How to be a platinum blonde…

windswept

…if you are really dark haired and have strong eyebrows.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. After all hair is a major part of your face. And the trend of going beach blonde/ash/grey/silver has been growing a lot lately. I’ve already had my hair bleached for 18 months and every time I look in the mirror and decide that the roots need to be done (or people mention to me vocally that my roots need to be done is more often the case) I just find it harder and harder to fight the impulse to let it all go back to brown. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved my ashy tresses, but maintenance is not easy nor is it cheap.

Let me break this down. I have dark brown hair of medium length. When I showed up for my total head bleach appointment in Soho, the stylist was very unsure about what was going to come out of the process. I had never subjected my hair to bleaching before and we didn’t know how it will react. It had to be stripped of color twice, so two rounds of incredibly painful bleach, and then toned with a nice platinum at the end. This took more than six (SIX) hours and £300. Yep, this far surpassed the initial quote they gave me – as is the case at every hairdresser I find. But it was a successful endeavor thanks to both genetics and skill. Now every three months I have to decide whether I want to spend another £110 at the specialist bleachers or go cheaper (but not by much) at a local salon that will surely not get it bleached enough. And spend another four hours in a chair reading that book I read every three months – when I’m at the hairdresser’s.

In the meantime a heap of products have been acquired that deal with a dry/damaged hair (which I hadn’t had in my life). In no particular order I got

Kerastase Bain de Force Shampoo for strengthening, a Karastase mask for frequent use, Kerastase shampoo for sensitive scalp for use right after root bleaching (because your poor scalp wants to write you a breakup letter every time you subject it to this barbaric procedure)

Leonore Greyl shampoo that deals with both dry ends and greasy roots because my hair hasn’t forgotten it likes to become greasy just because I burned the rest of it with chemicals. Leonore Greyl protection spray – which coats the hair – for use before you want to heat dry it or flat iron it.

Fudge violet shampoo to take out the brassiness which stubbornly comes back every so often. Fudge Violet Mousse to protect from heat damage. Tigi Fashionista Violet Shampoo and Conditioner  (which smell divine) and are a bit milder than Fudge when it comes to color. I left Fudge on my head by mistake for longer than a couple of minutes and the result was a few weeks comments from co-workers ‘Oh, you’ve gone purple.’ I looked like a manga character. Quite cool but slightly unprofessional.

I also got a silver hair conditioner, which turns the hair into this weird bright platinum that makes me look older rather than hip.

I rotate all these according to the needs of the hair.

After bleaching it, the hair is a lot more difficult to dry as it absorbs a lot more water than it used to. It looks good in the beginning, but if you keep it rather long like me, you notice how it becomes more brittle, knotty, untameable and just a little bit lifeless. It takes a whole lot of work to give it shape, it tangles like crazy and it doesn’t look good when you first bleach the roots because it makes you look like a very washed out anime villain. The best it’s when the roots are showing up to say 2 inches. After that all societal norms dictate people tell you that you need to take care of that shit.

Make-up is a whole different story too. You need to put some color on your face at all times, otherwise you look like you’re terminally ill. A lot of work.

All that and the kitchen sink

All that and the kitchen sink