My journey with bleached hair began back in 2014. When I was almost 35, I highlighted my hair and afterwards started to experience severe breakage. I was devastated! My hair became so thin and brittle and I tried many different ways to try to repair it.
It was a few years later, in 2018, when my hair started to show the most regrowth. It was in this year that I started working with Dr. Will Cole and he helped to fix my Vitamin D and iron levels. This had a huge impact on my hair. If you’re experiencing brittle hair, I’d really recommend taking a look at both your Vitamin D and iron levels. Also, look at fixing the thyroid, because if the thyroid is not okay this can also lead to brittle and dry hair.
We then worked together to formulate holi (youth) followed shortly after by holi (mane). Both of these products made a huge improvement to the length and thickness of my hair but I started to see the best results after taking holi (mane) for 3 months. This is when I noticed a drastic improvement in length and thickness. During this time, I also learned the importance of being very careful not to overprocess my hair and regularly cut it to keep it super blunt and keep it healthy. I soon began to see my hair grow back beautifully again and I was so happy.
However, despite all the hard work to make my hair healthy again, I had another terrible experience this summer in Paris when bleaching my hair. The awful bleach completely destroyed my hair, leaving my hair severely damaged again. It was so frustrating for me.
Over the past couple of months my hair has thankfully been on the road to recovery and I’m seeing it repair again thanks to a number of valuable methods, products, and information which I learned from my previous hair breakage experience.
Many of you ask about how I look after my hair and I know I’m not the only one going through this which is why I wanted to share how I’ve been working to repair my bleached hair. These tips have changed my hair significantly.
Choose your dye
Firstly, don’t over-process. Did you know that “bleaching” is the process of literally stripping the pigment out of your hair? It is terribly damaging! The older you get the weaker your hair is going to get and the less the hair can tolerate bleach. My best advice would be to avoid dyeing and bleaching altogether. Take a break from it and instead focus on repairing and hydrating your hair.
If you really *must* dye your hair, make sure you are choosing safer dyes. Permanent hair dyes bleach your hair every time and this continually increases the damage to your hair. Also, most permanent hair dyes contain PPD (paraphenylenediamine), which has a toxicity level of seven out of ten on ewg.org and studies have linked PPD to cancer, and to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
I’d choose to only color the areas which really need it, such as your roots, this means you’ll be exposed to less chemicals and less overall hair damage. My colorist uses Schwarzkopf’s Color Boost Color Vibrancy Booster on my hair and the toxicity rating on ewg.org of this is scored much lower at three out of ten.
I’d also consider looking at a non-PPD formula like Schwarzkopf’s Simply Color Permanent Hair Color which is super nourishing and free of parabens, PPD, ammonia, and alcohol. Another great option is the vegan formula from Tints of Nature which contains 95% natural ingredients. Or, even better, consider using a temporary hair dye as these don’t bleach your hair before applying the color.
The bleaching process
It’s really important to know that bleach should not be left on the hair for longer than 30 minutes and for even less time if you’re only lightening your hair by a few shades. The bleaching process is very harsh as it raises the outer cuticle of the hair, allowing the bleaching agent to penetrate the hair. This makes it more porous and more vulnerable to everything from heat-styling, sun, wind, and the ocean.
During the bleaching process it’s essential that the hair stylist conditions your hair during the treatment. This can be through a Bond Repairing Treatment, strengthening the bonds inside the hair which have been damaged by bleach, and also a Deep-Conditioning Treatment, which helps to add lots of moisture to your hair so that it is less likely to break.
Also, say no to cold rinses, always! Ever notice how hard it is to get a brush through your hair after one? It causes your hair to tear when you brush it and is so awful for it.
I like to keep my hair as nourished and hydrated as possible. I choose to regularly apply a hair mask and really recommend this Inphenom Treatment. This Japanese line of products is great for transforming dry, colored, and bleached hair by reinforcing hair’s water/color pathway, called the CMC (cell membrane complex). It can be used after every shampoo.
I also swear by the ingredients in my holi (locks) and hair (silk) that help to repair and heal the hair. The combination of holi (locks) and hair (silk) is the ultimate hair-care combination. One is a styling serum and one is a treatment oil.
I always advise my friends and family to restore their hair overnight with holi (locks) (sleep in it like you would a hair mask while also applying to your scalp and massaging through to the ends). Then, when washed out the next day, they can style and finish their hair with hair (silk).
holi (locks) has 4 amazing active ingredients that stimulate and encourage healthier looking hair. These include: Redensyl™ , Follicusan™, Capixyl™ and Beracare ARS Hair Serum™. Plus, when I worked with my dear friend, Dara Kaye to develop the holi (locks) formula, Dara brought a bunch of powerful, plant-based ayurvedic ingredients to the table that she thought would be great in the product. I knew instantly that the antioxidant-rich, multi-disciplinary, luxurious ‘Bhringraj oil’- was going to be a key part of the formulation for holi (locks).
Bhringraj, is an ayurvedic herb, that is derived from the sunflower family and its oil has been Ayurveda’s ever-reliable cure-all solution for hair problems in India. It is a true, plant-based medicinal wonder and has really become known for the revolutionary benefits it can bring to the head, hair health and scalp.
Agent’s hair (silk) is formulated with french silk peptides, hyaluronic acid, and monoi as well as an incredible active ingredient called Beracare ARS Hair Serum™ (among others) that is a natural complex packed with properties that promote the look of hair follicle revitalization and hydration of the scalp. It’s a great restorative and protective styling serum.
hair (silk) is so special and different from other hair serums because I didn’t use harsh silicones, which dry and destroy the hair, to formulate. Instead of it making your hair great for one day, silk peptides and the oils I chose actually repair your hair over time.
I wanted to ensure the ultimate hair experience, which is why I didn’t use just any peptides, I chose to use hydrolyzed French silk peptides. French silk peptides are 100% natural silk proteins that are derived from the silkworm cocoon. The silk peptides strengthen your hair follicles because this strengthening compound contains cysteine (something not always found in all amino acid compounds) and this cysteine works to support the bonds between keratin molecules, adding to more resistant hair follicles through bonding.
These silk peptides also deliver hydration - they are made up of a combination of smaller aminos, as well as bigger proteins called oligopeptides. This combo deeply moisturizes the hair from within and actually penetrates and absorbs into the bulb of each of your hair follicles individually.
In addition to these hair treatments, I also swear by my collagen powder, holi (mane) - it’s a game changer in promoting new hair growth and strengthening hair. It’s one of my best selling products and has transformed the health of my hair. Hair shedding can lessen within two weeks but overall, I’d say it takes three months. I’ve also noticed I don’t have to wash my hair as frequently.
Be gentle with your hair
Last but definitely not least, ALWAYS be gentle with your hair. It is fragile and should be treated with care. To try to keep my hair from breaking off, I use a silk scrunchie and encourage you not to tie your hair up too much. Also, never use a rubber band on wet hair as this will just rip your hair out.
At night time, I choose to sleep on this heavenly silk pillowcase which is so soft on my hair. It creates less friction on the hair and allows the hair to rest on a gentle surface. Friction disturbs the cuticle layer of the hair, which can cause bed head, frizz and breakage. Silk fibers preserve your hair and skin’s moisture, also preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
When towel drying my hair I am always gentle too and don’t leave my towel on my wet hair for too long. Your hair is more elasticized when wet and roughly drying your hair with a towel can lead to excessive hair breakage and hair fall. The towel’s thick absorbent fibers and weight can pull down on the hair, causing it to break. It is also best to avoid wrapping your hair in a turban.
And finally, at the end of every day, I brush my hair with this S-Heart-S Brush, it’s my favorite brush ever and has been incredible for me. It doesn’t rip your hair out and stimulates the scalp and growth. I can never use a Mason or Sheila brush again after this one.
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST****