Are you one of those people who likes to read the last page of the book first? Well, here you go. Bleaching your own hair and teeth are doable and save a lot of money, but are not as enjoyable, so you will want to consider the tradeoff.
So back to the beginning, I have this quirk. I want to look my very, very best when I know there will be photos taken – vacation, birthdays, etc. I am not a “can’t leave the house without makeup” kind of girl (although I usually at least have foundation and mascara), but when I know my look will be recorded into photographic history, I become a little more high maintenance.
As I prepared for my trip to Vegas, I realized it was time to step it up with my hair and teeth. I have a growing relationship with bleach, but don’t worry I won’t be going Girl Next Door fake any time soon.
Bleaching Your Own Hair
First, it is important to know that if you are going platinum, it is not going to lift in one round. Mine took two rounds, and I am naturally dark blond and had already lightened it once. If you have really dark hair, it may take many, many rounds. If your hair is any darker than light brown, I would not suggest going blond on your own.
Second, DO NOT expect platinum out of a box. You pay for what you get. Without toner you will get straight up YELLOW or GOLD, and sometimes (depending on your starting color) a funky orange.
So, here’s the financial breakdown:
Home Bleaching – about $20 – includes lightener,
developer, and toner – you will have plenty of lightener and developer left for future touch ups, but will need to buy more toner
Hair School – a high lift design with cut is about $45
Salon – this will cost you about $ 60-150
My suggestion: go to a hair school to get it lifted to the level you want, then maintain the platinum you want at home. You may need to tone it every few weeks to keep the gold down (you can apply toner without bleaching first and toner and does not damage hair like bleach does).
How I came to this conclusion – I did a round of highlights on my own and though it looked nice, it wasn’t as platinum as I wanted. Also, I wanted to add dramatic color peekaboos and I wanted to watch them to learn the technique. I chose the hair school not only because of the significant cost savings, but also because as a school, they will refund your money or redo the color free of charge if you hate the outcome.
Bleaching Your Own Teeth
I have tried various bleaching in the past – the strips (both over the counter and the super strength ones you get at the dentist’s office), custom molded trays with take home bleach from the dentist, whitening toothpaste, etc. They all worked pretty sufficiently, but nothing like getting it professionally done in an office (which I have not brought myself to splurge on yet.)
So I was very excited when I got a Groupon deal for an Elite Bright kit for $39 – regular cost is $299. This kit includes trays, bleach, and a blue light. It seems to work pretty well, but the directions on how long to leave them in are pretty vague. I planned on two hours and quit at an hour because it’s kind of inconvenient but beauty is pain, right? I am not going to lie to you. You will drool and it will be gross. And it’s a little bit of a stretch to fit the light and the trays in your mouth, but it’s not that bad, although I have a pretty big mouth.
So generally, to get this done in the dentist’s office or at a spa it costs a couple hundred dollars and up. Sometimes you can find specials for just over $100. However, I can get multiple treatments out of the home kit, so I’d definitely say it’s worth it. I still may try an in office visit some day to see if the results are even better.