Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Going Platinum is easier when you are short!!

This recent shot of Jessie J demonstrates her hair is growing back after shaving it for the cause of Comic Relief earlier in the year. However, it's also demonstrating a perfectly platinum shade...

Few people know the only true way to immediately achieve platinum (white) is by lightening virgin (untreated) hair nearer the roots. When hair has been treated with a lot of colourants (in the past) and is longer in length to issues arise.  Firstly, any remaining molecules in the hair slow down the lightening process and can leave the hair a peachy shade. Secondly, the hair nearest the scalp (roots) receives a significant amount of heat from your head - this boosts the lifting process. The mid and longer lengths do not receive this scalp heat - so a longer processing time and (often) stronger peroxide strength have to be used to lift the whole head to pale. On well worn and previously treated hair, this peroxide strength (coupled with the bleach) is the cause of the damage, as the hair fibres begin to weaken under the bleaching process.   Virgin hair (nearer to the scalp), is much healthier and (due to the scalp heat) can be treated with a weaker peroxide strength. Therefore, the base shade lifts up evenly and with less risk of damage. If you then only apply a lightener to the new regrowth every 4 to 6 weeks, the hair will begin to grow through a pure platinum with far less damage then seen if you try to go to the shade in one go.

You can never expect to see platinum from lightening alone

Platinum hair can only be achieved by toning after lightening. The hairs fibre (keratin) is yellow in colour.  When you remove all the natural pigment by lightening - the final stage (you will see) is a 'brassy' blonde or pale yellow. This is because the cuticle layer (which is transparent) is displaying the exposed keratin inside the hair. Therefore, the hair must be toned with a violet pigment to neutralise this exposed yellow and counteract it to white.  Yes, it seems strange but white is achieved by applying a violet pigment to a yellow. 

So you have longer hair and want to go platinum?  Be careful!

 Just remember, if you have longer hair and are considering attempting to go platinum from a very dark artificial colour, you won't be able to do it. You need to slowly reduce the depth in the hair (overtime) and then begin introducing highlights. When the highlights turn the hair blonde, you can then switch to a regrowth lightening colour and the hair will start to appear pure white. When you attempt to bleach artificially dark (long) hair in one go - it can be a total disaster - as the hair fibres will be compromised, the cuticle will become damaged and the hair takes on an unpleasant light orange shade you can neither tone nor shift with further blonde colour treatment.  
But what if you have virgin hair?
If you have short (virgin) hair - platinum is achievable in one step.  If you have longer (virgin) hair, I would suggest you undertake the process over a month period - giving the hair three gentle liftings at a time and conditioning treatments in between.
However, for those who are artificially dark, only try to go platinum very slowly over an extended period of time - the wait pays off in the end.

And (finally) a note on Pastel shades
Lastly, remember that nearly all pastel hues require a platinum base shade to display correctly in the hair.  Therefore, if you are considering a pastel colour effect you need to 100% understand the principles of going platinum still apply to you.   If you lift up a base shade to a muddy orange and then try to use a pastel colour, it will only act as a neutraliser and produce a strange earth tone blonde, brunette or auburn.   You ultimately need to have that pure white base to get the soft pinks, blues and metallic shades which have become popular with pastel colouring.


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