I refuse to allow recession-hit rubbish Britain ruin my glamour goals, but being a blonde is seriously high maintenance. Bored of a sloaney half-head of highlights, and unwilling to pay £150 a pop for a centimetre of re-growth, I’ve come up with a sneaky at-home portal to proper platinum.
But it begins with the following disclaimer: I am naturally fair – a dishwater blonde you might call me if you were being particularly mean. If your hair’s anything darker than light brown, enter my home bleaching salon at your peril. Otherwise may I suggest you follow brunette-turned-bleach-babe Emily’s lead and book that spendy (sorry) hairdressers appointment. Here’s how she achieved her blonde ambitions over at Sali Hughes Beauty.
Meanwhile, here’s what you’ll need:
The hard stuff: Make sure you find a box that says something along the lines of “XXX Blonde”, “Truly Blonde Max”, or “Ultimate Max Platinum”… You get the picture. The key here is you want to find one that contains the separate lightening powder. I usually use L’Oréal Préférence Extreme Platinum. Yep, it sounds scary. That’s because it is. (Note: you can buy the powder and developer separately but I prefer these kind of kits because they come with the fancy after-care conditioner and in this case, the Hi-Shine Elixir, and they’re still cheap as chips.)
The actual colour you want to achieve: Only by bleaching first will you get a true likeness to that lady on the box, whether it’s a Scandinavian light ash blonde or a Californian baby blonde, whatever takes your fancy. This time I’m going with L’Oréal Préférence Light Beige Blonde (9.13), which is definitely blonde enough.
And a throwaway hotel shower cap.
The scary bit:
Following the instructions in the first box, mix up the bottle and part your hair in the middle using the tail comb. Work the mixture into your roots, carefully dividing your hair into small sections as you go, ensuring you get it all covered using the tinting brush – and don’t forget your crown (rookie error). Pop on your shower cap and let the peroxide do its tingly magic according to the time stated in the box. Rinse it out, shampoo, condition, fully blow dry, and here’s the really important bit: DON’T CRY. Remember, bleach blonde isn’t a colour, it’s a chemical reaction that strips the hair of any pigment, and despite what you’re promised in the adverts, you will, dear reader, look like this:
But please hold my hand as I guide you through the horror into the next bit:
The sweet relief:
Assuming you’ve now closed your curtains and bolted the front door for fear of any human contact, take the second box (the nice one – promise) and repeat the aforementioned steps according to the instructions. If you’re doing your roots only, make sure you leave a little of the mixture over so you can blend it into the lengths ten minutes or so before you rinse it off to get a good colour match. The trick here is we’re adding a colour on top and toning it back down. Tim Burgess*, be gone!
The big reveal:
I always surprise myself at how professional this looks once I’ve navigated the scary stage, wept my way through stage two and blow-dried my hair to reveal perfect platinum locks. The best bit, of course, is that it’s so affordable you really can keep up with root re-growth and you’ll only get more confident doing it.
The proof? Here’s one I prepared earlier:
* Seriously, WTF? You used to be in my Top Five.