Just as BeautyTok was beginning to write off blondes as much too cheugy — a slew of it-girls went on to cement ultra-light, sunkissed, Pam Anderson-inspired blonde’s status as thee ultimate hair color of summer. Case in point? Kim Kardashian’s sudden bleach-blonde moment à la this year’s Met Gala has been hardly brief at all, with the multi-hyphenate admitting she’s looking to keep the daring hue through the warmer months. She’s even convinced her beau, Pete Davidson, to match his strands to hers for a hot minute. #CoupleGoals
And although blonde and summer go together like autumn and chai tea lattes (anyone else very much ready for knits and Hocus Pocus season?) — those uniquely harsh elements associated with summer are a recipe for damage, especially for those with salon-treated, bleached hair.
Whether you’ve recently joined the Barbiecore wave or already have your salon appointment in the books, Bustle tapped Jenna Perry, a NYC-based hairstylist and total blonde connoisseur who has worked with the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Dua Lipa, for her expertise on protecting and enhancing your hair’s hue.
Why Summer Isn’t Great For Blondes
What so many people love most about the hotter months — poolside soirées, low-key beach days, salty mermaid hair, endless sun — is actually what’s damaging your hair color. The simple reason? Perry explains, “Bleached hair is the most porous type of hair.”
In other words, blonde hair is prone to soaking up and absorbing everything — which means chlorine, sea salt, and even intense UV rays are a blonde’s worst enemies.
That being said, Perry has some helpful advice for keeping bleached hair looking fresh, while still enjoying the best parts of summer.
Planning on being poolside this summer? Perry offers some tips on keeping your strands as healthy as possible: “Chlorine tends to dry hair out and make it feel unhealthy. It’s super important to use the right products, with key ingredients catered for blondes, to maintain the health of the hair. I always recommend the John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Shampoo & Conditioner for bleach blondes. You can also consider adding in a weekly hair mask to your routine.”
If you, like me, are more likely to be found taking afternoon dips in the ocean (rather than the pool), dry hair isn’t your only issue to look out for: “Saltwater can actually lighten your hair if you are in the sun long enough.” A hack I’ve used for a long time? Drench your hair in coconut oil, allowing your hair to absorb all of the amazing benefits of the oil, rather than damaging salt water. Perry echos those sentiments, sharing: “I recommend using a leave-in conditioner to protect your hair from altering the color. It acts like a barrier to your hair.”
As for the heat — by way of the sun or hot tools — too much exposure is never a good thing: “Any overuse of heat can dry out your hair as a new blonde and actually shift the color of your hair. The UV rays from the sun can turn bleach blonde hair to a yellow color, [so] in this case, it's best to use a purple tinted shampoo and conditioner [with] just enough pigment to cancel out the brassiness that the sun can do to your hair.”
For a quick fix — a chic oversized hat will do the trick.
Ingredient Guide For Healthy Blonde Hair
In terms of ingredients you should try to avoid, Perry admits that parabens and sulfates are “not great for any hair type” — and especially bleach blondes.
As far as ingredients that may benefit those with lightened locks, honey, chamomile tea, and lemon juice are known to softly lighten and enhance blonde hair, and an apple cider vinegar rinse has conditioning properties.
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