Beginner’s Guide to Platinum
Transforming from brunette to platinum blonde is a rocky road. When you mention that your hair is naturally wavy, and that you’d ultimately like your hair to be a pale pastel pink, you’re facing boulders, crocodile filled moats, and riddle-addicted Sphinxes.
I’d always longed for pastel hair, long before it was en vogue. Still, from wanting to be taken seriously during my job search, to my fear of damaging my hair, to being just plain lazy with hair upkeep, I never felt comfortable taking the risk. What if I looked like I’d replaced my hair with frizzy cotton candy?! After years of being too timid to try, I finally took the plunge.
While it’s tempting to engage in some at-home hair DIY when you’re on a budget, it’s best to leave it to the professionals when you’re making a dramatic transformation. While the process of selecting a salon is even more complicated when you’re working with a language barrier, salon selection in the states still ranks at hurdle number one. Booking time for an initial consultation can be particularly valuable on two fronts. First off, it’s good to have your hairdresser see what they’ll be working with. Will you need multiple rounds of bleach? Probably. Will you need to cut off serious length due to damage? Only time will tell.
Secondly, the initial consultation is the only time you’ll have to size up your colorist before you let them make your hair their playground. I made the questionable decision to ask for pastel pink, rather than a nice platinum blonde.
Here, a warning to you all: thou shalt not apply hot pink dye before eliminating all of the brassy yellows. While I should have known better, I let my colorist have her way. After a few washes, my punky pink mane had faded to reveal its less than platinum color.
When your hair is three shades of awful at once, it’s not the sort of thing you can let slide. Afraid to fry my hair, however, I waited a couple days and applied a few deep conditioning hair masques to prep my hair for the remaining round of bleach. My favorite is Davine’s NaturalTech Nourishing Hair Building Pak. It smells great, and makes my hair feel like silk. If you’re a fan of a more natural approach (an oxymoron for someone trying to go platinum), go for coconut oil instead! I massage the oil into my hair and leave it on overnight. It sucks to sleep wearing a shower cap, but your hair will thank you.
Out of respect for my fragile hair, I lived with the hideous color for about 4 days. Finally, I went in for a second appointment at a different salon, and they worked their magic.
While I won’t talk prices, I will say that the price of your first appointment will cost you a pretty penny. Blonde hair is an investment! Root touch ups are significantly less, but the first time you bleach, prepare thyself.
At the risk of sounding like a princess, was it worth it? Absolutely. Did it take time? You bet. Between both appointments, I spent about 11 hours in the chair to get this pretty, pale shade of blonde, but I’ve never felt better. There’s nothing better than walking through my quartier with a skip in my step. While the level street harassment has noticeably increased, so has my zeal, confidence, and creativity.
Perhaps it sounds a bit superficial, but there’s something to the adage that when you look your best, you feel your best. In fact, after I got the color adjusted, I fell so in love with the platinum that my pastel plans have flown right out the window.
While it’s best to retouch your roots no later than six weeks after your first appointment to avoid bands of mismatched color, if you like rocking your roots you’re in luck! While the dark roots look is certainly in heavy rotation with cool gals in the fashion scene, I’m not a huge fan. Nonetheless, rocking dark roots is a necessity for gals on a budget.
To keep your hair looking swish, you’ll want to switch up your shampoo. You might love the scent of your current go-to, but trust me, you’re going to want to pick up some purple shampoo. The bright purple blocks out yellow brassy tones, which will inevitably creep into your color, should you skip the toning shampoo. While there are several to choose from, I’m a fan of TGI’s Catwalk and Lush’s Daddy-O.
Interested in giving platinum hair a spin? Amass a small fortune, steel your nerves for damage, and clear your Saturday because this is going to take awhile…however, when your colorist has rinsed the bleach from your hair, being able to say “Yes, you may call me Marilyn,” will give you an unbelievable rush.