You'll Want to Be a Platinum Blonde After This
I've been every shade of blonde on the hair-color spectrum. I've loved most (minus the accidental strawberry blonde with chunky gold highlights), but my absolute favorite has been platinum blonde.
Platinum blonde hair makes you feel glamorous, even if you're wearing jeans and a tee. It's also super flattering on pretty much every skin tone. And it gets a lot of attention, something my dark-haired coworker Sarah has noticed while out with her husband, Alex, who has been platinum for about a year. "He gets polite catcalls all the time! People literally stop him in the street just to say they love his hair—men and women alike."
Sarah's husband, Alex, with the platinum blonde hair that gets him polite catcalls.
Alex isn't the only one with attention-grabbing platinum hair. Here are a few other great platinum blondes on Instagram giving me platinum FOMO.
I can't stop (won't stop) obsessing over this platinum blonde with a microroot shadow. It's perfect if you love platinum hair, but have a hard time committing to all of the appointments it takes to keep it up.
This ashy, white platinum shade looks stunning against this Instagrammer's caramel skin. If you have yellow undertones and want platinum hair, go with a cool-tone platinum to cancel out any sallowness.
This icy platinum pairs with a blunt bob to create a fashion-forward look that would work well on all age ranges. It feels very off-duty fashion model to me, like it's effortlessly gorgeous (even though that's never the case with platinum hair).
GO PLATINUM: FIND A COLORIST NEAR YOU
What a Stylist Wants You to Know about Going Platinum
There's really nothing like platinum hair color, but it is 1) not easy to achieve and 2) not easy to maintain. Before you go platinum, here's what you should know according to expert colorist Melle Claybough, the owner of Tip Top Knot at Flourish Hair and Beauty in Chicago and a stylist known for her devoted clientele:
It won't happen in one salon visit.
"Think of the journey to platinum blonde as a train ride with lots of stops. It's hardly ever achieved in a single salon visit. And along the way, damage can occur, and tones can shift," Melle says.
Unless you have somewhat light hair already, your stylist might suggest a full highlight to introduce blonde throughout all of your hair, she explains. And that would likely be one appointment by itself. Once you're blonde enough, it's time for a double-process.
Part one of the double-process involves applying bleach (often euphemistically referred to as "lightener") to the entire head in sections. Step two involves applying toner, AKA gloss, on top. "Think of it like priming a wall before you paint it. The lightener is the primer, and the gloss is the paint," Melle says.
The bleach will feel a little weird.
The first time I went platinum, I actually noticed the bleach on my scalp. As Melle says, "A client will feel a bit of tightness or maybe a slight itching feeling." But, she adds, "they should never feel uncomfortable or like they are in pain."
My scalp definitely felt a bit itchy and a lot tighter—I would almost say heavier—with the bleach on.
A dimensional platinum created by Melle at Tip Top Knot in Chicago.
It's a bad idea to DIY platinum.
Achieving platinum hair color without wrecking the hair is hard, to say the least. In fact, when Melle was starting out as an assistant apprentice at a salon, she had to wait until the very end of her 1.5-year apprenticeship to even attempt platinum hair.
"In other words, [platinum hair] was like graduate-level hair-color work and could only be performed by stylists who had learned a year's worth of color theory and practice," she explains.
So it's no wonder that she's seen clients come in after DIY bleach jobs with "hair that looked like candy corn with bands of orange and yellow!"
It requires A LOT of upkeep.
Platinum blondes need to come into the salon "ideally every 3–5 weeks for touchups and toners," Melle says. That's why platinum hair is such a time- and money suck.
"Also, at-home maintenance with recommended products is totally vital if you wanna look like the Mother of Dragons," Melle adds. (She's a big Game of Thrones fan.)
She recommends using a purple-based shampoo like Unite Blonda to "cancel out any unwanted yellow tones that can make a platinum blonde look dingy." She recommends at-home conditioning masks, too; her current obsession is the Verb Hydrating mask.
Your hair might feel different afterward.
In addition to looking different, your hair will likely be a bit coarser after a double-process.
But that's not necessarily bad, Melle argues. "Some clients with fine, limp hair love it because it can give them oomph!" Personally, it gave my fine hair more body and the ability to hold a curl for days.
Once you go platinum, you'll never want to go back.
You will because platinum hair is a huge hassle, but it's so gorgeous that you'll find yourself a white-hot blonde again and again.
Images to inspire you to go blonder at your next salon appointment
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At your next appointment, find inspiration in one of these colors.
Discover which hair-color treatment is right for you.
Colleen is a makeup/skincare junkie who has a serious Sephora problem. She writes about all things beauty and occasionally does hand modeling for work. Her job is strange.