Growing up with a nordic mother, not a lot of value was placed on complex beauty routines.
She was all about the natural beauty: her tips for good skin and hair were pretty straightforward. Get enough sleep, eat good food, drink plenty of water, and always wear sunscreen. (Although, truth be told, that last one was more of a health warning than a beauty one.)
Alas, decades on, I have to be honest – that nordic complexion and hair type has been less about the ‘natural beauty’, and has ended up costing me more money than I care to mention.
You guys, #realtalk: blonde hair is expensive. As any blonde will testify, the costs never seem to stop – there are the foils, the toner, the shampoos and conditioners, the treatments, the trims, the protective products. The styling products. The moisture products.
Oh, THE PRODUCTS…
But you know what? Blonde hair NEEDS IT.
You’ve basically nuked your poor mop with a barrage of bleach and heat, and yet you still expect it to look like a Disney Princess’s mane… naturally? Nup.
Your poor blonde strands are suffering dryness, split ends, irritated scalp, and constant heat styling – to name a few. And after being a devotee of the foil-hat parade for the last decade or so, you can take it on good authority from me that it’s 100 per cent worth investing in great products.
Yep, they’re expensive, and it will be oh-so-tempting to grab a couple of bottles of cheap stuff when you’re next at the supermarket. But trust me, you will end up saving money in the long run when your hair is healthier, stronger, and more resilient.
Shampoo + Conditioner
I was put onto the Original Mineral range by my angelic hairdresser, Deborah Raymond from Papillon Hair in Paddington, Sydney.
The O+M range is fully organic and free from harsh chemicals. For my fine blonde hair, I use the 'Fine Intellect' range of shampoo and conditioners that moisturise, but still leave my hair big and bouncy.
Oh, and they smell like candy bananas. Bonus.
The shampoo retails for $32.95, and the conditioner for $32.95, and you can buy both online at Sephora, here.
Okay, here's the part where you seriously cannot cut corners. If you're blonde, chances are you're doing a fair bit of heat styling to your hair: blow drying, straightening, curling, even just letting it cook under the hot Aussie sun will FRY those strands.
A good quality heat protectant spray will be your knight in shining armour.
I use the Redken Pillow Proof Heat Protectant Spray every time I wash my hair and before I style: just spritz all over, paying particular attention to those baby hairs around your face - they are the first to snap.
Now - write this down - cheapie heat protectant sprays DO NOT WORK. If you're doubting me, spray some on the back of your hand and give it a go with the hair dryer. You shouldn't be able to feel the heat.
It retails for $32.95, and you can buy it online here.
So it's Sunday night, and you're sitting in the bath shaving your legs and wondering what you're doing with your life with a glass of merlot? Well honey, add one more thing to your list because this is IMPORTANT.
Hair mask. Once a week. Every week.
Every. Single. Week.
I use the Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Masque because it smells like heaven, and makes my hair squeal with happiness. It's rich, and creamy, and transforsms my mane from a frizzy shock of fried ends into something that resembles real human hair.
(And you know if they spell 'masque' the fancy way, you're in for a treat.)
And before you freak out, it's actually not too bad - it retails at $35, and you can buy it here.
I hear you: when was the last time you bought a BRUSH? Like, a decade ago? If you're anything like me, you've had the same hairbrush since before Lindsay Lohan was considered a legal liability.
It's time to upgrade, sister. You're going to need two different types: one for combing wet hair, and one for blow-drying.
When bleached hair is wet, it is extremely delicate and can be prone to stretching and snapping. Ideally, you're going to want to let your hair dry naturally before running a brush through it. But if you have a life/job/flatmate/boyfriend/other person who is waiting for the bathroom, you're going to need to brush it whilst wet.
I use this superstar GHD Detangling comb, which is only $12 and available to buy here.
Most hair stylists I know also swear by The Wet Brush, which has a bouncy base and soft plastic bristles to make knotty post-shower hair manageable. Shop that one here.
When I'm drying my hair, I use a GHD round curling brush.
To try and avoid breakage (or getting the brush tangled in my hair), make sure your hair is like, 80 per cent dry before diving in with the brush. If you buy a good quality ceramic brush, it will retain the heat and continue to set your hair even when the hair dryer is off it.
They are $32 and available to shop online here.
Can't go fully blonde? Why not try 'bronde'? (Post continues after gallery)
Serum/ Hair Oil
Blonde hair is thirsty.
Not in the 'damn girl, I need a man' thirsty, but 'give me some moisture NOW' thirsty.
A luxe hair oil or serum will serve to nourish your hair strand, and leave it smooth and silky. Glossy. Frizz free. Shiny.
BUT - be warned: if you go for a cheap knock off, your hair is going to look like an oil slick.
I use the OUAI Hair Oil, which contains exotic bits and pieces like African galanga root extract, ama, borage and baobab oils. (No, I don't know what they are either.)
It costs $43 and is available online here.
Blondes might have more fun...but damn, that fun is expensive.
We speak with Deborah Grevett, blonde expert.