I just posted yesterday about my new 'do, and I am definitely a manic obsessive about my hair. From getting it coloured once a month, styling it for work and trying to maintain its condition, it has my heart (and my purse) broken. I use the following products to try to keep my hair healthy.
Firstly, I strongly recommend all these products if you have similar hair to mine- thick, coarse, wavy, colour processed, prone to split ends and heat damage (I know you are all thinking 'eugh' now!). Most of the products I use and will list below have been favourites of mine for ages and I constantly repurchase them because I feel like these are the ones that work best for me, and boy I go through alot of shampoos and conditioners. In my haircare routine, I have several very separate issues to address, including heat protection, colour protection specific for blonde hair, treating the ends of my hair, clarifying oily roots and hydrating dry ends.
My favourite shampoos include:
These are not the only shampoos that I use, but they are the ones that I have on the go at the moment.
Kerastase Bain de Force- my hair feels as strong as rope after using this shampoo, my hair can be quite brittle and snap and this cuts that right down. If I feel like my hair looks a bit tired or needs to be a bit stronger, I give this and it's matching conditioner Anti-Ciment Usure a whirl in the shower.
Kerastase Elixir Ultime- It is notoriously difficult to get highlighted or coloured hair to shine, particularly hair that is regularly bleached and heat styled like mine is. This shampoo contains some of their marvel wonder oil, Elixir Ultime, and I feel like this adds a much needed shine boost to my hair.
Redken All Soft- I generally don't like my hair to feel too soft because I feel like if it is very soft, it would snap and break. However, during the summer months in particular, I like to embrace my natural waves and I like to use this because I think it leaves nice definition to my natural kinks and flicks instead of leaving them weighed down like some other shampoos tend to do, perhaps due to the argan oil contained within.
Redken Extreme Shampoo- this is my extreme hair fortifier, and I don't use this very often because I can definitely feel a hair build up with this, and I don't reckon that prolonged use of a shampoo with some much protein in it would be good in the long term for your hair.
I go through conditioners at an alarming rate, and did not have a chance to repurchase some of my favourites, but this is what I have on the go at the moment. I generally shampoo once or twice, use a conditioner and then a hair mask over that again when I wash my hair, so in a way, conditioners are the mid step for me in my hair washing routine.
Kerastase Chroma Captive- I got this on recommendation of my hairdresser a few weeks ago, and whilst it did the job, I did not love it as much as I loved my Kerastase Chroma Riche conditioner. This is designed especially for colour treated hair and does help with colour maintenance.
Kerastase Fondant Nutri-Thermique- the packaging is similar to Kerastase Lait Vital but do not get the two confused! Whilst I love Lait Vital, the Fondant Nutri-Thermique is one of the most nourishing and hydrating conditioners that I have ever used on my heat damaged hair. This conditioner is intensely nourishing but does not weigh your hair down, rinses out easily and is specifically designed to be used with heat products because it is thermo-reactive. Amazing.
Redken Extreme Conditioner- like the shampoo above, this is a protein packed fortifier for distressed hair, and if my hair is not distressed, I don't know what is! My hair does feel stronger after using this, but also quite hard, so whenever I use this, I always make sure to follow up with a really conditioning hair mask.
I love a decent hairmask and my hair responds well to regular deep conditioning treatments, so I usually fling one of these in my hair whilst I tend to some other business in the shower, leave it work it's magic for 5 mins or so, carefully wet it slightly to emulsify the conditioner and work it into the hair and then rinse it off completely before wrapping it in a warm (not hot) towel. My favourite masks of the moment include:
Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche- this is a gorgeous smelling thick and creamy hair mask that I apply to the mid lengths and ends of my hair when I want to give it a nice treat. Even though it is quite expensive, a little bit of this goes a long way and your hair will just feel quality after it.
Redken All Soft Heavy Cream- as the name would suggest, this is quite a heavy cream, and again, a little goes a long way with it. This super treatment for dry and brittle hair is packed with argan oil again for deep conditioning, and I use this with the matching Redken Allsoft Shampoo pictured above when I want to embrace my natural waves because I think it gives them a nice texture and definition.
L'Oreal Mythic Oil Nourishing Mask has also been a regular go-to of mine over the last few months. I purchased this at the beginning of the summer in Terrisales and I haven't even gotten down to the half way mark yet- the giant 500ml tub is great value. It smells nice and leaves your hair feeling great. L'Oreal is the more affordable first cousin of Kerastase so if you don't really want to shell out on Kerastase, get yourself to your local professional haircare supply store and pick yourself up one of these bad boys!
The next are treatments I use when my hair is wet.
I have loved Kerastase Elixir Ultime for the longest time, and I cannot remember how many bottles I have had of the stuff by now. Kerastase describe is as a versatile beautifying oil which is spot on- I put this on the ends of my hair when it is wet to prevent split ends or when it is dry to prevent flyaways- whether I wear my hair curly or straight, it just makes everything look so much more polished.
Revlon Uniq One- I reviewed this in detail on the blog already but needless to say, it is still forming part of my daily haircare routine. I have since repurchased it twice in Terrisales, and I still stand by everything I said in my review!
Tigi Catwalk Fast Fixx Style Prep- I spritz this on my hair liberally before I brush it when I come out of the shower, and I think it helps to prevent excess breakage. I've been using this since the days it came out in a blue bottle (somewhere in the region of 8 years I believe- god I am getting old!), so if I am still returning to it and repurchasing it after all this time, it must be a good sign.
L'Occitane Volumising Mist- I purchased this in Paris before Christmas last year, and I spray a bit into my roots before blow drying if I need a bit more lift at the roots. I have alot of hair, I mean it is quite thick, but sometimes I like a little more lift at the roots, particularly before I wear heated rollers or pin some of my hair up. This is a nice lightweight spray consisting of five essential oils, completely silicone free, and smells of mint and rosemary.
Kerastase Chroma Thermique- I am actually surprised that I have not written a review on this already because this is my all time favourite blow dry balm, ie a leave in treatment that I throw on my hair before you blow dry it. Officially, it's a thermo-radiance protecting milk, and this leaves my hair feeling silky smooth and stronger after blowdrying!
I also use some treatments on my hair when it is dry just to add back some goodness following all my heat styling and general environment badness.
Kerastase Fibre Architecte is a fantastic treatment and I have already blogged about it here to get a detailed view of what I think of this product. I am still using it to this day and still hugely impressed with it. This is definitely a repurchase item for me, I have noticed it make such a difference to my hair.
I also use the Kerastase Serum Nuit from time to time when I feel like my hair needs an extra treat. This is an overnight softening treatment with a promised renewing effect for dull, tired looking hair. I got the version for thick hair. I apply a few pea sized amounts in this in the midlengths and ends of my dry hair about an hour before bed, rinse it off the next morning, and my hair feels nicely nourished. I was worried that this would transfer to my pillows etc but I am pleased to report that it leaves absolutely no residue on my pillows. Also, this lasts the longest time ever so I am sure a bottle of this would keep you in business for quite a while, especially if you only use it once a fortnight like I do.
I have talked alot about maintaining the condition of my hair, but as any of you slaves to highlights like myself know, blonde highlights need special colour maintenance to avoid leaning towards any brassy persuasions.
I picked up a John Frieda set in Boots a few months back after reading a favourable review of the Sheer Blonde range, and whilst I wouldn't use just these two products in my hair, I find that they are great for clarifying the colour and making my hair look freshly blondened. Also, the Provoke Touch of Silver Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo and Daily Maintenance Shampoo, with their violet pigments, are great at neutralising any brassiness. These shampoos can be very harsh however so I always make sure to follow up with a decent and nourishing conditioner.
I've been using the L'Oreal Serie Expert Shine Blonde Ceraflash shampoo for years now, following recommendations from my French hairdresser when I lived in France a few months ago. I think it smells nice and fresh like flowers, and leaves my hair stripped of all brassiness.
Finally, the last purple shampoo in my collection is a Lush offering, Daddy-O Shampoo. You can clearly see how violet this is in the bottle! It contains violet, seaweed, sea water, lime juice, coconut oil, fresh lemons and bergamot. The fresh lemons are to cleanse the hair and give it masses of shine. Now I cannot account for shine but I do believe this helps with the brassiness, however I find this shampoo to be quite drying, so you would need to follow up with a good strong conditioner afterwards. Also, I am not hugely gone on the smell (unusual for me to say about a Lush product!).
Finally, I have to mention my favourite two hairbrushes of the moment because since I have started using these, I have noticed alot less breakage. The pink one is a Macadamia No Tangle Brush that I picked up on HQ Hair and the orange one is my beloved Tangle Teezer which is available from a multitude of different outlets, including Boots (where it is about double the price of everywhere else), independent pharmacies and hair salons.
Hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful!