Shiny, bright, radiant, silvery, ashy…. These are just a few words to describe the beautiful blonde looks that have been trending for the past few years now. Celebrities such as Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora, Lady Gaga and Dascha Polanco have made this look famous. So many people want that icy, cool blonde that glistens in the sun. Most people don’t know that look comes with some consequences…
Let me give you a quick rundown on how hair color works. Just the other day I was trying to explain to my husband how challenging it is to take black hair to silver. His response was “I feel like it would be easy. I mean, isn’t gray just a lighter version of black?” I believe this thought process is very common. You can’t blame a person for thinking this way. Yes, gray and silver are a lighter version of black, but when it comes to hair it isn’t that simple. If your hair is black, then lightening it will first turn it red, orange and, finally, yellow. It is impossible to go directly from black to white without first lifting through each of these colors. That’s the chemistry of hair. Let’s say your hair is light brown. You will still have to go through (possibly red) orange and yellow before getting to white. Previously colored hair makes our job even harder. We not only have to lighten through your natural pigment. We also must lift through the artificial pigment to achieve your desired result. If you try coloring hair gray, ashy or silver before lifting through all these pigments, you could end up with a greenish or muddy look. Definitely not the ashy white blonde you were hoping for.
Another thing most people do not realize, is that the one and only way to get previous colored hair to white is by using bleach. Yes bleach! As a hairstylist I hate using this word. It scares people, but what our guests must understand is that this is what MUST be done to achieve the white, silvery look. In reality, when your professional stylist uses bleach on your hair you have nothing to worry about. The only time you should start worrying is when you are trying to push your hair too much and too fast. If you are going to a highly trained professional stylist, they will not let this happen to you. What is necessary during this grueling process are deep conditioning treatments such as Olaplex, or Aveda botanical therapy treatments. This will help keep the integrity of the hair during the lightening process.
With that being said, I do not want you to think stylists aren’t up for the challenge of silver hair. I love a good challenge and thoroughly enjoy using my knowledge to create the perfect icy blonde. What I do hope people take from this is that as hairstylists we try as hard as we can to give you the look you want without damaging your hair. Please be patient with us and understand when we tell you it will take a lot of time and patience to achieve certain colors. We strive to make our clients as happy as possible, but please remember we are not magicians. I hope this has helped you better understand why it takes so much time and money to attain certain colors.
Below is a recent guest of mine who had black hair with blonde highlights. Her ultimate goal is a white icy blonde all over. She hates the “caramel” look and did not want to have to wear that between appointments. We started at 12:30 with a color remover. After that we did two different bleaching processes using Olaplex. At this point some pieces were orange, some yellow and some white. I then toned out the unwanted colors and achieved a neutral medium blonde with some white pieces and, unfortunately, some caramel pieces. These caramel pieces were already processed 3 times this day and I knew it would not be safe to do anymore until a later date. We also had to cut about 7 inches of her hair off to keep it healthy. This process took a total of 7 hours and costs around $450-$500. That is not including the necessary products you need to take home to keep your hair healthy enough for another process. I hope this has helped bring some incite to hair color!
Trisha Browning :)