Imagine Lady Gaga in your head for a few seconds. Now tell me, what colour was her hair?
Chances are, she was rocking a blinding platinum blonde ‘do in your head, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Despite Gaga’s chameleon-like sense of style, her silvery, almost-white blonde locks have remained her signature look, and it’s hard to imagine her without it.
Now for the first time, Lady Gaga’s hair colourist, Patti Song, breaks down the truth behind going platinum blonde! For most of us Asians, this is likely going to involve an intimidating amount of bleaching, thanks to our naturally dark hair. But never fear, because this is the woman Gaga calls a “mad scientist bleach warlock”, and with their 10-year partnership under her belt, you can be sure there’s no better person to talk about what it really takes to go platinum blonde.
Yes, bleach jobs can go wrong, and here’s what to look out for, according to Patti. If there’s an unevenness in colour – for example. top center row of the hair comes out more yellow than the sides by your ears – then it’s not done properly. Bleach can also cause permanent damage if it was left on too long, by eating away at the inner layer of the hair shaft, leaving behind the outer shell. “The hair kind of shrivels up and turns translucent. At that point, it’s on the verge of breaking,” she says
On the right shade of platinum:
“Platinum should be as seamless and bright as white hair,” says Patti. “You know your bleach has been done properly, even once the toner fades, if the shade doesn’t grow warmer in between appointments. The blonde should only grow lighter. Once you learn what my blonde looks like, you can see it. When a bleach is done right, you can tell. Look at [Gaga’s], her hair is white, clear, and sparkly — not rainbow, brushed-out yarn.”
“I use what you call a ‘virgin bleach’ application method. Instead of highlighting, or painting small piece by small piece, you coat the hair in bleach. This is basic coloring knowledge, but the best way to avoid banding, or uneven color, is starting the bleach at the ends and working your way up to the roots. The closer to the scalp, the quicker the bleach will cook, which is why most colorists start from the bottom to the top.”
“No, not if it’s done right by a licensed professional. It shouldn’t make all your hair fall out, stringy, translucent, murky and beige, or take four to five hours to get right,” Patti told Refinery29.