It's fun changing your hair colour at home and once you realise how easy it is, there'll be no stopping you. So, that's all ‘hunky dory’, but getting the colour you want is actually, in some ways, the easy bit. Keeping the colour vibrant and looking healthy requires a little more commitment than just opening the paint box and splashing dye around.

Despite the fact that all Garnier home hair colour products are designed to be as kind as possible to your hair and scalp, adding colour can have a drying effect. This is particularly true of bleached blonde hair; if you want that gorgeous sun-kissed, just-off-the-beach look to stay beautiful all summer long, you need to look after it. Maintenance, people – maintenance.

Here are our bleached hair care tips for maintaining your new look.
1. Use targeted treatments.
Bleaching hair is a chemical process that removes natural pigments from your hair fibres. Bleach occasionally and your hair should soon recover its natural vitality. Successive bleaching, however, can damage those precious fibres and follicles, leaving your hair looking dull. To combat this, use targeted bleached hair care treatments (such as the Olia Supershine Hair Oil) to protect your hair as much as possible, to boost and enhance your pigments, and to hydrate the fibres of your hair overall. We recommend using a sulphate-free shampoo and keratin-rich products to restructure the fibres of your hair.

2: Use intensive treatments every now and then.
Have you noticed that your bleached hair is not quite as supple as it once was? Dryness is another consequence of those bleaching chemicals we were talking about earlier. Your hair loses moisture, and dry hair means brittle hair, split ends and more! But, don't be alarmed; you can prevent your hair from drying out by providing extra nourishment with some intensive treatments and the targeted treatments mentioned above. For example, it's a wise move to use an overnight hair mask once a week or at least twice a month. You might also consider a deep conditioner or a leave-in conditioner once a week; it's all about prevention.

3: Protect your hair from external aggressors.
We can't live in a little blonde bubble. No, really, we can't. The sun, salty seawater, chlorinated swimming pools, pollution, styling tools – your hair has to face many harmful external factors on a daily basis, which are particularly bad news for bleached blondes. We can take precautions though; avoid the sun if you can and stay in the shade – supermodels do. If you can't resist soaking up the sun, wear a hat or scarf to fend off harmful rays. If headgear is not your style then use a specialist UV spray or hair sun cream. Rinse your hair with bottled or tap water before jumping into a pool or the sea and shower straight after to remove any excess salt or chlorine. And lay off those electrical styling tools for a while; if you must use straighteners or tongs, protect your hair first with a thermo-active heat protection spray.

4: Wash your hair a little less.
Contrary to popular belief, washing your hair two to three times a week is plenty. Over-washing your hair, however gently you do it, will sweep away a few of those key nutrients and essential oils that help to keep your hair healthy. So, why not wear a shower cap when showering and give dry shampoo a go? Dry shampoo might sound strange, but more and more women, and men, are finding it a very handy way of taking care of their hair in between washes. If you are one of those people who can't go a day without washing their hair, then use the mildest shampoo you can find. Garnier Ultimate Blends has some brilliant ones infused with an array of natural ingredients.

5: Neutralise the 'bad' pigments.
Don't you hate that brassy, yellowish tone that can turn 'Oh Wow!' into 'Oh Dear!' It's a pitfall of bleaching hair that can be avoided if you know how. The key is to neutralise those undesirable yellow pigments by occasionally using a 'blue' or 'purple' shampoo. Once every four or five washes should do the trick and if you decide to colour your hair after bleaching, Olia Blonde helps to combat yellowing with its state-of-the art neutralisation effect, which targets the problem before it happens.

6: Be gentle with your hair.
After bleaching, your hair needs some ‘TLC’, so be gentle and detangle your hair when it is still wet using a flat brush, as opposed to drying it roughly with a towel. And leave your hair to air dry whenever possible; it’s time to decommission the dryer for the summer.

7. Remember your oils.
For thousands of years, women in warmer climates have used natural oils to keep their hair looking healthy and glossy. Argan oil, olive oil and coconut oil are all specially formulated hair oils that are fantastic for taking care of dry hair, helping to repair and restructure hair fibres with their essential formulations. Apply them like a serum in the evening to the tips of your hair and maybe even indulge yourself with an oil bath once a month to lock in all that moisture. Your hair will look super shiny and feel silky smooth, and your skin will enjoy the treat too.

8: Visit your hairdresser more frequently.
Maybe you go to your hairdresser regularly anyway. But, if you're one of those women who leaves it as long as possible – you're not alone; most of us do – then think again. Good bleached hair care requires constant maintenance, especially if you've picked a shade that's a long way from your base colour, so visit your hairdresser every four to six weeks for touch-ups and keep those split ends under control!

That's it. Eight hair care tips for good bleached hair care that anyone can take on board. If you do, your beautiful bleached blonde hair will last you the whole summer long – and well into autumn too!

GARNIER TO THE RESCUE!

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