Thinking of trading in your usual chocolate or copper hair colour for caramel or platinum? Going blond—any level of blond—is a major life change, especially if you opt for a cool, icy shade. Sure, you can chalk this up to additional upkeep and the need to give your hair some extra TLC, but it’s also because the brightness of a platinum ’do makes you a beacon—it’s science, really! Eyes are simply drawn to light, so expect people to notice you more.

The road to going blond is not always an easy one, especially if you weren’t born this way. Sometimes going blonde takes time and multiple dye sessions depending on your hair colour. Scroll down to find out everything you need to know before going blonder.

Find your shade

Forget 50 shades of grey—it’s more like 50 shades of blond. Whether you’re a natural blond looking to achieve full-on platinum or a brunette planning to warm up your colour, it’s important to first figure out which hue is right for you.

With so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down what colour will look the most flattering on you. Finding the blond that suits you isn’t exactly a mathematical equation, but a good starting point is to pick a colour based on your skin’s undertones. To do this, simply look at the veins in your wrist. If they’re blue and purple, you have cool undertones. If they’re mostly green, you have warm undertones. If they’re a mix, you’ve won the blond jackpot because neutral undertones mean that all blond shades will work on you.

So what does this mean in terms of picking your shade? If your skin tone is pale and pinkish, stick with cool blonds like ash and baby blond (try L’Oréal Paris Féria Absolute Platinum). If you are darker and have a golden tone to your skin, try warming up to honey hues like caramel and toffee.

Another easy way to explore potential hair colour options is by using the Virtual Try On tool on L’Oréal Paris’ website. Simply click the colour you’re interested in then hit ‘Try On’ on the left hand side of the screen and you’re able to see how the shade looks on you, it’s that easy!

What to know before lightening your hair at home

At-home hair colour is super-convenient, but blond is probably the trickiest colour to DIY.

The darker your colour (and the blonder you want to go), the more difficult it will be to reach your desired shade. Extreme colour transformations (like going from black to blond hair or brunette to blond hair) can require multiple processes, so it might be best to consult a hair professional who knows how to assess tones and minimize damage. Some hair colour kits, such as L’Oréal Paris Féria Absolute Platinum, can actually dye your hair four shades lighter. It’s the perfect dye if you’re looking to achieve platinum blond hair colour because its formula is custom-blended by L’Oréal Paris master colourists and it delivers multi-faceted shimmering colour with tons of dimension.

Another thing to consider is your hair’s health. Your colour will only ever be as good as the condition of your hair. If you’ve chemically altered it (with a perm or relaxer) or coloured it in the past six months, you may not end up with the colour you see on the box.

Tips for how to bleach hair at home

Now that you’ve chosen your shade, there are a few hard and fast rules. First things first: Buy two boxes of the same hair colour. If your hair is past your shoulders and thick and extremely coarse, you’ll end up needing both boxes to ensure full coverage.

Also, avoid washing your hair for a few days prior to application. This allows your hair’s natural oils to build up on the scalp, which helps create a barrier to protect your skin from the bleach.

Sidestep patchiness by sectioning your hair with clips. Start with a middle part that runs to the back of your head and split the hair into four sections—two in front of the ears and two in back. Apply it like the professionals and go from roots to tips, from the back of the head to the front. The reason? The dye needs to sit at the back of your hair the longest because it’s naturally darker than the front.

Finally, be sure to use the conditioner that comes in your kit. If you skip it, you leave your hair’s cuticles open and the colour can overdevelop. L’Oréal Paris Féria Absolute Platinum comes with a groundbreaking conditioner with aromatic shimmer serum, which hydrates and conditions hair immediately. Continue to use it for your next few washes; it will help protect and strengthen your strands. 

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