There was this one time last summer that my hair turned out gorgeously close to platinum and I LOVED it!
Thing is, I don’t recall exactly how I did that…and when it was time to touch up my roots, I didn’t know what to do!
I was never consistent with my hair that summer…. sometimes I’d just dye it blond, sometimes I’d do highlights, I also did a bleach bath once. Maybe twice. Lesson Learned: take notes when you color your hair!
Not knowing what to do, and it being October already, I decided to go back to old and trusty Clairol 9AA, and……. well, my hair turned out darker than I expected it to. It was still a nice color blond, so from that point on I just stuck with it. I knew it worked and I liked the color.
Then January hit. For some freakish reason we had a ton of sunny weather and it was Spring-like!! And I’m perusing hair cuts and colors, trying to decide if I should go darker, or multi-colored, and I’m finding myself constantly drawn to the ‘platinum’ pixie.
So I decided to go for it.
Actually, hubby kind of talked me into it when I told him it was time to do my roots again and I told him I was thinking about going a little lighter….and he said “just go all out- just go for it! Go platinum!”.
So…..I’m going to give it a go. And this time I’m taking notes so I can replicate it…if it works! Or have the notes so I know how to adjust it if it doesn’t work!
First….a little research was needed. From what I read, the only way to go platinum is to bleach the heck out of one’s hair until it is pale banana yellow, then tone it with a violet toner. The “go-to” toner is Wella T18, which I already use and am familiar with.
But more reading tells me that some people have had success going platinum with a “high lift” blond dye….it’s less damaging than bleach, so I decide THAT will be the route I try first. Since my Clairol 9AA isn’t as blond as I’d like, I decide to go to Sally’s and buy the 12AA blonde. I’m excited when I see the packaging says 12AA HL (high-lift)! So I ask the clerk… “I’ve been going blonde with the 9AA. Will this 12AA get me to my platinum goal?”
“Sure- it will take your roots pretty close to platinum, with toner of course, but you can’t lift color with color. The rest of your hair won’t get any lighter than it is now.”
Light bulb moment! You can’t lift color with color.
This would explain why my 9AA color isn’t making my overall hair any lighter, just making it more brassy with each application….because it’s adding color without LIFTING any.
She then goes on to say the only way for me to go blonder is to BLEACH my hair. Not having the success I’ve wanted in the past with my Kaleidocolor Violet powder (it only lightens 4 levels), I asked the gal for advice and she suggested the L’Oreal Quick Blue (which lightens 7 levels).
I arm myself with a packet (didn’t want to invest in the giant bucket- lesson learned- GET THE GIANT BUCKET), and a new bottle of Wella T18 toner.
I get home and I’m afraid to do a whole head application since I’m using a product I’ve never used before- I was afraid my hair would break, or fall out, or turn to a chemical mush. I am no professional.
I tell my bangs that they are now guinea pigs…. and we’re going to do a test run on them. If they fall out or break, no biggie. And if I chicken out on the whole head application, I’ll just have super blonde bangs!
I know that I need to do my growout first and do the roots last since virgin hair will bleach crazy fast.
SO, here we go! It’s February 8th. I’m going for it!
I mixed the bleach according to directions and using one of those applicator brushes, I applied it liberally to my bangs, staying away from my roots, letting it process for 15 minutes. It was turning a lovely pale yellow, so I applied it to my roots….and started timing to see how long before my roots would match the rest of my bangs. Turns out they only needed about 10 minutes. So 25 minutes total. My hair seemed to be that lovely pale banana yellow color. I figured 25 minutes was long enough and it didn’t seem like the ends were getting any lighter so I rinsed it out. Since my hair didn’t fall out or turn gooey or anything, I decided to complete my test by applying the toner. I left it on for 15 minutes. It was looking great! Until I rinse it out and see that I really should have left it in longer. It was more “yellow” than “pale yellow” so maybe I didn’t leave the bleach on long enough either.
So notes taken…..
1. Toner- needs to be on for 20-25 minutes.
2. Bleach- maybe add an extra 5 minutes to my roots- and an extra 5 minutes overall…..so 30 minutes.
Decisions made, everything ready, I decide to go ahead with the full head application of bleach….with that little packet. Which should be totally fine, right? I have short hair…should be plenty, right?
Well, it wasn’t quite enough. Which meant the product was too thin in spots, particularly at the very back of my head and at the top of my crown at my roots. The two most visible spots. Ugh.
Always have way more product than you think you’ll need.
And another complication….
I read that the bleach/developer only works when the product is still ‘wet’…and since I had applied it so sparsely in spots, it was drying too quickly. I tried the spritz bottle to dampen my hair….but it didn’t work.
I left the bleach in for 30 minutes, but I wasn’t seeing any additional color change and I didn’t want to fry my hair. I simply just didn’t have enough product.
I rinsed my hair and presented the family with my new look. YELLOW BANANA hair.
As it dried, it was significantly less yellow, but I never took a picture. Oops. I swear it wasn’t nearly as scary as it looks in the picture above. I promise.
The next morning I applied the toner….this time I mixed twice as much as I’d need and I completely saturated my hair, leaving it on for 25 minutes.
It definitely helped tone the yellow down….it’s still damp in this picture:
Sooo, now I have some yellowy hot spots that weren’t fully bleached, and some hints of pale purple!
Here’s a close-up:
In natural (outdoor) lighting….
Keep in mind, this is day one. Over the next few days the purple faded and the yellow even faded a bit with my purple “Shimmerlights” shampoo and conditioner.
It still wasn’t as “platinum” as I wanted….still too yellow for my liking. I decided to give the Manic Panic “Virgin Snow” white toner a shot.
I liberally apply the conditioning toner and comb it through my hair, then wrap my head in saran wrap and cover it with a super warm ski hat….and let it marinate for 3 hours. I rinsed it out and dried it and voila!
And another outdoor picture with natural lighting….
Not so yellow…. and no visible purple! YAY!!
So it’s not quite PLATINUM but it’s darn close for my first attempt. I’ll try to get closer when I do my roots in a few weeks.