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Essential Aftercare Tips for Highlighted Hair

Renuka Savant
Getting hair highlights is an easy yet striking way to change your look. But the hair care routine that follows can be a bit of a downer. But it always doesn't have to be so, as this story gives you some simple tips on how to take care of bleached or highlighted hair in the comfort of your home.

But before you color your hair ...

Remember that a pre-color patch test is of utmost importance. Even if you've had no prior problems, your skin can still react to the treatment as a result of hormonal changes, lifestyle changes, or even tattoos. Therefore, always insist on a patch test, 48 hours in advance.
Hair highlights indeed are a very versatile makeover option. You can have them done subtly, or a bit OTT, choose them to be honey hued or fiery red, or go completely bold with a striking blue. You can have them over your crown or go ombre―whatever style you choose, rest assured that it will completely modify your look.
There's no doubting the fact that hair highlights are super duper fun, but it takes some dedication to make them last as long as they can. Since hair coloring is a chemical treatment, little to significant damage has to be expected. However, with the right hair care routine, you can restore and maintain a shiny and healthy mane. We're telling you how.
But before we get to it, don't we all know how we're completely on track and enthusiastic about aftercare treatments in the initial days following the coloring job. Then on, it all goes downhill, and before you know it, those once-glorious highlights end up resembling straw strands.
Therefore, with the purpose of making you more conscientious about your post-treatment routine, here's what actually happens when you color your hair.


Hair coloring treatments comprise alkaline products which allow the color components to penetrate the hair shaft, and deposit the color. Typically, the product performs this action by lifting the cuticle layer of the hair.

New-age hair colors are generally designed to be as gentle as possible, but the basic procedure more or less remains the same.
Therefore, any coloring products you use will leave your hair porous, making it susceptible to dullness, breakage, and overall damage. Bleaching the hair can be far more damaging, since it is a high-lifting agent that intensifies the porosity of your hair shaft to get the desired effect.
This is why it is imperative to reverse the damage inflicted by chemical treatments by rigorously following a systematic hair care routine.


Deep conditioning treatments are inevitable

As your hairdresser is sure to tell you, the first hair wash following the coloring job should be done at the salon. It comprises a deep conditioning treatment to smoother your hair shaft. Ideally, you should not be skipping this, but if for some reason you absolutely have to, do inform your stylist about it.
She will probably hand you some deep conditioning products that you can use at home (these are usually expensive and you won't find them at drugstores). Educate yourself on how to use them and the frequency. This way, you'll end up paying for just the product at one go, instead of spending a whole lot more on weekly sessions at the salon.
Despite all this, do make the time to schedule at least a monthly deep conditioning session at the salon.

Pick the right products

In order to retain the shine of your colored tresses, you need to pick products that are formulated for the same.
These will include shampoos, conditioners (besides the deep conditioning product), and serums that come with a moisture-locking formula. Since your hair has been stripped of its natural moisture, these products go a long way in replenishing it.

Keep away from heat

You've already undergone a coloring job that has dried out your hair.
Therefore, it is imperative that you do not compound the situation further by frequently flat-ironing or blow drying your hair. The heat from these styling tools can strip off the color, reducing the longevity of the treatment.
Avoid using these as far as possible; but if you absolutely have to, make sure that you use a protective leave-in conditioner or serum before you blow dry.
Also, avoid taking hot water baths while shampooing, as it will end up stripping your hair color faster than you can imagine. If you can't tolerate cold water, keep it really lukewarm.

Protect yourself from the elements

Sunlight contains harsh UV rays that can damage your locks.
Avoid staying out in the sunshine for too long, and when you do, wrap your tresses in a cool scarf or a bandana. Carry an umbrella as an extra measure. If you've bleached your hair, ensure that you wear a swimming cap while taking a dip in the pool.
The chlorine added to swimming pool water can cause some embarrassing damage to your hair―including turning it green. If you're planning to spend prolonged hours outside in bright sunshine, spritz a leave-in conditioner which will offer protection from the UV rays.

Listen to your hairstylist

Finally, do know that your hairstylist means well―try to follow her advice as much as you can.
Professional stylists will prescribe the right hair care routine, keeping in mind the texture of your hair and the coloring style which was used. Therefore, it makes more sense to follow their tips rigorously, along with the general hair care routine.