How to Take Care of Frizzy, Bleached Hair

By Nichole Devolites

So let me put some things in perspective about my hair….

  1. I’m 40

  2. I drink a lot of water

  3. I eat a lot of protein

  4. I need a trim pretty bad (as evident in the left picture)

  5. I have naturally red hair, I started dying it black at the age of 24, put highlights in it at 37, and decided to go full-on blonde at the age of 38.

  6. I have super frizzy hair, and always have, which is still evident in humid weather

  7. I’ve had Brazilian Blowout treatments, which have been pretty awesome, and lasted a long time

  8. The bleach has broken a lot of my hair that was overly bleached when I first started doing that

  9. I don’t wash my hair but 1-2 times a week

I share my hair profile with you, because EVERY PERSON’s hair is DIFFERENT. But, if your hair is similar to mine, or you’re interested in trying some new hair products, then read on about how I take care of mine.

Why the color evolution?

Secretly, as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a blonde. My naturally blonde friends were always more confident, and always seemed to have way more fun. I, being a frizzy redhead with lots of freckles, was made fun of a lot, which pretty much ruined my self-esteem until I was a few years out of college. At 24, I decided to dye my hair a completely different color, as I wanted to blend in more and stand out less (which translates to I was afraid I’d look awful as a blonde). I was nearly black for a little over 10 years, and was fine with my choice, though still rather insecure. It wasn’t until I was almost 39 that I decided I was done with the wrong colors, and worse comes to worse, if it looked bad, I’d just color over it again. But, when it happened, I had never been happier and more confident.

Being blonde is something I’ll never move on from - what it’s done for me, personally, is a lot. You have to be happy with yourself first, before it can radiate outwards, and in my case, it was an instantaneous shift in confidence. Still, I went from dark to platinum in a few hours, and after a few months, my colorist and I realized we needed to bring it to a more natural state. Five months ago, my colorist (Nam Nguyen - an award-winning colorist), started doing root melts (which can be seen in the far right picture), which darkens the roots a bit. Now, my hair is perfect.

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You said it breaks. How do you tame the now shorter pieces?

This was the one side effect (and total disappointment) about bleaching all of my hair the first time (note: only the growth and a little bit past that are bleached every 6 weeks, now) - the breakage. It’s growing out (which is the good news), but it certainly has its moments where I look like I stuck my finger in an electric socket. While most people would reach for hairspray, I turn to Drybar’s “Whiskey Fix” Hair Styling Paste. It’s a non-greasy formula, and you only need a little bit to tame the fly-aways! You may be able to find the travel version if you search hard enough, which is tiny enough to fit into small purses.

Frizzy hair is the worst! How do you manage it?

I’ve done a few Brazilian Blowout treatments, and for me, they work GREAT, but it’s a bit expensive to do, so I only do it about once a year (right at the start of summer). While results vary, depending upon each person’s hair, it lasts me a good four months (which is all I need in D.C.). However, there are ways to extend the treatment as much as possible, using a few products I recommend below:

  1. Keratin Complex Infusion Therapy Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner ($26) - I wash my hair and apply it, working it through from root to end. I leave it on for about 5-7 minutes and rinse it out. NOTE: To maximize straightening power, start with a L’Oreal EverSleek Keratin Carin Conditioner ($5) first. Work it in, and rinse it out immediately, before working in the Keratin Complex deep conditioner.

  2. Brazilian Blowout Acai Daily Smoothing Serum ($38) - As I’ve learned, a little goes a LONG WAY (and the bottle lasts a long time)! Work it into damp hair and blow dry as usual. It will come out straight, but will feel a bit greasy, which is why I only use it on the most humid of days.

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Detanglers are also great for taming frizz! For the long period of time I don’t have a trace of Brazilian Blowout left in my hair (about 7 months), I turn to other products to help keep frizz down. I still use the conditioning treatments, but include Drybar’s Prep Rally ($23) in my routine. When I got the travel size from Sephora, I fell in LOVE with it immediately! It not only detangles hair, but makes it super soft, and super manageable to dry and maintain. Spray it on when you get out of the shower and use a Wet Brush ($12) to brush it through.



You said you only wash your hair 1-2 times a week? Gross!

Yeah, yeah. Everyone is different. I’m lucky that my hair and scalp stay (relatively) clean, regardless of my workouts. But, when I do wash my hair, I use two different kinds of shampoo, one of which maintains the vibrancy of the color of my hair.


With every wash, I use the L’Oreal EverSleek Keratin Caring Shampoo ($5). And, every other wash, I add Fanola’s “No Yellow” shampoo ($40) to the mixture to get the brassiness out. I then follow that with my conditioning routine. TIP: You only need about an almond-size amount of Fanola, and can add it to any shampoo. Otherwise, it will stain your hands temporarily.

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For root touch ups, in case my roots are appearing a bit limp, I turn to Drybar’s Triple Sec 3-in-1 ($26). It’s really great for post-workouts, or any other time your scalp might feel slightly oily/sweaty, or your roots appear not as “lively”. There are a lot of other dry shampoos on the market, but this one seems to work best.

That’s great that you use all these products, but what tools do you use to style it?

For frizzy hair, not just any tools will do, and it’s taken me a long time to learn that.

It starts with a good wet brush. Growing up, most of us were told we needed to comb out our hair after a shower, oftentimes wincing in pain to get tangles out. The Wet Brush ($12) does a much better (and gentler) job! Used with Prep Rally, the brush will glide right through your hair. Next I pin up my hair in sections and use the Jinri Infrared Ion X Professional Hair Dryer ($50). If you have frizzy hair, THIS IS THE BEST! Ion hair dryers are designed to put dry heat to hair, not recirculate potentially humid air. Thus, it dries a lot straighter. I use Revlon’s largest Pro Collection Ionic Touch round brush ($12) to straighten out my hair as I dry it.

Since my hair will be a bit puffy, newly dried, I use Irresistible Me’s Diamond flat iron ($150) at 375 degrees. I’ve been through several other flat irons, and this one has worked extremely well! I pin my hair up in sections, and slowly go down each section, repeating 2-3 times. I then brush the newly flattened section with Conair® Velvet Touch Large Paddle Brush ($4.50). For those of you with frizzy hair, this brush is EVERYTHING! The bristles are designed to remove dead hair while maintaining a flat, soft look. Any other kinds of bristles for this type of hair will strip out moisture, leaving you frustrated with damaged-looking tresses.

You said you eat a lot of protein and drink a lot of water. What does that have to do with hair?

Believe it or not, a lot. Water, of course, hydrates every part of your being; but protein keeps your hair strong and shiny. Those that have a poor diet, including those that don’t eat enough, tend to have stringy, dull hair, no matter what products they use to try combat that. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet for healthy-looking hair!

Anything else you use that might be of interest?

When  I feel like adding a bit more shine, or I am doing a hair style that requires additional support, I use the above.

Kenra Platinum Silkening Gloss ($22) is great for adding shine, though I think it works better on darker hair to really see the shine. The directions tell you to put it on damp hair, but I’ve applied it after drying, before flat ironing, and it works just as well. TIP: Only 1/2 a drop is needed for each section of hair.

Pureology Colour Stylist Strengthening Control ($18) - This hairspray is FANTASTIC! It has great staying power and is gentle for all hair types.

Kevin Murphy Shimmer.Shine ($23) - This is MEANT for blond hair! When applied as a light mist all over your hair, it looks like spun gold. It doesn’t leave any residue, nor does it feel greasy. Tip: Shake the bottle well before each use.

Yes, it’s a lot of products, and a lot of work, but completely worth it! Let us know if there are any other products you recommend!