As Revelist’s resident fashion and beauty HBIC — as well as the eyeliner addict behind Eyeliner Addict — I spend a LOT of time answering beauty questions.
And by FAR the most commonly asked beauty question that comes my way is “Should I go platinum?”
(Thanks, Leighton — Blair Waldorf goes blonde and so do we all.)
The answer is, maybe! But before you go into your salon and demand a full Khaleesi makeover, there are some pretty major things you need to consider. Let's get real about going ice-blonde.
1. YES, YOU CAN PULL IT OFF.
Please, everyone: BANISH this idea that there are "certain looks" that "certain people" can't wear. Beauty rules are not real — you can rock ANY hair you want, and you will look boss as hell. Confidence is legitimately all it takes.
That said, finding the perfect platinum takes a deft hand. Oh, did you not realize that there are multiple shades of platinum? There are! Off the top of my head, you can have blue-toned platinum, pink-platinum, green-blue platinum, steel gray, blue-gray, and even golden-platinum.
The perfect platinum shade is a mixture of what YOU like, and what the expert bleaching your hair thinks will work the best. Yes, I said "expert." Because...
2. NO, YOU CANNOT DIY.
3. It takes a really, really long time.
I would like to have a word with Kylie Jenner about MANY things, but especially her "whoops I accidentally went platinum!" nonsense. That’s not how it happens — no matter your natural color, going white requires MAJOR work.
Depending on your hair, a non-Kardashian human can expect to spend two to three sessions with their colorist, sitting for three to nine hours at a stretch, to truly reach platinum status.
Yes, I said nine hours EACH TIME. This is not uncommon.
You need to be patient, and you will also need to make peace with the fact that you might spend a month walking around with brassy, orange-toned “halfway hair.” Neither Rome, nor white-blonde hair, was built in a day.
4. It WILL damage your hair.
No matter how healthy, hair hates the sheer insanity of the chemicals required to strip ALL of the pigment out. Bond-repairers like Olaplex can lessen that damage, but won't eliminate it altogether. Depending on the condition of your hair, going platinum means you will probably end up losing a lot of length, you may experience breakage, and your hair’s texture will be markedly different afterwards.
In short, your white hair will become as fragile and delicate as Donald Trump’s ego. You need to be prepared for that.
Also, about Olaplex and products like it: Olaplex will prevent a lot of damage, but means your hair will take much longer to process. Like, sometimes twice as long. BE FOREWARNED.
5. It will probably hurt.
Remember how during the makeover episodes of America’s Next Top Model: Original Flavor, there was always that one girl who cried? Ever notice how it was almost always the girl that Tyra saw as a white-blonde?
Yeah. Bleach fucking hurts.
Bleach and toner are some serious shit, and even on a good day, they can hurt your scalp. Blisters and burns are not uncommon; even a good colorist can do bad things in the name of Khaleesi hair. Speak up if you feel bleach or toner stinging, or if you see redness or welts raising on your head. Otherwise, suck it up and pray to Tyra for strength.
6. It's EXPENSIVE.
Like, REALLY expensive. Platinum is a big, dramatic hair change — and those cost an absolutely bonkers amount of money. Expect to spend upwards of $600 to get your hair to white-blonde, and then plan to spend another $150 having your roots touched up and your color refreshed every three weeks.
I know. Really puts Khaleesi’s hair in the desert into perspective, doesn’t it.
7. Upkeep is a nightmare.
They say that nothing gold ever stays — that also applies to platinum hair. Your perfect icy-blonde will last mere days before the dreaded brassiness starts to creep in. Brassiness — when blonde hair takes on yellow or orange undertones — is every platinum babe’s worst nightmare, and fighting it is basically a full-time job.
First, throw out your shampoo. You need special stuff now. My white-blonde friends swear by Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo ($10, Sally Beauty) or Davines Alchemical Silver Shampoo ($26, Davines), which deposits purple tones to cancel out yellow ones.
Cancel out dryness with a hardcore conditioner like Kerastase Chronologiste Mask ($68, Kerastase USA), or — again — Davines Alchemic Silver Conditioner ($30, Davines) which hydrate and protect against color loss.
Have you used coconut oil in your hair before? Stop that shit. No more DIY hair recipes for your delicate ice-blonde hair; they'll eff with the newly-ruined texture, and wreck your color.
Did you wash your hair more than twice a week? Not anymore, you don’t. Dry shampoo is your new best friend; Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo ($22, Sephora) smells great, absorbs oil, and won’t screw up your white.
You’ll also have to replace your normal hair ties with extra-gentle ones, your ordinary pillowcase with satin or silk, your brush and combs with gentler things like a Tangle Teezer, and invest in the best heat-protectants money can buy. Because you’re platinum now, baby. Keeping it up is hard work.
8. It *still* might not work.
If you decide that all the pain, and the expense, and the damage is worth it — you still might not be able to walk away with the super-icy blonde you always dreamed of. Sometimes there's just too much damage, or previously baked-in color, or natural brassy tones to fully make it all the way to white.
I know. It's really sad; but on the bright side, there are lots of amazing things that you can do with light blonde hair!