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SO! After years of people asking me weird questions about how I do my hair/my friends’ hair/etc, here we go, at long last, a tutorial: how to go platinum blonde at home.
Introducing Roxie again! Look at how epic that ice blonde is! I do this! At home! It is very cheap and takes about 90 minutes total! You can do this too!
Disclaimer time: If you want to go entirely platinum and if your hair is anything other than medium-to-light and relatively short, thick, and healthy — so, if your hair is very very dark, heavily processed, very fine and prone to breakage, very thick and curly, already 4 different colours, permed, otherwise damaged, very long, etc — you should suck it up and go to a salon. Then learn how to touch up your roots at home (like this) and do that — but don’t try to do your whole head the first time, because it is going to look terrible. But if your hair is relatively short, healthy, does not have a lot of colour on it now — go for it, you can probably do it yourself instead of throwing down the $200+ it will cost to get double-process ice blonde at a salon.
With that said, you will need:
- A powder bleach such as L’oreal Quickblue. This stuff is cheap and comes in huge bins — I bought this eight months ago and use it once every six weeks and still have maybe two more bleach jobs left in it.
- Developer, preferably of the same brand as the bleach, which is the liquid stuff that reacts with the powder bleach to strip the colour out of your hair (or, alternately, with colour dye to deposit the colour.) It comes in different strengths - 20, 30, 40, etc. I use 40 to take a brunette to platinum — this is stronger than the box will tell you is recommended for on-scalp (non-foiled, that is) lightening, and is pretty serious stuff. You would have to leave 20 on for quite a while to cause significant damage, but 40 will burn your hair pretty fast. It also will actually lift it without turning bright orange or needing to repeat a billion times, but it’s nothing to fuck around with. If you’re nervous, use 30 instead as it’s better to have not quite the colour you wanted than to fry your whole head off.
- Toner: I’m a fan of Manic Panic “Virgin Snow” for ice blonde: you don’t have to mix it with anything, it smells nice, it’s easy to work with, and it makes hair softer. I’m not into the Wella toners since while they look great, mixing up the developer and ammonia-based colour always feels really harsh to me on freshly bleached hair.
- A plastic mixing bowl. (Do not use anything metal.)
- A plastic spatula
- A plastic rat tail end brush (of the paintbrush-looking variety)
- A few packs of deep conditioner (brand doesn’t matter, just get stuff that’s designated for damaged/course/dry hair. Hi Pro Pac Keratin masque is great, but there’s a billion varieties.)
- A few pairs of gloves for your hands (important: getting bleach under your nails REALLY HURTS)
- Some old towels you don’t mind getting messed up, and some old clothes
- A friend, unless you are ridiculously flexible and meticulous and can do this to yourself, which is unlikely.
We are starting here featuring me as the bleacher and with my willing victim, who as you can see has very short, relatively dark brown hair which has been bleached before with about 3/4 inch of roots.
So. Get yourself all set up: Put on some gross clothes you don’t mind getting bleach on, put a towel around the neck of your victim, put your gloves on, clear off a space on a table (put some paper down if you’re prone to being messy) and lay out all your materials…. rest after the jump.