A quick 411 on maintaining that colored mane
Like most guys and gals who have been exposed to the worlds of anime and K-Pop for extended periods of time, I made the impulsive jump across the hair color spectrum. Actually, impulsive might not be the right word for it. I’d thought about it longer and harder than I probably needed to. One might think I was thinking of investing in real estate or my education and not my thick, black head of hair with the amount of thinking I was doing. Would pink hair suit me? Would something less outrageous be better for a first attempt at bleaching? How much would it cost? In all my rumination, there was one thing I didn’t think about: the upkeep.
Between one failed attempt and finally nailing the color of my dreams, I learned the importance of having the right hair products at home. Shampoos, conditioners, treatments, the works. Having an entire orchestra of color-retaining, hair-protecting products right in your own shower is simply protocol for chemically treated locks.
Like the rest of the beauty realm, the world of haircare can be pretty difficult to navigate. There are plenty of scientific names and unfamiliar ingredients just waiting to be encountered, but right off the get-go, you only really need to know the basics. What does your hair need and, on the other hand, what will do it no good?
Keep your keratin in check
First thing’s first: a crash course in keratin.
There’s a reason why your hair loves this stuff so much: because it’s literally made of it. Keratin is a key protein present in our skin, hair and nails. Despite this, just doing the daily—blow-drying, heat styling, UV exposure—results in keratin loss. What more when we bleach and color, can you imagine? In turn, we get frizz, damage and that nasty broom-like texture that just refuses to be tamed by any amount of brushing.
Now, it’s important to mark the divide between keratin treatments and keratin products. While the former—the hair-straightening treatment that you get done at salons—can come with a hefty order of negatives for the hair, keratin-infused conditioners and treatments are products that exist to smoothen and strengthen your tresses.
Steer clear of sulfate
While products with keratin protein are something of a saving grace in the haircare department, ones with sulfate are the exact opposite.
Let’s set the record straight. On paper, sulfate sounds like it belongs in your hair regimen. With descriptions like “very good in removing sebum and dirt”, sulfate surely could classify as a good thing—if only it didn’t trigger sensitivity and brittleness as a side-effect. A little science TMI: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) are the most common sulfates found in your typical sudsy shampoo. While the laureths are milder on the hair and scalp than the lauryls, all of them can cause irritation. On hair that has been colored and weakened due to chemical exposure, sulfates are bound to be too strong and will most definitely result in stripped color.
Hearing the woes of guys and gals with chemicals living in their manes, Cream Silk adds another star player to its line of ultra conditioners. World, meet Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Color Revive. An affordable addition to your existing regimen, Ultimate Color Revive retails for P259 for 300mL and P149 for a 150mL tube.
CREAM SILK Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Color Revive (300mL), P259
Like its name suggests, this baddie is a match formulated specifically for color-treated locks. It has none of those nasty sulfates and an abundance of keratin—three kinds to be exact. Does it eliminate the need for post-conditioner treatments and remedies? Not exactly. If you want that covetable, silky-smooth texture, then you'll likely have to double up on the product and reinforce it with a weekly treatment. On its own, though, it does a fine job of taming the bleached, the dyed and the unruly.
Art Alexandra Lara