Joining The Platinum Army: How I Went Bleach Blonde

When the Grazia office clapped eyes on Cara D’s new do, our jaws collectively dropped to the floor. The honey-blonde was no more – instead: a bright, white platinum crop. Quick to follow suit was Kristen Stewart with the brightest buzz cut you’ve ever seen, and take a look at Lily Allen and Zoë Kravitz’ frosted locks. The fact is – going blonde has never been easier. Colouring has been given a techy makeover with systems like Olaplex and L’Oreal Professional SmartBond (both from £30) to help prevent the damage that lightening inevitably causes. Even brunettes can get involved…

So, when word spread that a volunteer was needed to try the new trend, I hurled other Grazia staffers out of the way to get myself at the front of the queue, despite possessing an embarrassing mop of abused, mousey hair. A few hours later, I was sitting in a chair at Neville Hair & Beauty with Senior Colourists Tom Cruickshank and Donald Black (London’s ‘Blonde Guru’) assessing the situation atop my head. They had their work cut out for them.

Kristen Stewart now rocks a bleach blonde buzz cut

The first step was to apply the bleach to my roots. Once this started to take, the colour was worked into the ends, and both Tom and Donald lovingly massaged in the bleach to ensure it was even. At one point another colourist was called in to help out, and it’s the first time I’ve ever had three men pay such close attention to me. I’d recommend it. The colour was left to take, and once rinsed off was temporarily - and hilariously - orange. A good dose of toner was added to rectify this, and lastly SmartBond was applied at the sink, to help repair the broken bonds in my hair.

I left the salon just four hours later, instructed to take care of my new barnet as if it were a newborn baby. As Tom adds, ‘You don’t see many people walking around with boob length bleach blonde hair for a reason.’ It is hard work. Purple shampoo is a must to prevent discolouration, and I need to use a mask at least twice a week. I take home SmartBond 3 – the third step in the L’Oreal system which you use at home in place of conditioner, to keep it silky soft.

Lily Allen and Zoë Kravitz wear platinum blonde so well

And I skip back to the office, where the double takes begin. I look different. Even my iPhone thinks I’m two people - pre and post transformation. I realise pretty early on that I can no longer get away with neglecting my brows, and I definitely need a little more makeup (note Kristen’s new BFF – eyeliner). Getting dressed in the morning has changed too – I’m actually more relaxed about making bold choices because my new hair is like a tonic for shrinking-violet-syndrome. I feel braver.

However, the texture has changed. It is much dryer, which means I’m constantly applying oils – and it’s soaking it up quicker than I guzzle water on a white wine hangover. I shouldn’t straighten it anymore, so I’m left to embrace those niggly frizzies. I’ll need to be back in the salon in around 3 weeks for a fresh batch of toner, and my roots will need doing in around 6 weeks. It’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not popular with everyone. My boyfriend keeps asking me how long I plan on keeping it, which tells me exactly how he feels about the matter. But, if I cared that much about what anyone else was going to think, I wouldn’t have done it. That's what makes platinum blonde so amazing – it’s the brazen, in-your-face fakery of it. It’s not safe, or pretty or – dare I say – basic. And that’s why the coolest girls are doing it – Kristen, Cara, Zoë, Lily. And while the jury may be out on me, I definitely feel like the coolest girl in the world.

Before and after

READ MORE: Blonde Ambition: How To Go Platinum Blonde

READ MORE: 15 Of The Best A-List Hair Transformations

READ MORE: What Is Olaplex And Can It Transform Your Hair For Good?

Grazia magazine cover