Have you heard of Olaplex?
I bet you have. It’s the hottest hair treatment in hair salons now. Touted as the “HG for coloured hair”, it promises to strengthen your hair and undo the damage hair dyes do to your locks.
That damage is the reason why I haven’t dyed my hair in years. When the urge to go red, pink, or turquoise (because normal hair colours are boring) hits, I remember how dry, brittle and lifeless blonde dye had turned my hair in my late teens. After a year, I started to resemble a scarecrow!
But, after witnessing what Olaplex can do for not dyed hair, I’m seriously thinking of taking the plunge and turn my hair into a rainbow-coloured mane. Yes, because Olaplex, despite the emphasis on coloured hair, can be used by everyone, even by those who would never dream of changing their hair colour.
Olaplex is a conditioning treatment on steroids able to repair the disulfide sulfur bonds in your hair. These disulfide bonds give your locks their shape, strength, and elasticity. But they’re very fragile.
They can be broken down by hair dye, but also by other chemical treatments such as perming, heat, and even sunlight. That’s why Olaplex isn’t just for adventurous ladies who like to experiment with their hair colour.
Olaplex contains a substance, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which can create artificial disulfide bonds. It happens pretty quickly too. When Olaplex is mixed in with hair dyes, it can repair hair while you have it coloured, drastically reducing the damage hair dying causes. Amazing, isn’t it?
Olaplex doesn’t have to be mixed with hair colouring. It can be applied on its own. That’s what the hairdresser at ColourNation hair salon in Winsley Street, just off Oxford Street, did to me. Obviously. I’m still sporting my natural hair colour.
First, she applied the Olaplex Bond Multiplier all over the length of my hair, from root to tip, and let it there for about 10-15 minutes. I didn’t know what to expect, but certainly not what happened. Olaplex has no nasty chemical smell. It doesn’t come with a tingling or burning sensation. It feels as lightweight and gentle as your run-of-the-mill leave in conditioner.
Once that was washed off with warm water, she applied the Bond Perfector, and left it on for another 10 minutes, which I spent relaxingly reclined, reading my Kindle. This second part of the treatment was pretty underwhelming too. Nothing bad or exceptional to report. Having Olaplex done is like having your leave in conditioner applied twice, and washed off, by someone else.
I admit, I was sceptical. As Olaplex is promoted as a treatment for dyed, damaged hair, I didn’t think it’d do much for me. I was wrong. My hair had never looked better. It was very soft and super shiny. I felt like a model just being styled for a photoshoot. My hair looked THAT good.
But was it stronger too? I believe so. The following days, whenever I combed my mane, I found fewer stray hairs on the comb. Losing a few hairs each day is perfectly normal. Hair sheds all the time. But the shedding was considerably reduced after Olaplex.
A week and several washes later, my hair still looked amazing. Olaplex isn’t something that disappears at the first sight of shampoo. It can last up to several weeks, or until you dye your hair again. Whatever comes first. But then, if you decide to dye your hair, you should ask to have Olaplex added to the dye to fight the damage as it is happening.
Now, where the heck where you 15 years ago, Olaplex?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Pros: Repairs broken disulfide bonds in hair, making it stronger, softer, and shinier; Quick and relaxing treatment; Reduces damage during hair colouring; Effect lasts for several weeks (or until you dye your hair).
Cons: I honestly can’t think of anything.
Summary: Olaplex really is a game-changer for hair. It dramatically reduces the damage during hair colouring, and makes hair noticeably stronger, silky soft, and incredibly shiny.
Price & Availability: £50 on its own; £25 with colouring treatment at ColourNation Hair Salon in 5 Winsley Street, London.