Like so many of the best things in life, going blonde is both a lot of fun...and a lot of work. And for every woman you meet who loves how her stunning platinum hair turned out, there’s another one out there whose hair looks and feels like straw. If you’ve previously colored your hair and have decided you want to go significantly lighter, the process will involve bleach—it’s the only way to lift your color multiple levels lighter. That means your hair will also withstand some—hopefully very minimal—damage, regardless of how careful you and your colorist are. So before you go blonde, it is of the utmost importance to determine whether your hair is healthy enough to stand up to the process. But even if going platinum isn’t the right choice for you and your hair, all is not lost—at the very least you’ll be able to add some sunkissed highlights in time for summer. And shiny and healthy-looking beats dry and dull-looking every time, regardless of the color of your hair.
- Just Add Water
Here’s an easy test you can do right now to see if your hair is healthy enough to go platinum. Take a strand of hair, pull it smooth and taut, then add a drop of water onto it and start counting how long it takes for your hair to absorb the water. This mini home science experiment reveals how healthy your locks are. If your hair absorbs the water in less than ten seconds, your cuticle is compromised and your strands are too damaged to stand up to bleach. Also, if your hair feels overly stretchy when wet, our condolences, but hold off on any procedures that could cause breakage.
- Ask a Professional
Whether it’s in person at the salon or giving one of our expert colorists a call, getting a color consultation is never a bad idea. A professional will give it to you straight (or curly). But please, if your stylist advises you that it’s not in your best interest to go blonde, don’t go rogue...listen to them!
- Are You High Maintenance or Low Maintenance?
If bleaching is involved, be prepared to show your hair some serious love. You’ll need to visit your salon for touch-ups every 4-8 weeks. It will be time-consuming, and it can be expensive—in addition to more salon visits, you’ll also likely need to purchase a new arsenal of products to maintain your lighter color. So before you begin the process of going blonde, be honest with yourself about how much effort you’re willing to put into maintaining the look.
- Too Intimidating? Consider Half Measures
Okay, so who says you have to be blonde all over? Going platinum is a serious commitment (see above). If you’re itching to go lighter but aren’t overly attached to the idea of icy blonde Khaleesi locks, highlights, babylights, or balayage are a lot easier on your strands. You’ll probably only spend a single session in the chair, you can rock the ombré look when your roots grow out, and Game of Thrones is ending anyway, we’re just saying.
- Platinum Takes Patience
If you’ve gotten the green light to go lighter, you’ll still want to color your hair in stages to keep it as healthy as possible. Particularly if your hair is dark, colored, or both, this process will be a serious commitment. To safely take your hair from dark to light, you could wind up spending several hours at the salon every few weeks. Your hair may appear brassy at first, since dark hair naturally lifts warmer, but don’t stress—most likely, you won’t see icy blonde results until you're closer to your final session. Though virgin hair can be taken blonde in a single daylong transformation, colored hair may require up to six weeks or longer for the perfect platinum.
- Stock Up on “Before” and “After” Products
If you have colored hair, use a clarifying shampoo or our Prime for Perfection® treatment to help strip some of the artificial pigment from your strands before your first appointment. Post-coloring, invest in nourishing masks and deep conditioners, glosses or toning glazes, hydrating shampoo, and a good heat protectant to keep your strands looking shiny and healthy.
Have you gone, or are you considering going, platinum blonde? Share your experience in the comments—we want to know who really has more fun.