One of the longest colors I ever had on my hair was platinum blonde, keeping it the perfect cool, nearly white shade for about three years. I was constantly playing with different shades of platinum blonde, going from super icy to more of white platinum blonde. After years of playing around with different toners and high-lift colors, I think I got a pretty good grasp on how to find the best platinum blonde hair dye.
I used to cover my platinum blonde hair with vivid colors and return to platinum blonde in between. I used high-lift colors to do this and always played with toners to see what different shades of platinum blonde I could have in between fun, vivid shades. When I eventually decided to grow out my platinum blonde, I went the highlighted route, which can create a gorgeous natural platinum blonde.
I think I’ve tried just about every form of platinum blonde hair color on this guide, either for myself or for my clients.
Bottom Line Up Front
The overall best way to dye your hair platinum blonde is always going to be to bleach and tone your hair. It gets you to platinum blonde with the least possible problems and creates the prettiest platinum blonde, in my opinion. My favorite bleach and toner to use is Schwarzkopf bleach, and developer with Wella Color Charm toner in T18.
Methods to Dye Your Hair Platinum Blonde
Dyeing your hair platinum blonde is not an exact science because everyone’s hair lifts so differently, and there are many ways to get to platinum blonde. Below are a few of the ways that I have used to dye clients’ hair platinum blonde, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Most of these methods do use bleach, but there is one that is not bleach.
Bleach and Tone
- Easy application
- Almost always dyes hair platinum
- The quickest way to go platinum
- It can damage the hair over time if done incorrectly
Bleach and tones are the most common way to make someone platinum blonde because it is simple and is almost guaranteed to make your hair platinum. Bleach is applied all over the head like you are doing a standard all-over color and then toned with a platinum color directly after shampooing. You have to color the mids and ends of the hair before coloring the roots to get an even color. I also recommend coloring in smaller sections than a standard all-over color.
Touching up bleach and tones are extremely easy, but you have to be careful when doing it. I almost always tell people to touch up their bleach and tones every four to six weeks because the color may not lift easily any longer than that. With this small amount of time in between, the roots will grow out less than an inch, making it difficult not to overlap the bleach onto previously lightened hair. If you continuously overlap the bleach, it can damage your hair in the long run.
High Lift Color
- Less damaging
- Single process
- Straightforward process
- Can take out vivid colors
- Low chance you’ll get to platinum
- Will turn blue or purple if overlapped
High lift color is a type of hair dye with a higher ammonia content than standard hair dye, making it lift your hair color better. It doesn’t lift quite as well as bleach, but it can make you platinum blonde under particular circumstances. This color will only lift natural hair to five levels, whereas bleach can lift it to nine levels even on colored hair. If your hair is colored, it can only lift about two levels and will most likely not make your hair platinum blonde.
This hair color is far less damaging than bleach but can only make people platinum blonde if they are already naturally dirty blonde or lighter. The application is very straightforward, being done precisely like a regular all-over color. However, you have to be careful not to overlap the color when touching up your roots because they have a lot of blue undertones and will turn already lightened hair blue.
- Can make dark hair super light
- Best way to break through previously colored hair
- Can create dimension
- It takes a really long time
A platinum card is a technique used with bleach that can lift your hair even better than a standard bleach and tone. Your hair is foiled into slices as you would with a standard highlight service, except every single section of your hair is foiled without a skip section. This ensures that every hair is fully saturated to lift evenly, and the foils hold in the heat that bleach naturally creates to help it lighten better.
The nice thing about doing a platinum card is you can be more specific in how the bleach is applied to the hair and even do multiple shades of blonde. This further helps ensure the color is applied evenly and can create seamlessly blended roots if you fade the color to the top. Even though this color technique is better for many reasons, it does take an extremely long time to apply, like four hours or more, and can only be done by a hairstylist.
- Grow out isn’t as bad
- Looks more natural
- Less damaging
- Won’t be an all-over platinum blonde
You can get a platinum blonde look by simply highlighting your hair. You do this by doing a very heavy foil, lifting it to that platinum blonde color, and touching up the highlights more frequently than you usually would to keep it that blonde. This is much healthier for those that have already lightened their hair in the past and don’t want to create more damage by coloring it all over with bleach.
I also like highlighted platinum blonde because it looks more natural with dimension at the roots and slightly throughout. You don’t get as harsh of a line at your roots as it grows out because there is still a little bit of your natural color mixed in. With that added dimension of your natural hair, your color won’t be an all-over platinum blonde, but I think the contrast of color can make your blonde look lighter.
Things to Consider Before Going Platinum Blonde
To choose the best platinum blonde hair dye for you, you must first figure out the current state of your hair. There are many different ways to get to platinum blonde, but you must understand your hair before choosing the best method. If you do the wrong color application for your hair, it could end up damaged, not blonde enough, or brassy.
Your Hair’s Health
The health of your hair will be the number one determining factor in what type of platinum blonde color application you should do. This is because platinum blonde is a damaging color to do in itself, and you don’t want to take your hair to its breaking point. There are a few different ways that you can check the health of your hair, and they are as follows:
- Slide test: Hold one strand of hair and clasp it with your pointy finger and thumb. Run your fingers up and down the strand to feel the cuticle of your hair. If it feels rigid, it has some damage; if it is smooth, it is healthy.
- Elasticity test: If your hair is healthy, it will stretch out when it is wet and sping back to its original shape on its own. You can test this by grabbing one strand of hair and wetting it with a squirt bottle. Stretch out the strand by pulling on each end of it; if it springs back when you let go, it is healthy. If it stays stretched out, it is not healthy.
- Dry Test: Healthy hair should dry pretty quickly, but this does differ depending on how much hair you have and its texture. Damaged hair will typically take all day to dry on its own, whereas healthy hair should dry in a couple of hours, more or less.
The color that your hair is before going platinum blonde will determine what developer you should use with your bleach or if you can use a high lift color instead of bleach. People who start with darker hair will need to use a higher-level developer with their bleach and may even need to do a platinum card to get to a platinum blonde color. People with naturally blonde hair can use high-lift colors instead of bleach to get to a platinum blonde.
The developer is the ingredient in the bleaching process that will determine how much your hair color will lift. It would be best to consider your starting hair color level when deciding on a developer to use. Platinum is level eleven, so you need your developer to get you there. Below are the levels of lift that you could see with each developer and bleach. Remember that the higher the developer is, the more damaging the color will also be, so consider your hair’s health here.
- 10 volume: this is the least damaging developer to use with bleach and the slowest lifting. You can expect two to three levels of lift with a ten-volume developer in 30 to 45 minutes.
- 20 volume: I use this developer for most bleaching services because it has a good amount of lifting power but causes minimal damage. I typically get three to four levels of lift with twenty-volume if left on for 30 to 45 minutes.
- 30 volume: I like to use this developer on those with darker hair that is relatively healthy. It’s not too damaging but may cause a bit of dryness. I usually see five to six levels of lift with this developer in 30 to 45 minutes.
- 40 volume: I rarely ever use 40-volume developer because it is the most damaging that you can use. The only time I use it is if someone wants to go from nearly black to platinum, and even then, their hair has to be highly healthy to start with.
Your color history is all of the hair colors you have done to your hair in the past three years, or if your hair is short, in the past year to two years. Anything you have put on your hair in those years is likely still under there and can significantly affect how well your hair lifts to platinum blonde. Even if you have colored your hair back to its natural color and haven’t touched it in quite some time, that color history will still be there. Below are a few different ways your color history can affect your lifting to platinum blonde.
- Previously bleached hair: If you have bleached your hair in the past, wherever that line is of previously bleached hair will lift much faster than the rest of your hair. It will lift fast even if you have covered it with a darker color. You should also be careful because layering lightening services can be damaging.
- Never colored or no color in the past three years: This is what we hairstylists like to call virgin hair and is the easiest to lift to platinum blonde. There is nothing under the hair that may cause problems or further damage when lifting with bleach. You can also use high lift colors as long as your natural is already fairly light.
- Previously box-colored hair: When a hairstylist tells you not to use box color, it is because it is challenging to remove if you ever want to go blonde, especially dark box colors. This is because they use weird pigments that can chemically react to the bleach, and box color pigment molecules are enormous, making them difficult to remove. You may not be able to go platinum or may need multiple bleaching services.
- Previously professionally colored: If your hair has been colored with professional color lines, it is treated as virgin hair. I recommend making the formula a bit stronger with a higher-level developer.
Your hair type describes your hair’s density, texture, and curl pattern. The category that matters most when picking the best platinum blonde hair dye is the texture which describes whether your hair is fine, coarse, or somewhere in between. If you want to read more about hair types, check out my other article, “Hair Types Explained,” but below is all you need to know about lightening your hair.
- Fine hair: You most likely have this hair type if you can see your scalp while looking at your hair from the part. When you have fine hair, you will hardly feel it between your fingers if you grab one strand. When coloring this hair texture, you should use milder platinum blonde hair dyes, such as high lift colors and ten-volume developer bleach.
- Medium hair texture: You can test for medium hair texture by grabbing one strand of hair between your fingertips and rolling it up and down. If you have a medium hair texture, you’ll feel the strand only when it’s rolling. With this texture, you can use high-lift colors, but only if your hair hasn’t been colored and natural light. I recommend using bleach with at least a twenty-volume developer to ensure it gets light enough.
- Coarse hair: When you have coarse hair, you most likely won’t see your scalp when your hair is parted unless you don’t have a lot of density. When holding an individual strand in your fingers, you will definitely feel it even without rolling it back and forth. This hair type is usually more resistant to lightening, so you’ll need to use bleach and at least a twenty-volume developer to dye your hair platinum blonde.
How to Find the Best Platinum Blonde Hair Dye
Now that I’ve shared the basics of how going platinum blonde in different circumstances works, we can get down to the specifics. Below I’ve listed a few scenarios that I often come across. If you don’t fit under one of these circumstances, you are most likely in between and should be able to adjust your platinum blonde hair dye selection based on the information above.
Previously Colored, Dark, Healthy Hair
Hair that has been colored dark in the past, especially when the dark color has been layered many times, is one of the hardest hair types to make platinum blonde and could take multiple bleaching sessions. I recommend doing a platinum card or bleach and tone to dye your hair platinum blonde. If your hair is any darker than level four (dark brown), you want to do a platinum card over bleach and tone.
Luckily, if it is also healthy, you can use a pretty high-level developer with your bleach to get it to platinum blonde. If the hair is colored any darker than a level six (light brown), I like to use thirty or forty-volume developer with my bleach on healthy hair. However, I would never use a forty-volume developer on fine hair because it is too strong and could damage this hair type.
Previously Colored, Damaged, Thin Hair
If your hair has been previously colored and has damage, is thin, or both, you may want to reconsider coloring your hair platinum blonde. The only way to dye hair platinum blonde when it already has color is with bleach because high lift color will not lift through color. If your hair is thin or damaged with color already on it, it may be unsafe for you to color it platinum blonde.
The only circumstance I would feel comfortable coloring damaged, or thin colored hair platinum blonde is if the person’s hair was already reasonably light and didn’t need much more lift. In this circumstance, I recommend doing a heavy highlight with a ten or twenty-volume developer. I would also use a bond builder like Olaplex with bleach to prevent further damage.
Dark, Natural Hair
Dark natural hair is easier to get to platinum blonde than you would think, but it can still take multiple sessions to get there and maintain the health of your hair. For people with naturally dark hair level four (dark brown) or darker, I like to use a platinum card technique to get the maximum lift. I also use a forty-volume developer with my bleach if the hair is healthy and has a medium to coarse texture.
If your hair is level five (medium brown) or lighter, doing an all-over bleach and tone with a twenty or thirty-volume developer will suffice to get you to a platinum blonde. Remember to color the mids and ends first, leaving about an inch at the roots for last. Once the ends are past the orange stage, you can color the inch at the roots so the bleach colors evenly. You may still need to do a couple of bleach sessions to get it to a pale yellow before toning it to platinum blonde.
Light, Natural Hair
If your hair is naturally light and you have no color on it already, you are one of the lucky ones. Naturally light means level eight (medium blonde) or lighter; this is the only circumstance where you can successfully use a high-lift platinum blonde color instead of bleach. However, those colors are a little unpredictable, so I would not use a high lift color on hair that is on the coarser side since that texture is more resistant to color.
The only advantage to using a high-lift color over doing a standard bleach and tone is that the high-lift color tones itself to an ashy color. Personally, I still prefer to use bleach with a ten or twenty-volume developer and then toning it because I feel that it is more consistent. You can use a lower developer with your bleach whenever your hair is natural and light. In contrast, you will need to use a twenty- or thirty-volume developer with high-lift color, so it isn’t much more damaging.
Previously Lightened Hair
Previously lightened hair needs to be dealt with with care if you are trying to dye your hair platinum blonde. This includes hair that has been lightened in the past two or three years and covered with another color. It is more likely to become damaged with repeated lightening, so ensure you are testing your hair’s health before attempting another bleaching session using the abovementioned tests.
If someone comes into my salon with hair that they have already bleached to a yellow color, I will use a high-lift blonde color to get them to platinum blonde. However, in most cases, their hair is not yet light enough, so I like to continue lightening with highlights instead of bleaching it all over again. I also do not use over a twenty-volume developer on top of previously bleached hair.
Best Platinum Blonde Hair Dye
- It comes with bleach powder and developer
- Possible nine levels of lift
- Includes bond reinforcer
- Professional brand
Schwarzkopf is a color brand you could find in some salons because it is a professional color line. It is just about the only bleach I recommend people buy for use at home because it works well and leaves your hair feeling much better than some other brands. I have also seen it lift about ten times better than other bleach brands you can buy from Sally’s Beauty or any drug store.
The one downside to Schwarzkopf BlondMe is that it is quite pricier than some other brands, such as Clairol or L’Oreal Quick blue. However, I think it is totally worth it solely because of the bond reinforcer included in the developer. You can use a higher developer with this bleach because of that one feature that will make your hair lift faster and lighter.
- Permanent toner
- Used in some salons
- Fantastic at getting rid of warm tones
- Can be found at Sally’s Beauty Stores
- It can damage hair if used regularly
Wella has been making a name for itself in the professional hair world, especially the toner T18. Suppose you go to any hairstylist forum and find a post about getting rid of brassiness in a client’s hair. In that case, I guarantee you will see multiple people recommending Wella Color Charm T18 toner. This is because it goes above and beyond what some other demi-permanent toners can do, seeming to make hair lighter almost.
One thing about this toner that is different from other toners is that it is a permanent color instead of demi-permanent. That means it has a little lifting power, which is why it is so good at toning out brass and yellow. However, because it is permanent, it does open your cuticle and can cause damage over time if used frequently. I would only use this toner when lightening your hair and a purple shampoo in between.
- It comes with a conditioning treatment
- Creates a cool blonde
- Lifts well
- Can cover grey
- Won’t make you platinum blonde on darker hair colors
You have to be careful with choosing a high-lift color because some do not have enough cool pigment to cancel out all the brass that comes through when lightening your hair. L’Oreal’s Excellence Creme in 01 high-lift does an outstanding job of canceling out all of the warm tones that show through. I also like L’Oreal Paris hair dyes because they come with a conditioning treatment to ensure your hair feels soft between colors and directly after coloring.
This specific color does an excellent job lifting the hair to a light blonde and even deposits some color to help cover grey. You could quickly go from a natural medium blonde to platinum in thirty to forty minutes without needing toner. However, like any other high-lift color, it will not give you a platinum blonde if you already have color on your hair or are darker than level seven (dark blonde).
Answer: The easiest way to dye your hair platinum blonde is to use bleach. Apply the bleach by starting on your mids and ends, leaving about an inch at the root for lats. Once those sections have lifted to a yellow color, cover your roots with bleach and let them sit until all of the hair looks pale yellow. Shampoo out the bleach, apply a platinum toner to your damp hair, and let that sit for ten to fifteen minutes.
Answer: Most of the time, you must use bleach to get a platinum blonde color. The bleach itself will not dye your hair a platinum color, though. You can only lift hair to a pale yellow color with bleach, and then you must use toner over it to get the platinum blonde color. In infrequent circumstances, you can use a high-lift blonde hair dye, but I do not recommend this unless your hair is natural and a medium blonde or lighter.
Answer: If your hair is already a yellow blonde, all you need to do is tone it. Make sure that there is absolutely no orange in your hair because a platinum blonde toner will only cover yellow hair. I like to use Wella Color Charm permanent toner in T18 to get a bright platinum blonde.
Should You Try Platinum Blonde Hair Dye?
Platinum blonde can be one of the most challenging colors to maintain because it must be touched up every four to six weeks and can turn warm over time from basic environmental factors. However, if you are up for the challenge, platinum blonde hair can be a fun way to stand out and is a color that many people wish they could have. Once you get to an all-over platinum blonde, it is easy to touch up with a quick bleach retouch and toning with my favorite toner, Wella T18.
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