PLATINUM BLONDE HAIR... how to get it and how to maintain it!
Ever since I was a little one I have wanted blonde hair. Not just any blonde hair, the palest blonde hair possible.
My mum and dad were really awesome and let me foray into the world of blonde when I was about 12 and had a head of highlights done. I liked the look and kept it up for a while but never felt I had achieved quite the level of blonde as I desired. I then went into my teens where I tried every hair colour and cut possible (to the point where I had shaved sides painstakingly dyed leopard print with pink and black dyes!) eventually settling on black when I grew out my punk hair and wanted to go for a more ladylike look with Betty bangs and a head full of extensions while the sides grew back. Here's a little snapshot of a few of the do's I had through my teen years, with bonus terrible eyebrows and lots of piercings!
The blonde bug had stayed with my through this time and soon I was back wanting the Marilyn look and started working on getting my hair from black to platinum at about the age of 18. I didn't know what I was doing and didn't know that hair colour removers existed or that vitamin C mixed into your shampoo works a treat at stripping colour from your hair, so I just went ahead and bleached it. A lot. Too much. WAY too much. After three bleaches my hair was the colour of Irn Bru and just would not get any lighter. It was done, and no matter what I did it would not lighten, so I did the only thing I could think and dyed it all bright pink as that was the only colour I could think of that would cover the orange. It was probably a good thing that I did this as my hair was really really ruined and semi permanent bright colours like Directions are very moisturising.
Despite the fact that my hair was like pink hay, after about a month or so I tried bleaching it again and after a few goes got to as light as I thought I was going to get and stuck with it, just bleaching my roots from then on. My hair was trashed, but eventually with lots of conditioning, being careful while bleaching and getting my hair cut regularly I had semi-decent hair again.
I get asked often what products I use and how I have managed to maintain this colour for nearly 8 years without losing all my hair so thought I'd do a little post! I really wouldn't recommend the DIY method if you want to go from dark to platinum after my experience of hair that is stretchy and bubblegum like when wet, and when dry a frizzy, straw-like barnet of doom. I'd recommend doing it gradually and getting a professional to do it for you, but once you are blonde if you wish to maintain it yourself you could try using the products I do which are as follows...
So first up, the bleach itself. If I was less lazy I'd use a separate powder bleach and developer cream with a toner applied afterwards, but as I am a lazy so and so I currently use L'Oreal Paris's Feria in shade L01 Extreme Platinum Power. It is a strong one so takes my hair to as light as I want it in one application, toning it too to a vanilla like pale colour. I would recommend getting a friend to help apply it so you don't overlap onto already lightened hair when you're doing your roots avoiding as much damage as possible. One of the main reasons I love this product is the fantastic toning conditioner that comes with it - you get a really generous tube and it does wonders to my hair helping it be as smooth and silky as possible while keeping yellow tones at bay.
Also to help keep my hair snowy rather than creamy I always add a little squeeze of Matrix Total Results So Solver Shampoo to my normal shampoo whenever I wash it. Now this stuff can really dry out your locks so rather than use just this as my shampoo I just add the teeniest amount to my normal shampoo which I will show you in a moment. I bought a one litre bottle of this stuff for £20 three years ago and I'm only just using up the last bits now! It's definitely worth the money - looking at pictures of my hair before and after I started using this stuff the difference is so noticeable even though I use the same bleach. I went from creme brulee to ice maiden in one fell swoop (or shampoo to be correct).
So, I actually rotate between two or three different shampoo, conditioner and mask ranges because I feel like my hair kind of 'gets used' to them if I use them too long and that it builds up a coating if I don't change it around a bit which stops them working as well. My current favourites are the two ranges above, the L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise EverStrong range and the John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate + Rescue range. As I said before, I like to add a small amount of silver shampoo to my normal shampoo and then I create a mix of the conditioner, hair mask and toning conditioner that comes with the bleach to condition my hair. It may seem a bit much but I come away from it with tangle free, shiny and soft hair so I don't mind the extra work!
Finally I wanted to let you know a few of the styling products I use. Now I always blow dry my hair which I am fully aware a lot of people tell you not to do if you bleach your barnet and they are right it is better not to, but I like to use additional conditioning and volumising products which just wouldn't work if I was to let my hair dry naturally.
I towel dry my hair and then apply John Frienda Luxurious Volume Thickening Mousse to just my roots - the difference this makes to my finished look is amazing. Bleaching has thinned my once thick hair and made it a lot more fine, which coupled with my naturally poker straight locks can equal a pretty drab do, but if I blow dry my hair with this mousse I come out with thicker looking hair that is volumised at the roots and looks much much fuller.
To the ends of my hair I apply either Avon's Advance Techniques Damage Repair 3D Rescue Leave In Treatment or a little Hask Argan Oil from Primark, or a combination of the two. A little goes a long way with both and I make sure I don't get this stuff on my roots to avoid a greasy look.
I then give everything a quick spritz of Elnett Satin Heat Protect Styling Spray and get to blow drying, elevating my roots with my fingers while drying it to add more height. I use the 'curls' version of the spray, only because it is the same thing I use when heat curling my hair and it works just as well for blow drying - it doesn't create a curl it just helps your heat style set and last longer.
Another thing which can be bad for bleached hair is washing it too often. I know this sounds odd, but washing your hair removes the natural oils that your scalp emits which actually helps your hair. I wash my hair every other day and if my do is feeling a bit lack luster or greasy looking on the second morning I give my roots a quick spray with Batiste Cherry Scented Dry Shampoo and give it another brush to disperse it through my hair and I'm left with hair that looks freshly washed, just not quite as shiny as usual.
Well I hope this answered some questions and helped some of you lovelies out, if you have any questions do feel free to drop me a comment and I'll come back to you as soon as I can!