There may be a bunch of hair color trends every season, but there are only a select few that work on everyone. Which means normally you have to do some research before booking an appointment and jumping into the coloring process. That often involves analyzing your skin tone (even your eye color, according to some colorists) to ensure you’ll like the end result.
While there are a few standard guidelines to follow, most of this is left up to you and your colorist to decide. There is, however, one specific hair color that seems to look universally incredible—platinum blonde. This is buzzy hair color is currently trending on Pinterest in such a big way. Celebs love it, too. In fact, Kylie Jenner, the queen of hair transformations, has also made the leap. We asked expert colorists how to nail this platinum trend.
"Platinum blonde is one of those trends that is forever a fashion statement," says color specialist Lilybeth Vargus. "It goes with absolutely any skin color as a cool 'look.' It can be chic, playful, and sexy — all at the same time."
Meet the Expert
"The first steps are to see how many levels away from your natural color you're going—and which tools are the best path to take (such as foils or free hand) or if you'll need multiple rounds until you can achieve platinum," explains freelance editorial colorist Jafra Bryant.
Choosing a Shade: "All skin tones can look great with the correct platinum," says Bryant. " I think most people assume platinum means only white blonde. It actually means the lightest blonde (or past a level 10 or 11) — but a platinum can still have some warmth to it or a pinky hue and still be considered a platinum. It more so depends on how your hair takes bleach, the colorist you see and your at home maintenance."
Maintenance Level: "This is one of the most high maintenance hair colors," says Bryant. "You can expect to be in salon for a touch up every 5-8 weeks, which can be a commitment."
Goes Great With: Bryant says the lighter your hair naturally is, the easier it is to transition to platinum. "However, there are the occasional people who's hair has a certain combo of textures for an easier lift to platinum level— such as finer textures or curly hair— but all really is case-by-case and hair colorist abilities."
Price: Platinum hair can be expensive. The price varies widely depending on natural hair color and number of sessions. Light hair can take one session, but dark hair can take several sessions to get the platinum shade.
Ready to make the leap to platinum? Keep scrolling to see 30 of our favorite platinum-blonde looks for every skin tone.
Gwen Stefani has turned her platinum blonde hair and red lips into her signature look. The singer's natural hair color is a light brown, so she has to get touch-ups frequently. How much growth means it is time for a touch-up? "The rule of thumb for platinum is every one inch of root," says Bryant. This helps avoid "banding," which is "a term used when the hair has a warmer or really bright light band around the head, [which shows that] the hair has gone past an inch of growth or possibly did not have the proper application or gloss."
Kylie Jenner shows off her ashy, icy blonde. This shade is on the cooler end of the hair color spectrum, with minimal golden tones involved. If you look closely, you can see her natural dark roots peeking through.
"If you’re a brunette wanting to transform to platinum be ready to spend hours at the salon," says Vargas. "Always seek a professional opinion on how to approach going lighter since it can take multiple sessions depending on the client’s hair texture, color history and the integrity of the hair. Bleaching (aka lightening) the hair is the only way to reach that platinum look."
Ashy blonde hair can range from a cool bronde color all the way to bright platinum, as demonstrated here by Rita Ora.
To keep your hair healthy after bleaching, Bryant says "the less heat the better —and moisture and protein up!" For medium to course hair, Bryant recommends the Christophe Robin 'Prickly Pear' line.
Ashley Benson shows us why Pinterest searches for ashy platinum-blonde hair with dark roots are up 216%. The stark contrast between dark roots and ashy blonde hair gives it a lived-in look perfect for all the cool girls out there. It's also perfect for anyone who loves the tousled, textured style. Just look at those "I just came from the beach" waves.
If you have naturally dark hair and go platinum, such as actress Eiza González, make sure you use a good deep conditioner to keep strands healthy. We like to leave Olaplex Hair Perfector ($28) in for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it out in the shower. It actually strengthens each strand of hair to prevent split ends from forming.
Solange's platinum blonde afro is picture perfect. The singer keeps her eyebrows dark against her ultra-blonde hair. "The option to change your brow color seems like the right thing to do, but I personally love a dark brow with bright platinum blonde," says Bryant. "It gives the hair color and overall look a very edgy or punk look."
Kim Kardashian is perhaps the most memorable ash-blonde celebrity recently. As you can see, her dark roots give way to cool-tone hair that's so bright and so icy it almost looks gray. It really pops against her warm skin tone. "There is always the option of a lace front wig if you aren’t ready to commit to actually dying your hair," says Vargas. "Or start introducing lighter pieces with a partial highlight."
One of the most surprising celeb hair transformations was Selena Gomez's platinum-blonde leap. Throughout it all, she kept her dark roots shining through the top of her hair. It looked so modern and fresh. To give hair plenty of volume after going platinum, look for a root-boosting mousse, such as Kérastase Mousse Bouffante Volumizing Hair Mousse ($32), which also keeps hair healthy and protects it from heat styling.
Cara Delevingne proves platinum hair doesn't have to be long. In fact, it looks amazing with a pixie cut. Her dark roots are barely there; they're ever-so-slightly peeking through her short strands.
If you're afraid that a platinum blonde color (dark roots or not) will wash out your fair skin, you shouldn't be. Supermodel Soo Joo has been sporting the look for some time now. She proves that it creates a cool, ultra-modern angelic vibe on fair-skinned people.
Who better to follow than fashion's number one It girl since the '90s? Kate Moss has been taking part in this golden platinum blonde trend for years. Her color combination and tousled texture give her an edgy rock 'n' roll look.
Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige found the perfect platinum tone to compliment her skin tone. To keep your hair shiny and straight like the singer's hair, Bryant recommends Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil ($42) as this product is "good for most textures rocking a platinum job to help give shine while staying light weight."
Michelle Williams' fair skin tone looks fabulous paired with this icy platinum blonde bob.
To prevent your hair from drying out after going platinum, try washing your hair less frequently and use a deep conditioner on the ends.
Sofia Richie's blonde hair is a mix between ash and golden. Here, you can see her dark roots growing in, which match the chestnut color of her brows.
Gwyneth Paltrow's golden platinum blonde hair color looks fabulous paired with a bold, red lip. "A light purple shampoo can come handy to occasionally balance out the color," says Vargas. We like the Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Purple Shampoo ($28).
Cynthia Erivo's natural texture is accentuated by the contrast between her dark base and her icy blonde curls. Her hair, paired with her berry lip and plum eye shadow, is giving us major holiday vibes. Does anyone else have the sudden urge to dye their hair before winter hits?
Karlie Kloss dyed her hair this cool platinum blonde shade, which helps accent her eyes. She has a hint of darker roots showing up, which pairs nicely with her darker eyebrows. If your roots are getting a bit too dark, you can also use a root coverup powder, such as Color Wow in Platinum Blonde ($35) to buy you some time between visits to the salon.
If you're dying to partake in this trend, but you're a little hesitant to go full white-gray, we suggest taking a cue from Ciara. The singer's dark roots grow out into ash-blonde lengths in a more approachable way.
Julianne Hough switched up her normal golden blonde for this platinum blonde bob with bangs. When going platinum, you can wear your makeup slightly bolder, as Hough did with her rosy lipstick and eyeshadow.
If you have naturally dark hair, this is good news, because it means you can push back your salon appointments. Unlike other hair trends, your roots are supposed to show. It's not about having a perfect monochrome color; it's about having a stark cool-girl contrast.
Rihanna looks gorgeous with this golden platinum hair color. She kept the roots darker, ensuring an easier grow-out and less maintenance. Opting for a more golden blonde platinum, versus a cool-toned platinum, allows you to get away with more root growth.
Platinum blonde curls, as seen here on Lex Lu, are an eye-catching statement that is both sexy and playful. "The hair tends to be very porous so anything can stain the hair," says Vargas. "Be cautious of spray tans, and makeup on the hair."
Tilda Swinton shows off her signature icy platinum blonde hair with a pixie cut. She keeps her eye makeup natural, but gives her face a pop of color with rosy pink lipstick. Vargas explains that after going platinum blonde, make sure you use a good conditioner to keep hair healthy. "A great product to use is Olaplex. It’s bonding agents helps strengthen the hair after the stress of coloring," she says. One highly recommended aftercare option is the Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner ($28).
Paris Hilton's golden platinum blonde hair color warms up her skin tone and gives her the ultimate Hollywood cool-girl look. "To maintain this color, it should be re-touched every 3-5 weeks to make sure there isn’t a yellow band that starts to form from a large grow out," says Vargas.
Nicki Minaj opts for a white-blonde platinum hue with a darker root for an edgy look. She wears her curls loose and free around her face. If you want platinum ringlets like Minaj, but you don't have curly hair, use a skinny curling iron such as the Chopstick Styler ($35) to recreate this look.
Christina Aguilera's signature platinum hair has an icy hue that works well with her cool skin tone. To copy her wet look hairstyle, mix together your favorite hair gel (such as Oribe Hair Gel ($45)) with a hair cream ( like Amika Supernova Moisture and Shine Cream ($26)) so your hair looks wet, not crunchy.
Zendaya can pull off a variety of hair colors and hairstyles—and this platinum blonde crop is no exception. She lets her eyes take center stage of this look, keeping her lipstick a soft neutral shade. Simply perfection.
Blake Lively's hair is always drool-worthy. Her hair has a golden platinum color that gives her skin a tan and glowing sheen to it. She uses a curing iron for soft and flowing waves. "A moisturizing deep conditioning leave-in primer is a must to protect the hair from hot tools," says Vargas. One great option to try is Aveda Nutriplenish Daily Moisturizing Treatment ($37).
Switching up your hair color is a fun way to change up your look without making drastic changes to your hair style. Case in point, singer Eve—who lightened her hair from dark brown to this fabulous platinum hue.
Last but certainly not least is one of the most famous platinum blondes—Pamela Anderson. Her long, platinum blonde hair with bombshell curls is the ultimate sexy California look.
What does it mean to have a “shadow root” with platinum hair?
Platinum blonde hair with dark roots is also called a “shadow root.” Not only is this look trending, but it requires less maintenance as you can go longer between touch-ups.
What is an ashy platinum blonde?
Instead of golden platinum, many celebrities are opting for an ashy platinum blonde, which is more of a silver shade. This shade looks fabulous on brunettes who have ashy platinum blonde highlights or balayage.
Can you go platinum blonde with highlights?
If you aren’t quite ready for all-over color, platinum blonde highlights are a great way to get in on this trend. You can ask for subtle balayage platinum highlights or ombre, in which hair gets gradually lighter on the ends.