Today we’re discussing a bit of hair care. For those of us with blonde hair (either natural or, more often, the bottle variety), we know what a struggle it can be to maintain that initial brightness. If you don’t know what I mean by brightness, I’m mainly referring to the lack of yellow or brassiness in the blonde tone. Some warmth is usually fine, but over time it tends to look a bit, well, tarnished. Thanks to Drybar’s new Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo, there may be hope for that super-bright, salon-fresh hair color!

Let’s start with the Shampoo itself. The Blonde Ale is a new range from Drybar that is strictly targeting at brightening blonde tones. There is also a Conditioner (which I have not tried) and a Brightening Cream (which I have tried, but am still collecting my thoughts). The Shampoo is an intense purple. It is DARK! That said, be careful with this because, as with any purple shampoo, the color can start to dye your hair if it’s left on too long and your hair is porous enough. I have not experienced any trouble with my hair going purple, but I rarely do with at-home products. What I havenoticed is that my blonde is looking as good, if not better than when I left the salon! The highlights are nice and bright…dare I say almost bordering on white in some areas!!! Since I was quite skeptical of this shampoo, I am pleasantly surprised and impressed.

Surely there are downsides, right? Well, the first would be the $27 price tag for an 8oz bottle. That is a lot of money for one bottle of shampoo that’s likely to be used frequently. However, you really aren’t meant to use this every day, so it shouldn’t disappear as quickly as your daily shampoo. And let’s face it, if you color your hair professionally, $27 is a minor investment! J
Another thing I would say is that it does seem a tiny bit drying. I’m on the fence as to whether this is actually from the shampoo or if it’s just natural for my hair and the season change. I can say that it’s definitely not an overly moisturizing shampoo. Given that, something I tend to do with a lot of my shampoos is to mix two together. With purple shampoos in particular, this lessens the intensity a bit which makes it less likely to stain while still receiving the benefits of the color-correcting hue. If you’re concerned about your hair being too dry, you can mix a more hydrating formula with the Blonde Ale. If, like me, you have issues with an itchy scalp and dandruff (especially this time of year!), you can mix with a treatment for that instead, or make a concoction of all three!  I simply add a bit of each shampoo into my hand and mix all of them to apply together as though it’s a single shampoo. Works like a charm! Just keep in mind that the more you dilute the Blonde Ale, the less success you may have.
My only other semi-fault with the Blonde Ale is the scent. Reading the reviews, it seems a hit or miss kind of scent. I don’t hate it, but it’s not the best smelling shampoo either. It’s kind of minty, but not like your typical tingly-minty. It’s an almost herbal mint. It’s definitely a unisex fragrance and is not offensive to me, but it’s just not what you expect to have in a shampoo. It doesn’t linger, so once you rinse out the product, it’s gone. But I know that scent can be a make-or-break issue to some people.
For me, the Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo is absolutely spectacular! My blonde is just as bright and shinning as I want it to be! J (The shine may be from the aforementioned Blonde Ale Brightening Cream, but we’ll see.) I should add that this shampoo is paraben, sulfate and phthalate free, not to mention it’s Leaping Bunny approved!!! JIt is significantly more than I want to pay for a shampoo, but given the cost of making my hair blonde, it’s worth the minor investment to keep the color looking it’s best as long as possible. Now if only it could touchup my roots…! J If you are a blonde struggling to keep the brassies away and have tried other purple shampoos that just didn’t quite cut it, I would definitely recommend giving the Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo a try. I just may be worth every penny! J


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