The beauty queen-turned-TV personality Bianca Manalo is presently sporting a hot new look.
She calls it the "mukhang tisay" look—thanks to her mocha hair color with light-gold highlights, courtesy of her latest endorsement L'Oreal Matrix.
In a brief chat with the brand's education manager Ms. Loida Corpuz-Pioc, also the lady responsible for Bianca's new mane, she shared helpful tips on hair color and hair care.
THE RIGHT COLORING PRODUCT. There are no specific rules when it comes to picking the hair color you like.
But Loida's number one tip: find a salon that uses one-step hair coloring products.
"On Filipino hair, using the regular pang-kulay, makukuha mo lang talaga is natural brown [effect]."
She further explains the varying effects of "natural brown" versus the "fashion brown."
"Natural brown is 'yong brown na parang natural lang, very subtle lang ang kulay under the light.
"The other one is fashion brown, 'yon 'yong literal mo siyang makikita. As in kahit na hindi masyadong maliwanag, brown talaga 'yong hair mo."
The process of getting that "fashion brown" effect, which most hair color customers prefer, usually requires bleaching.
"May need talaga to bleach if you want to lighten a previously colored hair, kasi color cannot be lightened by another color.
"So if ever a client wants a lighter shade than the previous color, there is a need talaga to bleach.
"At kung gusto mo talagang ma-achieve 'yong ganyan ka-light [like Bianca's hair], normally sa normal na pang-kulay, kailangan mo talagang mag-wash out, which uses a bleach, para lumabas iyan."
However, for Bianca's hair, Loida says she used the brand's own products, which can color the hair in just one easy step.
This also dissolves the fear of people who are afraid of the harmful effects of hair bleaching.
BLEACHING BLUNDERS. What does bleaching do to your hair exactly?
Loida answers, "Ang ayaw kasi natin sa bleach, kapag hindi technician, kapag hindi expert, sa hairdresser pa lang, takot na 'yan e.
"Kahit na sabihin mo'ng naka-smile iyan habang gumagawa, may takot iyan kasi ang effect ng bleach kapag hindi ka marunong, puwedeng magpatsi-patsi, puwedeng ma-damage ang hair.
"At puwedeng ma-over ang bleach na pag nilagay mo ang color, hindi na pantay pantay.
"'Tapos, dahil na-over na sa bleach, puwedeng madaling mag-fade ang color and will end up also na ang hair mo maging damaged."
To avoid getting hair problems due to bleaching, it is best to use products that are created specially for the Asian hair.
"Especially in Filipinos na either very dark brown hair or almost black, to achieve those [light brown] colors, kailangan i-bleach talaga muna, e.
"But with the technology, kaya mong i-light, kaya mong palabasin without bleaching."
COLOR CARE. The process of hair coloring does not end once you leave your salon chair.
"Ang color [kasi], nagiging very stable on the first two weeks pa.
"That's why if you want to straighten your hair or perm your hair after coloring, you have to wait at least two weeks."
But regardless of whether you want another service done to your hair or not, Loida says one should follow these simple steps to get best results.
"Number one, use a shampoo and conditioner for colored [hair] kasi these have anti-oxidants, anti-UV rays."
Her specific instruction: look for products that have "very strong cationic polymer" contents for maximum conditioning.
"These products should have at least pang-protection, kasi number one nga ang kalaban natin is araw, and number two, tubig, lalo na kung de-poso ang ginagamit nila," she adds.
"Tapos number two, the right conditioner, at least do once or twice [a week] na treatment sa salon."
Intense treatments are highly-recommended for newly-colored hair, most especially if there has been a drastic change from very dark to light color.
"Ask for a cement fill-in service that will put back, restructure the hair," says Loida.
"The third one na talagang medyo hindi natin dapat gawin during the first two weeks of coloring the hair is to never never use an anti-dandruff shampoo.
"We have nothing against anti-dandruff, pero anti-dandruff shampoo kasi is specific to the scalp na minsan, dahil siyempre mas matapang 'yong sa scalp natin kaysa sa hair, dahil specific siya sa scalp puwede siyang maging matapang sa hair."
Lastly, it wouldn't hurt to ask your professional colorist for specific home-care products that are from the same product line as your hair color brand.