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Be Smart About Bleach!

Be Smart About Bleach!

Golden highlights, soft balayage, icy platinum… it’s finally summer, which means it’s time for blonde, blonde and more blonde! (Or, if you’re a hair stylist – bleach, bleach and more bleach!) Despite it’s bad reputation for causing damage, we at Paul Joseph Professional know that hair lightening is a major part of the beauty industry (and it’s not going anywhere!), so we have some tips and products to help you protect your bleached hair this summer and all year long!


  1. PREPARATION! Prior to any color or chemical treatment on your hair, it’s important to start with a clean, pure canvas. Product buildup and environmental pollutants (ie. smoke, dirt, etc.) can prevent the treatment/bleach/color from fully penetrating the cuticle, leaving you with less than ideal results that will fade quickly. Therefore, we recommend using a moisturizing clarifying shampoo to strip away impurities left on your hair and scalp without over-drying. If you use a shampoo that doesn’t replenish your hair’s moisture, the bleach will dry you out more, causing breakage, dullness or even hair loss.

    We recommend using REAL CLEAR Clarifying Shampoo prior to any bleach services. It’s mild yet effective and contains the patented “LUSTRE  X” – a conditioning agent which will keep even the driest hair soft and  manageable.


  1. PROTECTION! Once you achieve the blonde of your dreams, you’re going to want to maintain it as long as possible – the less you have to touch it up, the less damage you’ll cause. The two biggest culprits of hair damage/discoloration during the summertime are UVA/UVB rays and chlorine. The radiation from the strong summer sun can degrade the protein in your already fragile bleached hair (causing dullness, frizz, and breakage), and the chlorine from your refreshing pool can turn that blonde an unflattering shade of green. For these reasons, we recommend using a leave-in conditioning treatment that can shield against the absorption of UV rays and chlorine. The conditioning element will also keep your hair moisturized – a very important factor for color-treated hair.

    For UVA/UVB and chlorine protection, we recommend INTENSITY Leave-In Treatment. This water-based formula (containing sunflower seed extract) is ultra-hydrating, nourishing, and absorbs the UVA/UVB rays and chlorine so your hair doesn’t!


  1. PREVENTION! Besides the damage, brassiness is the other major issue bottle-blondes run into. The environment plays a role in this as well – your hair absorbs common pollutants which can create a yellowish/brassy tone. Usually by the time you notice it, you need to re-bleach or re-tone your hair to get rid of it – but there’s a way to prevent it from happening all together! That clarifying shampoo you used prior to your hair treatment is the star of the show yet again – it’s super-cleansing nature will remove impurities that may discolor your hair before the brassiness is apparent. By using a clarifying shampoo once a week, you can keep those golden or icy tones radiant for longer – reducing your need for salon visits and touch-ups.

    To beat the brass, we once again recommend REAL CLEAR Clarifying Shampoo. When used once a week along with your regular hair care routine, you’ll notice less discoloration and a brighter, healthier looking blonde!

Now you have all the tools to be smart about bleach this summer – and beyond! So go out and show off that sparkling blonde!  

Banner Photo & Hair by: Kim Bruno @kimmykimster 

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Real Clarity - When & Why to Use Clarifying Shampoo

Real Clarity - When & Why to Use Clarifying Shampoo

No matter your hair type, it’s likely that you use SOME sort of hair product on a regular basis – a leave-in treatment, a pomade, hairspray, gel, etc. Thankfully these products have come a long way and aren’t nearly as harmful for your hair as they used to be. There’s still one downside to putting anything in your hair – it builds up! Although most products gets absorbed into the hair and scalp, or comes off naturally during the day, a significant amount WILL remain on your head. This can lead to dandruff, an oily/greasy appearance, breakage, or can even hinder the growth of new hair. No thank you!


Most people think the pesky build-up issue is solved with a simple hair wash and you’re back to a fresh clean slate. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. With the rise of the “anti-sulfates” movement, the general public usually opts to use a gentler shampoo as to not cause hair damage or color fade. And while it’s true that sulfates add intensity to the cleansing process, they are not always harmful; and in some cases, they’re necessary!


Think of your hair as a car for a moment. Especially in these New England winters, the exterior will take a real beating from salt, sand, and muddy slush. Then the springtime rain comes and washes that all away – giving the appearance of a clean (well, cleaner) car. But rain doesn’t have a whole lot of pressure, and that caked on salt and mud doesn’t budge. So you take your car to a car wash where specialized tools use pressure, soap and water to deep clean and you’re left with a sparkly looking-like-new result. Great! But if you looped back around and repeated the process multiple times, the paint is eventually going to wear down. That’s how sulfates work. When used in moderation and when truly needed, they can be extremely helpful.


So when and how should you be using a clarifying shampoo (such as REAL CLEAR)? There are a couple types of situations that call for deep cleaning. First, and as previously mentioned, build-up. Based on the texture of your hair, using a clarifying shampoo from once a week to once a month is recommended to break down the product build-up, unclog your hair follicles, and remove excess oils. Without all that weighing you down, you’ll notice the appearance of shinier, more voluminous hair. And underneath, a healthier scalp less prone to drying and dandruff.


The second use for clarifying shampoos is to create a “blank canvas” for color application. Many products these days protect the hair by creating a film around each individual strand. This film prevents outside toxins and/or heat treatments from penetrating and causing damage or color-fade – all good things! However this film will ALSO prevent the color from effectively bonding to the hair and it won’t last as long as it should A shampoo such as REAL CLEAR will remove that barrier when used prior to coloring, allowing for a stronger bond and longer lasting color.


So the takeaway is… clarifying shampoo with sulfates should be a part of everyone’s hair care routine – be it once a week, once a month, or maybe only before a color service. We recommend REAL CLEAR for all your clarifying needs; it’s unique in that it gives you the deep clean you need WITHOUT the harmful effects of many other sulfate shampoos (click here to read more about REAL CLEAR’s LustreX technology). Plus our 13.5 oz bottle for only $17 will last FOREVER with proper use! Click on REAL CLEAR anywhere in this article and purchase yours now! 😊

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Crystal Clear: The Importance of Clarifying Shampoo

Crystal Clear: The Importance of Clarifying Shampoo

Unless you’re a hair stylist (or just interested in all things hair related), you probably don’t know what a clarifying shampoo is or what it’s for. Well now is the time to get educated – because most people are missing out on an important part of their hair routine.


The main purpose of a clarifying shampoo should be “real clear” (pun intended.. check out our own REAL CLEAR Clarifying Shampoo 😊). It’s used to clarify (clear up) your scalp and hair of product buildup and natural oils. Why is this so important? Clogged hair follicles prevent healthy hair growth, and environmental stresses on the hair strands can lead to breakage or worse – hair loss. All of the fancy oils, creams, gels, serums, and styling sprays you may use will stay put if not washed away, and if left untreated will create excess greasiness and dandruff – neither of which are very pretty!


The reason clarifying shampoos are so good at removing buildup is because they’re generally stronger than your daily use shampoo. That’s because they contain surfactants (typically found in detergents for deep cleaning) that work by attracting water and dirt/oil molecules, allowing the buildup to lift off of the hair strand and rinse out with the water. Without this ingredient, the dirt and oils will stay in place, only removing some of the surface buildup. Think of it as that deep cleaning you do on your carpeting before you have company over – the rest of the time you just vacuum, getting the surface debris up. But that deep steam clean penetrates down to the bottom, lifting up all of the tracked-in dirt, sand, and stains.


So how do you know when you need to clarify? It’s not something you’ll need to do every day – and can even cause more harm than good if done too frequently. First, start with your hair type. If you have thin, flat hair, a weekly dose of clarifying shampoo can boost your roots and prevent oiliness. It’ll also add a nice, natural shine. If you have color-treated hair, only clarify before a color treatment. This will give you a nice “blank slate” for the color to penetrate, giving you longer-lasting vibrancy. If you have regular to thick hair, a clarifying shampoo is good as needed or once a month, just to clear away the accumulation of product used over time.


REAL CLEAR Clarifying Shampoo does all of the above – but we went an extra step and added in what’s called “LustreX” or Polyquat-7. This is a positively charged polymer that binds to the negatively charged parts of the hair proteins, smoothing out the strands and helping the hair to lay flat. In addition, it counteracts the drying effect of the surfactant by moisturizing, removing tangles, and eliminating static-electricity. Overall you’re left with squeaky clean, shiny, manageable, voluminous hair. Oh, and since this isn’t a daily shampoo, our 13.5oz bottle will last you for FOREVER! 😊

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