Hairs the Thing…

I’m a bit late posting this Highlight & Gloss feature from WUPP’s October edition. And because it’s Monday and I don’t feel like doing much, I am going to put off posting about the killer trip I just had on Koh Rong Samloem Island with my buds.

Read on if it strikes your fancy!


Changing your hair color drastically is like entering a new relationship: you’re not quite sure how it will turn out, you fashion your life (or parts of it) around the adjustment, it requires time, money, and patience, and it’s an action that once you take can’t be revoked. Sure, if you don’t like the new hue you can always have it colored over- but you’ve already touched your hair with a dye that will ultimately change the color of that strand until it entirely grows out.

When I decided to change my raven hair to a silvery platinum blonde in October of 2013, it was a massive transformation and one that requires preservation and maintenance.

Now that hair color is becoming one of the biggest ways for both women and men in Phnom Penh to express themselves, learning what works for each individual becomes more important. I’ve seen girls try to go blonde and it turns out an orangey mess or some that don’t consider that upkeep and continual attention is necessary.  If you’ve decided you want to go for a big change and color your natural locks striking ruby red, bombshell blonde, or ebony black- ensure that you’ve thought through the process, how it will look (consider your skin tone, makeup, and wardrobe), whether you’re willing to visit the salon every month for touch ups, and if you have a qualified and proper colorist who can give you the results you want.

I know a thing or two about the world of dyes, toners, glosses, and rinses. That’s not to say my tresses are in tip-top condition, but it’s important to know the tricks to keeping your hair as healthy as possible before stepping into the salon for a drastic makeover.

  1. Use a shampoo and conditioner made specifically for color treated hair. Any other treatment will strip the dye and it will likely fade to something you didn’t want or expect. Invest in hair care that will lengthen the life of your color while cleansing properly.
  2. Don’t wash every day. The oil that your scalp naturally secretes is important for your hair follicles, the overall health of your coif, and strengthens the overall bond of the hair. If you’re prone to an oily scalp, utilize dry shampoo as it will soak up excess oil without stripping your scalp of it.
  3. Use a UV protective spray. Yes, even your hair needs protection. The sun’s biting rays can change the color and dry the strands out- so spritz away before heading out the door especially if you’re spending lengthy amounts of time under the sun.
  4. Utilize a color extending shampoo. For blondes, purple or silver shampoo will tone out canary or brassy yellow until your next appointment. For auburns or brunettes a specific shampoo or gloss for your color will keep it looking fresh and radiant.
  5. Deep condition and/or mask at least once a week. Whether you’ve stripped the color of your hair entirely or added heaps of chemicals to color, your mane is going to want some tender loving care. Use a deep conditioning treatment to fend off breakage. If you’re short on treatments, unrefined coconut oil will do in a pinch. It’s a fantastic natural way to add moisture to your scalp and hair and you’ll smell perfectly tropical. Simply douse your entire head with the oil (Argan works great also), throw it up in a bun, put on a shower cap if you want to protect your clothing and furniture, and leave on for as long as you want before shampooing.
  6. Be careful with the hot stuff. As in curling irons, straighteners, crimpers, or anything that is hot and touches your hair. Since you’ve altered the natural state of your hair already it’s going to need extra care so use a heat styling protection spray before using heated tools and work with a low level of heat.
  7. That old tee shirt you were thinking of tossing out? Keep it and use it instead of a towel. The soft cotton keeps the natural moisture in your hair and the friction of a rough towel can cause breakage and dryness.


  1. hi. great piece. my friend wants to dye her hair from black to ash grey but she is wondering where to find the purple shampoo in phnom penh. she is worried about her hair turning orange.


    1. Thank you! Unfortunately I would order my purple shampoo and have it sent over or purchase when overseas so can’t be of massive help on exactly where to find it in Phnom Penh. I would say going to Ryan at The Dollhouse salon for treatments and toning would be the safest route!

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