5 Ways To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy
Sometimes we like our light hair to be dark and other times, our dark hair to be lighter. For years I went back and forth regularly, especially with the changing of the seasons. In the springtime, I would head to the hair salon for blonde highlights, and in the fall, I would add lowlights.
However, adding highlights isn’t just about being indecisive. When hair is one solid color, it tends to look dull and flat. Highlights create the illusion of volume and depth. They can also frame the face and enhance your skin tone. Do highlights damage hair? Yes, they do. But highlights are also less damaging than all-over color and much easier to maintain.
Anyone with color-treated hair knows that all that switching back and forth can leave your hair feeling dry and damaged. It would be so much easier to be satisfied with your natural hair, but that would be boring. At this moment, my hair is the closest to its natural hair color it’s been in decades. However, since changing my hair color is something I do on a somewhat regular basis, I figured I’d share some of the ways I maintain my color and keep my highlighted hair healthy.
How To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy
Luckily when it comes to the best way to care for highlighted hair, there is a lot that you can do. These are the top 5 things I think should be done to protect your lightened hair and keep your color looking its best. Continue reading to learn how to keep highlighted hair healthy, shiny, and strong.
Shampoo And Conditioner
When finding the best shampoo for highlighted hair, the first thing to do is find a shampoo and conditioner that’s right for your hair type. Next, check the ingredients to ensure it’s a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are a pretty standard ingredient in shampoos and other cleaning products. They’re what’s responsible for creating that thick lather we love. But they also strip our hair of moisture and cause fading of our hair color.
Because hot water also strips the hair and scalp of natural oils, its best to use warm water to gently massage shampoo into your scalp. Avoid any rough scrubbing, which will cause frizz and lead to breakage. If you have an oily scalp, avoid putting conditioner directly on your roots and instead focus on applying it midshaft down to the ends.
Reduce How Frequently You Wash Your Hair
Overwashing your hair is a big NO. Washing your hair strips the oil from the hair cuticle. Doing this too often will dry it out, making it more prone to breakage. Likewise, it will also dry out your scalp. Having a dry scalp will usually result in one of two things. First off, it could leave your scalp feeling tight, itchy, and starting to flake. Not something anyone wants! Secondly, continually stripping away all the oil can cause your scalp to start overproducing oil, leaving you with oily greasy-looking hair. To break this cycle, slowly start lengthening the time between washes. It may not feel good at first, but your scalp will adjust, and your hair will be healthier for it.
Use A Good Quality Hair Mask And Conditioning Treatments
At least once a week, use a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask intended to help fix your biggest problem. If you’re dealing with breakage and split ends, a treatment like Olaplex can help you. Olaplex works by restoring the broken bonds in compromised and damaged hair from the inside out. Split ends happen for a number of reasons, but it is definitely an unfortunate side effect of blonde highlights. The good news is this type of treatment helps repair existing damage, as well as helps prevent future damage from occurring.
If your hair is feeling dry, find a good hydrating hair mask to help replace lost moisture. Also, applying hair oil to dry hair will further help lock in moisture and reduce frizz. Learning how to moisturize highlighted hair will keep your hair soft and manageable.
Avoid Heat Styling As Much As Possible
If you’re really serious about repairing damage and keeping your hair healthy, do your best to avoid heat styling tools! I know that for most of us, that won’t happen. You can take some steps to protect your hair before styling or try and limit how often you style with heat. For example, apply a leave-in conditioner to damp hair before blow drying. Or better yet, let your hair air dry instead of using the blowdryer at all. The temperature on styling tools for normal hair should remain under 300 degrees. It’s best to try and limit how often you straighten or curl your hair, but be sure always to use a heat protectant spray!
I’ve found that if I let my hair air dry and then wait till the next day to curl it, my curls will usually last until I next wash it. Under normal circumstances, I can wash my hair once a week and be fine. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, though. So using a dry shampoo once your hair feels oily can buy you an extra day or two.
Sleep With A Silk Pillowcase
The smooth texture of silk allows hair to glide over it without any friction, which means waking up with less frizz and tangles. Also, unlike cotton which is very porous, silk won’t dry out your hair by absorbing its moisture while you sleep. The Slip silk pillowcases are my favorite. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the health of my colored hair since I started using them. Sleeping on silk is also much better for your face when it comes to avoiding wrinkles. This is a major added bonus!
How Often Should You Highlight Your Hair?
How often you highlight your hair is a matter of preference. Because highlights are applied from the roots to the end of the hair, you may want to schedule a hair appointment every 6-8 weeks if you have fast hair growth. Lower maintenance options include balayage or ombre, which allow for softer regrowth. And if brassy tones are an issue, purple shampoo can help minimize the problem. Or head to a salon between highlight appointments to get it professionally toned.
Keeping Healthy Hair
I’ll finish off by saying that I believe anyone can have healthy, highlighted, or color-treated hair as long as a few extra steps are taken. Once you develop a hair care and color maintenance routine, it gets easier, and you no longer have to put so much thought into it.
If you have any tips or favorite products, please let me know in the comments below!