Wow, Kim Kardashian has gone platinum! Admittedly not our favourite look for her, but it’s definitely a gutsy move. You might be inspired to do the same, and that’s great! Snarky picture aside, change is good and as hairdressers we totally encourage experimentation with your look. In the interest of full disclosure and giving you the information you need to make a wise decision, here are some facts about going from very dark to very light.
- It very well might take 2 – 3 appointments, at about 3 hours each. And you will be charged for each of them. Pricing depends on the stylist and their experience. Being a platinum blonde is perhaps not for the budget conscious.
Why might it take that amount of time and work? Well, we will be removing almost all of the pigment from your natural hair, and if you’ve colored your hair already, we need to remove all of that artificial pigment as well. This can be a wild card (aka “unpredictable result), depending on what you’ve used. Been doing years of dark color? There’s a slight chance it will be impossible to remove it all. We might get you to a light brown in one appointment, then have you come back in a few weeks (after lots of deep conditioning treatments at home) and have another go at it. While we are highly educated and skilled, we sometimes can’t control the chemistry and physics of what is happening in your hair shaft. It’s also SUPER IMPORTANT that you are truthful with us and tell us exactly how many times/how long ago you’ve coloured your hair so we can deal with it accordingly.
- This process is damaging. No matter what kind of gentle lightener we use, removing that much pigment is going to beat your hair up. In fact, for several weeks it won’t even feel much like hair – it’ll be stretchy and feel a bit slimy when it’s wet, rough and dull when it’s dry, and need a ton of product to calm it down and add shine.
You’ll notice Ms. K’s hair is quite a bit shorter now, and we can pretty much assume that losing length was necessary. It might even have broken off. If you have long dark hair and want to be platinum, we can’t guarantee that we can keep your length. You may need to decide between being blonde and having long hair. For reals. Short cuts are really most ideal for global lightening.
- High maintenance. The highest. You’ll need a root retouch in 4 – 5 weeks, absolutely no longer than 6. And for double process (bleach and tone)/global blonding, it usually costs double compared to a regular retouch.
Think you can stretch it out to 8 – 10 weeks because Madonna has always looked pretty cool with grown-out roots and you also want to save a few bucks? It’ll actually cost you extra – again, probably double. The reason is this: the heat from your scalp will process the lightener faster up to 1/2 inch from your scalp. If we just put lightener on your 1 in. of new growth, the hair 1/2 in. from the scalp will process nice and light, but 1/2 inch from there it won’t and you’ll have a nasty 1/2 in. gold/yellow band of color. So, we need to very carefully apply 1/2 inch from the scalp, process that about half way, then go back and apply at the scalp so that we can achieve a beautiful and consistent result. 2x as much work, 2x the time, 2x the price. Not a problem for rich ladies like Kim K., but might be an issue for us mere mortals.
As for the toner, you might wonder why that’s even needed. I promise, it’s not just so we can stick you with a double bill! And if you want some yellow/gold left in your hair you can get away sans toner. When lightening the hair, it goes through up to 10 levels, and processes from red, to red orange, to orange, to orange yellow, to yellow, and then to light yellow. In most cases if we don’t then tone your hair, you will be left with pale yellow hair, not the lovely cool platinum shade you desire. Violet is opposite yellow on the color wheel, so we need to add it back to the hair to reflect back as platinum (or silver, or beige), and what color we tone with (violet, blue, even perhaps a drop of red violet) depends on what you want to see) Confused? That’s why we get paid to do our job, because we are not. 😉
- Proper home care is ESSENTIAL. As mentioned above, your hair will not be feeling that great and you will 100%, absolutely need to lovingly tend to it at home. This means using a salon-quality colour safe shampoo/conditioner/deep treatment and being very gentle while styling.
Your hair will also be extremely porous, meaning that toner we’ve discussed above will probably want to fade out, so the high quality shampoo is doubly important to keep it there. You can feasibly remove all of the tone in one or two shampoos with the wrong product.
- It might not be that flattering on you. Look at Kim up there, looking a bit washed out. If you are naturally very dark haired, your skin tone might not agree with being blonde. Plan on replacing almost all of your current makeup to look better with your new hair. Yes, more expense.
- One more thing. If you go for it, if and when you decide to go back to a darker color, do not – I repeat DO NOT – grab a box from the store and attempt this at home. Unless you like mossy green hair. Trust me on this. Seek professional help so you don’t make a mistake that will end up costing you much more than a $10 box to fix. The hair needs to be filled with all the missing pigment before it will look like an actual hair color and not something out of a swamp. Confused? Again, that’s why we get paid to do your color, because we are not. 😉
So after learning all that, if you still want to be a platinum-haired rebel, we do encourage you to do so! Bring it on! Now you have most of the facts you need to make an informed decision. Of course at Sin 7 Salon you’re always welcome to have a free consultation. We’ll assess your hair, desired outcome, and give you an accurate quote of time, money, and maintenance for your particular situation. This article wasn’t meant to scare you, but to give you a realistic picture of what being a bleach blonde is all about.
Call 604-560-5360 to book your free consultation at our beautiful new location at 1195 Johnston Road in White Rock. If you have any comments, leave them at our Facebook page