Hitting the bleach bottle is cool once again, but you need to approach it with caution. We got some tips from the top colour experts to find out all about going peroxide blonde…
WHY SHOULD I GO PLATINUM BLONDE?Katy Perry, Karlie Kloss, Kirsten Stewart, Cara Delevingne, Taylor Swift... These girls lead and we follow – and recently the path they have carving has lead straight to the bleach bottle. But why have platinums, whites and even greys started to replace more traditional warm, honey blondes? “It is all about allowing for individuality,” says Siobhan Jones, Headmasters colour ambassador. “We are now starting to see a much bolder application of colour being applied as this is much more suited to the graphic cuts around just now, which doesn’t work as well with foil highlighted hair. There is also a strong push towards the ’90s on the runway so revisiting this grungy, unnatural white blonde goes hand in hand.”
Issie Churcher, creative colour director at HOB Salons, agrees: “The trend for white bleached blondes has always been a niche look for girls and on occasion guys that want to make a statement. When we look at most iconic blondes from Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot through to Debbie Harry, all are bleached but worn with different cuts and styled to create an individual look that works for them.”
WILL PLATINUM BLONDE HAIR SUIT ME?
It’s all very well seeing top models and actresses parading their icy blonde hair – but how will you know if it will look good on you? “This colour works best when the clients eye colour is much lighter than their natural hair colour,” advises Siobhan. “Light eyes like a bright green or blue work best to support this look. But even if you don’t have these specific features, someone who has a strong and focused sense of style and make-up could pull this off.”
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY HAIR FOR BLEACHING?
“Two weeks before B-day, you should start using hair masks at home to ensure your hair is in the best condition it can before your colour treatment,” says Alex Brownsell, co-founder of Bleach London, and the hair master in charge of Georgia May Jagger’s famous blonde mane. “Then, two days before you’re due to go for it, wash your hair as normal. Avoid washing it again after this final shampoo as this makes your scalp over-sensitive, and you want to make sure it’s as unstressed as possible before.”
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY HAIR IS BLEACHED?
Sure you want to say goodbye to your dark lengths? Okay, here we go. “Once bleach is applied, the cuticles are opened and the pigment is stripped from the cortex. First the brown and black molecules leave, then the red and finally the yellow,” says Alex. Your lengths will be coloured first, followed by the scalp as the heat from your head speeds up the process. Once it’s all washed out, then the treatment will usually be followed with a toner to cool down the colour and ensure that you get the shade you want. (Read all about how toner works here)
HOW SHOULD I LOOK AFTER BLEACHED HAIR?
Your hair will be very sensitive after being treated, so make sure you’re ready to give it some serious TLC. Alex recommends using scrunchies rather than elastics, which put pressure on the hair and can cause it to break. Repairing hair masks will be your new best friend, and make sure you use plenty of moisturising products. You might also find that you need to wash your hair less, as too much shampoo can draw out the natural oils. But when you do wash, reach for the silver shampoos with purple hues – these will banish any brass. At Paris Couture Week, both Katy Perry and Kirsten Stewart’s crops were treated to the Charles Worthington Colour Enhancer Ultra Violet Shampoo by Ken O’Rourke. This claims to be the strongest violet-toning shampoo on the high street, so perfect for keeping your blonde shade cool.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GO TO THE SALON?
Bleach blonde hair is notoriously demanding, but you can keep it fresh as long as you follow these rules. Unfortunately you will have to get used to living with some roots, as bleaching too often is incredibly damaging, but leaving it too long will risk creating a band of brassiness which you will have to bleach twice, undoing all your hard work. Getting your roots done four to six weeks after is optimum, according to Alex. Then, eight weeks after your bleach treatment, it’s time for a trim. “This will refresh the cuticle, get rid of split ends and keep your hair looking healthy,” Alex says.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR BLEACHED BLONDE HAIR?
Save your blonde from becoming brassy with a specialised shampoo, which will neutralise the yellow tones in your hair.