Q. I have dark blonde hair and have highlights two or three times a year. I have read some of your advice about keeping your hair colour vibrant which says: ‘After three weeks or so, use a colour depositing shampoo which leaves semi-permanent pigment in your hair’. I’m not exactly sure what these shampoos are, so could you please give me a couple of examples/suggestions? My last highlights (not done by my usual girl who was having her third baby at the time!) have not lasted at all well and I’m having more done next week by my usual girl, thank goodness! So I’d appreciate hearing your comments. 
A. To be honest, if you’re blonde, you don’t want a ‘colour-depositing’ shampoo – but there are other ways to keep your highlights vibrant, and to prevent yellowing or brassiness.  (Colour-depositing shampoos actually have some tint in them – and they are more generally for brunettes or redheads.)  There are a few products that we can recommend:  the first is the John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner, which have a very subtle lightening effect but also help to ‘clarify’ haircolour, keeping highlights vibrant.  We would also point you in the direction of a new treatment from our friend Louise Galvin called Vitox, a vitamin-enriched treatment with two components which you mix yourself at home, producing a white froth (it’s not as scary as it sounds!) which really has an amazing ‘lifting’ effect on highlights (Jo tried it and was blown away. It’s not cheap but it contains several treatments and if it helps postpone your expensive colouring treatment even by a few weeks, what’s not to love…?

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner, £5.89 each for 250 ml at www.boots.com – buy here

Louise Galvin Vitox, £25 at www.louisegalvin.com – buy here


Q. I’m 14 with long hair blonde hair which is naturally curly. I straighten it a lot. I was wondering how ash brown lowlights would look on me?  And any other colours, if not ash brown?

A. Without a webcam, it’s almost impossible to know if this would work for you.  If your skin has pinky undertones (i.e. you’re cool-complexioned), ash can look good – but if you’re olive-complexioned you might want something warmer.  There’s quite a useful on-line toolkit for finding this out at www.my-virtual-makeover.com if you click here.  What we would say is that hair-straightening takes its toll already – and if you have lowlights, you’re then abusing your hair in two different ways.  You need to put back what these two quite damaging procedures take out.

First off, we recommend that you use a protective styling spray to shield the hair shaft from the worst effects Aussie Dual Personality for Straightening Heat Protection.  And not just occasionally, but every time. Secondly, you need to use a regular hair mask, which will help undo some of the damage from using bleach/hair dye.  (These are important whatever your hairtype, but especially for coloured hair.)  Two that did incredibly well with testers for our Beauty Steals iPhone App are Yes to Carrots Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner (we think you’ll love this funky range, and the bottle’s HUGE), or perhaps Tommyguns Colour Save Intensive Masque which – as the name suggests – is ideal for coloured hair.

We’re also assuming that a) your mum knows you’re planning on this (we hereby abdicate all responsibility for the outcome of this!), and b) your school’s cool with it, too!

Beauty Steals Appbuy here

Aussie Dual Personality for Straightening Heat Protection, £4.69 for 150 ml at www.boots.com – buy here

Yes to Carrots Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner, £8.99 for 500 ml at www.victoriahealth.com – buy here

Tommyguns Colour Save Intensive Masque, £7 for 200 ml at www.johnlewis.com – buy here