The Best and Worst of Products for Blondes

This is my first year alive on earth of being a platinum blonde. The learning curve is steep after years of black dye, which required essentially no maintenance besides root touch up every 3-4 weeks. But now, I’m up to my ears in products that are intended to repair damage, or to tone my hair to keep the brassiness at bay. Here’s my short list of a product that really works, and one that misses the mark.

Best: Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo. I’ve tried many a purple and blue shampoo since bayalaging my hair, but this shampoo is the only one that’s caused me to do a double take in the mirror after my hair’s dried. It really works! It looked as though I had just re-toned it. Not only that, but the toned, silvery-blonde color actually persisted for the next few days after use, instead of reverting back to brassy by the end of the day.

Of course, the reason this product works so well is because it is super-concentrated. Despite the fact you wash this product out after 2-3 minutes, it still takes a toll on your hair — it may feel a bit rough and dry, not unlike the results of a regular toner, although to a much lesser extent (it’s recommended to keep shampooing to a minimum anyways when you bleach your hair). Another thing I don’t love about this product is that isopropyl and benzyl alcohol both make an appearance, which may also contribute to the drying effect.

Still, if you feel like your hair is in a healthy enough state and you’re ready to stamp out some brassiness without completely re-toning, I absolutely recommend this $10 buy.

Worst: It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in for Blondes. This smells nice, but does it work? Only if you love crunchy hair! Even if are a light-handed spritzer, and you comb this through your hair in hopes of distributing evenly, this will cause your hair to clump up. A leave-in conditioner should be a little bit lighter, and less waxy than this one is.

I also didn’t experience that this product neutralized any brassiness at all, of any color. In fact, I think it almost enhanced the areas where a bit of yellow was coming through, which is an issue since my end goal is white-blonde. And, since this leave-in causes so much build-up and sticks around even after you try to wash it out, it seems like this wrecks the white-blonde color long term, or at least until you tone again.

I think this might only be beneficial to users who are trying to maintain yellow blonde, and perhaps have healthier hair that allows the leave-in to permeate the hair shaft more evenly, instead of clumping up. Otherwise, I’d skip this $14 leave-in. Weirdly, though, I still stan the original non-blonde version of It’s a 10 leave-in… ~A

One N’ Only Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo

One N’ Only is a brand I usually skip over at Sally’s due to the weird 80s/90s style branding of their product. C’mon, you can’t tell me this doesn’t look a little dated:

But I’ve been using quite a few of their products lately, and they’re pretty darn good. In another post, I am going to go into extreme detail about their ColorFix product. But for now, let’s focus on this purple shampoo.

While I had bayalage, I tried about six different blue/purple shampoos/conditioners, and Shiny Silver was the clear winner in the shampoo realm. For $10, you get 12.5 fl. oz of product, which is in the cheaper range for blue shampoos — and, considering that you won’t need to use it every day, it will certainly last awhile.

The consistency of this shampoo is just runny enough to easily get the product out of the bottle, but consistent enough to get a good lather out of it. It will make you feel as though you’ve sufficiently applied enough to your hair (which Joico and Pravana don’t do — those two always made me feel like I had to dump out half the bottle to get a good amount of product). After 2-3 minutes of letting this soak into your hair, you can wash your hair out and hop out of the shower without feeling much of a residue.

Now, unfortunately, that “no residue” feeling is likely due to the inclusion of sulfates, so if you’re looking for a sulfate-free shampoo, this ain’t it. Also, the dreaded isopropyl alcohol rears it’s ugly head in the 4th line down on the ingredient listing. For me, isopropyl alcohol usually ensures that dryness will eventually occur, so I try my best to avoid it in skincare and shampoos. But, hey — all in the name of experimentation, right?

Despite the aforementioned quasi-nefarious ingredients, I didn’t feel like my hair was SUPER dry, by any means. I mean, there was already bleach in it to begin with, so the damage had already been done. But this shampoo didn’t make it worse.

I loved this product because the color payout on the highlights was pretty significant. Even though the effects weren’t super long lasting (maybe two days, at most), they were pretty darn noticeable. All the red/copper/orange tones were temporarily cancelled out, and I was able to achieve a more white-silver blonde highlight look, as opposed to yellow-blonde. Which was exactly what I was going for.

Long-term, this shampoo isn’t going to either help or hinder your hair health. It does what it says it will, which is make your highlights brighter and cancel out the copper-tones. And while it’s not the most moisturizing of shampoos (particularly since it has sulfates, which strip out the natural oils), it’s also not going to damage it beyond repair even after a few weeks of sporadic use. All in all, not a bad buy! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5