Saturday, September 12, 2015

Olaplex - Review

If you haven't heard of Olaplex, you will soon.

It's even come to the lovely little salon in my small town of Uvongo in KZN down the South Coast. And it's the reason I decided to give highlights on my over-processed hair a go. Otherwise I would not have done highlights. I was going give my hair a long break from bleach, but seeing as the lovely Jolene from salon Tres Jolie told me she had Olaplex in her salon I decided this would be a great opportunity to try this new product.(And I do love trying new products!)

If there ever was hair that needed "insurance" it was mine.(Their advertising line is "Insurance for your hair"). Olaplex claims to re-build broken Di-sulphide bonds in the hair. Whether it can really do this, I have no idea. And I am not a chemist so I will never be able to tell. But I can tell you how it went with my hair today.

The poster on the wall in the salon.
I was very, very nervous. Two nights ago I actually had a nightmare that all my highlights snapped off a few centimeters from my roots during the bleaching process, leaving me with a mini-mohawk. I kid you not, that is what I dreamt. The reason for that dream is that many years ago I  did something similar: put a treatment in my hair (in a salon, nogal!) that claimed to rebuild hair and make it "like virgin hair" and then about a week later, I braved doing highlights over my already previously over-processed hair and a few of the highlights did snap off in the salon. There were literally some highlights that were 3 cm long only! Eeeekk! So needless to say, past experience has taught me this: you can go down to blonde only once, but you cannot go blonde, then dark, then blonde again.

Now, consider this:

My fully bleached hair before I toned it a bit - I did this over already highlighted hair but I am not sure why I wanted to try this.


My fully bleached hair - after toner
Very recently, I took my hair from highlights to full head blonde (above) by bleaching my own head. I literally applied bleach to my whole head. (Don't ask me what I was thinking - I have no idea! I think it was a Khaleesi phase after watching Game of Thrones! How silly of me.)
Brown over bleached hair
Then I realised I could never upkeep bleaching my own roots and wanted to give my hair a break so I put brown over my entire head. It faded on the ends but pretty much stayed brown. The only way to lighten it would be to bleach it a bit. Yikes. Enter Olaplex.

So you can see why, Olaplex or not, going in for a few highlights today was a huge risk for me. When Jolene (who has been doing my hair for years until I decided to play around mess up my own hair) saw the state of my hair she immediately said "The ends are very snotty". She asked if I wanted to leave it. I said let's just try a few foils, WITH the Olaplex,  and not make them too light. And we'd keep checking the foils every so often to check for breakage. So we did 10 foils and she used a lower peroxide volume.
Feeling a little nervous - but Olaplex had been added in to the bleach mix

So did the Olaplex work? Honestly, I have no idea but my highlighted bits did not snap off in a uniform row as I feared they would. What happened was that my damaged hair did damage further and so during the drying and styling phase, there was a lot of breakage. My hair was filling up the brush and comb at an alarming rate. And just to be clear: I had the Olaplex added in to my bleach (their step 1) and I had the Olaplex treatment at the basin after my highlights (their step 2) which is where my hairdresser applied the treatment to my whole head and left the Olaplex on for 10 minutes, then rinsed and washed and conditioned as usual. Now, I didn't notice any immediate improvement in my hair. It didn't comb out any easier at all, and it was still "yucky" looking after a rough blow dry, and during combing, a LOT of my hair was snapping off. I must admit I panicked at that stage. I thought "I hope I have some hair left after this!"

Jolene recommended a trim and she cut a few long layers to get rid of the very bad, chewing-gum like ends. And as she was combing and cutting I saw that it was literally only the ends that were bad and not my whole head. So most of the breakage was at the bottom of my hair and nothing snapped off in a line near the top. Phew. NO repeat of my disaster many years ago. So I suppose the Olaplex could have helped.
The end result

Pick taken at home immediately after the salon

The finished hair at home with the subtle highlights. I was very happy with the result and very happy I still had a head of hair!

What I noticed was that when Jolene ironed my hair, it felt softer and looked shinier than it ever has before. So I didn't notice any detangling effects and I don't know if the breakage was less because of the Olaplex, but my flat-ironed hair definitely looked like healthy hair. The pic above doesn't show it but look at this pic here, taken a few minutes apart, but in different light - can you see how shiny it is, right to the tips?:
Pic taken under different lighting, the day of getting my hair done. Look at how shiny it is - even the ends!

Can you see the glossiness, which is even there on the blonde ends?
And usually when I get my hair flat-ironed, it feels totally dried out. But not today. It feels "moist" and has felt that way the whole day. I can even run my fingers through it, which, oddly enough, I could never do with flat-ironed hair before, due to it feeling so dry. My hair would usually just knot up by the end of the day after being ironed. So I would say that this glossy feel is probably because of Olaplex.
 
Can't wait to use this and see how my hair feels a few weeks down the line.

The take home Olaplex treatment - I got caught in the rain after getting my hair done - Murphy's law - but even so, it didn't frizz up and the ends were still glossy looking.
So as you can see above, I also took the Olaplex at home treatment. I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound with Olaplex. Now, today, an hour after getting my hair nicely ironed, I got seriously rained on - thunder showers galore! Yet even so, my hair held up pretty well. Usually getting soaked like that would have totally ruined the flat-ironed effect and puffed it out, but today it didn't as you can see in the pic where I am holding the bottle of Olaplex.

Overall I think Olaplex is a good treatment, however it is NOT  a miracle worker. I lost a fair bit of hair due to damage today. Which I expected, going in. I know that there is NO product on this earth that can make damaged hair healthy again. But I do reckon it helped and I am keen to report back on how my hair behaves over the next few weeks. And I can definitely say my hair has the illusion of looking and feeling healthy today.

Now, I have to end off by saying this: at the end of the day Olaplex is just another hair product. A good one, yes, but it won't make you any happier. It won't make you a better person and it won't improve your life. And this reminder is for me: it's just hair. (I am way too obsessed with my freakin' hair!) Perhaps, like me, Olaplex will make your hair feel more healthy and that can improve your surface mood. But that's all it can do. It didn't work a miracle, and I didn't expect it to. But I am grateful to the universe that I was able to try it out and I am super thankful to my hairdresser, Jolene, for doing such a great job with my hair today. All this is superficial stuff, I know that, but admittedly, it is lots of fun playing around, and I enjoyed my "girl-time" today.

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