Fresh New Start: How to Go Platinum Blonde from Dark Hair DIY

I’ve gone platinum blonde once before; previously, I had decided to for 2 reasons:

  1. I was turning 25 and wanted to have pink/purple hair before being officially in my “mid-twenties”
  2. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I wanted to dress up as Sia for that Halloween

I went to my stylist in the East Village; it took 3 days and was an expensive hair investment (my hair was long at the time; see previous length of hair here).  We made it work.  I even went pink for a bit before going back to a more natural dark color #unicorn !

This time, I decided to go platinum blonde because I may not always have the opportunity to go have fun with my locks, so…YOLO. #useitbeforeyaloseit

The difference this time is that I DID IT MYSELF (despite the cautions and worries of my fellow platinum pal, Benjamin of Style Guise).  As of the below photos being taken, I still probably have a few more lightening and tonings I’d like to do, but until then we’re in a good place with not too much breakage and a pretty satisfactory color.  What do you think?


Tips for DIY hair bleaching and toning (to platinum blonde from dark brown/black hair):

  1. Expect it to be a journey that will take some time; pushing your hair too hard too fast will cause more breakage (this is when your hair becomes to damaged it falls apart, which gives many the concern that their hair is “falling out”).
  2. Get an extra set of hands for help if you can! It’ll help you be more thorough and swift. *When I had long hair, 2-3 stylists at the salon worked on my hair at once to try to make sure the bleach and toners were applied for an equitable amount of time. If you can’t get help, precess your hair in manageable sections and time them closely (e.g. how long it takes to apply the bleach to a section, how long you keep it on for before rinsing)
  3. The lightening processings are largely about time and the volume developer for the bleach powder you use. A high volume developer (40 vol) will be more intense and move your hair up more levels in lightness more quickly. Theres more risk of breakage at that level if you don’t watch it closely (I would generally only leave the bleach + 40 volume in my hair for ~15 minutes max before rinsing to ensure I did not over-process). A 30 volume developer can still lighten your locks, but it’ll take a bit more time, as you can leave it in your hair for a bit longer with less breakage-concern.
  4. Toning is key to get to an ashier, cooler blonde and to get rid of the warmth and brassiness you may see at first.  I did 2 bleach processings before my first toning with the Wella T18 (and toned twice to get to where I’m at in these photos).
  5. Take breaks in between processing your hair!  Your hair will be healthier and thank you for it.  I took a 3 day break in between my first 2 lightenings & tonings before the last two.
  6. Get a toning shampoo/conditioner; it’s a more gentle way that you can maintain your ashy platinum blonde every day while conditioning and cleansing your hair.  I use a popular one listed below.
  7. I prefer using a creme to a clear/liquid developer (I think it mixes up more easily and at a better consistency – the pancake-batter-like consistency that you want for both your bleach cream and your developed toner); here are some of the products I’ve tried and liked using:

Wella 40 volume creme developer | L’Oreal Quick Blue lightening powder | Manic Panic Flash Lightening Kit (40 volume), full kit includes everything you need except for toner; though it doesn’t come with that much bleach/developer so you may need multiple kits if you have a lot of hair like I do | For toning: Wella T18 with a 20 volume developer | Clairol Shimmer Lights | Reusable gloves | Bowl, clip, brush kit |

what i’m wearing:

| everlane turtleneck | veda leggings (soldout, similar) | acne boots (soldout, similar) | céline phantom (similar pre-owned)

similar boots:

similar leather leggings:


Have you tried lightening or coloring your own hair?  Please, share your tips and suggestions in the comments below!


Huckleberry Kim

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