Keeping Your Blonde Hair Bright at Home


A few weeks ago, I posted about my recent hair transformation. My stylist, Suzanna, took my hair from a medium-dark warm brunette to a beige/ash-colored blonde. I’ve been absolutely in love with it since we finished it at the end of August, but having blonde hair requires a lot of maintenance. If you’re considering it, just know that it’s a big commitment. It doesn’t help that my stylist ended up moving back home to Las Vegas (I’m still distraught about this), so I haven’t had any root touch ups since August. I know, I know. Thankfully, I prefer a “root-y” looking blonde, and Suzanna gave me several tips to help keep my blonde hair bright at home until I can find someone new to trust with my hair.

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I first noticed that my hair was finally going yellow about a week or two ago. After I got it done in August, I had obsessively been keeping up with my purple shampoo regimen, so the tone held on for dear life for quite a long time. I wanted to go ahead and lighten it back up though, because it was getting to the point where I was skipping necessary washes just to try and keep the tone in.

Now, I totally recommend going to the salon if you have the funds to, but we’re moving in about 8 weeks (I’ll get into that soon), so I wanted to penny pinch as much as possible.

Some of these products will vary depending on the tone of your blonde, so make sure to figure out which toner you specifically need. Here are the products that I used:
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  • Wella Color Charm Toner in T18 and T11
  • Wella Color Charm Cream 20 Volume Developer (The 40 was an accident. I’m assuming that someone put one in the wrong spot and I just wasn’t paying attention. I dumped half of that out and replaced it with water, which will work in a pinch, but I recommend getting 20 or below volume).
  • Generic Purple Conditioner (Works just like Clairol Shimmer Lights).

All of these items can be purchased at your local beauty supply store, like Sally’s. Also, if you have their Beauty Club Card, you can save a few bucks.
*Do NOT use all of these products at once!*

Toning

Toner is a deposit color, so it won’t alter the structure of your hair. The name pretty much says it all–it tones your hair. When your hair starts turning yellow or orange, you will want to put a new toner on it. Typically, this can be done every 4-6 weeks. If you wash your hair daily, you might need to tone more frequently. I try to only wash my hair 3 times a week to help the tone last longer.
For my blonde, I mixed both bottles of the Wella T18 (lightest ash blonde) and T11 (lightest beige blonde) with developer. I accidentally grabbed one 20 Volume Developer and one 40 Volume Developer, but you only need 10-20 Volume. 40 Volume can make your hair super brittle, so I dumped half the bottle out and replaced it with water. Only do that if it’s all you’ve got and you’re in a pinch.

IMG_9456This was the day after I toned my hair. I let it air dry overnight and straightened it the following morning. Some pieces are grey/lavender, but that does fade after 1-2 washes.

Purple Shampoo or Conditioner

Purple Shampoo/Conditioner is very similar to toner with the exception that it isn’t ammonia based. It’s a gentler way to keep your hair color neutralized and eliminate the brassy tones. When it comes to purple shampoo and conditioner, I use mine 3-4 times a week. The conditioner works better for me because I will just leave it on like a mask and go about my usual shower routine, and then rinse it out at the end. They also come in different strengths, so you may have to try a few brands before finding your sweet spot.

Another trick is to add a *tiny* bit of purple direct dye (pravana, etc) into your favorite conditioner to make your own purple conditioner. You can also use a lavender direct dye and apply that like a mask to pull out any brassiness.

And that is my budget-friendly way to keep my blonde hair bright at home! I don’t even think that I spent more than $30 on all of these products, and my hair will look fantastic for a few months.
Until the roots are past my ears…

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