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What to know about platinum blond before you can nail this look

Devan McGuinness is the award-winning founder behind UnspokenGrief.comUnspoken Grief, a resource and support site for those touched by perinatal loss and grief. She’s a Toronto-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in various pu...

What celebrity colorists want you to know about going platinum blond

Platinum blond has been a shade synonymous with celebrity status since the first blond bombshell, Jean Harlow, rocked the icy locks back in the 1930s. Since then, people of celebrity status (and not) have been spending time and money trying to achieve the same bright look.

Many modern celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus are known for their bright white tresses, but with more stars trading their jet-black hair for platinum blond, the world of 'more fun' seems more attainable for everyone. And with all the hype Kim Kardashian received for her drastic hair change earlier this year, platinum blond may be just the change you're looking for.

More: Kim Kardashian's new hair color will make you do a double take

But, if you're not a celebrity who has access to all the perks of stardom (like time, money and an on-call expert colorist), platinum blond can be is a tricky color to maintain — and it's not right for everyone.

Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas, who has worked with many celebrities known for their blond hair including Nicole Richie and Ellie Goulding, says achieving the desired color of platinum needs an expert touch.

"The process of lightening the hair requires expertise to get the desired tone. Unlike [other] hair color, there is not a set processing time — it's based on the tone." Adding, Papanikolas says, "If you take it off too soon, it can be brassy, too long can make it ashy and over processed."

Yann Varin, owner and stylist at Varin Salon in New York City, adds that visiting the salon will ensure your whole head of hair — from roots to ends — is colored correctly.

"When you apply the color that is going to lift your natural color, the portion closer to your roots will lift faster than mid-shaft," he said. Technically, the mid-shaft is healthy hair while the ends of the hair are usually a dry texture that is more sensitive, more oxidized and takes in color faster," Varin continued.

Even when done by a professional, platinum blond will leave some damage to your hair due to the harsh bleach chemicals needed to lift the color. Since platinum blond means you're as close to white as possible, not everyone's hair can stand up to the damage.

"Going blond is the hardest thing to do in the hair business," says Varin. Adding that it's a "thin line" to remove hair pigments without damaging the hair so much it can't hold the texture together and one not all hair colorists can do.

Papanikolas agrees saying, "Going any more than seven shades from your natural hair color will definitely result in damage — it really requires the care and professionalism of your colorist to maintain the integrity of your hair."

More: 10 Things you should know before going blond

Papanikolas says platinum blond usually looks more natural on people with fair complexions, but you don't always have to play by that rule. "Usually those with fair complexions look best with platinum hair. Darker skin can have a very edgy look if it's paired with a modern, edgy haircut." He warns that you need to consider both your cut and skin tone when debating going platinum blond if you want to keep a certain look, "super-long platinum hair and tan skin can look less sophisticated."

Now that you are platinum blond, what do you need to know?

Like any unnatural hair color, platinum blond requires a lot of maintenance to keep your hair healthy and your color bright. From root touch-ups to special shampoo, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time and money to keep your tresses icy.

Johnny Ramirez, celebrity colorist from Beverly Hills, California, who has worked on famous blondes like Faith Hill, Chloe Grace Moretz and Whitney Port, agrees.

"It is very expensive to maintain platinum blond hair. Your roots grow out very fast and you will need touch-ups every two to three weeks depending on how quickly your roots grow back." He also recommends icy blondes visit the salon every few weeks to get deep conditioning treatments, purple shampoo and a clear gloss to seal the hair, which will all keep the hair color looking its best.

More: 9 Strawberry blonde hair photos for blonde tired of platinum

Varin says that when it comes to platinum blond upkeep, it can really depend on your own preferences and how much your roots showing bothers you. He warns that you don't want to wait too long to top-up your color because it can cause issues of its own. "After two months [without going back to get your roots redone], it is troublesome to keep your hair a smooth, beautiful platinum blond without a touch-up as you’ll get some kind of lines."

The bottom line

  • Purchase a purple shampoo and use weekly to remove any brassy tones
  • Find shampoo that is high in moisture and has a low PH so you don't dry out your hair even more
  • Shampoo less frequently so your natural oils can hydrate hair and scalp
  • Consider going platinum blond in stages over several weeks or months to lower damage
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