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How Do I Choose the Best Blonde Shampoo?

An apple cider rinse helps keep blonde hair shiny and healthy without damaging it.
Many blonde shampoos deposit subtle amounts of color.
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  • Written By: Elizabeth West
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fair hair, whether natural or bleached, usually needs special care to stay looking great. You can choose a blonde shampoo with blue or purple tones to neutralize brassiness and brighten color. A shampoo that deposits color will not turn your hair blonde overnight, but will eventually enhance subtle tones already present in your hair color. Clarifying shampoos remove product buildup that can dull your light hair. If your hair is colored, the drying effects of the dye process will also need special treatment to maintain good health.

Blue and purple shampoos work on the principle of color theory. They cancel out reds, oranges and yellow tones that can cause blonde or gray hair to look brassy. A blue color in a blonde shampoo counters the copper or orange hues. Violet works by applying cool pigment that neutralizes yellow and gold. Use it sparingly, or you may find that your hair can take on an unwanted bluish or purple cast.

Color-depositing shampoos seek to enhance and preserve the color in your hair. For redheads and brunettes, this effect may be more noticeable. Blonde shampoo of this type tends to lighten only slightly, so if you are looking for a drastic change, you won’t find it here. With extended use, they will usually work to brighten existing blonde tones and subtly highlight your hair.

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A clarifying blonde shampoo removes product buildup from the hair that causes it to look dull and faded. Over time, hairspray and conditioners coat the hair shafts and dim their shine. Most people like to use a clarifying shampoo once a week or so to remove this film. Use a good conditioner afterward, to prevent moisture loss. An apple cider vinegar rinse on a regular basis will also keep dulling residue off blonde hair without causing damage.

Naturally blonde hair picks up colors from environmental factors, and because of its lightness, these can be especially evident. Swimming pool chemicals oxidize copper in the water, turning hair green. A chelating shampoo is designed to remove the discoloration and restore the hair to its normal shade. Blonde shampoo without this formulation won’t remove the color. Hard water can also cause dullness and changes in hue, so a shower filter can be a good prevention tool, along with rinsing the hair after swimming in chlorinated water.

If your hair is colored, you’ll usually need a strong conditioner and a very gentle shampoo to care for it. Colorists have to use a double process to create blonde hair, first bleaching to render pigment colorless, and then depositing the new shade on the hair shaft. The chemicals used are usually quite drying to the hair, so a good moisture-replenishing product specifically formulated for colored hair can be essential. Bleached blonde shampoo may contain blue or purple agents to counteract the yellow color of natural keratin, and a sunscreen to protect it.

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