At one time or another, you’ve probably taken a good long look at yourself in the mirror, wondering if you’re bold enough to go platinum blonde. Once you’ve begun thinking about the shade, the idea is difficult to kick. Whether you’re committed to becoming a platinum blonde already (as in, your appointment is already booked) or still hovering on the edge of indecision, it’s important to educate yourself about the process so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
We called in George Papanikolas, Matrix brand ambassador and celebrity colorist, to break down all there is to know about trying platinum blonde hair including how to properly prepare for your appointment and the products you need to maintain your new hue. Hint: You’re going to need a lot of purple shampoo.
Photo Credit: @bumbas.alexandra.
Choose a pro who knows platinum
In the world of professional colorists, the level of experience is just as important as the hair color recipe or the technique. For first-time platinum blondes, Papanikolas advises extensive research before booking an appointment. Seek out colorists with experience in creating platinum blonde hair while you’re scrolling through Instagram. It’s important to put your hair in good hands.
Wondering what the difference is between a newbie and a professional? Those who have more time in the field are likely to know tricks to get your hair lighter and cause less damage.
Papanikolas, for example, has a few tricks of his own. One of his favorites is a faux-platinum shade he often uses on celebrity clients.
“You don't need to make hair completely white to have it appear platinum blonde,” he explains. “Taking hair totally white can be harsh on the hair...Most blonde celebrities have some yellow, but the flash of the lights on stage make it appear platinum. That's why they are able to keep it longer.”
Photo Credit: @lindseyblakehair.
Start with hair that’s well cared for
Because lightening the hair is an inherently damaging process, it’s crucial that you start with hair that is well taken care of. If you’re a hair color virgin, that’s good news.
“Virgin hair is ideal since the hair is the same color and similar porosity from root to ends,” Papanikolas says. “If you have heavily highlighted hair, the chances for damage are high.”
Be sure to book an appointment for a consultation with your chosen colorist if you need help determining whether your mane is ready for platinum.
Photo Credit: @hollyshairaffair.
Get ready for a haircut
It can take an even greater toll on your strands to create a shade as light and bright as platinum. Lightening will certainly require bleaching, which means you can expect the texture and overall health of your mane to change after going platinum. While your hair may feel more dry and brittle post-appointment, your colorist will work with you to improve the look and feel of your strands before you leave the salon.
If your hair is already colored or damaged in some way, know that you’re in for a serious haircut at the end of your platinum journey. This helps keep your strands healthy and prevent breakage and split ends. That’s why you see so many celebrities with bobs so soon after taking their hair platinum!
Photo Credit: @joiewallacehair.
It’s a common misconception that you’ll leave your first color appointment with the platinum shade of your dreams like you see in movies. The truth of the matter, however, is that you may need several appointments to reach your desired shade—particularly if you’re beginning with a dark base color.
That’s intimidating, sure, but don’t let it sway you from living your blonde dreams. After all, good things take time!
Photo Credit: @katehanu.
Prepare to become a salon regular
If you’ve ever tried a dark blonde shade, blonde highlights, or balayage, you’re probably accustomed to seeing your colorist every eight to 12 weeks for a touch-up. With platinum blonde hair, on the other hand, you can expect to get really cozy with your local hair salon. According to Papanikolas, platinum blondes should be touching up their roots every three to four weeks.
“It may sound counterintuitive to do it so often,” he acknowledges.
However, there’s a good reason to not wait too long to return to the salon.
“Coming in with too much regrowth forces your colorist to do a double virgin application and the chances for yellow bands and breakage are higher.”
Setting up a recurring appointment in your calendar can help to avoid developing harsh regrowth lines and unwanted yellow undertones. You’ll spend way more time at the salon (and quite a few extra dollars), but the results will be completely worth it.
Photo Credit: @hairby.chas.
If you’re new to the world of salon blonde, a full head of platinum blonde strands can be overwhelming to say the least. Ask your colorist for platinum blonde highlights to edge into platinum without committing to all over color.
Amp up your maintenance routine
Your natural color might have made for a wash-and-go hairstyling, but platinum blonde requires a lot more at-home TLC to keep your hue fresh between touch-up appointments. Papanikolas recommends his clients commit to a hair-care system that can help keep blonde hair looking bright.
“Keeping hair conditioned, hydrated, and toned is important,” Papanikolas explains.
Start your routine with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner system like Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed Shampoo and Conditioner. These formulas cleanse and condition to help protect against fading and extend color vibrancy.
Purple shampoo and conditioner are two products that can’t be missing from your platinum hair care routine. Papanikolas recommends trying both Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed So Silver Shampoo and Conditioner. Swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for this color-toning system once or twice a week to neutralize brassy warmth and correct yellow undertones.
Incorporate a weekly hair mask like Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Nourishing Strengthening Mask into your routine if your strands are feeling dry and damaged from bleach. This formula intensely nourishes, revitalizes, and strengthens hair in just 60 seconds.
Now that you know all there is about going platinum, you can decide if the icy shade is right for you.
Interested in trying platinum blonde hair for yourself? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.