Are you ready to rock a good old shade of platinum blonde hair? We think that every gal at one point in time has considered going blonde. And we mean really, really blonde—like platinum blonde (guilty as charged!). Maybe the purist in us is showing that after years of seeing all these subtle ombré and earth-toned highlights. There’s something about going full throttle that seems trés refreshing. It’s a stunning shade evocative of sex symbols past and present. Who wouldn’t want to look like a modern screen siren? Getting platinum blonde hair is a study in going hard or not going for it at all. The process takes forever and the upkeep is insane, but the payoff is head-turning, to say the least.
For all its sex appeal, there’s also that much work that goes into getting your hair to platinum blonde levels. Okay, so you have your screenshots on the ready and have researched the best stylist in three counties. (Ed’s note: we strongly advocate seeing a pro the first time you attempt this—no exceptions!) Make sure you’re ready. Going icy blonde involves these things in spades: bleach, money/time and some serious attention to detail.
Let’s get started!
Getting Platinum Blonde Hair
3-4 weeks before
Assess your base color. First off, we’re leaving this to a professional—we’re never going to advocate going from zero to 100 (and by 100 we mean near-white) by yourself, especially if you’re a beginner. Ask your stylist to help you assess how many sessions you’ll need to lift your hair to your desired level. Note: It can take around three to four return trips to your salon to safely lift your base, especially if you have very dark hair.
2-4 weeks before
Prep your hair beforehand with conditioner specific to colored hair, such as TIGI Copyright Custom Care Colour Conditioner (after rinsing off their TIGI Copyright Custom Care Colour Shampoo, that is). Double up on the regular frequency that you deep-condition, and try to grow out any existing hair dye on your strands so that the bleach lifts your color as evenly as possible.
1 week before
Stock up on purple shampoo and conditioner and extra-moisturizing at-home hair treatment, like a deep conditioner such as Suave Professionals Moisture Mask With Almond and Shea Butter. This will make the core of your platinum upkeep kit. Purple shampoo and conditioner (yes, both really are a bright shade of violet) work to help counteract brassiness or that sad, yellow color that inevitably stains hair when it’s dyed that light. Doing a deep conditioning treatment for a few days each week before your appointment can do wonders in improving the integrity of your hair on D-Day.
48 hours before
Don’t wash your hair at least two days before your appointment. Your natural hair grease actually works to coat and protect your scalp from the stinging effects of bleach. Though it won’t remove irritation completely, it’s been reported to make a significant difference.
Don’t make any other appointments around today—you’ll need at least half a day for bleaching and toning and everything else in between.
Bleaching, first process
Depending on your current hair color, bleaching can vary anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours. Virgin hair, even if it’s dark, usually takes a shorter amount of time to bleach since the color lifts evenly all throughout. Hair that’s been perennially colored, on the other hand, may show unevenness or “stripes” where other dyes have been applied. Your stylist will even out these demarcations. Your scalp may also start to sting at this point—that’s the bleach for you!—and do let your stylist know if it becomes too uncomfortable.
This process can take anywhere from two to three hours, depending on the length and thickness of your locks. Afterward, hair is rinsed and blown dry, ready for color assessment. Your hair will have a very yellowish-orange tone at this stage—don’t panic!
Most people with dark hair end up with yellow-orange strands after this process. This is normal, and your stylist will gauge whether your strands can withstand a double-process bleach that same day. Those with severely weakened hair are advised to “rest” and deep-condition at home and return for their second bleaching process.
Bleaching, second process
This second pass is what lightens the hair from that muppet-like yellow-orange color to an even lighter blonde and again can last around 30 minutes upwards. After the bleach is rinsed out and your hair is blow-dried, it might also be a good time to ask for a trim or haircut just to clean up any damaged ends.
That light yellow blonde isn’t the final stage. Platinum is an icy-white blonde, and therefore needs a toner to eliminate all that existing yellowness. This takes a shorter time than bleaching and is what lifts you to that enviable white-hot blonde you aim to be. (Note: It is also, fundamentally, what purple shampoos and conditioners lightly achieve at home, only this time in a highly concentrated level).
Roots, retouching and repeating the process
Some walk out with their ideal platinum shade, some might need a few more sessions to get there—it all depends on your current base color. And just like white paint color, there are several kinds of platinum too: ivory, winter wheat, eggshell, bluish white, you name it! An
Tips for aftercare
Aftercare: Platinum blonde hair is very susceptible to staining. Hard water, chlorine, even sun exposure can cause it to brass out, so make sure you’ve got the proper color-safe products in your home-care arsenal. We love prepping hair with a pre-wash primer, such as Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, which helps repel water so your color stays vibrant for longer.
For every day, we’ve found that a low-sulfate system, such as Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner, together with a strengthening mask like Nexxus Humectress Restoring Masque, helps keep porosity at bay.
How to Style Platinum Blonde Hair
Six weeks is a good time to have your roots done, and if you’re confident enough, ask your stylist to teach you how to do them yourself. Otherwise, stick to a professional, and stick to toning at home.
Most beauty supply stores also sell toner for at-home toning use. Their directions are pretty straightforward, and they just involve saturating your strands in the product for around 10 minutes or less to get rid of any brassiness build-up. And don’t skip on the trims and deep-conditioning treatments, as bleach can make hair really porous and crunchy!
Now that you’re prepped and ready for platinum blonde hair, here are six ways you can style it. Read on:
1. Flat Ironed Styles
Rather a look that allows your platinum hair to speak for itself? Go for a simple flat-ironed style on a shoulder-length cut. When styling, sure to handle your color-treated hair with kid gloves. Protect your strands with a heat protectant, like TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray, and flat iron your hair in small sections to prevent multiple passes on the same areas.
2. Platinum Blonde Bowl Cut
This may be the best time to try your hand at this hairstyle since the Fashion Week runway has proven that bowl haircuts are back. What we love most about this haircut is that you can also add curls to switch up the look like this mushroom haircut tutorial.
3. Long Face-Framing Bangs with Short Ponytail
Whether you’re looking for a way to style grown out bangs, grown out roots, or simply in the market for a look that will help accentuate your face shape, try this look. Bangs, in general, are a simple and casual way to wear bright white hair color. The long bang version, however, packs more styling options. Wear them side-swept, right down the middle, curly or lived-in. It’s your call!
4. Platinum Blonde Pixie
A pixie cut is a low-maintenance hairstyle option when it comes to daily styling. If you want to go shorter, ask your stylist for short layers to create dimension. When styling layers, employ products that will help in the texture department like Bed Head By TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray.
5. Clean Short Side Shave on Icy Blonde Hair
Want something super bold? You might as well go all the way. Pair up an icy-white blonde hue with a clean and edgy side shave. To style, play up the avant-garde look by styling your length with a slick-straight finish. Use a product, like Bed Head by TIGI Straighten Out Straightening Cream, for a long-lasting hold sans frizz.
6. Top Knot on Short Platinum Blonde Hair
Who says short haircuts are exempt from updo styles? This look is proof that even with an undercut your short platinum blonde hair can be styled in multiple ways. On dirty hair, refresh with a dry shampoo like Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo, work it through your roots then finger-style hair into a messy top knot. If starting with freshly washed hair, rough-dry then create your bun.