. I told her that I have a few tips so I figured that that would make for a good post.
First of all, I haven't dyed, bleached, or hennaed my hair in a few years. The last time I dyed it was maybe two years ago. I did however dye, bleach, and henna my hair when I was younger (at home) and sometimes with the help of my mom. I've tried Sun-In, hydrogen peroxide, boxed hair dyes, dyed my hair at salons, and of course, bleached my hair as since it's pretty dark. A quick note is that my hair as a child was naturally jet black and lightened over the years so now it's a [very] dark brown.
I'm not going to talk about colouring or bleaching, but rather the aftercare since that is crucial to rebuilding the overall health of your afterward.
Important things to keep in your arsenal of haircare should be the following: masks and oils. It can be any mix of such and it really is up to you what you want to use, but you should have something that is deeply conditioning (it doesn't even have to be a mask, but it should be intense) and oils for daily application. Here are a list of my favourites throughout the years and how to use them:
- Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream. You can use any type of cholesterol and it doesn't have to be Queen Helene (it could just be mayonnaise) but having this around makes things easier on your hair. This particular bottle costs ~$3 and while only a few drugstores carry it in store, almost all of them seem to have it online and you can definitely find it in a beauty supply store.
- If I bleached my hair, I'd wait about an hour or so before applying a thick layer of it on my hair and let it sit for about a full hour.
- If I dyed my hair, I'd follow up immediately with the cholesterol and let it sit for half an hour.
- Every time I washed my hair thereafter, I'd take a tiny amount and work it into the ends (this was because I used to blow-dry my hair, which was also damaging).
- While you should do the intensive masks with cholesterol, do keep in mind that it is a bit harder to wash out so I wouldn't recommend doing it often. An intensive mask used to leave my hair oily for a few days thereafter. This is why I'd recommend working it into the ends if you blow-dry your hair and using something else as a weekly mask.
- Lush's H'Suan Wen Hua. After the cholesterol runs out and you don't see yourself dyeing or bleaching your hair in the near future, it's nice to move to a less intensive mask. H'Suan Wen Hua was a hair mask that I used once a week after the initial deep intensive mask post-salon/dye/bleach/etc. A container of this retails for $20.95.
- Argan Oil. I've used a lot of Argan oil and the one thing I can say is that they all seem to work the same (from the incredibly cheap to the expensive, that is). I have settled on two of them and that is Hask's Argan Oil Shine Treatment and Creme of Nature Argan Oil Gloss & Shine Polisher (you can read my review here). If you find yourself moving away from blow-drying your hair, then the need for cholesterol drops significantly. I'd highly suggest taking up an oil (and that can be any oil you'd like to use whether it's coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, or just a serum in stock at your local store) because your ends needs a bit of help regaining that moisture as it grows out and battles the everyday. Take about a dime size amount and work it into the ends of your hair -- that's all it takes! Hask retails for ~$2 and the Creme of Nature bottles goes for $6-$8 depending on the store.
- Biotin & Vitamin D. You'll read about biotin and how much you should integrate into your vitamin supplement regime if you're growing out your hair. Here's the thing though, biotin is actually just great for strengthening your hair which is why it has become synonymous for growing your hair out. You might notice it growing "faster" but the reality is that it's just strengthening it, which if you're bleaching and/or dyeing your hair, you might want to consider. I add in Vitamin D because even though the results for it helping hair are still inconclusive, I noticed that my hair wasn't exactly disagreeing with it either. By adding in the two of them into my vitamin regime, I've noticed that my hair is a bit stronger and healthier for it. The vitamins vary depending on the count but generally they are about ~$10 per each bottle (in which case it might actually be better to just a Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamin mix).
I am by no means an expert, but I've noticed that these have helped out a lot during my experimental phase.