A Surprising Way to Keep Blonde Highlights Looking Good

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Gillian Del ZottoPhoto: Mindy Byrd

Gillian Del Zotto, a Canadian transplant, has found a loophole for healthy highlighted hair: She only colors the stronger top half of her head and leaves her ends alone. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works. The rest of her hair care is moisture-dependent. Read along for her hydration-heavy routine.

How I describe my hair: frizzy curls. It’s dry because I dye it.

If I could name my hair, I’d call it: The Laidback.

I wash my hair every: day. I’m horrible for that, but I can’t help it. If I don’t wash it every day, my hair becomes very flat the next day.

In my shower you’ll find: Moroccanoil shampoo and conditioner. L’Oréal intense hair masks and Redken’s hydration line — I switch every other week because it’s better for your hair.

Gillian Del ZottoPhoto: Mindy Byrd

A rundown of my hair regimen looks like: After I shower I put a hydration cream on my hair from Moroccanoil and use a keratin-based heat protector cream on my hair as I blow dry. I only use a tiny bit because too many products make my hair oily. I then curl it with a curling iron.

My hairstylist is: Lina at Salon Da Noi in Bay Ridge. My stylist back in Canada recommended her to me when I moved here. She does my trims and color. I always get my hair highlighted the same time as my trim. I don’t highlight the bottom of my hair anymore because it kept breaking off.

I trim my hair every: three months. I should do it more often.

Gillian Del ZottoPhoto: Mindy Byrd

Check all that apply — my hair is dyed, is chemically straightened, is permed, has extensions, is braided/in locs: Dyed!

The worst thing I ever did to my hair was: I used to dye my hair all the time on my own, from a box. I actually went through a phase when I was younger where I dyed all of my top hair blonde, and the bottom hair black. It was horrendous.

The most important thing people with hair like me should know: Take care of it as much as you can. If you’re going to put chemicals in it, just take care of it.

What I love the most about my hair: I love that I can do anything with my hair in the winter — especially curls — and the style holds.

Makeup by Niko Lopez for Nars; hair by Rachel McCants for Glamsquad; beauty editor: Ashley Weatherford; photo editor: Raydene Salinas.

This interview has been edited and condensed.