Getting Perfect Platinum Blonde Hair

Eunice Lucero | 29 April 2016

It’s high time you brought out your inner bombshell with platinum blonde hair.

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 ombrés 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.

Thing is, 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, because 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

how to get the perfect shade of platinum blonde hair
Platinum-dyed hair can get dry. Very dry. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Platinum Blonde Hair Timeline:

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 Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Conditioner (after rinsing off their Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care 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.

SUAVE PROFESSIONALS KERATIN INFUSION COLOR CARE CONDITIONER
SUAVE KERATIN INFUSION COLOR CARE SHAMPOO

1 week before: Stock up on purple shampoo and conditioner (we like the the brass neutralizers in Bed Head by TIGI Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo) and an 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. A purple shampoo and conditioner (yes, both really are a bright shade of violet) works to help counteract brassiness, or that sad, yellow color that inevitably stains hair when it’s dyed that white. 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.

BED HEAD by TIGI DUMB BLONDE PURPLE TONING SHAMPOO

SUAVE PROFESSIONALS MOISTURE MASK WITH ALMOND & SHEA BUTTER

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.

Day of: 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. Afterwards, 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 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 blowdried, it might also be a good time to ask for a trim or haircut just to clean up any damaged ends.

Toning: 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.

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!

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 New York Salon Care Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer, which helps repel water so your color stays vibrant for longer.

 

NEXXUS COLOR ASSURE PRE PRIMER

For everyday, 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 New York Salon Care Humectress Restoring Masque, helps keep porosity at bay.

NEXXUS HUMECTRESS MOISTURE RESTORING MASQUE

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.

6 Short Platinum Blonde Hairstyles

Young woman wearing shoulder length cut on platinum blonde hair
Easy does it. Keep styles simple to avoid damaging double processed hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Flat Ironed Styles on Platinum Blonde Hair

Rather a look that allows your platinum hair hair to speak for itself? Go for a simple flat-ironed style on a shoulder-length cut. When styling, be sure handle your color-treated hair with kid gloves. Protect your strands with a heat protectant, like TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Sprayand flat iron your hair in small sections to prevent multiple passes on the same areas.

TRESemmé GET SLEEK HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY
young woman with bowl cut on short platinum blonde hair
Trend on trend. Pair up your trendy blonde hue with a trendy haircut to match. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

young woman with platinum blonde short hair and long bangs
Your platinum blonde hair color isn’t the only thing bringing out your face. Try long bangs to frame it, too! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Long Face-Framing Bangs with Short Ponytail

Whether you’re looking for a way to style grown out bangsgrown 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 short 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 Suave Professionals Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.

SUAVE PROFESSIONALS TEXTURIZING SEA SALT SPRAY
young woman with side shave on short platinum blonde hair
Bold short platinum blonde hairstyles like this surely pack a punch. Wear it loud and proud. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

BED HEAD by TIGI STRAIGHTEN OUT STRAIGHTENING CREAM
woman wearing messy bun on short platinum blonde hair
Updos on short hair? Yes, please! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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 Shampoowork 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.

SUAVE PROFESSIONALS KERATIN INFUSION COLOR CARE DRY SHAMPOO

Looking for more info on platinum blonde hair? Check out some of our favorite blonde afro hair ideas.