Kate Allen
September 07, 2014 1:00 pm

We’ve all thought about it—some of us have even tried it. I’m talking about going platinum blonde, of course. It’s a bold hair move that lots of women have been making lately. (Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet, I’m looking at you pretty ladies.) There’s no denying this color is here to stay and only gaining popularity. But it’s kind of a big decision, so if you’re going to try it, make sure you know these facts:

1. Most women who want to go platinum blonde have to do a double process.

This means that the first process is to eliminate all pigment from hair and get that base color to a pure, almost white base. This always requires bleach because, as the stylist saying goes, color cannot lift color. The second part of the process is depositing tone into the hair (usually violet) to counteract any orange tones or yellow tones that are too strong to fight naturally. There’s a lot more to what’s going on here and that’s why it’s crucial to find an experienced colorist to take you through this, but that’s the basic process of going to platinum. Some women choose to do this in highlights slowly over time, but for the drama of an all over platinum, most ladies just go straight for the double process.

2. You have to stay committed to the process in order to achieve your desired result.

There are a lot of considerations your stylist has to make when completing the process for your hair. If you have used box color that can be really harsh to lift out, if you have product build up from using generic shampoos or if you have very delicate, fine hair that could be damaged easily, your stylist will have to take his or her time with this process.

I’ve gone through the first step of lifting color five times with some clients because it truly is a matter of getting in there and seeing how each person’s hair lifts. If you have unbalanced porosity from using too many heat tools, your hair will lift quicker in some sections and slower in others. And worst case scenario, if you try to work through this process too quickly and become impatient, you can end up with a full head of blonde hair…. that’s only an inch long!

3. Know that your texture will change.

I personally love how my hair lays with a little bit of bleach in it. My fine, soft hair turns into a sex goddess mane with body and texture that it just can’t get when it’s clean, virgin hair. But if you already have wavy, frizzy and unruly hair and that bleach blows open your cuticle, you might not love that your new platinum blonde hair requires 20 more minutes of taming for a smooth, straight look. I’m all about embracing what you have, so if you have a hair type that feels more unruly from some bleach, beach waves should be your new best friend. But the most important aspect is that you recognize things will change. It’s okay if you don’t know how to style your hair once that change takes place because that’s something your hairdresser can teach you. But it is important that you recognize you won’t have the same soft, easy to manage hair.

4. Understand the upkeep required.

Once you’ve gotten through the 2-4 applications it can take to bring your hair through red up to orange and finally up to a bright blonde, there is a lot of upkeep to maintain your beautiful new color. If you will hate the way your dark roots grow in, you’ll want to maintain retouch appointments every 3-5 weeks. No matter what color your natural is, every color looks harsh against platinum, so be prepared to want to get your roots done pretty often. You’ll also need to have a toner applied each time you come in to keep that vibrancy and cool tone that make a platinum a PLATINUM. And because the whole process of stripping your hair pigment can be very drying, you’ll need to do regular conditioning treatments to keep your hair healthy, moisturized and shiny.

Still not sure about trying this season’s coolest color? Ease into it with a balayage pattern a la Khloe Kardashian. Have your stylist feather a darker blonde through the top and blend that into a platinum from the mid-strands down. That way you can check out how your hair feels, how long the process took to get so light and you’ll have a great idea of how you look in such a light shade.

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