Right at the end of my pregnancy with Plum, I began toying with the idea of going platinum blonde. I was loving the just-past-shoulder length of my hair, which I don’t real ever style and rarely even blow dry (it’s stick straight, so I can get away with air dry on the regular). So cutting wasn’t interesting to me. And I use to have highlights, had done DIY ombré, and was just ready for a BIG change. (See a before photo here in my about me page!)
I made an appointment with my stylist for the first all-over color lifts and tone. It took three bleachings (and about eight hours) to lift all of the color from my dark brown hair, and I’m glad that I was at a salon with a professional for that first visit. My hair started out virgin, with no previous dye in it, so it was healthy enough to withstand the bleach and stay strong. I wasn’t worried about the expense and time of regular maintenance because I knew that I would be able to affordably and easily maintain the regrowth at home. Read on to find out what products I use and see the process!
I like my platinum to be white/blonde, so when I bleach the regrowth, my aim is to take it to a level zero–or to remove ALL of the pigment from the hair. I read a bunch of tutorials and reviews before venturing into the process on my own, and I’ve been thrilled with the products I chose. I bought everything on amazon.com so I didn’t have to drag my kids to the beauty salon and scavenge for the right products! I started with this color kit that comes with the bowl, comb, brushes, etc. that I needed. The little case has been nice to keep everything together in between uses.
For the bleaching I use this Wella Powder Lightener, and this Clairol 30 volume developer. I follow the instructions to mix one part powder with two parts developer, then carefully apply it to the visible roots, taking care to not overlap too much on the already bleached hair. The first time I did my roots, I had to bleach three times to get to a level zero. Now I’ve got it down to two bleaches, because I work a little smarter, keep a plastic bag over my head while it works, and use a blow dryer for a little heat to maximize the lifting.
After the hair reaches the right lightness, I tone with this Wella T18 (sometimes referred to as “White Lady”) and this Wella 20 volume developer. Because I’m bleaching so white, the toner just barely takes the temperature of the blonde down a tad from ever-so-slightly-yellow to ever-so-slightly-blue. I only leave it on for about 5-7 minutes because I’m not going for purple hair, just platinum.
For regular upkeep on the tone, I use this Platinum Blonde shampoo and this Forever Blonde conditioner about once a week, and just use regular shampoo and conditioner for in-between washings. The purple stuff just helps keep the tone nice and clean looking.
I get regular compliments on my DIY Platinum blonde hair, and specifically on its “tone” which is great, because I am really aiming for that nice white tone. People still ask me where Plum gets her red hair, because brown or blonde, it’s definitely not from me!