Goth Hairstyle with White Skunk Stripe BangsQ: My girlfriend is trying to get a Goth style going. She wants white skunk stripe bangs. The salon refused to do it and she wants me to help her do it. What is the best way to go about giving her a white skunk stripe?
A: The biggest factor in this situation is going to be her natural (starting) color. I would guess since her salon refused to perform the process that her hair is naturally dark, is damaged, or is otherwise unsuited to the process. Please be aware that after another professional has refused to perform this operation, I cannot and do not recommend it.
However, it sounds as though your girlfriend intends to do this heedless of the warnings, so I'll give you as much advice as I can to hopefully minimize any potential disaster. The first thing I recommend is that you and your girlfriend perform a strand test to determine how quickly her hair will respond to the lightening process. The easiest way is to have her cut a lock of hair from an area of her head where it will not be seen and perform the lightening test on this.
Secure the ends of the lock of hair with tape to hold them together. Then mix 2 oz. of 30-volume peroxide developer with 1 oz. of hair-lightening bleach. Once thoroughly mixed, apply the bleach to the lock of hair and wrap it in plastic wrap. Use a hair dryer to heat the wrapped strand and start timing yourself. Check the color after each five minute increment. Once the hair has lightened two or three levels, rinse the bleach from the hair with cool water, and then shampoo the hair and blow it dry. Check the hair's texture. Is it getting dry and brittle? If it is, be aware that the rest of her hair will react the same way.
Continue bleaching the hair by reapplying, and do another rinse/shampoo/dry check every few levels of lightening. If the hair begins to feel spongy or gummy when it is rinsed, you have damaged the hair and should go no further. (This is likely if your girlfriend's hair is dark brown or black due to the amount of chemical change taking place in the hair to lighten it.)
If you manage the reach a "pale yellow" color (which is as light as you can get, Period) and the hair is still in reasonable condition, you can attempt it with the hair on her head. But if the hair is showing damage, know that you could end up with hair that is dry, brittle, and which will break off when brushed or combed.
When performing the bleaching on the hair of your girlfriend's bangs, do the bleaching in stages. Lighten it two to three levels at first, wait a week, then lighten it some more until you reach the pale yellow final stage. Be sure to condition the hair daily between lightening sessions, to help restore the balance of moisture. In addition, after your first lightening, mix your bleach formula then add an equal amount of conditioner to the bleach before applying. This should help to make the process a little more gentle.
Once you've reached the pale yellow stage, you can add a white color toner to the hair for the final color result you're after. See your beauty supply store (or shop online) for this product. It will be in the section with the other bolder, neon haircolors.
I would like to recommend that instead of pursuing this look by bleaching the hair, you consider lightening the hair somewhat and use an opaque white hair make-up to get the white look you want. These can be found at theatrical supply stores or online. This is a far safer method to achieve the look you want.
Finally, I repeat that I DO NOT RECOMMEND this. There is a reason your salon declined to provide this service. I wish you luck if you persist in this, but I fear you will regret it.