It recently came over me: the urge to bleach my hair. Even though I care deeply about using natural grooming products and have created a brand around that, I also love fashion and styling, and always work to strike a balance between those passions. I want to be careful what I put on or in my body, but I also want to experiment with going blond! Therefore, in subsequently treating my over-processed hair, I'm making sure to use clean products and techniques to maintain it since I've already done a pretty intensely unclean thing to my head. Below are my tips of caring for hair damaged due to dye, bleach, heat, relaxer, or sun-damage.
Wash you hair less
I always advocate skipping a washing or two, but it's especially important when your hair is already processed, so that the oil your scalp produces can protect your tired follicles from the elements. In order to freshen up sans shower, I sprinkle a bit of Alder New York Natural Hair Powder on my scalp; the all natural formula means no added stress for my hair.
Trim Your Split Ends
Get rid of those split ends the minute they pop up. Once your ends split, they can't be repaired, and they'll only continue to split up the rest of the follicle, which means your split end will just be split damaged hair in no time. Better to trim them while they're still only a 1/4" in length. Even after a trim, I'll still check my hair weekly and cut off any little ends I see starting to separate.
Avoid Heat styling...
(As much as possible). Trust me, I know how important a heat tool is to get the right look, so this is another reason why skipping the hair washings can be such a good idea. Try to make your blowout or hair curling last longer, because every time you apply heat to already damaged hair, you're just adding to the problem.
Don't Use Sulfates
Sulfates are the reason a shampoo gets all foamy, but as a surfactant, sulfates also separate much needed oil from your hair and wash it down the drain. More and more companies are catching on to just how damaging sulfates can be for hair, so it's getting easier every day to find products that meet this sulfate-free criteria. Make sure that when you do wash your hair, it's with a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
In addition to all the above tips, I like to switch out apple cider vinegar for shampoo when I do wash my hair. It's a great natural cleanser, helps to restore the PH level of your scalp, and, since it's so gentle, won't cause any hair dye to fade. I find it leaves my hair shinier and less frizzy than when I use traditional store bought shampoo.
Use A Natural Oil Hair Mask
About every three weeks, before a traditional hair washing, rub natural oil into your scalp and all the way through to the ends of your hair. Let it sit on your head for about fifteen minutes before you wash it out. I like organic coconut oil because it smells great and is easily accessible, but avocado oil or olive oil are also quite nice as a hair mask.