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White, platinum, silver, light ash… whatever you want to call it. Shades of light blonde are some of the hardest to attain and maintain which leads to a lot of bad information about how to go about it.
Let me explain how it works.
Getting white hair isn’t really a matter of bleaching the hell out of your hair. There is a hell of a lot of bleaching involved but it’s not the whole process. To bleach your hair all the way to white is not impossible, it’s just not a great idea. Expect a ton of breakage, extreme dryness and hair that resembles spaghetti when wet.
First you lighten your hair to pale blonde and then you use some colour trickery to make it appear whiter. It’s all to do with colour theory. Remember in art class when you drew the colour wheel? No? Catch up here.
So if you compare blonde hair to white hair, what’s the difference? Blonde hair is really just light yellow hair. To go white you need to mask this yellow with another colour – the opposite of yellow.
If you’ve ever used a white toner, you’ll know that they’re very pale violet in colour. The violet, being the opposite colour to yellow, in effect cancels out the yellowness in your hair giving it a whiter appearance.
For a shimmery pale silver colour, you’re doing the same process. There’s enough violet in the silver toner to eliminate the yellow tones, but there’s also a hint of blue. This very, very pale blue gives the hair a silvery look. It’s also the same reason old ladies sometimes end up with a “blue rinse”.
So now we understand the colour theory, what is there to confuse? Well, a lot of people think if your hair is dark blonde and you add enough of a darker violet it will go white. Wrong! They’re forgetting lightness. If the base colour is nowhere near white in lightness then there is no way adding more colour can make it lighter.
You get a weird neutral greyish brown colour, not quite mousy brown but similar. It’s not pretty like dark ash blonde. It’s a dull muddy colour, not even a cool dark grey. (Hey, want to know how dark grey is made? I have a recipe for you).
So there you have it. I hope this explains how silver and white toners work.
If you've lightened you hair to a very pale blond and it's still not white enough give this dye a try! A semi-permanent toner from Crazy Colour, It eliminates yellow ... - More details
This is a beautiful soft silvery white shade for use on very pale blond hair. This is a semi-permanent hair dye from Crazy Color which acts to cancel out yellow ... - More details
If you want to get your very pale blond hair to a nice silvery platinum shade try this toner from Directions! It neutralises remaining yellow tones and adds just a ... - More details
This toner is ideal for colouring your hair white by neutralising yellow tones left over from bleaching. Use this dye on hair that has been lightened to a very pale ... - More details
Silver Look toner for very pale hair to add a silvery tint. This Stargazer dye is intended for very pale blonde hair only. - More details
For use on pale blonde hair, this semi-permanent toner cancels out the yellowness in bleached hair giving it a whiter appearance. Special Effects' Mixer Toner is a popular choice for ... - More details
Ideal for platinum blonde, silver, grey or white hair, this conditioner helps maintain the brightness of your colour and minimises the yellowing which can occur over time on light hair. ... - More details
Brighten up your platinum, grey or white hair with this twice-weekly treatment shampoo! It contains more concentrated pigment to neutralise unwanted yellow tones in your hair. Use this once or ... - More details
Use this only on hair that has been bleached to a very pale shade of blonde. Virgin Snow helps neutralise yellow tones and give your hair a whiter appearance. You ... - More details
Plain white pressed powder - the ideal base for a variety of colours or mix with other shades to form pastel eyeshadows. - More details