Platinum: The White Hot Hair Color of 2014
Gentlemen prefer blondes, which could explain why Hollywood is embracing a new white hot trend.
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Stylists say 2014 is the year of platinum, and a slew of stars are lighting up the red carpet with pale gold, icy white, and bubbly champagne shades on their manes.
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While some women may want to immediately hide silvery strands, several celebrities have long been embracing this cool color to make heads turn. Platinum made screen sirens, like Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe eternal blonde bombshells, and now many of today’s starlets want to get in on the fun.
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“I believe 2014 will be the year of the white hot blonde,” says Frank Barbosa, a hairdresser for IT&LY Hairfashion who supervises hair departments on film sets. “I feel we have been living in the lush glamour inspired by “The Great Gatsby” for a while now and it was missing the platinum look.”
“I found especially this year that blondes having more fun (with their hair),” adds Kitty Grellar, color director of Ted Gibson Beauty in New York City. “Usually my clients want to go darker in the fall/winter, but not this year. Now, everyone wants to go lighter.”
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While stylists agree that platinum is a timeless hair color that has been making its mark on Hollywood for decades, Beverly Hills-based celebrity stylist Nelson Chan says current fashion styles are also playing a major role in why this color is now hotter than ever.
“Platinum hair is the color of choice due to the trend of black and white colors in fashion and interior design, which are so popular now,” he explains. “It inspires people to look for a shade that goes well with that color scheme, and platinum is the answer.”
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Platinum can instantly brighten up features and have all eyes on you, but it also comes with major challenges. Not everyone can benefit from this look and costly upkeeps alone can cause some to shy away from taking the plunge.
Here’s what you need to know before transforming yourself into an ice queen:
Consider Your Hair's Length
While some stars, like Gwyneth Paltrow, can rock the icy blonde look with long, sleek strands, stylists say platinum looks best on women with shorter locks. “Do keep your hair length medium to short,” says Chan. However, whether your hair is long or short, the same rule always applies before taking the plunge. “Don’t go for this color if the hair’s condition isn’t good or is just very damaged,” adds Chan. “It will only get damaged more because the hair won’t be able to handle the strong process,
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Want to keep your platinum mane in pristine condition? No matter how light you are as a blonde, Chan recommends using purple shampoo to maintain its gorgeous shine. The purple pigment of the shampoo neutralizes brassy tones, brightening up your hair color. And no, it will not turn your hair purple!
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Always Keep Your Skin Tone in Mind
Unlike other hair colors, not everyone can benefit from platinum. While celebrities, like Beyonce and Rihanna, aren’t afraid to debut their take on the icy look with stunning results, stylists say one should always take note of their natural shade. “Fairer and light to olive skin tones will best benefit from platinum hair,” advises stylist Christophe Belkacemi from Lionel Renard Salon in Los Angeles. “This combination always seems to work.” And if you do truly love this hair color, no matter your skin tone, don’t make one major mistake that could lead to an unwanted hair disaster. “Don’t go platinum at home,” he says. “It’s NEVER a good idea. Leave this one for the professionals.”
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Bleach vs. Highlights
“There are a lot of misconceptions about what makes a true platinum blonde,” says Grellar. “All the platinum blondes that come to mind, like Gwen Stefani, Debbie Harry, and Marilyn Monroe, are not foils, but all over bleached and toned. Many people feel this is very damaging and shy away from it. But if done right, it can actually be better for the hair.” Unlike the foiling method, which lightens hair in sections, bleaching is an all-over, one-step process, which can be less harsh on certain types of hair. However, it’s always recommended to have a consultation with a colorist to better determine whether your hair is in perfect condition for either process to avoid breakage and long-term damage.
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Have Patience...Lots of It
Patience is key when it comes to going platinum. Doing light too quickly can result in excess dryness and damage to your hair. Stylists say, depending on your natural hair color, one should never, ever rush the process. This means you may need several visits to your colorist to achieve the exact shade you desire. “Always go slow,” says Barbosa. “Do not rush this color for a healthier look. That’s why it’s so important to research for the perfect colorist who can create the right shade for you.
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Protect Your Hair
To minimize breakage and damage, it’s crucial to protect your hair before the actual dye job. It’s recommended to use a deep conditioning treatment at least three days before bleaching or highlighting, and then weekly after. This will give your hair extra smoothness, sealing in moisture and shine.
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Save Before Splurging
When it comes to this daring shade, be prepared to spend. Because platinum requires frequent upkeeps to maintain its color, expect to visit your stylist at least every four weeks, depending on your desired shade, as well as your natural color. Also, your makeup will need to be changed to complement your lighter mane. If you’re not one for usual visits to your salon or you just don’t have the budget for this drastic makeover, chances are platinum won’t work for you.
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Don't Have Unrealistic Expectations
“Always listen to your colorist,” says Grellar. “We know best when it comes to color and damage control. If we see that it might not work for your skin tone or hair, we will tell you. The last thing anyone wants is to be unhappy with their outcome. I’ve had many people come in for a consultation, not like what I have to say, only to come in a week later with a color correction and an apology. I always tell my clients the truth, even if it’s not what they want to hear.”
Since platinum tends to suit those with lighter features, you may want to take a break on doing one thing to keep it looking natural and fresh. “Never, over-tan once you have taken the plunge to platinum,” warns Belkacemi. Trust us, it's not a good look on anyone.
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If you’re a shy wallflower, be prepared for a jolt of confidence. “Do be ready for people looking at you. Platinum hair draws attention,” says Belkacemi. Let your hair do the talking and have fun being a blonde!