For those willing to take the plunge and lighten their hair (we strongly suggest consulting virtually with a stylist for this or, if it’s safe/possible, to work with a stylist at your home), there are several at-home options. “While it may not be exactly like the salon, it’s so helpful if you are in a pinch or are trying to go to the salon less,” says New York City-based colorist Rachel Bodt. In January, L’Oréal Paris is releasing its Excellence Cool Supreme box dye, a range of hues that come in cool, ashy tones. Each is formulated with built-in technology to prevent your color from going brassy.
PH Plex is an accessible professional-grade three-step plex system that you can use to protect your hair from the ravages of bleach. Compare it to the in-salon lightening plexes (like Olaplex), but this is formulated for easy use by anyone at home. It rebuilds and reinforces the bonds that can easily be broken by bleach, without you, the user, having to do too much work measuring out how much you need to do so. And even if you don’t lighten your hair, you can use steps one and two to strengthen your strands, which, as Los Angeles-based hairstylist Kendall Dorsey tells me over Zoom, is a boon to kinky and curly hair.
Blondes, in particular, need to pay special attention to how they maintain their color. “It’s important to be aware of what tones you’re adding to your hair because [blonde strands] are extra porous, so they will absorb color easily,” says Los Angeles-based hairstylist Laura Polko. “Even using an oil that has a yellow tint such as argan is not ideal for blondes because it’ll turn ends yellow.”
Be sure you are maintaining your color with a purple shampoo and other purple-tinted products. Polko favors the Sun Bum Blonde Tone Enhancer Leave-In Spray, and we like the Best of Beauty-winning Beachwaver Co. BRB Blonde Purple Shampoo and Conditioner.
If you’re looking for easier color maintenance in a gloss, Tresemmé is releasing a set in January. The range includes four hues: a clear gloss, a light blonde, dark brunette, and light brunette option.
Multitasking Scalp Care
Scalp care was big in 2020 as we predicted, and it will continue into 2021. With more people experiencing hair loss and hair maintenance being put into our own hands, it’s becoming ever more important for us to care for our scalps at home. This time around, these products are multitasking, formulated not just to give you a healthy scalp, but to also stimulate hair growth, clarify the scalp and actual hair of impurities, and fortify your strands.