5 lessons I learned from going platinum

I’ve never been one to cry at the salon, whether my cut is too short or my color is a bit off. I truly believe that it’s only hair, so there’s no such thing as a true disaster (unless, say, it’s a week before your wedding or a major event like that). But with that said, I’ve been a bit surprised by my own reaction to taking my blonde to a whole new level. Maybe it’s because I’m the slightest bit obsessed with all things beauty, or maybe it’s just that going platinum is a pretty big freaking deal. After taking a bit of time to reflect, here’s what I’ve learned from crossing platinum off my beauty bucket list.

1. Don’t listen to what anyone says about it. I generally see myself in the mirror 100 times a day, and if I had a minor panic attack every single time I caught a glimpse of myself for the first 5 or so days, I can’t imagine what other people thought at first sight. Reactions ranged from love to brutal honesty (i.e. hate) and to this day (5 weeks later) I still don’t know who was telling me the truth and who was full of shit. Here are a few of the highlights, which I’ll keep anonymous, but if you’re reading this you know who you are.

  • “You look like Billy Idol.”
  • “It’s not a pretty Boca blonde.”
  • “It looks like something Katy Perry would do.”
  • “Only you could pull it off.” (What the fuck does that mean? Am I so cool that I could rock blue hair without a care, or do you think this hair color suits my freakish nature?)

2. Timing is everything. When I was in the chair having the last bit of color stripped from each and every strand TWICE, my colorist kept referring to “the halo.” At that point I had no idea what that meant—especially when I walked out of the salon with stark almost-white hair that looked like a bad wig. (Major fail: Going to my son’s kindergarten orientation THAT NIGHT.) But after about 10 days, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Just the faintest bit of root did indeed give the color a halo, and that’s when I really started to dig it. So IF I do this again (the jury’s still out) I know I need to give it 2 weeks to settle before any big events.

3. There’s no such thing as greasy hair anymore. Before I discovered dry shampoo, I HAD to wash my hair every day or I’d look like a homeless person. After going platinum, I literally apply an overnight leave-in treatment product two or three times a day and all’s still good.

4. When I do wash my hair, it’s a production. On the heels of #3, I now wash my hair roughly twice a week. I’ve gone as long as 5 days, but then I felt kind of gross. Now, when I wash my hair, it’s a major time suck. I have special purple shampoo for platinum hair, and I have to leave it in for 3-5 minutes to neutralize any yellow or brassiness. I also have to use a deep conditioner every time I wash, so that adds another 5 minutes. Going back to #3 again, I could never use deep conditioner before without my hair sticking to my head. The upside of this is that I do save time on the styling side. If I’m not going anywhere special I don’t blowdry my hair, because I live in fear that it’s all going to break off.

5. I have balls—at least when it comes to beauty. The New York Times just ran a story in the Style section about platinum being the color of the summer. But I don’t live in New York City and click-clack past scores of other girls with white hair in the Condé Nast lobby every day. I live in Boca Raton, Florida and I mingle with soccer moms at school and camp pickup. I also run into more octogenarians than hipsters, and I’ve actually heard the yentas comment on my hair after I’ve walked by. (I’m not deaf, just really blonde.) I have absolutely no regrets, and to be completely honest, I’m really comfortable being “that girl.”

With all this said, it’s been 5 weeks and the roots haven’t yet crossed the line from edgy to trashy (but it’s getting close). I’m actually kind of liking it more as I get used to it. I know I’m going to have to make a color appointment within the next week or so, and I’m still not sure if I should keep it or take it back to a more subtle color. Stay tuned!

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