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How to Get White Hair | Your Guide to Going Platinum Blonde

White hair is the lightest blonde you can achieve. If you’re setting your blonde goals high and want to learn how to get white hair, you’ll find clear instructions and all you need to know in our complete guide!

Want to Know How to Get White Hair?

Image titled how to get white hair featuring a woman with such a look in a cutout-style photo on a blue background

Turned off by warm, yellowish blonde or too-dark ash blonde? If you’ve been bitten by the blonde bug, you won’t be satisfied until you achieve full platinum white-blonde hair.

The only thing standing in your way? You’re not quite sure how to get white hair – without melting it all off, that is. 

No worries. We’re here to help! With the right knowledge, supplies, and helpful tips in your toolkit, you may be able to get that sought-after white hair without causing too much damage to your locks. 

In our complete guide, you’re going to learn how to get white hair (hint: bleach alone won’t do it), when it’s achievable, when it’s a bad idea, and what you can do to make the process easier and more gentle on your hair. Let’s get started white now! 

Can Everyone Achieve White Blonde Hair?

Young woman with white hair styled in a bob cut looks at the camera with her hair covering one eye

Olga Ekaterincheva/Shutterstock

First things first – let’s manage those sky-high expectations. Is white blonde hair something that anyone can achieve? The short answer is no. You may not be able to achieve a true white-blonde if you:

  • Currently have permanent hair color
  • Currently have a vivid temporary hair color
  • Have chemically processed your hair a lot
  • Have extremely damaged, weak, or brittle hair

Virgin, unprocessed hair is the best candidate to go white-blonde. But that doesn’t mean your hair must be virgin to go white-blonde.

Many women have colored, permed, chemically straightened, or relaxed their hair at least once in their lifetime and ended up with the lightest shade of bright, white blonde. The real key to ensuring your hair is a good white-blonde candidate is the overall health and condition of your locks.

If your hair isn’t currently dyed (or if you’re willing to cut off any grown-out permanent color) and it feels soft and healthy, the chances are good that you’ll be able to achieve that bright white hair color.

Read Next: What Is Virgin Hair?

What Shade of White Do You Want?

Speaking of bright white hair color, is that what you’re going for? Maybe you’re hoping for a softer, creamy off-white or yellow-white color. You might like a lilac-toned pearly white, or even an ultra-pale silvery white. 

Here’s a look at some of the different striking shades of white you might choose from. 

Pure Titanium White Hair

Pure Titanium White Hair on a gal with fair skin in red lip wearing a black shirt

Popcorner/Shutterstock

Pale Yellow White Hair

Pale Yellow White Hair on a woman with red lip and blue eyes for a piece on how to get white hair

Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

Lilac Platinum White Hair

For a piece on how to get white hair, a woman with Lilac Platinum White Hair holds her arms above her head and her hands below it

Galyakiss/Shutterstock

Silvery White Hair

Woman with Silvery White Hair pictured in a grey room in a white dress for a piece on how to get white hair

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

The good news is that it may be easier for you to achieve a shade of white that isn’t 100% absent of color. Toner can help you achieve the perfect shade of white hair for your skin tone, undertones, and overall look. 

Know the Potential for Damage

Damage to hair after dying it white and doing it wrong in a side by side image with round bubbles highlighting the damage

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Achieving a bright and pure white blonde color without severely damaging the hair beyond repair is definitely a challenge. It even stumps some experienced stylists! The reason for this is the high level the hair must be lifted to with bleach and developer. 

Hair bleach is a harsh chemical that lightens hair color. It works in tandem with developer, forcing hair strands open at the cellular level and removing your natural hair color molecules. 

Short bleaching sessions aren’t likely to ruin your hair, especially when done by a skilled stylist.

But longer or back-to-back bleaching sessions may be needed to bring your hair to the shade needed (the color of the inside of a banana peel) to fully tone it white. And long or repeated bleaching sessions are definitely going to damage your hair to some extent. 

If you’re not careful, the amount of bleaching required to go white could cause physical damage to your strands, making them dry, brittle, weak, and frizzy. In the worst case scenario, you could end up literally melting your hair with the harsh bleach and developer chemicals.  

This isn’t meant to scare you away from the idea of going white-blonde, but it’s essential to know the serious risks of damaging your hair.

This is the main reason we always recommend visiting a salon with a skilled and experienced stylist for any chemical processing service. Why risk the health and appearance of your hair by trying to DIY at home? 

However, if you have experience doing your own hair color, are starting with a very light natural hair color, or have successfully bleached your hair before, it’s possible to get white hair at home sans stylist expertise.

We’ll outline the supplies needed and the steps to take to achieve white hair color at home next. 

How to Get White Hair: The DIY Method

Achieving white hair at home is risky but possible. If you’ve weighed the risks of causing severe damage to your hair and believe you can pull it off at home, gather your supplies and follow the steps below to get white-blonde hair.

You can get most of your supplies at your local beauty supply store. 

You’ll Need

  • Coconut oil (optional)
  • Shower caps
  • Color mixing bowl
  • Color brush
  • Latex gloves
  • Alligator hair clips
  • Towels
  • Bleach powder
  • 20 to 30-volume developer*
  • Toner**

*We recommend 20-volume developer for at-home use. You can use 30-volume developer to shorten processing time, but it’s also more damaging for your hair. If you have very coarse or dark hair, 40-volume developer (the most harsh and damaging option) may be required, in which case you should book an appointment with a professional. 

**Choose a toner that will create the shade of white you’re aiming for. If you need to counter warm tones in your hair (yellow, orange, red), you need a violet, blue, or blue-violet toner to achieve bright white. Wella Color Charm T-18 toner is the most popular choice for white hair.

Directions

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, follow the directions below to achieve that desirable white-blonde hair color at home. 

Step One: Preparation

  1. Saturate hair with coconut oil the night before
  2. Put on old clothes and cover shoulders with a towel
  3. Put on gloves
  4. Section hair into 4 quadrants
  5. Mix bleach and developer 

If you’re using coconut oil to protect your hair and lessen the damage from bleach, apply it all over your hair from root to tip the night before you plan to bleach your hair and cover it with a shower cap.

Ensure your hair is fully saturated with the oil. It penetrates each strand and helps your hair resist chemical damage from bleach. There’s no need to wash it out before bleaching.

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Before you begin, put on old clothes that you don’t mind getting bleach on. Drape a towel around your shoulders and secure it with a clip in the front. Put on a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands from the bleach. 

Go ahead and section your hair to ensure you won’t miss any spots during application. Try creating 4 equal sections by parting your hair down the middle, then dividing each side into two halves.

Secure each section by twisting it and clamping with an alligator clip. Leave one section down in the back – that’s the section you’ll work on first. 

Begin mixing your bleach concoction using the 1:1 ratio: Equal parts bleach powder and cream developer. The consistency should be similar to a thick gravy – it should drip off the brush but not stream like liquid. 

Step Two: Application

  1. Apply bleach to all sections, leaving out roots
  2. Apply bleach to roots last
  3. Cover and process for 15 minutes
  4. Check color progress; add 10 minute increments if needed

Beginning with the back section you left untwisted, dip your tint brush into the bleach mixture and ensure there’s a good amount on the bristles. Apply it to your hair beginning at the ends and bring it up to about an inch away from the roots, saturating the hair with bleach and ensuring you don’t leave any spots. 

Leave the roots untouched by bleach until the end of the application process. Roots lighten faster, so they don’t need as much processing time.

Repeat the process on the second back section, then the two front sections, again leaving the roots out of application for now. Once all 4 sections are saturated, go back and brush the bleach mixture onto the one-inch root sections all over.

Make sure you don’t miss any spots here! Apply a plastic shower cap to help hold in your body heat, which will speed up processing time a bit. It also keeps the bleach contained while you wait for your hair to process.

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Set a timer for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, check a few strands by pulling them out from under the shower cap and wiping the bleach mixture off with a towel.

If the color is like the inside of a banana peel, your hair is done processing and ready for the next step. If the color hasn’t lifted enough, put the cap back on and set the timer for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed using 10 minute increments. 

You don’t want to let your hair process like this for more than 50 minutes, so if it isn’t fully lifted to the inner banana peel color in that time frame, you may need to visit a professional who can safely use a higher volume developer to lift your color. 

Step Three: Wash Bleach Out

  1. Remove shower cap 
  2. Rinse bleach out with cool water
  3. Shampoo and condition
  4. Gently squeeze hair with towel to remove excess water

Once your hair has reached the color of the inside of a banana peel, you can remove the shower cap and wash the bleach mixture out of your hair. Rinse your hair with cool water until most of the mixture is removed.

Then follow with shampoo and conditioner, being very gentle with your just-processed hair. Use a clean towel to gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair until it is slightly damp. Do not rub the towel against your head or use a hair dryer right now. 

Step Four: Tone Your Hair White

  1. Re-section hair into 4 quadrants
  2. Put on gloves and drape a towel over your shoulders
  3. Mix toner and developer (if needed)
  4. Apply to back, then front sections
  5. Cover and process for 10 minutes
  6. Check every 10 minutes until desired color is reached
  7. Rinse, shampoo, and condition

You can now tone your hair to make the color white-blonde (or toned to the shade of white you’ve chosen). Some toners are premixed with developer and can be used straight from the bottle. Others require mixing with developer.

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If yours requires mixing, use a clean color mixing bowl and tint brush to mix it up. Use a 2:1 ratio: Two parts developer to one part toner. Apply the toner mixture to your hair with a tint brush, starting with the back sections and applying it at the ends and working your way up to the roots.

Move to the front sections and repeat the application process. Make sure every section is fully saturated for even toning. Cover your saturated hair with another shower cap and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Wipe off the toner mixture with a towel and see if the color has reached your desired shade of white. If not, check in another 10 minutes. Do not leave toner on for more than 20 minutes total. 

Once your hair has reached the desired white color, rinse it out with cool water. Follow with shampoo and conditioner. Gently squeeze excess water out of your hair with a clean towel, being careful not to rub your hair. Allow it to air dry. 

Step Five: Check Out Your Results

You’ve prepped, applied bleach and toner, and air-dried your hair. Now you can check out the fruits of your labor! Your hair should be evenly and fully white if you properly followed each step above.

If you see any dark spots or lines, you may need to bleach that section – and that section only – again in about 2 weeks. Give your hair time to rest in between bleaching sessions to avoid severe damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Image to accompany a piece on how to get white hair featuring a woman with this color hair holding her white nails to the right side of her face

VAndreas/Shutterstock

How do I get my hair platinum white?

Platinum white hair requires bringing your natural hair color to level 10 (lightest blonde) with bleach and developer before toning. Toning bleached hair is what will bring you to the icy platinum white color – bleach alone won’t get you there. After bleaching, you may see hints of yellow, gold, orange, or red in your lightened hair.

Choose a toner that is opposite of the color you’re seeing on the color wheel. For yellow, the toner should be violet. For orange or brass tones, the toner should be violet. Blue-violet toners will help yellowish orange blonde go platinum blonde.

Is it possible to achieve white hair?

Yes, it is possible to achieve white hair by using bleach, developer, and toner. Bleach will bring most hair to the lightest blonde (level 10), which is what you need before you can successfully tone the lightest blonde to a white blonde color.

Virgin hair is the easiest to achieve white hair on, but previously-processed hair that is healthy and undamaged can also be bleached and toned white. Hair with permanent dye or temporary dye currently on it will not be able to achieve a true white color.

How do you turn blonde hair white?

Blonde hair has to be lifted to the highest level of blonde (level 10) and then toned to turn white. If you have dark or medium blonde hair color, you will need to apply bleach and developer to bring the hair color level up to 10, “lightest blonde.”

This is the color of the inside of a banana peel. Once you’ve achieved that color, you can use a toner to remove the traces of yellow, orange, or red left in your light blonde hair to make it appear truly white.

How do you get snow white hair?

Snow white hair is simply a pure white color with no traces of yellow, orange, or red tones left in it. Following the steps above to bleach and tone your hair will result in snow white color as long as you choose the proper toner for your hair.

Take a look at the shade of brassiness you see in your hair after bleaching.

If it looks yellowish, choose a violet toner to get snow white hair. If it looks yellow-orange, choose a blue-violet toner. For orange tones, a blue toner will correct it and leave you with pure, snow white hair color.

Is it safe to bleach your hair white at home?

It is generally a bad idea to bleach your hair and tone it white at home. Unless you have extensive experience with bleaching your hair at home, we recommend going to a salon professional for this service.

Bleaching your hair white-blonde is a complicated process that often requires experienced stylists to split the service into 2 or more sessions.

A professional will be able to properly assess the health of your hair and how much processing it can safely handle at any given time. They can also safely use more powerful developer by closely monitoring it and removing it before it causes serious damage to your hair.

So, How Do You Get White Hair?

How-to guide on how to get white hair featuring a woman with piercing blue eyes with white hair wearing a black strapless dress

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

If you choose to bleach your hair white at home, make sure you’re fully aware of the risks of causing irreversible damage to your hair. You can successfully achieve white-blonde at home.

But you must honestly assess the condition and health of your hair first, avoid bleaching damaged hair, closely monitor your hair during the process, and know not to bleach again sooner than 2 weeks. 

Still not sure if this is a doable DIY process for you? Read this article next: Should I Bleach My Hair?

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