Beautiful Thursday: Truth and Lies About Olaplex

“Olaplex is a bond multiplier containing a single active ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Olaplex works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross linking them back together to form disulfide bonds before, during and after services. Disulfide bonds are broken via chemical, thermal, and mechanical processes.” ~ Olaplex.com

By Danni Gess

 

In the hair industry, there is a mystical aura surrounding this product. Over the past year we have seen Youtube videos, Instagram pictures and glossy magazine articles that extol the products benefits, but is it really the stuff of fairy dust, unicorn blood and dragon scales or is it just another product promising the world and delivering nothing?

Let me first preface this by saying that I use this product, not only on many of my clients but on myself as well. I am a natural level 5 and have an obsession with being REALLY blonde. Over the years, particularly before I became a colorist, I had pushed limits to try and achieve this blonde including an unfortunate incident where my hair fell out like needles on a old Christmas tree.

For many blondes this is a real thing. Over highlighting, too strong a lightener, flat ironing, can create a big fat plate of spaghetti hair.

Spaghetti Hair :  /spəˈɡedē her/ (n) Hair that has a disintegrated  cuticle which leaves the hair feeling slimy when wet. When dried, this hair typically falls away.

me

When presented a new product, I am the first person I test it on. Nothing goes on my client’s head until I am certain that it is a product that will add value to their service. For An addition to a color service starting at $15 ($30 for the take home) I wanted to feel confident that Olaplex is something that will bring results. So, based SOLELY on my own head of hair (though I’ve done hundreds services with the product) here is what it can and cannot do.

  1. It CAN protect your hair from unneccessary damage….when used responsibly. When I do my roots, I am using Olaplex. There are times when, inevitably, the lightener overlaps onto my previously lightened hair. In the “old days” this would create some hair breakage. Luckily, having a short funky haircut helps with this because it goes unnoticeable. However, now I can honestly say I have no breakage. To the point that I’m seriously considering growing my hair out, which I will only do if I have healthy hair.

  2. Olaplex is NOT a conditioning treatment. My hair is still dry. This does not shock me. Not once have I read that Olaplex claim it is a conditioning treatment or a mask. So if your stylist is claiming it will put moisture in your hair…refer him/her to this blog.
  3. Your hair will NOT be Teflon after using it in a chemical service. Olaplex has strengthened my hair over time because I use the #3 home care product. Olaplex IS going to give extra insurance when lightening your hair BUT when you get home and style with heat and exposure to environmental elements, your hair gets damaged. If you need to strengthen your hair, maintain what you invested in by using the number #3 at home product. It last about a month (I have short hair so it lasted MUCH longer)
  4. Olaplex works BUT if you are putting olaplex/lightener onto spaghetti hair and expect a miracle, I have a bridge I can sell you! Do yourself a favor. If you have mushy overprocessed hair, go to a salon, do an Olaplex treatment, purchase the at home #3 and a good mask. Stylists, when they come back in a month, not only will you be able to SAFELY work with their hair but you will have a client for life!
  5. Alas, It is NOT made of unicorn blood, fairy dust nor dragon scales. It’s just science which is equally awesome. However, don’t get confused. It ain’t magic. When people start claiming it can do stuff that it is not designed to do, it makes my job difficult. Not only do I wind up having clients that are disappointed when rainbows and sparkles aren’t glinting off their noggin, but as an industry, it creates a culture of mistrust.

Lastly, I have a little bit of friendly advice for my fellow stylists. I understand that we all learn differently and sometimes having someone TELL you how to do something seems reliable but seriously, not everybody knows what they are talking about. AND you are the person that suffers the consequence if you do not use the product correctly. Personally, I did this crazy thing called “reading the directions” and “research”. You’d be shocked at how awesome these two actions can be!

Have you used this product? What was your experience? Have questions?

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