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Blonde Ambition: Olaplex Hair Care

Year after year global numbers have shown a steady increase for hair colouring services in a salon, driven by two main factors: an ageing population with a desire to look younger and trending hair colours according to social media. But how much damage is actually being done to your hair during the process? On the science behind colour, dyeing your hair requires an alkaline pH balance, which causes the protective layer on the hair (called the cuticle) to relax and lift allowing the colour into the hair strands. The longer the colour is on the longer the cuticle remains open – the longer the cuticle is open the weaker it becomes. As soon as the colour is rinsed out the cuticle comes back down to its original state but the damage has already been done.

To compromise for the chemical process and negative effects it has on the hair your stylist will recommend a conditioner based on your needs but the industry is constantly changing and demand is on the rise, not only for a fabulous colour but for high quality products that is proven to nourish the hair and make it feel silky smooth. That is where Olaplex comes in – introduced to the market in 2015 as a salon exclusive and your stylist’s secret weapon to prevent hair damage. The company has since released a range of products available to the general public to continue caring and repairing your hair at home. That way you are guaranteed to have nourished hair and that fresh from the salon look between visits.

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STEP ONE AND TWO

Step One and Two is the original salon exclusive products that are distributed to professionals and can be added to the colouring service (for an additional fee) to immediately begin preventing and repairing damage caused by the chemicals. Not every salon will have Olaplex available but if you are unsure feel free to ask your stylist or ring the salon. You can also find a salon in your area that provides the service using their Salon Locator on the Olaplex website.

Olaplex was essentially created by accident. The formulation was brought to life by a team of scientists lead by Dr. Eric Pressly and Dr. Craig Hawker who have been heavily involved in stem cell research. The active ingredient in Olaplex is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate which penetrates into the hair strands and begins to reconnect and strengthen broken disulfide sulfur bonds found in the hair.

A very dear friend of mine passed away in June 2019 due to medical complications following her stem cell transplant. Her last wish was for her family and friends to continue to raise awareness of the stem cell transplant process. In her memory please join the donor register today and potentially give someone a second chance in life.

https://www.anthonynolan.org/
https://www.dkms.org.uk/en
https://www.organdonationni.info/register/online
https://nibts.hscni.net/



STEP 3:
HAIR PROTECTOR

Olaplex Hair Protector is the first at home step in maintaining hair health. Though this may look and feel like a conditioning mask, it is important to remember that is not the case and must be rinsed and shampooed out. Too much of anything – even the good stuff is never the answer! The hair protector can be used as often as needed, maybe two or four times a month, and should be applied to damp, towel dried hair. Use a generous amount and begin applying from the ends, working your way up towards the mid lengths. It is recommended to leave on for 10-20 minutes but can can be kept on longer depending on your hair.

This product contains 12% of the active ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate which is diluted when applied to towel dried hair so it does not weigh the hair down. The active ingredients actually penetrate the hair strands and where there is broken bonds, they will begin to strengthen and repair them. This is the main difference from Olaplex and other brands that have released similar products before – this actually works from within. Many other conditioners do not target the problem, instead they coat the hair with a thick layer of silicone which will make the hair feel softer but with continued use will only weigh the hair down, making it more prone to breakage.

STEP 4:
BOND MAINTENANCE SHAMPOO

This is a sulfate-free shampoo. Simply put, sulfate is what make shampoo sudsy – so when you begin to use this shampoo you may feel as though you need more but that is not the case. (Less is always more.) Sulfates are also known to strip the hair and scalp of your body’s natural oil which can make your hair feel brittle and if you suffer from a sensitive scalp you might see negative effects such as flaking, itching, dryness and redness.

Anyone with dyed hair and natural curls or kinks are strongly advised to ditch sulfate shampoos as they are simply too harsh. They will strip the colour from your hair faster and your curls will loose a lot of moisture. That is why Olaplex is labelled as being suitable for all hair types. It repairs, strengthens and hydrates.

The active ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate is present in the shampoo, but at a slighter weaker amount of around 10% which is why it is labelled as a “maintenance shampoo.”

STEP 5:
BOND MAINTENANCE CONDITIONER

The conditioner contains around 7% of the active ingredient and also uses a low amount of high quality silicone proven to not weigh the hair down. Starting with the most amount of product at the ends and working your way up to the mid lengths. It is not recommended to put conditioner on the scalp. The body’s natural oils (sebum) is constantly released from the sebaceous glands which provides moisture for your skin and scalp. Overpowering it with a conditioner can lead to your hair becoming greasy faster.

This is a fabulous conditioner and just helps to seal the cuticle shut locking in the colour, moisture and strength we have just restored. As the cuticle has been sealed it will now lie flat, meaning the hair will feel extremely smooth and will help prevent tangles forming. You should be able to glide a brush through your hair with ease, starting at the ends and working your way up towards the root. Do not brush too aggressively as hair is at it’s weakest when wet.

STEP 6:
BOND SMOOTHER

Step 6: Though it is labelled as a bond smoother it is so much more. This concentrated leave-in reparative cream strengthens, hydrates and moisturizes the hair while also providing incredible heat protection. Apply a very small amount of product to the ends and mid lengths, after towel drying the hair, to speed up the blowdrying process while protecting your hair from heat. This can also eliminate frizz and flyaways for up to 72 hours. (Weather dependant!)

STEP 7:
BONDING OIL

**NEWLY RELEASED** Step 7: Bonding Oil goes one step above and beyond in comparison to the bond smoother. While many of the features and benefits are similar this one outshines for a few reasons.

Step 7 is a first of its kind! This is a highly concentrated and almost weightless reparative styling oil which will dramatically increase shine, softness and colour vibrancy. This oil provides guaranteed heat protection up to 232 degrees Celsius (450 Fahrenheit) which is 47 degrees more than the temperature of GHD Straighteners! UV Protection is also provided which is extremely important for those with cooler / ashy / silver toned hair as the UV rays that come from the sun will strengthen the yellow tones naturally present in the hair. Have you ever returned from a sun soaked holiday and thought ‘wow I need my colour done?’ the sun is the arch-enemy of hair dye. As an added bonus this product is alcohol free (which is known to dry hair out!), cruelty free and completely vegan!

Olaplex has changed my life and how I view and care for my hair. I am also able to provide this service to my clients in salon and love getting their amazing feedback. Which products sound like they are exactly what you are missing? Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below and be sure to follow my hair instagram: @noelsmithhair.


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