Okay, I didn't literally get thrown out with a parting, "And never come back!" But they did decline to accept my business.

(I used to think nobody ever really said, "And never come back!" That was before I got kicked out of a martial arts school with those exact words.)

Recently, I have started getting very bright, glittery white hairs. Just a few, but growing close together. They're quite pretty. I decided it would be useful to my future career, and hopefully cool, to enhance this effect by having the entire lock dyed white. (When I was about nine, I had a sort of platonic-admiring crush on a woman I knew who had black hair with a single white lock, which she told me was natural. It could happen!)

I got an appointment at the salon and attempted to explain what I wanted. This is how it went:

Stylist: "You mean you want blonde highlight?"

Me: "No, white highlights. See where it's going naturally white? I want you to make it look like the whole lock went white."

Stylist: "But that would make you look older."

Me: "I want to look older!"

Stylist (appalled): "Why would anyone want that?!"

Me: "For my career."

Stylist: "What???"

Me: "I'm thirty-seven!"

Stylist (astounded): "You are?!"

Me: "I'm trying to look my age."

Stylist: "Okay, well, it is impossible to dye hair white. Or gray! It can't be done! You have to bleach it, and then the hair is destroyed!"

Me (holding out white hairs): "You're telling me it's impossible to dye in more of these?"

Stylist (folding arms): "That's right!"

I left. I assume it cannot possibly really be impossible to dye hair white, even if you do have to bleach it twice. (Correct me if I'm wrong!) I'm thinking of trying a salon that caters more to punks, and walking in with a photo of Rogue from The X-Men, and just saying, "I want a white streak like Rogue's, right here."
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laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)

From: [personal profile] laurashapiro

That stylist was an ass. That said...


As far as I know, the only way to get your hair white is to bleach it relentlessly and then color with a toner to counteract as much of the yellow as possible. Most of us turn up baby-chick yellow even after two rounds of bleach, and some of us never can get to true white. The process is rather hard on the hair, and can burn your scalp.

This comment brought to you by my teenage new-wave lifestyle.
tigerflower: (Default)

From: [personal profile] tigerflower


Oh, for heaven's sake, it is *not* impossible. You lift all the color out and then you use a toner to cancel out the undertones, either to white or to silver/gray. It does leave your hair pretty crispy because of the intensity of the bleaching... but it certainly *can* be done. I know because I've done it.

Fudge brand salon products have a good white toner called "Whiter Shade of Pale." It's semipermanent and works well, in my experience. You may also want to use a toning shampoo that is designed to help brighten silver/white hair, when you have the white or silver streak.

Making a dyed white or silver match your natural white or silver is very tricky, though. If that's what you're going for, I wouldn't hold my breath.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)

From: [personal profile] mme_hardy


Do you know any good shampoos for grey-haired ladies? I've been using DevaCurl Lo-Poo for blondes, but I haven't been impressed. I asked my hairdresser about getting a blue rinse, the way little old ladies used to, but she said this used toxic chemicals that are no longer used.

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voske: (Goldfish)

From: [personal profile] voske


Huh? You see the white streak a lot in rockabilly circles. Here's a handy how-to.
grrlpup: (Default)

From: [personal profile] grrlpup


I've seen some very pretty Manic Panic-type jobs that were grey-white, not yellow at all.

When I was a kid, one of the clerks at the public library had a single white lock of hair, the rest very dark, and a bit of a widow's-peak. He was dreamy!
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)

From: [personal profile] mme_hardy


I have asked my hairdresser the same thing (I'm 80% white in the front but brown from the back.) She didn't throw me out; she just said that to do that, you would have to bleach the hair so hard that you fried it. (Jean Harlow had this happen; most of her hair broke.)
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)

From: [personal profile] herlander_refugee


I just had a frost job done that almost perfectly matches my own bits of silver white. Yes, they bleached first....not a big deal. I am 58 in October and not afraid to look my age. Try another salon.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid


You bleach it to platinum and then use a purple based washed to make it silvery white. It can be done.

That hairdresser was just being deliberately obtuse.

Seriously, there are a lot of platinum blondes out there and hairdressers are catering to them.

From: [identity profile] spectralbovine.livejournal.com


That seems very odd. This is the 21st century! There's no color we can't dye our hair! Hair dye technology has progressed immensely since the days we just rubbed berries in our hair!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I am also pretty sure that was Anna Paquin's real - as in, dyed - hair.

From: [identity profile] shei.livejournal.com


Google says it's hard but (http://www.wikihow.com/Get-White-Hair) possible (http://hubpages.com/hub/White-Hair-Dye).

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


That's horse puckey. I know someone who used to dye her hair white back in the seventies.

From: [identity profile] taithe.livejournal.com


I'm in my late teens and have numerous white hairs already. :P They're scattered around the crown rather than in one lock but I've heard of people whose hair naturally ends up that way.

Pretty sure you can dye it white. I knew some punk kids a while back who used to do the black/white stripey hair thing.

From: [identity profile] hakuen.livejournal.com


Yup. If you ever feel like taking a road trip to San Diego, there's a salon that will totally do it for you in Ocean Beach, The Electric Chair. That's where I went to get my hair bleached out and dyed blue the day I got out of the Navy. :) You'll want to call ahead of course and make sure, set things up with whoever they think'll do best with it... because it is a difficult thing to do and keep up without ruining your hair, but it's certainly not impossible. A little purpling shampoo now and then helps adjust the tone from yellowing, btw.

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


Depends partly how dark your hair is (pretty dark, right?) and if you're allergic to various products, blah blah, but sure, you can bleach the hell out of it to close to white. You might need to watch for it turning a bit yellowish, but they've got shampoo to keep on top of that.

I mean, I live in freaking conservapedia, and *we* can do that. Jeez.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


I do (or rather did) know someone whose hair basically broke off after doing something like this - but that was on her whole head. I should think doing one lock would be pretty safe - if it somehow turns out bad, have someone cut it off and style around it to make it look OK.
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Default)

From: [personal profile] chomiji


Yes, you can absolutely "dye" it white (actually bleaching and toning it). I'm shocked at that reaction from the stylist, considering the location.

(When I let mine go natural, the cashier in our little office building convenience store wanted to know if I'd dyed it this way on purpose ... bless her heart.)


From: [identity profile] ejmam.livejournal.com

Have they never seen Buffy?


Wasn't that Spike's whole look? Although apparently it was rather uncomfortable for the actor.

From: [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com

Re: Have they never seen Buffy?


Yeah, I've heard bleaching that white/blond for that long is hell on your hair. But I suspect that Rachel's hair, like mine, will make all that bleaching less and less necessary as time passes.

From: [identity profile] torrilin.livejournal.com


It'd be trivial to do on my hair, but mine bleaches a lot from sun. I guess my melanin is not very stable.

If your hair is naturally a color stable black or dark brown, your goal might not be very reasonable. Definitely go to a salon that specializes in odd hair color, and be prepared for it being tricky. It will be pretty high upkeep no matter what on very dark and color stable hair.

And yeah, a lot of normal salons won't even try if your hair looks to be naturally dark. Color stable black hair can be a real bitch to bleach, and in some cases you end up dissolving the hair in bleach before you can get all the color out. Places that cater to "normal" looks usually have some sort of promise to make sure any dye you embark on turns out "right", and they really can't commit to doing white on just anyone.
ext_12512: Hinoe from Natsume Yuujinchou, elegant and smirky (Brigitte Lin blue)

From: [identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com


It's not impossible, but it's rather more complicated than just slapping a darker/brighter color over lighter hair. To get a really bright white or silver, you have to bleach the hell out of your hair to remove the original color, and then you you need to use a sheer toning color to give it a bright white or silver tone. Basically, it's the same sort of process used to get an ultra-light platinum blonde, just with cooler toners.

That said, yes, the darker your hair is, the trickier it's going to be to do this -- and even if you're not sensitive to the bleach and other lovely chemicals, it's really damaging to your hair. Streaks at least mean the damage would be more localized compared to bleaching out your whole head of hair, but just be prepared for needing to alter your care routine, hair products, etc. to keep the bleached streak soft, keep the color from going yellow/brassy and minimizing breakage. It's a fairly high-maintenance sort of deal, but it's absolutely doable.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Hmmm. This might be more high-maintenance than I'm really up for. I had assumed that if I could dye my hair bright coppery red (and I have) I could dye it white or silver.

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From: [identity profile] skull-bearer.livejournal.com


I once got something of the same:

Stylist: So, what do you want?

Me: I want my hair cut right short, this short *indicates 2 inches*

Stylist: What! Why? You have lovely hair!

Me: I don't care about my hair, I want it short so I don't have to bother with it.

Stylist: But... but it's bueautiful hair!

Me: And it's my beautiful hair, so please cut it kthnx.

Stylist: But it's lovely! *cuts hair to 4 inches*

Me: Well, fuck you very much *never visits a hair salon again*

Since then, I only visit barbers.

From: [identity profile] hakusa-tegami.livejournal.com


I probably would have got this reaction. Glad I had my friend who was still in school do my shearing...one of her classmates cried over it, anyway.

Which made me feel bad, but it's only 3 or 4 years ago, and my hair's back down past my waist, so...

From: [identity profile] jeremytblack.livejournal.com


I'm trying to remember when I had hair... Oh, yeah. I recall the problem with a streak is that you have to either let it grow out and your natural color comes up underneath it or really maintain the hair at the roots, re-dyeing it, etc., I knew people who bleached their hair but never really paid attention to what that involved. I only know that they described it in ways that made me never want to do it myself. (Harsh at times.)

So now, given this person's comments and some of the comments above, I'm wondering what exactly bleaching your hair does? Does it "kill" the color of the hair somehow down in the scalp so that it never grows out your natural color again? Or is it dangerous to keep re-dyeing/bleaching it? Those would be my only concerns.

(And me being lazy, the upkeep. But lucky for me I don't have any opportunity for temptation left.)

From: [identity profile] jinian.livejournal.com


Many people would be a lot happier if they could kill the color of their hair down in the scalp!

It's not that hard to get white if you go to a professional. Probably this person just sucks.

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From: [identity profile] miz-hatbox.livejournal.com


I would suggest that you have a stylist do what one once did for me: The next time you get your hair trimmed, have the stylist sweep the floor well beforehand (so it's only your hair that accumulates), and save the resulting trimmings. Then, s/he should attempt to bleach said trimmings and see how white she can get them.

Might work, might not, but at least if the experiment goes pear-shaped, you do not have to walk around with the results attached to your head.

(In my case, the hair didn't get very light--maybe sort of dirty-ash-blond-ish--before it became sad and strawlike. Needless to say I dropped the idea of bleaching a few locks.)

From: [identity profile] ancientone.livejournal.com


Wow, your having the opposite trouble I had. I kidded my barber about putting an orange stripe down the whole length of my hair. He said sure, but he wanted me to supply the food coloring.
Yes, you can dye hair white. where ever has that stylist been?

From: [identity profile] icecreamempress.livejournal.com


So I have a white streak, and at one time I toyed with the idea of going all-white. My hair is very dark brown, and the stylist was pretty skeptical, because the double-bleaching.

But a streak--there shouldn't be any issue. "Frosting" used to be big in my mum's day, and she had her jet-black hair frosted and it didn't break off.

From: [identity profile] firesprite1105.livejournal.com


Judging from all the comments, it sounds like it'd be cheaper and easier to get a temporary white extension sewn/glued in.

From: [identity profile] m00nface.livejournal.com


I had a similar experience asking for a perm. I wanted loose curls, as if I'd used fairly large rollers, from about mid-level down - and was told "NO. Perms don't work that way, only corkscrew curls are possible, you will look like Grace from Will and Grace." Rubbish, of course, but I was in the mood to do something different with my hair so agreed to dye it instead.

This was the teacher at a well-respected hairdressing school, so I don't know if she was lying because she's had some bad experiences with customers regretting their curls/didn't want to teach her students how to do it/didn't want to admit they don't have the right technology to create loose curls, whatever. But I'd come back from Japan over a year before, where every other girl on the street has exactly that perm! I was offered it once in a salon there, and I knew damn well that it was possible. I'd still like to get one someday, when I'm in the mood to grow my hair long again, but I'll do it in Japan so I don't have to walk into a hairdresser ready for a fight to get the style I want.

From: [identity profile] cpolk.livejournal.com


they didn't have the hardware to do it. the perm solution preaks down the hydrogen bonds in the hair, the roller it's set on determines the curling shape the hair takes. They can't give you the loose curls you're talking about if they don't have 500 mm perm rods. And they don't.

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