Bring platinum hair back from the dead
there are more than a few perils to going platinum. It’s expensive, its high maintenance and – worst of all – it looks fantastic, on just about everyone. The non-colour comes off so cool that bleach blond has swept the nation, leaving a dry, damaged trail of destruction in its wake. (Bleach has that way about it).
Whether you’re going platinum or rehabbing your strands, or you want to move on, we’ve got your game plan.
How to maintain platinum strands
No matter what our hair texture was before, bleach puts your hair firmly in the ‘coarse, rough and dry’ category. First and foremost, you need an ultra-moisturising, deeply-hydrating mask, says Christina Cessna, the colourist behind Karlie Kloss’ icy platinum locks. Look for one with the words ‘repairing’ and ‘strengthening’ on the label; a blend with nut butters and heavy oils – like argan and olive – is your best bet, and you want a thick one (they’re usually in tubs). TRY  ORS Argan Oil Hair Strengthening Hair Mayonnaise (R43.95).
Sub in the mask for your regular conditioner, and scale back shampoos to three times a week (even fewer for kinky hair, which is typically more fragile to start with). Grease is no longer an issue, celebrity colourist Rita Hazan says you want those oils to travel down your hair when you brush it. An oil like  Indola Innova Glamorous Oil Gloss (R272) adds extra shine.
One big thing to avoid? Too much keratin. While products like  Palmer’s Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack (R25.95) keep your hair strong through the bleaching process, use them only once every couple of weeks afterward. The protein builds up the bonds in your hair, which initially give your hair the strength to withstand bleach, but too much protein makes your hair rigid and brittle.
To keep your colour as bright as possible, Rita, who does Solange Knowles’ platinum, swears it’s all about a gloss. Also, try purple-tinted shampoos, conditioners and masks, such as  NAK No-yellow Shampoo (R420) and  NAK Blonde Plus Conditioner (R225), which will balance out yellow tones that cause dullness and brassiness.
How to leave it
It’s the worst-case scenario: you’re shampooing your hair in the shower and your strands feel weirdly slimy. That means your hair is close to snapping. In rare cases, repeated bleaching can break hair, and that gummy texture is the telltale warning sign. Your hairline and crown will be the first to go, so if you notice hairs there sticking up, amp up your mask usage and book a bonding treatment, like Olaplex, L’oréal Smartbond or Schwarzkopf Fibreplex (from R545), with your stylist – the treatment brings back strength by rebuilding your hair’s bonds. Buy a silk pillowcase to stop breakage (it makes a big difference, says Christina), and create an exit strategy, because you’re going to need to cut back on the bleach.
“[The easiest step] is to just dye your hair a different colour,” says Rita. Growing out platinum is hard to do, especially if you want to avoid a stark strip of roots. To ease the transition, Christina recommends highlights to help blend the fresh roots. “Just prepare yourself, it’ll take about a month after ditching the platinum before your hair colour starts looking and feeling normal again.” The things we do for the love of good hair.