Summer is just around the corner, which for many beauty enthusiasts means lightening up their locks. Sun-kissed highlights and ombré looks have dominated in years past, but this season appears to call for a more dramatic color play. Last month, Taylor Swift took advice from Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, opting for bleach-blond strands on the magazine’s May cover. More recently, Suki Waterhouse debuted a platinum mane via Instagram. So naturally, we’re now wondering whether or not to take the plunge ourselves. There’s nothing like an edgy refresh for a new season. But before making any big decisions, we wanted to consult an expert, so we reached out to Denis De Souza, co-owner of Mare Salon in West Hollywood.
Below, De Souza fills us in on everything we need to know about going platinum, from the products we should use post-transformation to how we can avoid damaging our strands.
BYRDIE: How do you go about finding the proper balance of brightness when your clients choose to go platinum blond?
DENIS DE SOUZA: There are a few shades of platinum: beige, gold, and, brightest of all, violet white. The lighter they want to get, the higher the level of peroxide [in the bleach] is. I don’t recommend using higher than 30-volume peroxide, in order to avoid blisters on the scalp.
BYRDIE: What advice do you have for brunettes looking to hop aboard the bleach-blond bandwagon?
DD: The darker their hair is, the more difficult it is to achieve platinum without turning orange. First and foremost, NEVER do it at home. Always trust a professional, and preferably keep your hair to a shoulder length max. The hair is the strongest from roots to shoulder.
BYRDIE: How can one avoid damaging their strands when going platinum?
DD: The best way to protect the hair from breakage is to add coconut oil all over the hair and scalp the night before before coloring. When touching up roots, avoid overlapping bleach onto hair that has already been bleached. That will help keep breakage to a minimum.
BYRDIE: What products do you recommend to clients that have gone through with this dramatic ’do?
BYRDIE: What can bleach blondes use to avoid brassiness?
DD: Joico has the perfect balanced shampoo and conditioner that cancel out yellow or brassy tones on any type of bleached hair.
BYRDIE: What is the lightest one can go without bleach?
DD: Color can lighten up to six to eight shades, but only bleach will cancel out the most unwanted warm tones. So if your hair is level six and higher, I recommend using bleach to lift your hair.