You won’t find me denying that my blonde is 100% fake. For one thing, it wouldn’t be a very convincing argument, considering my particular hue and my near-constant roots, but I also just don’t believe in that type of coy pretense. There’s nothing wrong with altering your appearance, and not all of us are born with what we want.
You may imagine that, after enough bleach applications to take my hair from a stubbornly persistent medium brown to a near-platinum, it’s pretty damaged. And I suppose it is, if you don’t take into account what I do to care for it. But the fact is that my hair in all its bleached glory feels much smoother, softer, and healthier than it did pre-bleach.
Even as I started getting into makeup, I was ignorant about how to care for my hair. I used a clarifying shampoo every wash (shudder!), and my habit of blowing my hair dry most days left it frizzy, full of split-ends, and overall thirsty and sad. (“Thirsty and sad” is a good descriptor of a lot of people, incidentally.)
Then I dyed my hair hot pink, over a bleached base, and it became imperative to actually take care of my hair. I bought the L’Oréal Color Radiance Protecting Mask (called Elvive Colour Protect in the UK) for two reasons: to keep the colour in my hair for as long as possible, and to keep it feeling and looking healthy despite being systematically destroyed with bleach.
When I went blonde in April, I put my Color Radiance products away since I was using purple shampoo and conditioner to maintain my hair colour. But let me tell you a (potentially obvious) fact: regular conditioner just does not cut it when it comes to hair that has been bleached eight times.
I pulled out the Color Radiance mask in June, and within two washes my hair felt alive, even though it was objectively more dead than it had been in my entire life. I’ve been using it faithfully since then, every single time I wash my hair, and my bleach-destroyed hair is paradoxically in the best shape of its life.
Because this shit is magical. Seriously, I think there is some sorcery involved in how damn good it is. I brush my hair infrequently because I have wavy hair and brushing it messes up the texture. Sometimes, it can get quite tangled in the back. But when I rinse this mask out of my hair, I can always run my fingers straight through it, no detangling efforts required. It’s soft, it’s smooth, and I have no frizz or split ends. (That also has something to do with the fact that I stopped using heat on my hair, of course.)
The texture of this product is of medium thickness, and can be best described using the very technical term “goopy”. I usually use my middle three fingers to scoop some out of the tub, which is enough to cover my hair. You don’t want too much of it; a little goes a long way! If your hair isn’t super damaged then I’d just apply this to the ends, but I need to cover my hair root to tip because it gets crunchy and dry all over otherwise. The texture thins out a bit about halfway through the tub, but this isn’t a con to me – it still works just as effectively.
So, basically, if you have damaged or dry hair, whether it’s coloured or not, you need this stuff in your life. It’s cheap, a tub lasts forever, and it works. I’m on my third tub, and I will continue buying it until the universe blesses us with something that is somehow even better.
L’Oréal Color Radiance Protecting Mask / Elvive Colour Protect retails for about $8 CAD or £5 for 300mL (10.6 fl oz), making it $0.026 CAD per mL ($0.75 per fl oz) or £0.17 per mL (£0.047 per fl oz), and can be found at any drugstore/pharmacy.
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