As a salon that specialises in colour, we get a lot of brunette clients that are desperate to go blonde. Some clients expect the transformation to take one sitting (occasionally it does), but in reality, going blonde is a long process. Sometimes in order to achieve the dream blonde, we must first go yellow, and then orange, and then blonde. You can always trust, when going to professionals, that the final product will be a breathtaking blonde.
Our Style Director and salon owner, Nicky, has been transforming her daughter’s (Mia) hair over the past couple months. We’ve documented it each step of the way so we could break it down for you lovely people. We present to you, the harsh (but magical) reality of going platinum blonde:
Mia’s hair is naturally dark brown. She was prepared to go platinum blonde no matter the cost – whether that be having her hair lopped off into a bob or rinsing her Mum’s bleach supply dry.
Mia has had bleach on the ends of her hair before, but has never been platinum blonde. She has always had salon colours and never used box dye. From this, we knew that Mia’s hair would be strong enough to withstand the lightening process. After a successful patch test, the colour was good to go.
Stage 1: Colour strippers
The first stage was to apply a colour stripper (left) and then a second, (right). Here’s the science-y bit:
Colour stripper shrinks the colour molecules down in the hair cuticle, which is great to do before lightening work. Using bleach after a colour stripper will completely strip the colour molecules out – leaving a clean base to work on. If a dye is put straight on top of a colour stripper, the colour molecules will expand again and the hair will go darken, bringing us back to square one.
So, knowing that she will be applying bleach afterwards, Nicky used two colour strippers on Mia’s hair.
Stage 2: Bleach babylights
After two colour strippers, Nicky did a full head of bleach babylights. These were back to back foils, incorporating the top two thirds of the hair, leaving out the ends.
Stage 3: Root bleach
Here’s that orange phase we were talking about. Next up was a root bleach (left). By then, Mia had been in the salon all day and her hair had endured a lot of damage. We needed to let Mia’s hair rest, so Nicky applied a root shadow and toner to make her hair look acceptable for the next few weeks. After this appointment, Mia stayed away from styling and straightening her hair with heat. She religiously used conditioning and leave in treatments.
Stage 4: Second root bleach and cut
Here’s Mia’s hair after a few weeks rest.
Even though Mia was very careful and did a lot of conditioning treatments at home, we can still see the ends of the hair are very dry and damaged. Nicky did a second scalp bleach to cover the dark regrowth, a toner, and then cut off the dead ends.
Stage 5: Third root bleach
For Mia’s fifth trip to the salon, our Style Executive, Georgie, did a final root bleach. Any extra dead ends were trimmed off, leaving Mia with healthy shoulder length hair.
Stage 6: Platinum blonde
Mia was left with stunning, healthy platinum blonde hair and a curly blow dry.
Platinum blonde is a lot of upkeep. For colour corrections, we always use Olaplex in salon to maintain the hair’s strength – it is mixed into the bleach as well as applied as a stand alone treatment. It has also been essential for Mia to continue the treatments at home with Olaplex shampoo, conditioner and leave in bond rebuilder.
This process really highlights how important aftercare is. Even with Olaplex treatments, Mia’s hair still had some damage. Without Olaplex, the damage would have been much more extreme.
Every wash, Mia uses Osmo No Yellow Mask to maintain the colour, which is a lilac conditioning mask that fights yellow tones.
Olaplex and Osmo products are available to buy from our salon, including a limited Osmo Christmas gift set.
The final look:
Here’s a before and after of Mia, with the addition of her platinum Foxy Locks hair extensions. She’s a very happy blonde indeed.