I Went Platinum At The Salon, But I'm Doing My Roots At Home

Warning: I'm NOT an expert. I can't see the back of my head, so neither can anyone else, right?
Publish date:
July 23, 2013
bleach blondes, hair, roots, at-home bleaching, toner, at-home color, root touch ups

Remember when I took you guys along for the ride when I got my hair bleached blonde? Since I didn’t do it myself, I didn’t have much advice to share beyond some maintenance tips. It was mostly “OMG guys, look how pretty!”

So I thought I would write a detailed explanation of how I touched up my roots this weekend. I’m not an expert, and most of this is based off of my recent trial and error, but hopefully you’ll find some helpful tips in case this is something you want to do yourself, too.

My roots aren’t that noticeable yet. I actually like how they look. However, I’m planning to make my hair white soon so I had to get rid of the brown roots.

My friend (Hi Nichole!) who recently switched back to brunette from blonde, was nice enough to give me everything she no longer needed (thanks again!): a packet of L’Oreal Super Oreal Blanc bleach, Salon Care developer, Wella T10 Pale Blonde toner, a plastic container because you can’t use metal tools for this, and a brush (Canadians are so nice!).

Yes, people who read the photo captions: you have to measure stuff. It’s a pain. I’ll share what I did, but in the end, you probably want to make sure you follow the instructions on the back of whatever box you’re using.

Also, I did this with hair that hadn’t been washed in a few days. The dirtier your hair, the more protected it will be from the bleach. You can also put coconut oil in your hair beforehand to further protect it.

First, I attempted to section my hair into four parts. I thought this might make it easier. It didn’t really in the end, although I guess it did help to have the rest of my hair out of the way while working on one section.

Once my hair was tied up and I had gloves on, I mixed the entirety of the bleach packet with four tablespoons of the developer. The bleach and developer should be a ratio of 1:2. I also had 30 volume developer, but I heard it’s best to keep that away from your scalp, so I decided to play it safe with 20.

I used the little brush to paint the bleach mixture onto my roots as best I could. It was sort of tricky: I had to be careful not to get it all over the rest of my already-bleached hair, and there were SO many roots to cover. I actually started to run out of bleach near the end, so I might suggest having two bleach packets just to be on the safe side.

I made my sister help me with the back. At one point she held up her hand and stared at it. “What?” I said. “Is my hair falling out?”

“Um... Yup.”

“Oh well!” I chirped. “That’s OK. Just let me know if it starts coming out in clumps.”

She shook her head at me in disbelief. “I was joking.”

I am obviously not particularly attached to my hair. I was actually thinking I should have had it trimmed and thinned before attempting this, because there was so much hair to go through. It was insanely hot, too, and soon our tiny bathroom was filled with the overpowering smell of bleach.

It took about half an hour to cover all of my roots. I let it sit for another 10-20 minutes until it was light yellow. Obviously the parts that I did first were much more developed at the end than the parts I did last, but I did the front of my hair first so it’s not a big deal. I can’t see the back of my head, so neither can anyone else, right?

The next step was to rinse out the bleach and wash twice with shampoo. The result after I stepped out of the shower: pretty much how it looked when I first got it done. I was surprised to find that my roots matched the rest of my hair pretty well; I was expecting them to be neon yellow. At this point, I had a decision to make: did I really need to use the toner?

I wasn’t going to. I was just going to say good enough and leave it be. But my sister insisted that I use the toner, and I was curious to see what it would do. So I mixed it with the same ratio as before (one part toner and two parts developer) and basically just used my gloved hands to dump it all over my head, hoping for an even result.

I let the toner sit for five to ten minutes, during which point I noticed it turning a weird dark grey color. Panicking a little, I jumped back into the shower for another round of rinse/shampoo/condition. Make sure you use a deep conditioner after this; my hair definitely needed it.

While wet, it still looked a bit off, but once I dried it completely I decided it wasn’t too bad. It’s sort of an ashy-blonde, depending on the lighting. I don’t hate it, and I’m glad that it’s much less yellow.

So my plan, after doing a lot of deep conditioning, is to go completely white blonde next. I might have to go back and get some more roots in the back of my head that I missed first, because I feel like you can’t get away with that sort of thing with white hair.

I’ve already gotten a lot of great suggestions for what to use for white-blonde hair, and so far I think I’m going to try: Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow, Wella’s White Lady, and Fudge Paintbox. I know that sounds like a lot to dump onto my poor hair, but I figure I’ll space them out a bit and then write about which worked the best. It’s going to be all scientific and stuff!

Feel free to give me more suggestions if you’ve had success with anything else, or if you’re just curious to see what happens when I fail to draw the line at how many chemicals I’ll put in my hair.