Bleach & Tone: A Hair Story


First off, most stylists are going to strongly advise against going full platinum. It took me about a year to convince mine to take the plunge with me. I told her, “I get it.. you don’t want to fry my hair off. But if someones going to dye my hair white, it’s only going to be you.”

Trust thy colorist. I have a few cardinal rules of hair care, and this is numero uno. Becki Reeves of Wilson’s on Washington and I go way back. I’ve been commuting to Greenville, SC for her appointments for years. Besides her insane hair painting skills and ability to exchange Kardashian gossip with me, I trust her. She’s always honest with me. So it was full disclosure when she told me about how much upkeep and maintenance platinum locks require. If you’re in the market for the bleach & tone – find someone who will explain the process to you, the potential risks, and lay out a solid hair care plan together before you leave.

Our plan goes as follows:

  1. Root touchups every 4 to 6 weeks. For me, this is the most painful part of my new ‘do. I was used to a balage/ombre/whatever routine where I made color appointments about once every couple of months, when I remembered to do so. My roots would grow out, but I had so many levels of blonde in my hair (combined with B’s bad*** skills) that the coloring almost always looked intentional or natural. This new timeline has been a little stressful to maintain, but it’s necessary to avoid a color correction scenario. If you wait too long, you risk having to start the whole process over. The good thing is, my root touch up appointments have been pretty quick and painless!
  2. I use Olaplex No. 3 once a week before and after a bleaching appointment. This stuff is the best! The total system actually starts in the salon, with your colorist using No.1 and No. 2 during the bleaching process to repair damage done by the harsh chemicals. The third step is an at-home prevention of further damage. Many people credit the longevity of their platinum look to Olaplex. Ask for it by name before any bleaching or processing begins. 

  3. Purple shampoo once a week. My go to is Shimmer Lights, but I also like No Yellow. These tone to remove any trace of gold or yellow in the hair. It’s important to keep these handy, but buyer beware. I’ve accidentally toned my hair a light shade of lavender by leaving on too long, so be sure to only use as directed. Use a good, conditioning shampoo/conditioner in between purple washes. I always go to my tried & true – Pureology

  4. I only wash my hair 1-2x per week. Bleach really dries out your hair, so it’s important to make sure you aren’t over-washing. Shower caps and dry shampoo have quickly become my go-tos!
  5. When I do wash my hair, I first sleep in Oribe’s Signature Moisture Masque. This stuff is ahh-mazing. If you take away anything from this post, take away this hair mask. It’s like butter for your hair. I blow dry (on low heat), and my hair has little to no breakage! It’s silky and manageable. Nothing like you’d expect platinum locks to be, and I owe it all to Oribe. 

  6. I only heat-style my hair 1-2x per week. I’ve been using my straightener (linked here) as a curling iron since I was 16. Yes, I’ve had the same straightener since high school. But it works! I try to over-curl my locks on day 1 (on low heat setting). This lets them fall naturally throughout the day, and I no longer need to use hairspray. Hairspray contains alcohol and dries out bleached hair, fast. By the third/fourth day my curls have turned to natural waves. Day 5-6 and my hair is in a top knot, ready to start the process over again.

Don’t skimp on the good stuff. This is cardinal rule numero dos. Aka.. Don’t buy your hair products from the clearance shelf. I’ve always been a product-junkie. But bleaching and toning took that to a whole new level. I can tell a huge difference in the week I may go without my hair mask or if I had to use hotel shampoo instead of my own. The bleaching process is so harsh on your hair, even the strongest locks are vulnerable. Adequate care must be taken at home in order to maintain healthy hair at this color level.

Let me know if you have thoughts or tips of your own! I’ve only been rocking the platinum bob since November, so I’m still learning as I go!


Xx, Alley

Follow me on Instagram here –> @styledinseptember

2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Bleach & Tone: A Hair Story”

  1. Platinum looks really good on you! I’m afraid I couldn’t pull it off. Lol! But you’re doing excellent with it!!

    Sincerely Miss J
    (check out my giveaway!)

    • Thanks girl! I was super nervous going into it, but now I feel like I’ve had it forever! I’ve never really done anything crazy with my hair, so no time like the present haha! Happy Friday to you!


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about alley

Hi there! I’m Alley, the voice behind Styled in September. I’m an ex-buyer turned lifestyle blogger, currently getting my MBA in Paris, France. With SIS, I try to share my style, beauty, and travel stories, sprinkled with a few unfiltered musings in my digital diary. Currently on tap: some behind-the-scenes takes of an American expat in Paris. Thanks for stopping by my corner of the internet!

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