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How to Bleach your Hair Platinum Blonde or White

How to Bleach your Hair Platinum Blonde or White

How to Bleach your hair at home

Tutorial for Bleaching your Hair Blonde, Platinum or White at Home

Updated on March 16th, 2014: Due to the large volume of emails concerning this post, I am asking that everyone please read this blog post and comments below before asking questions. It may take me up to 7 days to answer your important hair questions. Thank you!

Scroll to the bottom for product updates!

NOTE: A lot of people find this blog through search engines while searching for “Why did my bleached hair turn yellow or orange”? YOU NEED TO TONE YOUR HAIR. If you want bleached blonde hair like Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani, and me (on the left) Read on….

I am going to post something that a lot of people have trouble finding: info on how to bleach your hair to white or platinum. It has been a bit over a year since I went totally blonde and many years to find this information! So with my findings, I’d like to share my experience with you all! Please note, I am not a licensed beautician. I never went to school for hair, so what may work for me may not work for you. In my experience, most of the salons I’ve visited will not attempt to bleach dark hair platinum blonde. I have been stopped by beauticians many times to ask me how I got my hair so white.. read on and you will know my secrets!

How to Bleach your hair at homeIf you have experience in bleaching your hair, these tips will help you give your blonde that extra lightening that you want and reduce the yellowing. A lot of people think that buying a box of blonde hair dye at the drug store is going to make their hair blonde.. unless your hair is already a light shade of blonde, your hair will turn ORANGE if you attempt to use a box hair dye! You need to bleach your hair to a pale yellow (think inside of banana) first, then tone it. You may need to bleach it several times before you are able to tone it to the desired shade of blonde you want. You cannot tone to platinum if your hair is still darker than that pale blonde shade. Toners are usually very pale violet or blue (I’ve even seen brown and greys) and they only add a tiny tint of color. With that said, you cannot tone orange hair to blonde or even remotely blonde. It will still be orange, unfortunately.

First off.. you gotta grab your purse and go shopping. Since I have experience using both public beauty supply products and exclusive high-end bleaching products, I am going to separate both parts of this tutorial so you can decide which route you would like to go. Personally, I think that the higher-end salon products keep your hair healthier in the long run. After bleaching so much at home with cheaper products, I noticed my hair was breaking off rapidly, even with use of high-end conditioners.

The inexpensive Sally Beauty Supply Bleaching Method: Sally Beauty Supply (www.sallybeauty.com) is a public beauty supply store that you can walk into any day of the week and purchase all of your bleaching products. I suggest when you shop in the store, to request a Sally Card (you can also purchase one online now). It will cost you probably about 5 bucks or so, but in the end, it’s worth it! Especially since you will be touching up your roots about every four weeks!

Product List:
Sally Beauty Supply Bleaching ProductsWella Color Charm Liquid Permanent Hair Color #12A/1210 Frosty Ash – TONER: I use this on damp hair right after bleaching. This translucent, pastel violet toner is used with 20 or 30 volume creme developer, depending on how yellow your hair is. If after I touch-up my roots with bleach and see that they are too much into the yellow stage, I will use 30 vol. with this product for extra lifting.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Classic Formula Semi Permanent Hair Color Cream - TONER ALTERNATIVE: This herbal and protein-based dye contains no harsh chemicals. If my scalp is too sensitive to use a peroxide-based toner, I will use this. This is basically a pastel-colored conditioner. I use on damp hair with 10 minutes heat. Without heat, I leave on for an hour with a plastic cap on.

NEW !! Manic Panic Virgin Snow AMPLIFIED at BeautyDeals.com – TONER ALTERNATIVE: This is just like the MP Classic Toner above, except I feel like this one has a little more platinum power. See my tutorial on how to use this below!

Ion Color Brilliance Powder Lightener 1 lb. Tub – BLEACH: This is the best inexpensive powder bleach I’ve tried. The consistency is really creamy and does not dry out like other powder bleaches. Read directions carefully and do the strand test!

Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme Developer 8 oz. –  PEROXIDE: I use this strong developer every time I do my root touch-ups. Awesome developer that I sometimes mix with the below Clairol 40- vol. Pure White to make it a little stronger for my dark roots.

Clairol Pure White 40 Volume Creme Developer – PEROXIDE: This is the only 40 vol. developer brand I will use. I don’t really use 40 vol. toner since it is very strong (known to melt hair off) I only use it mixed with 30 vol. to dilute it if I need an extra lift of lightening at my root area.

Note to Wella Color Charm users: Many names and dyes have changed in the Wella line due to declining sales. If there was a blonde toner you were using in the past that you cannot find, it might have a different name. Contact Wella to ask.

Scroll down for information about shampoos and conditioners/treatments.

The “a little more expensive” Goldwell Oxycur Platin Lightening Powder / Redken Shades Method:

This method is a professional salon method I learned from someone in the bleaching biz. The products can still be purchased online, but are hard to find. (Try Amazon.com) This method is a little more expensive than the Sally’s method, but will be better for your hair long-term. The end result will look the same as the Sally’s method, except your hair will be healthier. There is no such thing as a healthy bleach..as far as I know.. and if there is, please let me know!

Product List:

Bleach: Goldwell Oxycur Platin Lightening Powder on Amazon.com

Developer/Peroxide: Goldwell Topchic Developer Lotion – 30 Vol. on Sleekhair.com (I wouldn’t go higher than 30 volume with this. Please do not use any heat with the Goldwell products! I burned my scalp!)

Toner : Redken Shades EQ Equalizing Conditioning Color Gloss on Amazon.com – Click here for the Redken Shades Color Chart. There may be a better color reference elsewhere on the web. Let me know if you find one!  These toners are gentle and were used on me after bleaching on damp hair.  (Platinum Ice mixed with Chrome is what was used on me.) This was left on for only about 15 minutes. You could see a dark hue forming as the dye developed. Don’t get scared! I also saw some patches of gray/lavender, but after my hair was dry, they disappeared.

Toner Processing Solution : Redken Shades EQ Processing Solution on Amazon.comYou need this to use with the Redken Shades Color Glosses.

1794534_10152310759614721_413656762_nUPDATE: The “Cadillac” Bleaching Method: L’Oreal Professionnel Platinum Ammonia Free Lightening Paste

This is the mother of all bleaches, or so I’m told, the L’Oreal bleaching PASTE is supposed to be the best you can buy. I paid a whopping $70 for a 17.5 oz jar of this paste on Amazon.com. Normally, you’d have to purchase this through a professional store, and I’m sure it is cheaper there. I purchased the paste along with the L‘Oreal Platinum Developer in vol. 30 for about $20, also on Amazon.com. With $90 worth of products before me, I had high hopes that this ammonia-free product line would work miracles. Just like the reviews I saw online, these products delivered results. The paste is really thick, so it doesn’t run into other lengths of your hair. It stays on the roots where you need it when doing touch-ups. My scalp did not burn one bit, not even as much as a tingle. The product works rather quickly, so my bleaching time was cut in half. My hair was shiny after washing and hardly felt as if it had been bleached at all. After about one month since I’ve bleached, I went in for a hair trim. The stylist was in awe of the outstanding condition of my hair. There were a few dry spots in the bangs area, but I had not had those trimmed in about 6 months, so I think I did pretty good. Since I am now using Manic Panic “Pretty Flamingo” hair dye over the bleach, my hair stays conditioned and hyrated. I no longer worry about hair breaking off or becoming “mushy” when using this bleach. In my personal experience with this product, I only needed to leave it on for 30 minutes (Note that I have to use other bleaches on for more than 1 hour).

I wanted to note before I finish this review that 30 volume peroxide has become a bit of a controversial item. I have been using that volume of peroxide on my hair since I was 16 years old, and I have only had problems with it when used with cheaper bleach products. With over 20 years of bleaching experience on my own head of hair, I think I have a handle on what I can and can’t use. Again, if you aren’t sure, you can have a professional do it the first few times and then repeat the process at home if you feel comfortable.

Removing Hair Dye Color

I went from dyed black hair to white platinum blonde and it wasn’t easy. If you have dye in your hair, whether it’s black, red or blue, You need to use a color remover like L’Oreal Effasol, to get rid of the hair dye first. Keep in mind that I’ve been denied by Sally Beauty Supply several times when trying to buy this product without a beauty license. Alternatively, you can use Color Oops from Walmart or Walgreens–but it is a little more expensive than Effasol. You can’t just put the bleach over your dyed hair, although I know people who have done this and they wished they used Effasol first!  Here is a bleach stages chart to help you with your lightening process:

Hair bleach stage chart

Yes, your hair will most likely turn orange when you use the Effasol color remover as shown in the picture here. Yes, you will have to deal with orange hair for quite some time, but it’s worth it in the end. I left the color remover on for an hour, and I went to a dark reddish color that went from bright orange at the roots, to dark red at the tips– a rainbow effect. This could have been minimized if I would have only applied the color remover to the tips of my hair first, but I was alone, impatient, and tired! If you can get a friend to help you, that’s great–they can help you with your lightening process!

Below are photographs of my hair when I decided to place a rather large chunk of blonde, removing permanent black hair dye using Effasol, bleach, and then the Manic Panic Virgin Snow toner. I did have to cut the orange ends off of my hair since they were resistant to bleach. I HIGHLY recommend about a 3 inch or more trim after you bleach. Not only will your color look more even, but your ends will be healthier than what was there before. I trim my hair every month or so.

Bleaching

When I first bleached my hair, I used 30 volume peroxide mixed with Clairol Kalidecolors violet toned bleach (the Blue toned bleach is best for higher lifting, I’ve found) , I was very careful and tried to bleach the ends first and work my way up to the roots. I left the bleach on for about 30-40 minutes, with 10 minutes of using a heat bonnet, checking it as I went along.

You want to get your hair to that very pale yellow stage, like the color of the inside of a banana. If you don’t get it light enough, the toner will NOT work. If you need to spot bleach parts of your hair that stayed orange after your first bleaching, you can do so, I used 40 volume peroxide on areas that I needed to touch up quickly. You want to give your hair a rest for about a week or so if you want to bleach again.

Orange – yellow hair may be unsightly to some, but I rocked it by wearing a bandana for a few days! You can wear your hair in a top bun or something cute until you give your hair enough time to gather up natural oils again. It took my hair probably two bleachings and two spot bleachings until I got it to a shade that I liked. I still had to keep cutting inches off my hair to remove the orange tips.

How to Bleach your hair at homeProduct Note: I no longer use Clairol Kalidecolors bleach. That bleach did not lift high enough for me to get to platinum blonde.  

Toning : Wella Toners, Redken Shades, Natural Toners, Roux Leave-in Toners

I use several different toners depending on how my hair is looking or how much time I have. Right after bleaching, if my scalp feels sensitive, I’ll use the Manic Panic Virgin Snow AMPLIFIED peroxide-free toner since it is free of chemicals and will not burn my scalp. Basically, the M.P. toner is like putting conditioner in your hair that has a purple tint in it. Virgin Snow will only work if your hair is perfectly within the palest yellow stage. You will use this product alone, do not add any other product in with this.

After bleaching, rinse out your hair VERY well, shampoo, and pat dry. Do not use conditioner or the toner will not penetrate well. I dip my tinting brush right into the jar of toner and quickly dab it on all of my hair. You can already see the yellow starting to “disappear” as you work the toner into your hair. The scary thing about the toner is that it may turn your hair a light shade of purple. I only leave it on for about 10 minutes, with a conditioning cap on, with heat under my bonnet. If you do not have a heating bonnet, you may wear the conditioning cap (it’s like a very lightweight disposable shower cap) for about 15 minutes and rinse well with cool water.

If you find your toned hair is a bit too purple, you can step right back in the shower and shampoo gently and condition again until you get the purple out. Sometimes even if my hair looks slightly purple, after it dries the purple goes away. My secret is to take a small mirror into the shower and check out how the toner turned out.

If after I bleach and my hair looks too yellow, I’ll use the peroxide-based toners (which chemically lift your hair color a level or two) and I always mix a TINY amount of the peroxide-based toners and touch it to my scalp to see if it will burn or not. Sometimes it does, sometimes not… sometimes I just grin and bear it and the burning goes away within a few minutes. I leave these toners on (full head application on damp hair) timing depending on the directions on the box. If you just want to touch-up your hair if it is yellowing a few weeks after bleaching and toning, you may tone your roots first (30 min – but read the directions first for timing) which will not turn blonde since you are not bleaching, but doing this WILL lighten your roots a few levels and make them less noticable. Then, after the 30-40 minutes is up, you may comb through and apply more of the toner to the rest of your hair and wait about 10 minutes and rinse well, condition and style.

You may experiment around with different peroxide-based toners, like the popular Wella White Lady and Wella Frosty Ash hair color. (Wella White Lady is now called : Lightest Ash Blonde) (Sometimes I mix them together since White Lady is very, very purple-toned and sometimes leaves a stain on the hair – which is removed after your next shampoo) It’s all about experimentation. If you are too scared to apply a toner to your entire head, you may do a test spot (I test about a 2 inch across chunk) to make sure it’s a color you can live with. I used to use the awesome Clairol Creme toners, but they have been discontinued!

Super Secret Revealed!!! Daily/Weekly Toning : Yes, people stare at my hair, people ask how I achieved the bright white look, even professionals! One of my best-kept secrets is using the Roux line of temporary toners, found mostly at Sally Beauty Supply. I use Roux White Minx Temporary Color Rinse, which is a light gel-like formula that is very easily applied to damp hair and combed through for INSTANT brightening. Only use a little because it does condition your hair a bit as well. I also use the Roux Fanci-Full Color Styling Mousse, also in White Minx, which I have great success with and sometimes use on dry hair if my roots are starting to yellow.

Maintenence : Root Touch-Ups and Platinum Shampoos & Conditioners

Root touch-ups can be a pain in the ass and sometimes takes me a few hours to complete. Currently, I use 30 volume peroxide for the back of my head, working my way to the crown and switch to 40 volume peroxide. I try not to get any bleach on my scalp, but it’s very difficult.  I place a conditioning cap on and use heat for 10 minutes, then set the timer for about 70 minutes — NOTE that this timing will be different for everyone!!! With almost 2 years of bleaching my roots every month, I finally know how long it takes to bleach my roots to pale yellow, and this timing is a lot longer than most since my hair is naturally dark red.

SHAMPOO:

To maintain my hair color and to keep the yellow tinge from returning, I use the very amazing Healing ColorCare L’Anza Silver Shampoo (found at Planet Beauty). I use this shampoo every single time I wash my hair. This is another trick to my white hair and how “beyond unnatural” white it looks after shampooing. Some have said they only need to use it a few times per week, but it depends on how your hair behaves. The shampoo is very dark purple, nearly black in color and it will stain your hands temporarily. I apply lotion to my hands frequently to keep my hands from getting dry, so that the staining is minimal. It will surely stain artificial nails. Been there, done that! Wear gloves if you are scared of that happening to you. I’ve heard other toning shampoos like Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Silver Shampoo are good too. A lot of people ask me about Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner - I do not like this shampoo at all. It is very drying and ends up ruining my hair after many uses. I stick with Sulfate-Free shampoos. If I find that my hair is catching too much of the purple tinge, I will mix a little bit of the L’Anza Silver Shampoo (pictured on left) with sulfate-free Pureology NanoWorks Shampoo or its less-expensive cousin, L’Oreal EverPure Smooth Shampoo. These silver shampoos are also excellent to use on those with blonde highlights who want to brighten them up. If you want to find a good sulfate-free shampoo, visit a Planet Beauty store. They carry a lot of great sulfate-free shampoos that will keep your hair color from fading.

CONDITIONER:

My conditioner, which is really important for keeping the ends of my hair from breaking, I use the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Blonde Conditioner. A few times per week, I use a heavy cream conditioner, which is actually the free conditioner you get in the box of L’Oreal Excellence Cream Hair Dye. My mother dyes her hair with that product quite often, so she gives me the conditioning tubes and I’ve been using it for over 10 years. I can’t exactly suggest anything else because it is wonderful, but I’m sure there is something similar out there you can try.

TREATMENTS:

After my shower, I use several products to keep moisture in my hair. I absolutely LOVE the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum on damp hair after my shower. Before I use that, I spray on a little of the Ojon Revitalizing Mist, which is a super detangler that smells so good. I don’t use any hot oil treatments.. I probably should, but I just don’t have the time. After using the conditioning products, I will use the Roux White Minx Temporary Color Rinse in White Minx and comb well.

Conclusion

Bleaching your hair is a long and experimental process, and sometimes I have to bleach my roots twice because I didn’t process them enough. Anyway.. have fun experimenting, I’ve never found a salon that will bleach hair to white, so you may want to try it on your own and start out with streaks and highlights first. Start with streaks in the front and work your way to the back, taking more chunks of hair as you go. I had dyed black hair before, as mentioned above. It took a really long time to actually get my hair white, and it takes a lot of patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a week, either.

My current regimen:

I have been currently seeing a beautician for root touch-ups, which saves me a lot of time, but not a lot of money.  I haven’t yet decided if this is the right thing for me to do. It seems like most salons want to get you out the door, so they will put you under heat with the bleach, which doesn’t work for me since my scalp burns. You have to be very specific and straightforward with the salon and let them know what you want and that you want to minimize burning and scabbing on your scalp. I have been to high-end salons where my scalp started bleeding due to the use of 40 vol. peroxide and heat, they pulled me under the water to rinse and my hair was still yellow. Toning it did not help! Keep this blog bookmarked and check back for my updates!

– Root Touch-up without Toning: Ion Color Brilliance Powder Lightener 1 lb. Tub with Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme Developer 8 oz. and/or Clairol Pure White 40 Volume Creme Developer (half 30 vol and half 40 vol) on roots for 70 minutes (varies). Rinse, use L’Oreal EverPure Shampoo or Pureology NanoWorks Shampoo, rinse, then use the Healing ColorCare L’Anza Silver Shampoo. Rinse well. Apply heavy conditioner, wait about 5-10 minutes and rinse.

– Root Touch-up with Toning: Same as above, except do not apply conditioner until AFTER you wash out your  peroxide-based or vegetable dye-based white/platinum toners.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified formula Photos

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

  • The jar of Manic Panic AMPLIFIED Virgin Snow. Semi-permanent, no chemicals!

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

  • This toner is a very translucent lavender shade, which means your hair needs to be very light before you apply this. It cancels out the yellow tones left in your hair after bleaching without chemicals. You can use this as often as you like, as long as you like. I have not yet tried this on dry hair or with heat, but I will next time I use this.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

  • As you can see, the lavender tones are already going to work on the yellow in my hair. I put on a plastic shower cap and left it on for one hour.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

  • After the hour is up, my hair is very juicy with the product. The front of my hair has absorbed more product than the back, which is okay. After the hair is dry, it blends together.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified

  • I rinsed my hair with cool water to close up the hair shaft and add shine. I rinsed for about 5 minutes to make sure the remaining product was rinsed out well. I applied my Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Hair Serum.

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Before and After

  • Before and after! Yes, your hair may vary in shades of white, gray, silver, platinum, etc. My hair was an even shade of lightest yellow before I started, so it worked well and turned out even for me.

What Manic Panic Virgin Snow Amplified Looks Like

  • After your hair dries, you will notice how soft it is.. and light in color. Try this product and let me know how you liked it by filling in a comment in the box below!

The Bleaching Archives: Oct. 23rd, 2010

Hair Bleaching Comparison

I decided to try a new bleach called Ion Powder Lightener, found only at Sally Beauty Supply. I heard very good reviews from both newbies and experienced hair dressers, so I decided to try it. I actually was pleased with the product and seem to like it better than the Clairol Kaleidocolors Blue Bleach. For the back of my head (I process both the back of my head and top/front of my head separately) I bleached with Ion and Clairol Pure White 40 volume developer. I did not use heat with this since the bleach directions say to not use it. I put on a plastic processing cap and waited 50 minutes… I checked my root progress and they were still too yellow, so I set the timer again for 20 minutes to complete the processing time at 70 minutes total. I rinsed it out and did not condition.

As you can see from the picture above, the roots turned out very good.. just a tad yellow, but I plan on toning it several times. I dried my hair and moved onto bleaching the top of my hair. For the top of my hair, I decided to try the Ion Sensitive scalp developer in 30 volume. I used the measuring cup in the Ion Bleach to measure both products. I used 1 cup of bleach and 1 1/2 cups of developer. The consistency of these products together is very creamy and easy to work with. I found the coverage to be excellent and I ended up not using that much product. The bleach did not dry out at all. I left this product on for 50 minutes (checking after 30 minutes) and I wished now that I would have waited maybe 20 more minutes. My scalp still did burn with this Ion developer, but not as bad as it usually does. oct2010_2 I rinsed and washed my hair with my new Rene Furterer Okara Mild Silver Shampoo, towel dried my hair and then applied the Wella Frosty Ash toner with Clairol Pure White 30 volume developer (on damp hair) . I left that on for 20 minutes, rinsed then applied a mixture of both my conditioner and Clairol Shimmer Lights Conditioner (toning), left on for about 5 minutes, rinsed and then applied the Ion Color Brilliance After Color Treatment to seal in my color. I love how my hair turned out.. still a little yellow on the roots to work on with 2x weekly shampoos of the Rene Furterer Silver Shampoo, but very good, indeed! oct2010_3

Roux Fanci-Full Color Styling Mousse

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I am Krista, the author of KristaDior.com. I started a career as a pro makeup artist in 2001 for Benefit Cosmetics in the San Francisco bay area, and left in 2006 to pursue jobs in the Silicon Valley. I am currently working as an editor in the media industry, where I contribute to original content that includes beauty articles that are seen by hundreds of thousands of people. I am occasionally doing freelance makeup jobs, but spend most of my time working on improving my health and wellbeing. I have Hashimoto's and PCOS, and plan on contributing articles that touch on these areas, as well as weight loss and Paleo Diet recipes.

222 Responses to How to Bleach your Hair Platinum Blonde or White

  1. What a wonderful and thorough blog on bleaching! Thank you for sharing all your tips and the products you like!! Very clear and laid out nicely.. Will pin and check back for updates! Cheers, Laura

    • I agree this blog is very informative. Here’s my problem. My hair is dirty blonde naturally and I have been dying it for years to get it a light blonde. My roots have started to turn grey and sometimes when the light catches them a certain way they almost look white. I decided that I loved the white streaks so I thought I would try platinum. I used Wella T18 (which is the ash blonde) but still no white. I tried using a shampoo and conditioner for silver and it started looking to dark. Today I did the Wella T18 with 20 volume and it was a nice color but definitely not platinum. I pulled out some side strands to put in some white streaks and used Raw Lavender Cloud (like Manic Panic) mixed with some conditioner. I left it on for 15 min. Now my hair seems darker, more silver with light lavender streaks.. I just can’t seem to get that white platinum blonde. Any suggestions?
      Thanks,
      Regina

      • Regina, My hair would soak up purple toning products when it was too porous (super dry!). When I used a hair oil when hair was damp (I like the Macadamia Nut Oil in the green bottle from Ulta), it only took a few weeks before my hair felt normal again. Is your hair very dry from the bleaching? I also try to use a clarifying shampoo inbetween my toning shampoos to make sure all the product (hairspray) is removed. Another thing to note is that my hair did definitely take on a purple cast right after toning and it would go away after the next wash.

    • Well my hair was dark brown to black but all natural color! I wanted platinum white well after reading all of this blog and doing everything Krista said to do I have very white hair and it’s a pain people are always stopping me to ask me how was it done? So a female friend after bugging me day and night and beggin me I broke down and took her to my Girl who does my hair well my female friend who had dyed blue/Black hair insisted that she wanted “MY WHITE”hair! The girl reluctantly started to go to work on her hair! All I can say that the first step was not good,it looked green and blue the second step was not much better! It has taken over 2 months and my friend now has almost white hair it’s very very short because of breakage and cutting the damage! She now has a spiked top and buzzed sides and back! I won’t lie she cried her eyes out when around the fourth step it broke all off but she likes her shot white hair! So all I can say is be carefull and it all depends on how bad you want it and are you ready for some up keep? Good luck! I must say I am happy I found this blog and glad I took the leap! Best thing I ever did! I stand out in a crowded room thanks to Krista!

  2. OMG!! Thank You!! Thank You!!
    I searched and searched for ways to get the orange out of my hair and I followed several of ur steps and was vey successful!!
    Today was the first day I was able to wear my hair down and curly.
    Days before I had it hidden in a high ponytail and headbands to cover the brassiness…but u really helped a lot!!! Lifesaver thank you again! :)

  3. My daughter has very dark brown hair and wants to use Pravana’s Blissful blue semi-permanent dye. I used Feria ultra blonde bleach before I found your site and got her to a dark honey color, except for the 3 inches at the roots, which was several shades lighter. Then she remembered I dyed her hair black back in January. After seeing your results using Effasol and researching other color removers, I bought Colorfix. It had awesome reviews and could be used 3-4 times back to back. I used it 7-10 days after the Feria bleach and 3 deep conditioning treatments. After 2 rounds of Colorfix, the lengths were definitely lighter but still darker than the new growth that had never been colored. I bought the Goldwell bleach and used that yesterday, about a week after the Colorfix and more deep conditioning. The new growth is a lovely pale yellow, but the lengths remain darker. Her hair is still in surprisingly good shape, and nothing has burned or irritated her scalp. Do I dare try another bleaching on just the lengths? I didn’t use the Redken toner yesterday because of the difference in color. Do I even need to use toner if we’re going to blue? Any suggestions or ideas would be most appreciated.

  4. Krista I just read your review on The “Cadillac” Bleaching Method: L’Oreal Professionnel Platinum Ammonia Free Lightening Paste
    Is this bleach as good as they say? Can I use it as a root touch up? I would like to try it and when it comes to my white hair price is really not an issue with me if it looks good feels good and is white I am happy please let me know if it’ is good for touch ups!

    • Hi Howie! Yes, this bleach has been the best that I’ve used at home. It is very expensive, but fantastic quality. My stylist thought my hair was in great shape after I did a full-head bleach using this and the 30 vol peroxide of the same brand/collection. I no longer bleach my hair at home due to physical fatigue, and the fact that my bathroom is really small. I now see a pro for root touch-ups and she only uses Paul Mitchell. Paul Mitchell works very well on me, but it does burn my scalp. The salon just got a new bleach that they will now use that apparently does not damage hair at all. They tested it on permed hair and it was still strong. I’ll make sure to do a post on this new bleach product. It will only be available for salons though.

      • Thank you Krista please keep me posted I am always looking for “NEW” bleach to get me lighter,Whiter I drive my girl crazy but my hair looks great white! This started out as a treatment for my scalp she did a scalp treatment that turned my hair orange and so she bleached it so she could get it all one color so that turned me yellow but it looked better then orange so she sent me home with yellow/orange hair well I was back in her chair in two days I wanted it lighter so she used 30 and BW 2 well that was not light enough! So the next day I was back again in her chair still wanting WHITE She did a deep protein treatment and now she used purple stuff and 40 vol well that got it bright but not white! My girl would not do any more that night when I got home my. Stylist was on my machine and said call me if you really want it white so I did and I went to her house she used 50 and light masters I am as light. As I ever been but it’s a little hard on my head but I keep it cut in a Flattop I have read about the L’Orele Platium bleach and want to try it ! My question is will it get me as light and will it work on my roots I only have about 1/8-1/4 root growth I hate dark roots I see they do have 40 vol and you said it don’t burn?

  5. Anything higher than 20 vol on the scalp is dangerous can cause chemical burn on the scalp. Heat helps process faster as far as using Anything higher than 20 vol to tone is causing unnecessary damage as It will not lift your color any lighter. Color cant lift color its a fact. For those of you who are lightening your hair cause your almost to your desired blonde try bleach wash equal parts lighter, 20 vol & purple shampoo its gentler than straight lightner for those who need to remove ugly tones or lift a level or two (works for already blondes). Not trying to be a buzz kill but ladies blonde and platinum is a process and rarely happens in a single process it should take months to protect the integrity of your hair once your hair is damaged to the point of breakage there is NO PRODUCT that will repair the damage done there are products that will coat your hair to appear to have repaired it but I promise you it won’t. My motto is healthy hair is pretty hair it may be the pretty blonde you want but if its fried no one will be looking at your beautiful color they be looking at your frizzy fried locks. Just some advice I’ve been doing hair for years please be safe blisters on your scalp are very painful

  6. To the person named JB:
    If you have natural dirty blonde hair you shouldn’t be using 40 vol developer… I have dark brown hair and the max I ever used is 30. You are literally frying your scalp and hair.. It is not normal to have scabbing on your scalp!! P.s. I have super thick hair also. It is also very long. Divide your hair into two sections, top and bottom. Bleach the bottom half first. Process, rinse, let hair dry. Bleach top half. You will not have a scabbed scalp or hair that has lost its elasticity. I was successfully platinum from natural dark brown hair for a full year. I got sick of bleaching and amnow bracing my natural, long healthy dark brown hair. No matter what you do when you bleach your hair will inevitably become damaged, but I literally cringed reading your comment. Be careful!

  7. La Riche Directions Silver which gives a lovely blue-white silver tone (sounds a bit mad but it really is lovely!) to bleached hair (the real platinum effect I’ve been looking for). The Directions range are semi-permanent colour and they do a fantastic range too so if someone wanted to go pink or green or purple for a day or two they’re very effective and pretty much wash out without staining after a couple of washes with a good clarifying shampoo. If there is a little residual colour you can do a bleach bath (literally dozens of videos on YouTube for how to do this). You can get Directions mail order from a number of websites (search for “La Riche Directions”) or I think Sally’s in the US do them but unfortunately not in Ireland or the UK I don’t think.

  8. But what if your country doesn’t have toners? I’m from the Philippines and the “standard” of beauty is all about raven black rebonded hair. Do you know anything that is generic and i can do it myself? thank you. Nice blog. I love your hair! Wish that were my skin color lol.

  9. I used wella color charm lightener and 30 volume and it only lighted one stage have you ever tried the wella bleach I just bought the loreal quick blue hope it works

  10. Do you LEAVE IN the roux white minx temporary color rinse after you treat with Paul Mitchel serum and Ojon mist?

    Also can I use a small amount of the manic panic virgin snow mixed in with a little of my mask as a rinse out treatment a couple of times a week with no harm. I am already platinum. These products would just be to keep white color fresh.

    • Hi Cheryl, Yes, you will leave the Roux White temp color in your hair as you would a leave-in conditioner. Since the Roux color saturates the hair, I will sometimes towel-dry the hair a little bit before applying the Ojon mist and then the finishing touches with the Paul Mitchell serum. The serum acts as a “sealant” to help maintain the moisture. With the Manic Panic Virgin Snow, I would NOT dilute it, not even with water. It was formulated to apply directly to the bleached hair; any dilution will hinder its effectiveness in fighting the brassy yellow tones. If you’re already platinum, I’d wait to use the Virgin Snow when your hair gets brassy again. I found that I didn’t really need to use Virgin Snow as much when I was using the toning shampoos a few times per week.

  11. Loved your advice..ive been bleaching my hair for 15 years and have experimented with all sorts..the hair salons have always failed getting me the colour I love (platinum)..I’ve wrote down my shopping list for Sally’s!! I usually use PO1 loreal after I’ve bleached my roots. But going to try your toners. Brilliant ! Blondes do have more fun.

  12. I was 85% gray prior to having my hair bleached platinum, My hair is cut short, my roots were gray prior to color. What should I use on my hair to keep the deep platinum color, rather than the dull white coloring. Please share some products with me to use.

  13. Hi Krista, moving slightly past topic, ie, got your great results from your perfect instructions, now wanting to do temp, washable color just for a day, preserving my hard-earned platinum ‘do. Is that possible? No beauty supply around has truly temp color; they all stain hair — which I find astonishing and is a topic for another day (a), and (b) I can’t be the only one that once in a while wants to change up to dark or auburn without ruining the platinum results. I actually tried kids’ washable fingerpaints, mixed with a drop of shampoo for a patch test, on damp conditioned hair without heat-drying it. It looks drab, but did the job. Put silicone shiners on it, but it’s a lot of trouble to go to for “color for a day.” For removal, I did a clarifying shampoo, then Shimmering Lights and MP to get the platinum back. You seem like a color wizardologist… what would you suggest. Yes, I want it all!! ;)

  14. What volume of developer should i use on medium brassy blonde hair to get it as light as possible? Should i use Red Gold Corrector on it too?

    • If your hair is already bleached, I’d say go for 30 volume developer and leave on for only 30 min.. but please do a test strip to make sure. My hair took 90 min development time, but my hair is thick. Most people will take 30 to an hour to develop. Then use a toner on it with 10 volume if your hair is banana yellow and if it is still pretty brassy, then use it with a 20 vol on damp hair after washing out bleach.

      • Hi Krista! your post has been very helpful. I know this post was written so long ago but it came up in a search result for something I need help with ! I’m hoping you still answer questions on here! If so, can you help explain how you know which level developer to use with the toner? My best friend/hair stylist has been lightening and toning my hair for the past year, but Im doing the toner on my own this time because she’s out of town so I need some help! She usually lightens my roots with a powder bleach lightener (im not positive what kind) and gets it pretty light to that banana yellow color, then puts the wella T18 toner on. I think she mixes the toner with a level 10 creme developer. Pretty much as soon as she’s done applying the toner on my long hair, she rinses it out. The overall color is really light, but it seems like my roots lift so much faster. I usually get patches of violet around my temples, but the rest of my hair hasn’t lifted enough to that ash/white level yet. From reading your routine, It seems like you usually use 20 or 30 developers and leave it on much longer. Or was the just for the level developer you mix with the bleach?Do you think I should try a level 20 or 30 instead? Does the level 10 make the yellow lift faster? Also, have you ever used the 2 different developers with the toner and apply one for the roots and another level for the rest of the hair? The timing is off since my roots are always lighter than the rest of my hair after the lightener. My friend has been doing the same lightening double process for the past year and we always have the same problem of timing. Before her, I used to just get a lot of blonde highlights at the salon, but my color was never as light as I wanted it since my natural color is medium brown. My friend only lightens my roots each time in order to prevent my hair from being completely damaged, but because of this my hair is still a little darker at the ends. Thanks so much for any help.

        • Hi Meghan! For the developer level with the toner, I personally used a strong 30 vol, which some people are unable to handle. My hair was very yellow and brassy, so I went that route. Salons will not use anything that strong for toning. They always used 10 vol on me and then wondered why my hair was still yellow and threw a purple toning shampoo on after washing the dye out. You can get to white with continual use of the toning shampoo if you are patient. So in between all of that, you could try a 20 volume to see what that will get you and then do the toning shampoo until you reach your desired shade. Level 10 is weak and is for deposit-only into the hair shaft.. I used 20 for a little lift of the yellow and to lift my roots lighter. I don’t mind my hair being purple for a few days, that is why I leave the toner on longer. When I wash the next time, it looks perfect. I have tried two different developers and that has helped. I did 20 or 30 on roots and then 10 on the ends for less damage. I also want to mention that the last time I went platinum, I went to a salon that used Olaplex. This is a breakthrough product that really lessens the damage of bleaching. I stopped doing my hair at home because of this product. There are only a select few salons that use it now and I’d definitely look into it. My hair is red now, but for my wedding, I want to do a golden peach shade which means my hair will have to be bleached again. I will only go to a salon that will use Olaplex!

  15. hi i have a question do i need to use a color remover if i have semi- permanent truly red adore on my hair? or can i just bleach it again then use toner. or no bleach just color remover will lighten it since it was previously bleached then toner.

    previously it was bleached with 30 developer and added adore oranges and adore reds
    now i would like to go platinum blonde.

    thanks a bunch :)

    • I always use the color remover even if I have semi-permanent on my hair. You can use it with water for semi-perm colors and developer if perm color. I don’t like wasting bleach, so I make sure that all the semi-perm color is gone first.

  16. Hi my name is Rio I just did my hair as white as I could just did a toner because was turning yellow it sound so hard to keep it up is it??? Because I love this color not quit as pretty as yours but tryin to work on it I’m not giving up .. I just need a little more help on how to keep it up in between touch ups ??? Thank you

    • Hi Rio. Every three days, I’d wash my hair. On one of those washes, I’d use a purple shampoo like the Renee Furterer purple shampoo, at over other wash. It helped keep the platinum color going. Once my hair started looking grayish or too much of the tint of purple would stay in from the shampoo, I’d do a permanent toner with the Wella and 20 or 30 volume peroxide.

    • Rio don’t give up! If you want “WHITE” hair believe me if you keep trying and stick with it you will get it! I have been Bleaching for almost a year now and it takes time & perseverance with Krista help it will work! Just don’t give up! I have found out a few things in the past year #1 you will not find a salon that will bleach you out to White, not even close to it # 2 you will not get White in one bleach # 3 do not over wash# 4 Condition,Condition,Condition # 5 your bathroom cabinet will look like a shampoo station at a salon it’s a trial thing if you really want it you can do it! With Krista help it will work for you it did for me! It’s a lot of hard work but it’s all worth it when that first person walks up to you and says”WOW I like your hair”! I like my white hair hard to believe I was dark Brown/black last year I don’t think I will ever go back thank you Krista!

  17. Hey Krista,
    Your blog has been so helpful!!!! I have it bookmarked for when I need help again!
    I have a long sorry story about my hair, two different hairdressers ruined it within two days 2 years ago (think grey, then burnt orange) and then a brown box dye.
    :( so I don’t much trust hairdressers! But thats been cut off since. My hair is naturally red, so your blog is especially helpful!
    I ended up making my hair crazy bright red (fire engine Rihanna red) with manic panic, special effects etc. A few months ago I got sick of being stared at and used a colour remover on it (twice) which got it to orange/purple/blue. I then bleached the entire head and toned. I’ve been waiting for my hair to recover so I can go white/platinum. My hair was well damaged after all this. Anyway, so my problem is that I have just now achieved white roots with wella white lady… But yellow ends that will not lift. I’m two toned! No matter what I put on them, they stay yellow?!?! Any advice, besides just growing it out? That’s the best idea I have at this point.

  18. Oh, I forgot to add that I also use the Roux washes. I mix it in with some of my shampoo. I used to use the Clairol shimmer but decided to try some different ones. The Clairol is a guaranteed turn your hair purple if you don’t mix it with some shampoo .

    • Hi JB, Thank you dearly for sharing your experience with blonde bleaching. The toner is really the key in achieving that platinum look. When I hear that people are bleaching to get to white, it scares the heck out of me! They don’t use toner and they are not informed on how to just add a little purple tint to their hair to get that white look. It is still pretty difficult to do and that is why I no longer do it!

  19. I use L’Oreal Quick blue with 40 developer and it works very well for me, lifting it to that light yellow stage(I have dark dirty blonde hair). I have extremely thick hair so unfortunately that means it takes longer to get all of my hair and I would run out of bleach or get impatient and miss parts or it wouldn’t get thoroughly saturated or I just couldn’t view the back as well and I would have to go back over it again, causing parts and areas where my hair has dissolved. It takes so long to get all of my hair, that the areas I put it on first get very damaged. After that I use the wella toner T14 or T18. Yes I do get scabbing, as well, and if you were to lift up the back of my hair you would see darker areas. With such thick hair it’s hard to get it even.

    I bought the Virgin Snow today. I will see how that works.

    I recently starting using some shampoo and conditioner I get at Whole Foods called “Nature’s Gate Biotin.” I leave the conditioner in and it really helps my hair to regain some of the shine and softness. I even put it on when it’s dry, just as a touch up to smooth down those fried areas. After that I spray it all over with John Frieda leave in conditioner.

    It’s been a journey for sure. I have those times when I think I want to grown my natural hair out too, as I miss it’s normal healthy texture, but then I end up touching up my roots again. People always ask if it’s my real color or how I get it so light. It’s a real head turner.

    The white/platinum color is neat looking but it’s a tradeout because I wear my hair in the traditional 40/50s wave look. I set my hair in pillow curlers at night. After I bleached and overprocessed my hair it would not wave the same so I had to make some adjustments. Oh, and it takes a long time to dry and can NEVER be combed while wet.

    I’m a real do it yourself peson and I would love to have a professional bleach my roots but I just don’t trust them.

    This was a very helpful website.

    • Kristia I just tried Matrix Light Masters I saw that it lifted 8 levels so I thought I would try it? Well you don’t use heat you don’t cover it? Well then I thought no heat no cover how can it work? so I tried it I used Matrix 40 vol dev for 50 min instructions said you could use 40 vol for up to 60 min. Now keep in mind my nat color is dark brown/black my hair is almost white! I have no breakage,white hair and it’s soft and not mush! Again thanks for all your help and input it has helped me greatly!

  20. Hi Krista well it has been almost a year with my bleached hair and I must say it’s a lot of work! I have tried different bleaches,vol developers my hair has broke it’s looked good it’s looked bad! But I have yet to get it “WHITE”!!! my last trip to the supply store I saw 50 vol has anybody tried this? Can somebody help me? I have very short hair and I take very good care of it and use a lot of conditioner on it

    • Howie.. no way! I wouldn’t use the 50 dev if I were you. Are you using the 30 dev for 70 minutes? Are you using 30 dev with the toner afterwards? Are you using silver shampoo? You’re scaring me! hahaha

      • Krista don’t get scared I wanted to know if anybody ever tried 50? I don’t know why they would make it yes I have used almost evey kinda silver shampoo I have not did 70 min yet only up to 50 min how long should I leave the toner on for? My hair grows very fast and it’s short so it’s a process of cutting and bleaching every two weeks? I have spent a great deal of time and money on trying to get it to it’s Whitest as possible as my girl says “SHORT & TIGHT, BRIGHT & WHITE!! I do stand out it’s just not as white as I would like it?

        • I have used 50 volume developer creme and it works for me. Mind you, I have thick black hair. I used to use 40 or 30 but those just never lifted the color as efficiently as the 50 did. Of course, my end goal was only to get my hair to the light blonde in order to dye it different dark colors. I would suggest trying the 50 on an inconspicuous part of your hair and checking up on It every 10- 15 minutes, for sessions of 40-50 minutes each. Let your hair rest for at least a week between sessions and use really good conditioners and coconut oil. In regards to bleaching, you have to figure out what works for you and proceed with caution when experimenting so you don’t jack up your hair. Good luck!

          • Hi Jackiepoo I did try using 50 vol and my girl Was very cautious she played first she mixed 50 and 40 then added more 50 I am very White and like it but now I want to know if adding sweet n low or sugar stops the burning? Does this work?

          • Well 50 vol has worked great for me so far but I have dark dark hair and 30 turns me yellow no matter how long I leave it on for 40 gets it a little lighter but it’s yellow and the purple stuff does nothing at all for me except if I leave it on it turns me Purple I really want white and I almost get it with 50 but I also keep my hair cut once a week and I spare no existence on product I have never tried coconut oil does it work? I have tried dif Bleaches and the better bleach is better for you I guess you only get what you pay for? On a plus side over the past year and a half so many people have walked up to me and said”where do you go or who does your hair? It’s a hard thing to get but it can be done! If you want it bad enough! Now I have read that a lot of kids are trying to get white hair with the anime cartoon stuff see we started something !

  21. Hi Krista! I have had awesome success w/ur bleaching tutorial :) My sis now wants to bleach the bottom half of her hair w/my help. She currently has faded out fushia pink hair. I’m wondering if I should use a color stripper (or not) before I bleach the bottom half of her hair. She doesn’t want the “orange effect” even for one day! Any advice u could give would be greatly appreciated! Thanx!

  22. i just box bleached my hair. the roots are really light and in some spots towards the ends and in random areas it is orange. please help me. i want it blonde. almost platinum!! It is already short and dark brown underneath. the top is orange/red

  23. I cannot get any of the toners to bring my hair up to white. It is orangey at the ends and I tried bleaching the again yesterday but nothing came of it. idk what to do anymore

  24. Was wondering if u could tell me step by step how to do this I have everything from sallys u listed but I ain’t gonna lie I’m a little nervous about doing this myself and really screwing up lol I’m about to start it so if u or anyone else who has tryed this can tell me step by step it would be great! Thanks

  25. well i am soo glad i found this website. i am having some trouble an need help. my hair was naturally red. i started bleaching with sallys products about a week ago. i used powdered bleach and 30 vol developer. i had to use it twice only leaving it on for 30 min at a time. then i moved to a 20 vol and did it one more time. my hair was finally light enough to tone but i think i grabbed the wrong toner because my hair is like a sandy yellowish color. i dont know what went wrong. i am looking to go platinum. can i tone it again using virgin snow? do i have to bleach again because im afraid i got lucky with what ive already done and i dont want to ruin it. should i buy a box dye of a lighter bleach from the drugstore? its been exactly a week now since ive toned it. i straightened it and ive let it sit for the past week. no conditioner or anything. i cannot find anything online about this so please if you can help!

  26. If you put regular SUGAR in your bleach you will not feel the burning at all. Just try it yourself and you will find out for yourself.. SUGAR put at least 14 teaspoons, you will love it.

  27. Hi Krista I want to thank you for your help I got it to white but with winter coming I don’t know if I should keep it? I really like it! I also wanted to know if it is better to use better bleach& developer rather then the stuff I get from Sallys? Can you please tell me what you think? Again thanks for all your help !

    • Leave bleaching to the pros. NEVER use 40 Vol on scalp. Only pros should be purchasing professional color and NEVER on eBay or Amazon! You can never be sure of what ur really getting. Only a pro can buy pro products and from reputable distributors Once you melt or burn your hair, nOTHING will fix it. Cutting it off and starting over is only choice. Call a pro, get it done right and save money and your hair!!!! Lisa
      Color specialist/Stylist in ga. http://Www.makeoversbylisa.com

      • Lisa yes I know it should be left to the Profesnials my girl has been doing Hair for 28 years now and she don’t use 40 vol on me she uses 50 vol for 50 min it’s not on my scalp she don’t go to Sally’s or buys it off line she uses high quality product and I get a flattop so it gets cut once a week I use good Shampoo and deep conditioner every day it’s a lot of work but my hair is Snow White and people love it I am really enjoying my white hair I wish I did it long ago so many people stop and ask me how is it done?

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