Feb 23, 2015

How to get platinum blonde hair

Platinum blonde hair is beautiful, although it can often be a difficult color to reach. This is because in order to get a platinum blonde hair color, your hair needs to be lightened quite a bit. In fact, it has to be a very pale yellow shade before it can be properly toned to platinum.

What is platinum blonde?

Platinum blonde hair is a pale silvery blonde color. In order to achieve this color, your hair must be effectively lightened to close to a level 10, which is the lightest hair color possible. This results in pale yellow hair that is the color of the inside of a banana peel.

Of course, this banana color isn't what is normally considered platinum yet, and toning is required to neutralize the small amount of remaining warm pigment. A pastel violet toner is used in this last step to correct this warmth and produce a sleek frosty blonde color.

The dye process

The process for dyeing your hair platinum entails two separate stages:
  • Lightening your hair
  • Toning your hair
Lightening is achieved by using bleach in most cases. If your hair is naturally blonde and hasn't been dyed, you may be able to lighten and tone in one step with either a regular permanent dye or a high lift dye in an ash shade depending on how dark your hair is.

Lightening to platinum blonde hair with dye like this is really only reliable if your hair is naturally medium blonde already. If your hair has been previously dyed, or if it is naturally darker, you can't use a method like this and it absolutely needs to be pre-lightened with bleach to ensure a good result.

Using high lift dye - Find out how to mix, prepare, and apply high lift color, and whether it is a viable method for your desired platinum result...


Should you go platinum blonde?

The first step to getting your hair to platinum blonde is to lighten it using bleach. This should only be done if your hair is in good condition.

If you have hair that is darker than light brown or that has already been dyed previously with dark hair colors, chances are that one bleach will not be enough to take it to the shade of blonde that you want, and this needs to be factored into your decision to dye your hair.

Successive bleaching means more damage, as well as a longer time span to reach platinum blonde hair. It also means that regrowth may not lighten fully in one treatment, and maintenance is more complicated than it otherwise would be if your hair is light enough that you only need to bleach once.

If you've taken all of this into account and want to go platinum however, it's possible to achieve this regardless of how dark your hair naturally is. As long as you are careful with the condition of your hair, and sensible in taking the process slowly, your hair can be dyed platinum.

Pre-lightening hair


Your hair needs to be pre-lightened with bleach to achieve platinum blonde hair. For the best results, this bleach should be a high quality salon powder, as these products produce better lightening and less damage than generic powders do.

This needs to be mixed with peroxide developer in the correct ratio for your particular brand. Most bleach powders use a 1 to 2 ratio of powder to developer, but this does vary and you will get the most reliable results by using the ratio that your own brand recommends.

You will also need to be able to apply the bleach as quickly as possible and preferably to properly sectioned hair for an even result. Any unevenness in the application will translate to the lightening, resulting in darker and lighter patches that will affect your later color result.

This means instead of sleek platinum blonde hair, you will end up with a platinum that has patches of darker brassy hair, and other patches that have been lightened past the pale yellow stage where significant damage begins to occur, leading to breakage and frizz.

None of this is meant to scare you, but rather to illustrate the effect that an uneven application can have on your hair when the intent is to go this light. The lighter you intend to go with bleach, the more noticeable any application mistakes will become.

If you're confident in your application skills however, and ready to achieve platinum blonde hair, you can begin applying bleach to sectioned hair. This can be left to process only for the maximum processing time as directed by the brand of bleach you are using.

Leaving bleach on for longer than this time doesn't produce much more lightening as most of the reaction has already completed, but what it does do is result in extra damage. The added time that your hair is exposed to the alkaline pH of the product increases damage past the benefit of this minimal lightening.

If you haven't reached a pale yellow colour after bleaching, you will need to bleach your hair again at a later time. It is generally best to wait at least a week before doing this as it can take this long for your hair to build up moisture again and start to feel normal. The longer you can leave it, the better condition your hair will be in once you get to platinum.

How to bleach hair - Need more recommendation about how to mix, apply, and use bleach, as well as how to properly section out your hair for application? Find it here, as well as after-lightening care.


Toning hair to platinum

Hair that has reached the pale yellow stage is the colour of banana flesh. It's very light and there is only the faintest yellow tone left. This is how light your hair needs to be in order to actually be toned to platinum.

Darker yellow, or gold hair, can also be toned to blonde, but it won't look platinum regardless of toning, as platinum is a result of depth rather than just tone. You absolutely must reach a light enough shade for it to look the way it should.

To finish the colour and tone it to platinum, you need to use a pastel ash blonde toner. This ash should be violet-based as the violet tone neutralises yellow. Most professional dye brands use a code like 'T' or 'P' to specifiy a toner product, like in the case of Indola's P.01 toner, which is a pastel ash.

With other brands you will need to use a regular permanent dye instead if they don't have pastel toners. Dyes like Igora Royal 9.5-1 or Goldwell Colorance 10V will produce a platinum result in pre-lightened hair. Wella's popular at-home color line, Color Charm, can also be used in T18 to get platinum blonde hair. For specific shades in your desired brand, feel free to leave a comment and ask.

Apply your toner quickly and evenly to sectioned hair. It only needs to be left until it has effectively toned out the last traces of yellow in your hair. Leaving it longer than this can lead to your hair gaining a violet tinge and it won't look platinum.

Once it has toned, rinse the dye out and you can now enjoy your new platinum blonde hair. Regular toning is often still required as the color fades out over time, but this can be done easily with violet shampoo. The right shampoo negates any need to use anymore dye or more intensive toners to maintain your color.

More information:

Have a question about platinum blonde hair? Wondering whether your hair is in good enough condition, or what dye to use as the final toner? Leave a comment for tailored advice...

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