I love being blonde. I’ve been every hair colour and shade (except black), but I love being a platinum blonde, and it’s the colour I’ve been the longest. It’s almost like I don’t know anything else, but soon I’m going to change all that. I’ve decided that the maintenance is too time-consuming and I want to switch it up a bit by going an easier to handle darker blonde.
As I have been platinum, I’ve had a lot of compliments, some criticisms but I usually get questions. The big two are about the time and if they themselves would suit it. To answer the latter: I think everyone should try going platinum if they want to. Life’s too short and can be too monotonous or overwhelming, just dye your hair! The other questions though need a bit more explaining, so I’ll try to do my best below.
I want to preface this by saying I’m in no way a professional. While my mother is, I have just learnt from her and my own experiences.
There’s A Whole New Routine And Rules
No daily shampooing. Think twice before going into a chlorinated pool. Don’t leave toners in for too long (only if you like the inevitable ashy-blue colour in your hair). Going over already bleached hair can spell disaster. These are just some of the little things you pick up very quickly while having light blonde hair. Your hair will get dry, turn green, turn blue or will just pull apart. Yeah, it can get pretty annoying. I would hear my high school friends or work colleagues talk about all the shit they put their hair through and I would just be sitting there, thinking how I wish I could be so carefree with my hair.
This is the nonverbal contract though that you make with your hair; that you will make it/you a beacon in a crowd, a Marilyn Monroe showstopper – but there’s a price.
It’s A Delicate, Annoying Baby
Weak, porous and lacking in strength, you need to treat blonde hair carefully no matter if it’s wet or dry. Overbleaching will leave it ‘jelly-like’, turning your hair into cotton candy. Electric tools such as straighteners could be too hot and easily melt your hair. Yes, melt. You have to make sure the type of straightening plate (ceramic, tourmaline) and has a feature where you can change the temperature as most ‘click on and go’ straighteners are too hot. You also have to make sure you have heat protecting products and you absolutely cannot skip on them. Can you see what I mean? A delicate, annoying baby.
Know The Levels
To understand what is happening to your hair, you should know the lightening levels hair goes through to be ice-white, pretty, platinum blonde.
This chart has simplified numerical lightening levels your hair goes through to get lighter (it’s missing that hair has a reddish tinge to it, which is why it goes orange, but it’s pretty straight-forward). To go up the levels, you need bleach powder and developer. While the powder is pretty straightforward, the developer has different strengths to make it safer and easier for your hair to lighten. These strengths can be seen on bottles as “volume”, with a number before it – 10, 20, 30 and 40 – resembles how strong the developer is and will make the bleach. As you can see, the right show the volume numbers and how many levels they left.
Here’s an example. I don’t use 20 volume as my roots are what this chart would say is a 3-4, light-to-medium brown. 20 vol only goes up 1 level so it would only lighten my hair to 4-5. Instead, I use both a 30 and a 40. I use one to get my hair to the blonde levels, then the other (very, very quickly) to get it as close to 10 as I can.
Below shows how corrective tones get me to platinum
In this chart, we still have our levels and what the hair would be bleached to, along with the undertone. So once you have used the right developer to get to level 10, your hair is has a hint of yellow, so to get that yellow out and have that beautiful platinum, you go to a purple shampoo, conditioner, mask, any hair product with that violet in it to counteract that yellow.
Knowing both of these things really helps you in seeing how much it takes for your hair to achieve that platinum and why different coloured hair products are used
Natural Remedies Won’t Be Enough
No poo and chamomile rinses won’t be enough to keep your hair healthy and looking its best. You’ve done damage to your hair to a point it isn’t used to, and pantry products will not cut it. However, the great thing is that there are more and more natural products coming to market that penetrate the root and help condition all parts of the hair strand. You must be prepared, though, that you will be paying for the right products, and it’s not just $5 for a hair mask or a conditioner. For example, my hair mask product I now go to is Olaplex No. 3 Home Treatment. Yeah, that’s right $50! But you know what, I need it right now, friends, and I recommend that and travelling kit which I tried first.
It’s A Process
Patience = platinum. Platinum = patience. Bleaching your hair to that ice-white is a process, period. Whether you make sure you’re hair is in tip-top condition and protein packed, deep conditioned, the process itself is going to take a long time. Even at the most amazing salons, you should expect to be in the chair for quite a few hours, sometimes all day, and don’t be surprised if they can’t do it all in one sitting. Hell, don’t be surprised if you have to come back in the day or few later because either your hair hasn’t lifted enough or because of banding/ another previous bleaching.
As we’ve already mentioned, your hair is going through so much to get to that level 10, so hair weakening and breakage will happen.
Which leads us to..
Hair IS Coming Off
It’s better to just accept it will happen than any kind of denying or bargaining. How much will come off is hard to say because it depends on so many factors. I usually tend to my roots, careful not to go over where I’ve already bleached, then every couple of weeks I do a very quick bleach bath to revive everything and keep it seamless. After that, usually within a day or two, I get my hair cut. I have it down to a schedule, which of course includes making sure it’s conditioned.
If I was doing my hair in one whole go to platinum from a darker shade, I’d expect to have a few inches off my boob-length hair.
New Makeup Might Help
Bronzes, blushes and even your usual foundation might be too stark for your new colour. Understandably if you usually spray tan, you might want to dial it back to a lighter colour or ditch it completely. Googling or going on Pinterest will show you heaps of amazing examples of makeup looks and shades to try out with platinum hair, no matter what your natural skin tone or colouring is.
Some Other Helpful Hints
- Sulphate can damage hair, so try to opt for sulphate-free shampoo and condition
- Not all toners are created equal. Some are strong while others might not do much, so shop for reviews online or just ask a cool blonde when you see one! One of my absolute favourite products is Schwarzkopf’s Touch Of Silver Silver Reflex shampoo (now just under the name PRO:VOKE and it’s the Brightening Shampoo?? If I’m wrong please let me know!)