After getting my hair bleached last week, I wanted to make sure to avoid further damage and accidentally stripping out the toner. The lovely hairdresser I met told me using brands such as Head and Shoulders would easily strip it out , and I’d lose out on the money I paid to get the balayage done in the first place. Because of this, I decided to do a little shopping, not only hoping to find a product which effectively keeps my hair colour the dark blonde it has become but also find a product that may slowly lighten it.

My previous hair post, [*feel free to click this friendly, helpful link*] which is both a review of the hairdressers I visited and a ‘before and after’ post of the results, shows that the colour my hair currently is is nice, but still very far from the colour I wish it to be.

After browsing a local store, I decided to test products from John Frieda, L’Oreal, and Andrew Barton. Here are my options so far…


John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Moisturising Shampoo
Place: Asda
Price: £6.00

Before I begin, I must start off by saying that I never use expensive products on my hair [*which most likely contributed to the straw-like state my hair was in*]. I love a good bargain, and I like to buy the cheapest things I can. However, I also know that this can backfire when the quality is horribly low. On my hair, I normally use a cheap shampoo and conditioner. It’s a weekly swap between Head and Shoulders and those yummy smelling berry products from Alberto Balsam. Sometimes, I’ll try out Herbal Essences, but on the whole I tend to spend a maximum of £2/£3 pounds on shampoo and conditioner.
All of these products I’ve listed are good, I’m not saying they aren’t, but you can’t really expect too much from products you can grab in Poundland, can you?

What I’m trying to say is, using the shampoo and conditioner from John Frieda was quite a change from what I usually get. Normally, I wash and dry my hair and in a day or two it looks greasy at the roots but looks at the ends, but with these products it didn’t turn out that way. From the get go my hair felt extremely soft and looked shinier than normal, so much so that my family members even commented on it. It also smelt divine. It’s hard to describe the smell, other than saying it smells like you have been in a shower for three whole days and you are beyond the cleanest of clean [*not very helpful at all, I know*]. You smell clean, and therefore feel clean.

The shampoo promises to moisturise and activate natural-looking highlights. It can be used on natural or colour-treated hair and offers a ‘full spectrum of natural-looking highlights.’. So far, it has moisturised – that is for sure – but I am unsure if my highlights stand out more than compared to usual, as I stopped using my normal shampoo the day before I got my hair done. Yet, there are a lot of different highlighted shades in my hair, and the blonder sections close to the sides of my neck do stand out against the rest of the tones.

As I tend too wash my hair every three to four days, this product is definitely worth the price duration-wise, as it will last quite a long time for me. This would also apply to the conditioner [*pictured below*] as I try to use the bare minimum and space out the washing of my hair.


John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner
Place: Asda
Price: £6.00

Purchasing the shampoo, it only made sense to also purchase the conditioner. It promises to hydrate and lighten your hair gradually, every time you use it. It recommends daily use to optimise lightening, but it’s just personal preference for me to use it every few days in order to make it last.

The smell of the product is similar to the shampoo in that it is refreshing [*citrus and chamomile*], but is a much weaker version.

I do believe my hair, right now, is lighter than before I started using the product, but in a subtle-hard-to-notice way.

Overall rating of the shampoo and conditioner: 4/5

[NOTE: I purchased the John Frieda shampoo and conditioner in a 3 for 2 deal. This means I got the shampoo and conditioner for £12 in total, and then received the Andrew Barton Heat Protect Spray for free.]


Andrew Barton Protect My Colour Heat Protect Spray
Place: Asda
Price: £3.00

Out of all the products in this blog post, this Andrew Barton product is my favourite! I’ve never really used heat protect spray until now, and oh dear, I should have learned from my mistakes sooner. On the back of this 250ml bottle, it calls itself ‘a hair saviour!’, and it does feel that way. It makes me feel less guilty about all the straightening and curling I do on a night out. Once again, it is another product on this list that smells glorious.

It promises to ‘safeguard your shade’ and is infused with a colour-defending ‘uv filter’. And let me just say, owning this product feels even better knowing I got it for free.

Rating: 4.5/5


L’Oreal Paris Casting Sunkiss Tropical Intense Lightening Spray
Place: Boots
Price: £5.50

Finally, I wanted to share L’Oreal‘s Gradual Lightening Spray. It is 125ml, and states that by leaving the spray in throughout the day it will visibly lighten your hair for ‘long-lasting results’.

I am currently undecided about this product. I do feel as if it lightens your hair, but it leaves it feeling very brittle and rough. It also makes your hair very hard to brush so it probably best suited to those who like their hair to look a little scruffy throughout the day. Another thing that leaves me feeling unsure about this product is its strong, almost medicine-like smell. It reminds me of that infamous medicine every child had to take at least some point in their lives, that tasted awful.

I may use this spray from time to time, when I want my hair looking blonder and beachier than it normally does, but this product has left me split on whether I like it or not.

Rating: 3/5

Have any products you LOVE? Or want to recommend? Leave your advice in the comments!

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