I have been trying to reach that almost platinum blonde and black look but my highlights seem to never reach the pure blonde I am looking for

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I have naturally very dark, dark hair, almost a natural black on the pigment scale. I love my natural hair colour but unfortunately I have an unreal amount of grey for only being 25 and it stands out like a sore thumb, even when my hair is pulled back.

I have been seeing a stylist for almost two years now and she has been applying heavy highlights whilst keeping my natural black colour on the bottom and as a contrast lowlight around my face. I have noticed that in the areas where my dark hair is, the grey still shows through quite bad.

I have been trying to reach that almost platinum blonde and black look but my highlights seem to never reach the pure blonde I am looking for, and there is always sections of my hair that won't get past that brassy colour. The areas that do turn more blonde seem to go a brassy tone within two weeks, even when using a violet shampoo.

I went to a new stylist this weekend and she suggested that I have an all over dirty blonde colour with foil highlights which should create the look of all over blonde with light brown lowlights. But instead of my hair being blonde with light brown lowlights it is now a copper/orange brown tone with a few highlights that can barely be seen.

I am lost on what to do and concerned I will never get my hair to reach that blonde colour I am looking for. Can some please give me some suggestions on what to do and explain to me why my hair turned orange when all I had was highlights before?

Thank you,

Anon, USA

The reason your hair went a ginger colour when it was lifted by your stylist is probably because they used the wrong colour. Very dark hair such as yours contains a huge amount of warm pigment. When it is lightened, the red orange and yellow tones all get exposed and that is what you are currently seeing. The shade they should have used should have neutralised these natural pigments in your hair.

Personally, I would not put platinum blonde highlights through very dark hair as I don't think it looks attractive. It is serious upkeep and it is difficult to create a consistent even blonde tone when lightening such a dark base.

John Clark, Head of Colour at Brooks+Brooks, London 

Hi Anon,

If you want to go to a very pale blonde, almost platinum, it's always going to be difficult from a near-black base because the hair is more heavily pigmented. To go to such a light blonde, you'll need to bleach the hair over a few stages and this will damage the hair to some extent, effecting condition unless you choose to cut it a little shorter.

An alternative would be to stick with your natural colour and highlights, but a richer caramel colour rather than a blonde, to maintain some contrast and disguise the greys a little more.

Good luck!

Alice Gazagnes, Senior Stylist and Colourist, Simon Webster Hair Team

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