We know how we’d like our highlights to look: natural, the colour of a child’s hair, full of varied streaky tones, as if it had just grown that way. Recreating that effortless-looking blonde is a challenge for any colourist, but Debbie Bhowmik has it down to a fine art. To her clients at Michaeljohn in Mayfair she is known as the ‘blonde fairy’, owing to her ability to sprinkle magic over her clients’ heads, creating blonde that looks like… your own blonde, whoever you are.
So, once you’ve achieved the perfect hue, how do you maintain your glossy mane? We asked Debbie for her top tips on how to look after highlighted hair once you’ve left the salon.
Start with the basics: use shampoo and conditioner appropriate for coloured or highlighted hair. ‘I always recommend Pureology hydrating shampoos and conditioners,’ says Debbie. ‘Their lovely herbal-based products are sulphate-free, and thus less drying for highlighted hair.’
Not all towels are alike. ‘I always use Aquis towels, since they absorb more water than normal cotton towels,’ says Debbie. ‘You end up rubbing your hair less, which means you don’t disturb the cuticles. And as your hair dries extra quickly, it allows you an extra 15 minutes in bed.’
You may have seen Debbie’s next recommendation on Dragons’ Den: the Tangle Teezer. ‘When highlighted hair is wet it’s especially fragile. The Tangle Teezer slips through pesky tangles without ripping your hair. We use them all the time in the salon.’
Invest in silk pillowcases. ‘Even the best Egyptian cotton dehydrates hair,’ says Debbie. ‘If you’re travelling or on holiday, you can always wrap a silk scarf around your pillow’.
‘My favourite product for all types of colour-treated hair is Philip Kingsley’s award-winning Elasticizer pre-shampoo treatment. It simply makes hair feel like hair again, adding bounce and shine.’