Essentials for ‘Fake’ Blondes

{Read the updated post here}

I naturally have pretty dark hair and I’ve been blonde since January. I can safely say that I’m having the same amount of fun now as I did when I was a brunette (ok, maybe I’m having slightly more fun now).  Going from dark brown to blonde is very damaging to your hair so over the last six months I’ve found the best products that keep my hair soft and shiny,  make it look healthy, and that keep it more blonde than yellow. I’ve found five essential products:

  1. Vo5 Miracle Concentrate
  2. Kair Moisturising Split End Repair
  3. Batiste Dry Shampoo
  4. Dove Conditioner/Treatment
  5. Gentian Violet


Vo5 Miracle Concentrate (Available at Clicks for R38)

I’ve heard beauty bloggers everywhere talking about the wonders of Moroccan oil, but I also noticed how expensive it is. I really wanted to try it because my peroxided hair needs anything that promises moisture. While roaming around Clicks on a Saturday morning, looking for some kind of miracle product that promised to revitalise my life, I found the Vo5 Miracle Oil and I had to try it. It has this really cool dropper lid mechanism thing and I’m instantly sold by gimmicks. On the bottle it says that it’s great to use on wet/damp hair before you blowdry it and that it can even be used on dry hair. I tried it the next time I washed my hair. I towel-dried it a bit and then put A LOT of this miracle oil on it, because my hair really needs a moisture miracle. This amazing oil helped my hair dry in five minutes with my travel-sized hair dryer which normally takes about fifteen minutes (or until I get bored). This product has changed my life and the life of my hair. Even though I’ve only been using it for about a month I honestly can’t imagine not having it.

Kair Moisturising Split End Repair (Available at Clicks for R35)

I’ve used this product for years and years, and I never get tired of it. It’s perfect to put on your ends to ensure that your hair looks healthy and it definitely disguises split ends. It also doesn’t make my hair too greasy which I like. I think that the Vo5 Miracle Concentrate is kinda replacing this product for me, but I still use this one every so often. It’s great to keep in your bag to tame fly-aways.

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Available from Clicks for R59)

I tried dry shampoo for the first time about three months ago, and this is my story. I’ve always heard stories about using baby powder to get rid of greasy roots. Having dark hair, using baby powder on your roots makes your hair look a bit grey, which is not desirable. One of the perks of being a fake blonde is that dry shampoo will minimise your dark roots – hello multitasker! It means that I can give my hair a quickfix if I don’t have time to wash it, and it smells amazing. The mini size bottle is perfect for your handbag, definitely a napover essential.

Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner (Available at Clicks or Pick ‘n Pay for R62)

I really needed a new conditioner a while ago. I saw this Dove one in Pick ‘n Pay, saw that it was only like R60 and just decided to try it. It was about a month after I went blonde, and my normal conditioner just wasn’t cutting it anymore. This conditioner is a mix between a normal conditioner and a treatment, but you don’t need to leave it in your hair any longer than usual. As soon as I put this conditioner in my hair I can feel all the knots and the frizziness disappear. I used to use the L’Oreal Elvive treatment but after this Dove treatment I will never go back.

Gentian Violet (Available from any Clicks or pharmacy for around R10)

Gentian Violet is the secret weapon for those of us who are not naturally blonde. I heard this tip from a friend of mine, who had actually heard it originally from Beth (these things get around). Gentian Violet helps to remove the yellow/brassy tones from blonde hair and highlights. The easiest way I’ve found to use it is to add about a tablespoon to your bottle of normal shampoo and mix it up. I add it to my huge bottle of Tresemme and it makes the shampoo go bright purple – do not be alarmed. The reason you only want to add a tablespoon or two is because Gentian Violet can actually dye your hair purple if you use too much, so be careful. Mix it with the shampoo first before you let it come into contact with your hair. Use this shampoo/gentian violet mix every time you wash your hair, and then condition it as you usually do. Every time I wash my hair it looks brighter, and people ask if I’ve redone my highlights. It totally works.

If you have any tips for us ‘fake’ blondes, I’d love to hear about them. Comment under this post or tweet us @smudgedbeauty.dove

{You can also read the updated post here}





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  2. Willemien · · Reply

    Hi, I recently bought gentian violet… And my aunt gave me a great tip to put a few drops into a spray bottel with water in, I spray my hair with that mixture before I blow-dry my hair. And it works instantly. It just makes more sense to put it on your hair and then it soaks it in rather than to put it in your shampoo and it just gets washed off fast…

    1. Totally agree! I’ve also got some in a spray bottle at home :)

  3. So helpful! Thanks doll :)

  4. Chantelle · · Reply

    Hi I use Pure Envy’s Kwik Silver shampoo and conditionar. Its also dark purple like the Gentian Violet . I buy it from the salon normaly it is like R160 a bottle bu i got a spesial on it for both for R165.

  5. Hi! Do you use the gentian violet in your shampoo or conditioner? And how long do you leave it on for?? Thanks…

    1. Hi Leoni, I generally use it in my shampoo, and just leave the shampoo as I normally would :)

  6. […] over two years ago I wrote this post, I’d been a ‘fake’ blonde for about six months.  Today, it’s still one of […]

  7. Dimitris · · Reply

    Hi!how drops of gentian violet 1% can I add in 250 ml shampoo ???thanks!

    1. I would add 3 – 5 drops. Check the colour of the shampoo after you’ve mixed it. You want it to be slightly purple, but not dark enough to dye the hair.

  8. Hi, there is a new product called Olaplex. #3 will improve your hair dramatically. Costs around R350 and can be purchased at a salon that stocks it. Read up on it, it is a great product!!!!

    1. Ah – I just did some research on this – it sounds amazing! And after googling it I realise I did see an ad for it in Scar.
      Have you tried it?

  9. I love what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
    coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys
    to blogroll.

  10. Can I add gentian violet to my bleach/peroxide mixture when dying or highlighting my hair? Or will it turn purple instead of brightening my blonde?

    1. Hello! Um, I wouldn’t add the gentian violet to your bleach/peroxide. It’s best when diluted and used as a toner after bleaching/peroxiding. Add a few drops to your shampoo! Or dilute it, 1 part gentian violet, 8 parts water in a spray bottle to spray on before you wash your hair.

  11. veronicaoberholster · · Reply

    Okay my question is, What shade of purple will it turn if i put too much in? I would like a light lilac colour. And then will it was out?

    1. Hiii! It will go a light-ish lilac colour, but it might be uneven depending on how you’ve applied the gentian violet! I sometimes put a bit too much in, but i don’t really mind the light violet/lilac streaks in my hair, they do wash out and fade.

    2. let me know if you have any other questions, you can also tweet us @smudgedbeauty

  12. I will definitely be trying the gentian violet for my brassy tones … do you have any advice for us who need to touch up our roots on our own … who can afford a salon colour every month now days

    1. oooh touching up your roots is a scary one! i would try a highlight kit or something like that. will do a post on this next year!

  13. hi there about the gentian violet how much do i put in a 250ml of pantene color shampoo
    thanks for you advice

    1. Hi Loraine

      I would put in a few drops (around 5) then shake it up well, the shampoo should become a dark purple colour :)

  14. […] claims to knock out brassy tones in one shot – if you’ve read any of my posts about being a fake blonde, you’ll know how much this excites me. You can find out more about it […]

  15. Gabbi · · Reply

    Hi* So I coloured my hair from a lightish brown to blonde but in the process it turned out to be orange,I went to the hairdresser but it still has some orange in it…is there anything I can do to help it go more blonde?

    1. Hi Gabbi – try adding a couple of drops of gentian violet to your shampoo, this should slowly strip away some of the brassy orange tone.

  16. […] guys, its your favourite fake blonde again! I feel like I’m forever talking about products for fake blondes and how to keep your blonde looking brighter for longer, but I just can’t help that I’m […]

  17. […] It really locks in the moisture and makes it easy to style. I also spoke about it here in my post Essentials for Fake Blondes. Definitely re-buying this. (Also, this is the third bottle I’ve just […]

  18. […] while ago (here) we spoke about gentian violet and other hair care tips for fake blondes. Today I bring you the […]

  19. Yayy! Thanks so much for this blog post! I am an american living in Johannesburg and was wondering where to find what we call purple shampoo! Would you believe that we pay R100 per bottle for the stuff?! :p

    1. that is ridiculous! just add some gentian violet to your shampoo and there you go :) (just add a few drops though!)

  20. Michaela · · Reply

    I’m in Bryanston, sandton, but travel to PTA often too… Thanks :)

    1. Ok – i’m going to think about it for a bit and then I’ll let you know!

  21. Michaela · · Reply

    Okay thank you so much!! I am naturally a mousy dull blonde… I will look for good hairdresser deals, maybe on groupn or something haha and if that fails I will try the box dye :) thanks again for the advice :)

    1. always a pleasure! where do you live? trying to think of some hairdressers/deals to help you :)

    2. Hi there! :) I’m not much of a beautician or hairdresser, but I can offer you some good advice taking it that you haven’t resolved your problem yet… Best thing to do is get garnier pre-lightener and do your hair with that, it has avocado oils in it to make your hair soft and shiny. Then buy a bottle of gentian violet, take 2 drops in a small amount of water (in you basin) and dip your hair in it for about 30 seconds to a minute this will take out any orange or yellow from your hair. After that go get your hair trimmed and slightly layered to get volume and health back to your hair. By this time your hair should be healthy and happy again and would most likely start growing faster due to it being healthy. I’ve done this and my hair grew from half way down my back to my bum in about 2 months :) hope I helped!

      1. Wow thank you so much! I can’t wait to try it out, I haven’t found a solution yet so thanks!

  22. Michaela · · Reply

    Please help me out here: I have highlights, done last about 3 months ago, but my hair is in a bad way and I’m trying to grow it out back to my teenage bum length that I so loved so I don’t want to dye it again at all. I am naturally a mousy blonde, and have been using kair sun spray to lighten the roots for summer, but it hasn’t had the desired effect. I’ve bought gentain violet now, but I’m wondering if it will lighten my hair, or just resolve the orange thing going on from the sunspray? I’m looking for any alternatives to box dye to get the very light blonde, and I refuse to go back to a hair dresser. Please help!

    1. Hi Michaela, thanks for the comment! The gentian violet will definitely remove the orange/brassy bits from the hair. I wish I could help – but I cant think of any way to go very light blonde without box dye or the hairdresser. Try the gentian violet for a while and let us know how that goes. I’ve also been using the kair hair spray for a while, think it takes a while to really do the job. Let us know how it goes!

      1. So, at first I put a tiny bit of gentain violet in my shampoo, but it had no affect. So today I put in what I thought was waaaaay too much, I expected to come out like the Cookie Monster. Nothing. Didn’t do a thing! Why is it not working? I have been using the kair spray for a long time, a few months now, and that makes it lighter, but orange not blonde. Ag, I’m at such a loss! Perhaps you can advise me about using a box dye? Which do you recommend, and how do I know it won’t be a disaster, like dry out my hair completely, or colour the regrowth differently to the already high lightened lengths? Thanks for the help!

      2. What colour is your hair naturally?
        I think the gentian violet only works on dyed or highlighted hair, I dont think it can make your natural hair blonder (as far as I know).
        If you’re a dark blonde naturally, then try the lightest box dye you can find, as white as possible – you dont want any orange. Put it on your roots first and then only right near the end put the dye on the already highlighted hair.
        Personally I would recommend going to the hairdresser – they always know best!

  23. […] shampoo. You’ve read my ode to dry shampoo here, and I cannot preach about this product enough. Bring […]

  24. I love my blonde in summer. I usually get one chunk of hair done instead of streaks (borderline Cruella!) With the combo of a chlorine pool, the ocean and the sun, the dazzle doesn’t last long. Need to get me some of the above!

    1. The gentian violet definitely helps to bring back the dazzle! Give it a try and let us know what you think :)

  25. I’ve tried the Tresemme &the Batiste and I just preferred the Batise, especially the fragrance (and the choice of fragrances). Have you tried Batiste?

  26. I’m not a fake blonde, but I did have blonde highlights for a while *shudder* hahaha I would recommend Treseme dry shampoo! I see you use batiste, any reason?

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