Despite her disreputable path to fame and fortune, it’s fair to say that Kim Kardashian is something of a tastemaker.
The fact that she can break the internet with a simple hair colour change is not only astounding, but quite an achievement when you think about her resume.
Nevertheless, here we are. Kim went blonde (like, Malfoy blonde), and the world lost its sh*t.
Of course, we aren’t immune to sh*t losing, but it got us thinking in more practical terms: how the heck would a normal person (i.e. someone without a 24/7 team of stylists and fluffers) maintain that kind of drastic transformation?
Not 100% confident relying on Kimye’s style advice, we looked to a more reliable source—aka Brisbane’s best hairdressers—for the legit’ low-down on lightening your locks.
A cautionary tale or inspiring journey; take it as you will, but if you are thinking of following in Kim’s footsteps and going blonde, then you need to read this.
P.S. Thank you in advance, Brisbane hairdressers; you’ve saved us a lot of tears.
Laura MacLeod, Director
The Ruby Room | Nundah
The Low Down
It’s a question of commitment, says Laura. If you don’t want to go down the path of regular (and budget-breaking visits) to the salon, then steer clear of the all-over, platinum blonde look. This is not the hairstyle for you. Likewise, if your hair type isn’t ideal, you could end up with sub-par results, and nobody wants that. ‘People who try platinum are the ones committed to the upkeep; Darker, coarser hair or hair that’s too fine/fragile are both more difficult to achieve optimum results with.'
Don’t fret, there’s still hope: ‘Depending on your skin tone your colourist will be able to adjust which tone of platinum will work best for you. Your first visit—depending on what existing colour you have in your hair—may be a correction colour which will take more time and money.’ To avoid any unpleasant adverse reactions, Laura recommends safety first.
‘Lightening your scalp can feel more aggressive then other colour applications, so we would recommend a skin patch test first!’
Keeping Up With The Kardashian
‘Depending on how dark your hair is naturally will determine how quickly your re-growth comes through but you could expect to be maintaining your re-growth every 2-4 weeks. Most clients also require a weekly toner and treatment to keep their blonde crisp, as well as a homecare maintenance program to keep your hair in the best possible condition. The better condition your hair is the better the result!’
‘We think Michelle Williams looked absolutely stunning in her latest UK Harpers Bazaar spread. And if any celebrity could take their blonde to the next level it’s Taylor Swift—especially teamed with her signature red lips!’
[Ed. Note: The Ruby Room recently won the AHIA Best hairdressing Salon in Queensland award, so Laura and her team know the difference between the good, the bad, and the fugly when it comes to platinum blonde.]
Heather Russell, Colourist
Epic Hair Designs | Norman Park
Weak Hair? Don’t Go There!
‘To be a platinum blonde, your hair would need to be in really good condition, because lightening the hair weakens it. Caucasian hair is best, especially fairer hair. It’s a big ask to achieve platinum blonde on Asian or Afro-Caribbean hair types, and on the flip side, it can be too light for natural skin tone so we would avoid on these.
‘The upkeep of platinum blonde is pretty high maintenance, involving regular trips [to the hairdresser] for root touch ups. It doesn’t end there though, home products like conditioning and toning are super important as well.’
‘We are absolutely loving these celebrities for their ability to pull off platinum well: Kate Bosworth, Gwen Stefani and Scarlett Johansson!’
Alycia Bennett, Head Technician
Skin Tone Is Key
We all want what we can’t have, and unfortunately, that's bad news for those with dark hair: ‘Hair types and colour that should try platinum blonde are people that are naturally quite light; naturally light haired people generally have a lighter complexion which suits the platinum look much better.’
It’s A Colour Thing
‘Hair colours and types that should avoid it are clients that are quite dark naturally, and have no intention of maintaining the hair. It’s important to keep in mind your make up and wardrobe palette because platinum blonde on naturally darker hair changes your whole complexion! Some clients find they need more makeup and duller clothing choices after this type of transformation.
Scarlett Johansson is my favourite celeb blonde, as well as Michelle Williams and Gwen Stefani because they know how to take care of their hair, leaving it looking shiny and healthy, which is key because there’s nothing worse than a dull, unhealthy looking blonde.
Ellen Robbins, Senior Stylist
Luke Reynold’s Hairdressing | New Farm
Don’t Skimp On Hair Care
‘To take the plunge and go platinum like Kimmy did, you’re going to need hair in EXCELLENT condition. If your ends are split or over-colored you’ll need to get a big chop (just like she did) to avoid breakage and ratty-ness. This colour makes fine hair look thicker and fuller, and tends to give a beautiful clean result on thicker hair types, so it’s a win-win really.’
Platinum Don’t Come Easy
‘A lot is involved to achieve and maintain the platinum look. You’ve got to be prepared to invest time, care, and money, but we think it’s totally worth it.
‘As well as the time it takes to get you to that colour—up to three applications depending on how your hair responds—you need to commit to regular appointments (ideally, every four weeks) to avoid nasty dark roots. You’re also going to need to invest in really great professional products to keep your locks in great condition and avoid brassiness.
‘An at-home toner like Goldwell Soft Colour mousse, a shampoo and conditioner formulated for blonde hair, plus regular treatments at home and in salon are all imperative.’
‘Gwen Stefani is the undisputed queen of platinum, and she works hard for it. Her hairdresser says she comes to him every two weeks for a touch-up. You need commitment for hair like hers but it’s absolutely achievable.’
Want more tips from Brisbane’s best hairdressers? Search ‘hairdressers’ in The Directory!