How to Safely Bleach Hair Platinum Blonde
Why Trust Me?
Ok, first things first: Why should you listen to me? I wouldn’t trust my hair to any random article on the internet, so why should you?
Well, first, I’ve been dying my hair myself since I was in middle school (so for well over 10 years). Next, throughout my entire existence my hair has been every color of the rainbow and back to platinum blonde, so I know how to get the results I want and do it fast.
Finally, after many years of experience I know what not to do and I refined my technique to the point where I can tell you how to get the color you want on the first try without completely frying your hair. Not to mention the fact that most of my friends are cosmetologists.
Now, if you feel like I’m a reliable source of information, we’ll get into what you really want to know. First, some guidelines:
- Color does not cover color. In other words, do not attempt to buy a box of blonde color because it will not turn out like what’s on the package, especially if you’ve colored your hair before. You’ll end up brassy at the very least, and you may even end up resembling a traffic cone if your hair favors red tones.
- You cannot become platinum blonde without bleaching your hair.
- Yes, bleach is harmful to the hair and scalp. The bleach will damage your hair and can chemically burn your scalp. That’s why you take precautions. You want your hair healthy before you bleach. And you never paint the bleach all the way to the scalp.
- Bleaching should be a three-part system: getting started, the action, and the aftercare.
Quick Step-by-Step Look and Overview
See more details below
How to Bleach Your Hair Platinum
Before you bleach, make sure your hair is healthy
Take good care of it; condition and trim regularly
Purchase your products
See below for the ones that I like and recommend
Test a small section of hair
See directions below. This is to find out how long you need to leave on the bleach
Time to bleach! Grab your materials, put a towel around your shoulder, and get to the bathroom
Divide your hair into 4 sections
Part it down and then across like a plus sign
Mix your bleach
Put the bleach powder in a bowl and then gradually add developer until you get ketchup-like consistency
Starting with the roots, paint your hair down to the tips section by section
Don't get bleach on your scalp!
Check progress like with the strand test. If it's drying out, add more or wet it.
After your hair finishes processing, rinse and then wash with purple shampoo
Condition your hair heavily
Don't blow or flat iron it
After your hair dries, apply "Virgin Snow" toner on strands that look brassy
Try to leave it on for at least 30 minutes (an hour is best). You can also do this when it's wet if you can tell where the color is off.
Wash again with purple shampoo, condition, and spray a leave-in conditioner or reconstructor.
Again, try to avoid using heat to dry.
Preparing to bleach
Like I said before, you want to have healthy hair before you go slapping on bleach. It’s just better that way. Healthy hair can stand up to the abuse it’s going to take with the processing.
To Make Sure Your Hair Is Healthy:
- Stay away from box color
- Do not bleach more than once every few weeks
- Do not bleach previously bleached pieces of hair (only bleach new growth for instance)
- Use conditioner every time you wash your hair
- Do not wash your hair every day. Every three days is ideal because it allows the oil in the hair to build back up, nourish, and protect the hair
- Keep your split ends in check. The recommendation is to trim them every 6-8 weeks, but I normally go every 10-12. I find it works better for my hair.
- Follow additional tips in the "aftercare" section of this article
Purchase the Products and Test Your Hair
After you make sure your hair is in an OK condition to undergo bleaching, its time to gather supplies and test out the process.
First, decide how many shades you need to lift your hair to get to your desired color of blonde. This will help determine the developer you need to purchase. Typically, you'll use a 30 developer to lighten your hair 3 shades, and 40 for 4 shades.
I've personally never used a 40 developer on my hair. I stick with the 30 and it has worked just fine on my dyed and natural hair. I just leave it on a little longer than what I would the 40. Whatever I can do to help limit the harshness of the bleach, I do, so I do suggest that if the 30 developer works for you, use it instead of stepping up to the 40.
Next, it's time to buy your materials.
- Ion color brilliance powder lightener
- Ion sensitive scalp 30 volume creme developer
- Manic panic "virgin snow" toner
- Re-useable gloves
- Hair clips
- Mixing bowl
- Tint brush
- Ion cool blonde shampoo
I buy all of my products at Sally's and it usually runs between $25 and $30 depending on the sales they're running. If you prefer a different brand, by all means, use the one you feel comfortable with. I like Ion because the powder is tinted blue and it helps to achieve that cool blonde color better.
After buying your product, resist the urge to run home and start a bleaching frenzy. You need to do a strand test before bleaching to see how your hair is going to react.
Do a Strand Test
- Divide your hair into a top and bottom section, clip up the top section, and select a small strand of hair from the bottom section that is easily manipulated and hidden (if things go wrong).
- Mix your product according to the directions in the next section of this article, apply, and wait.
- Note the time of application and check hair every 10 minutes until the desired color is achieved.
This way you'll know about how long it will take your hair to process when you bleach completely.
How to Bleach Your Hair
So you've taken care of your hair, gathered all your supplies, and completed the strand test. Now, you're ready for the exciting part: the action!
- Get all your materials laid out in the bathroom, grab a towel and throw it around your shoulders.
- Divide your hair into 4 sections by parting it like a plus sign (down then across), and secure each section with a clip.
- Next, mix your bleach. Start by dumping the powder from the bleach packet into a mixing bowl, then gradually stir in the developer until it gets to a consistency almost like ketchup. You don't want to leave it watery, but you also don't want it like peanut butter. Make sure to mix it up well, because the powder has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl and not become completely submersed in the developer. This will make your solution gritty and hard to work with.
- Now you can start bleaching! Be careful not to apply the bleach directly onto the scalp. It can give you a chemical burn. Just paint your roots super-close. Start with the roots and work your way down to the tips of your hair. If you've previously dyed or bleached your hair, this will save on some of the damage to the ends and limit the amount of time exposed to the bleach.
- You can start front to back, back to front, or on one of the sides. Do whatever is easiest for you. I try to start at the back and work my way through the sides and to the front.
- After your hair is covered, it's time to wait. Whenever your hair is processing, be sure to check its progress like with the strand test, even though you should now have a general idea of how long it will take. You don't want to over-do it.
- When you check your hair's progress, check to make sure the bleach isn't drying out.
- Reserve some of the bleach mixture so that in case some areas do begin to dry, you can re-coat them. If you don't have any extra bleach, you can use a little dab of water on the area as well.
- When the processing is finished, rinse your hair and then wash with the purple shampoo.
- Condition your hair heavily, and if you can stand it, don't blow dry or flat iron.
- Dry hair reveals colors that wet hair doesn't. So, when your hair dries, inspect it for strands that look brassy, orange, or yellow. That's where you'll apply the "Virgin Snow" toner. It works on wet or dry hair, so if you can pick out discolorations when the hair is wet, and there is no need to wait for it to dry to apply the toner.* The longer you can leave this on, the better. At least 30 minutes is needed for full effect, but if you slather it on and put a towel around it turban-style, an hour is easily achievable.
- Once time is up, wash again with purple shampoo, condition, and spray in a leave-in conditioner/reconstructor. Again, avoid heat if at all possible.
*The good thing about this toner is it is actually good for your hair. It's very moisturizing, so you can drench your entire head in the stuff if you don't want to pick out individual areas for application. It won't hurt the color that bleached out with no brassiness. It will simply brighten and enhance it.
The Aftercare: Taking Care of Bleached Hair
The aftercare is probably the most important part of the whole bleaching extravaganza. You want to keep that gorgeous hair healthy, right?
- Buy a deep conditioner, hot oil treatment, or hair masque and use it at least once a week. You need to replace the moisture in your hair. I use a combination of the V05 hot oil shower treatment and Kenra Nourishing Masque.
- Buy a good reconstructor and use it at least once a week. Deep conditioners are great, but they don't do enough for bleached hair. They re-moisturize, but that's really it. You need something that is going to give your hair some lovin'. Reconstructors will revitalize your hair, fix some of the damage, and replace some of what was stripped out of your hair during the bleaching process. Bedhead makes a nice reconstructor called Dumb Blonde and you can use it every time you wash your hair.
- Use a spray, leave-in treatment of some type. Redken Snap, or CHI Keratin Treatment will help repair damage.
- Wash with purple shampoo. It keeps those lovely blonde locks looking their best and brightest, and will keep brassiness and discolorations away.
- Trim your ends.
- Stay away from heat as much as possible, especially within the first week. Avoid the flat iron, girls, and if you absolutely must blow dry, set it to the lowest heat setting.
- And, when it comes time to bleach again, only bleach your new growth.
Hope this article helps answer some of your questions. If you have any tips or tricks about bleaching or aftercare please leave them in the comments!
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Brittany