Attention blondes: These 4 little nightmares will make your hair go brassy this summer.

Hello, fellow blondies.

Given it’s officially November, I’m guessing there are a few “I’m going to be lighter for summer!” newbies with us. Welcome. So glad you could join us. And yes, everything you’ve heard about 1. blondes and 2. fun is true.

But there’s something a little bit tricky that comes with being fair-haired in the warmer months. How can I put this… there’s a medium-to-large chance your creamy blonde highlights will end up looking yellow by January. Or orange. Or a yuck concoction of something in between.

It’s not nice. It’s not pretty. And it’s certainly not very fun.

Because I act mostly in self-interest am here to serve you, the beloved reader people, I gathered up the experts, locked them in a room sans light and food, and forced them to share all their blonde-y secrets.

Kidding. Sort of.

Here’s everything you need to know in order to avoid brassiness this summer.

Repeat after me: Chlorine is le devil

Inconvenient, I know, because it’s not like donning a swimming cap is stylish… it just makes you look like a colourful condom.

But according to ze experts, we really, really need to avoid it at all costs.

“Chlorine isn’t awesome for you blondies out there,” Nikki Porter, the salon director of RUBI HAIR Malvern told Mamamia.

“Chlorine is going to make your blonde hair green… and any extra chemicals are always a no-no if you can help it!”

Travis Bandiera, the salon director and master colourist of Royals Hair Hornsby in Sydney, agreed.

“Another thing to keep in mind is the porosity of your hair – lightening hair at any time creates an effect where blonde hair reacts to certain minerals and chemicals,” Travis told Mamamia.

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“This is why when you’re swimming in a pool you need to be careful of chlorine… I honestly recommend if you love your blonde hair choose not to expose your hair to chlorinated water and if you choose to do so use a clarifying shampoo such as MAXI WASH by Kevin Murphy ($38.95) straight after your swim, followed by a hydrating treatment to moisturise your locks.”

Oh, so are the sun and the sea

Dun dun dunnnnnnn.

When it comes to sun and sea salt exposure, blondes also need to be careful. In fact, Nikki recommends “[using] some sort of barrier cream” before going swimming, for instance, a “heavy conditioner or mask”.

“Our hair is actually a sponge so one thing I like to tell my guests is, wet down your hair with tap or shower water before you get it wet in the pool or ocean as it won’t get a chance to absorb as much, and always rinse it as soon as you’re out of the water to avoid the chemicals or sea salt drying into your hair,” the award-winning RUBI HAIR hairdresser said.

Travis said the same, explaining too much sun and sea salt “creates an issue with the elasticity and general texture of blonde hair.”

“This can result in your toner fading faster and ultimately ending in brassy hair,” the Royals Hair colourist said.

While Travis suggests blondies add leave-in product Shimmer.Me.Blonde by Kevin Murphy ($42.95) before any day at the beach, Nikki recommends the Kerastasé Soleil CC Cream ($45.00) to moisturise your hair afterward.


Bin the ciggies and fake tan (or, you know, wear a shower cap)

I’m not going to apologise for begging you to ditch the cigs, but we can all shed a tear about the fake tan thing. Because, yes, it’s true: Nikki broke our hearts by sharing that “yellow oils can tarnish hair over time”, as can “cigarette smoke” and “fake tanning”.

This only applies to those of us who are very light, thank god. But still. STILL.

Listen: Can you dye your hair while pregnant? Bec Judd and Monique Bowley discuss. (Post continues…)

If your hair colour is tarnished by your favourite spray technician, “a nice deep cleansing shampoo like Schwarzkopf Deep Cleansing Shampoo ($40.50) will help out massively”.

The wrong shampoo and conditioner

Ladies, I’m so sorry, but supermarket shampoos and conditioners aren’t going to cut it.

It’s devastating, I know.

“Using anything that is high in sulfates and parabens will likely strip colour faster as those ingredients will mimic what an industrial strength cleanser would do to your hair,” Travis told us.

“I don’t know anyone who would want to use something like Jiff on their hair!”

We need to be limiting how much we wash our hair in general. For those awkward, a-little-bit-oily in-between days, Travis recommends using the Revlon Professional Uniq One Dry Shampoo ($27.95): “It will keep your blonde tresses looking and feeling fresh without that chalky feeling and dry texture – it also acts as a hair deodoriser, so it’s perfect for after your workout.”

Nikki says every blonde who’s dedicated to avoiding brassiness needs to suss out another cool new product on the market called Mr Smith’s Blonde Treatment.

“It’s a bluey/purple based pure pigment that you can mix in with conditioner or use it pure in between shampooing and conditioning once a week. I love it and have made space for it in my shower!”

Okay blondies, got that?

Can someone grab my wallet? Thanks.

For more of Michelle Andrews’ very important hair investigation-ing, follow her on Facebook.