From balayage, to rainbow shades, to ombre, we *love* experimenting with hair colour. It's a form of self-expression and transformation that is both creative and therapeutic. But there's no denying that after a while, the damage starts to effect the quality of our hair, making it more prone to dryness, dullness and split ends. Plus, hair colour doesn't last as long when hair is damaged, which means you'll be heading back to the salon more regularly for top ups.
So, it's not hard to understand why Olaplex has quickly become the hair treatment hero salons and millions of beauty fans can't live without. The breakthrough technology repairs severely damaged hair, which is great news for those of us who bleach or dye our locks regularly.
Kim Kardashian is a self-confessed fan, who says, "When your hair is really damaged, if you sleep in that, it really works. I notice a huge difference."
But it's not just people who constantly colour their hair who can enjoy the nourishing benefits. On the contrary, Olaplex delivers a glossy, strengthening treatment to all hair types and textures, coloured or not.
Originally a three-step system, with two in-salon and one at-home treatment, the hero brand has recently added a treatment shampoo and conditioner to their game-changing range, providing a comprehensive at-home regime so you can carry on the care in between salon visits.
Formulated with Olaplex's patented bond-building chemistry to strengthen hair, alongside other ingredients to hydrate, boost shine and reduce frizz, both are free from sulphates, parabens, gluten and are vegan-friendly.
The Bond Maintenance Shampoo No.4 and itioner No.5, £25.85 each, launched nationwide last month, and people are going absolutely wild for the new additions. If you're looking to try them for yourself, you'll find the first stocks at the Samantha Cusick's or Billie Currie's (Billicurrie.com) salon.
Want to know more on the five steps and how it really transforms damaged locks? Here's the lowdown and our beauty editor review...
What is Olaplex?
Let's just get something straight: Olaplex isn't just another hair conditioning treatment. In fact, it doesn't use the word *conditioning* - often just a buzzword for one-off high-shine and smoothness - anywhere in its advertising.
It's a system that permanently rebuilds the damaged disulphide bonds in your hair that are broken during the chemical process. If you've over-bleached or had your hair highlighted for years, Olaplex allows you to rebuild the strength, structure and integrity of your hair; a 'reset' for your locks, if you will.
The system has allowed colourists to do work that they'd only ever dreamed of before. Black to white blonde in one session? No problem.
Five stages of Olaplex
Olaplex is a five-part treatment, the first two steps have to happen in a salon, with three maintenance steps at home.
- First, Olaplex Number 1: Bond Multiplier is for professional in-salon use - and can be put on the hair as a standalone treatment, or if you're getting your colour done, it is mixed in with the bleach and put straight onto your hair in foils.
- Olaplex Number 2: Bond Perfector is then put on the hair once the bleach is rinsed out, usually at the back wash. This is left on for a good 20 minutes to really get the most out of its chemical mending.
- Olaplex Number 3: Hair Perfector, £32, is where you take things into your own hands. This take-home treatment is recommended for use once a week and is best applied before your shampoo and conditioner. Apply 1-3 teaspoons to dampened hair and comb through evenly. Leave on for 10-30 minutes or do as Kimmy K does and leave overnight.
- Olaplex Number 4: Bond Maintenance Shampoo, £25.85, can replace your regular shampoo for a hydrating, strengthening top-up at every wash.
- Olaplex Number 5: The Bond Maintenance itioner, £25.85, is the final step in the treatment to hydrate and smooth hair and is recommended to be left on for three minutes before rinsing.
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Having bleach-damaged hair herself, GLAMOUR's deputy beauty editor Samantha was intrigued to see if Olaplex lived up to the hype, so she popped into the new Blue Tit salon on Portobello Road to get her colour done and try out the almighty Olaplex.
‘Having sacrificed my strands to a round of bleach every 10 or so weeks for the past two years, it's safe to say I'd managed to suck all softness and hydration from my hair. And surprisingly, I hadn't tried Olaplex before.
But now that I have, I can safely say they'll be no going back. It was not unlike my regular hair appointment; the only difference being that once my foils were rinsed out, the Bond Perfector was applied all over and left for twenty minutes. I may have napped during the process.
Once my hair was blow-dried I ran my hands through my hair and honestly the difference was cray. Incredibly soft, smooth and not the slightly crunchy dry 'do I was beginning to get used to.
And all from just a twenty-minute power nap!
With results this good it’s a no brainer to follow up with No. 3, 4 and 5 at home. Thanks to the coconut-oil derived surfactant in the shampoo, it's super bubbly and a little goes a long way. The conditioner is a luxe rich texture and a conditioning treat for hair. And the trio of at-home steps definitely prolonged the look and feel of soft, smooth healthy strands. So even if you can't make it to the salon, it's still worth investing in these at-home steps.
My official hair routine from now on will be: foils > toner > Olaplex > cut > blow-dry > takeaway Olaplex > repeat at home.
And it's not just me, almost every fellow colour addict I've spoken to has praised the repairing power of Olaplex. It's singlehandedly allowing more and more people to embrace colour and switch shade or go blonde, with less fear of damage.’
Want some blonde inspiration? Look no further...
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