One of the cruellest things a woman can do to her hair is dye it especially when the process involves bleaching.
For permanent hair colouring, bleaching has long been the go-to solution because it is a proven way of stripping the existing colour out of hair. Once bleached hair can be left blonde, or then dyed a different colour. It’s a billion-dollar industry, but those who work in it know only too well that repeated bleaching can cause damage to the hair including hair loss.
Little wonder, then, that when a new product appears on the market that seems to go a long way towards fixing the damage caused by bleaching and other treatments the whole world stops and listens. And that's exactly what's happening with Olaplex.
According to New York Magazine, Kim Kardashian is a huge fan of the product, and was heard raving about it at a make-up masterclass she gave last month. Praise for the product has been heard in salons all over the world and to say it has taken the industry by storm would arguably be an understatement.
But what does Olaplex do? The nymag article explains that hair is made up of disulfide bonds. When hair is permed, bleached or heat-styled, some of these bonds split to become hydrogen-sulphur bonds. These create “broken links of hair, leaving it dry or damaged.” Likening Olaplex to “hair rehab”, the website explains that the product relinks the broken hydrogen-sulphur bonds and leaves the hair strengthened.
Stylists can use Olaplex during the bleaching phase, thus minimising the chances of hair being ruined once the dreaded foil wraps are taken off. So excited was Vogue Australia about the product which could reduce instances of hair breakage - a common occurrence in over-dyed hair - that they said, “If this were Monopoly, it would be the equivalent of the get-out-of-jail-free card."
Interestingly, the product was developed by two of the world’s leading PHDs who had no prior experience in the hair care industry. Their brief was to use what they knew about materials and chemistry and fix a problem that had long baffled the stylists. Social media feedback from the 100,000 salons using Olaplex worldwide seems to suggest they have done just that.
At the time of writing [August 2015], Olaplex was “rolling out” across the UK, but is by no means widespread yet, so it may involve some serious detective work to find a salon using the product in the immediate future. However, there remain some sensible precautions that anyone can take to minimise styling damage.
A heat protecting spray, for example, is highly recommended before using heat stylers such as straightening irons or curling tongs. The setting on hairdryers is important, too: experts recommend a fairly gentle setting and a strong fan speed.
Other tips include the use of intensive conditioners and trying to avoid repeated use of ammonia and peroxide-based dyes, as the cumulative effect of these can lead to hair breakage. Another way to fight back against styling damage is to use a hair supplement, such as Hair Vitalics. Specially formatted with nutrients and vitamins that benefit the hair, these can help make up for hair-friendly minerals that might otherwise be missing from a person’s diet.
When an over-reliance on heat or chemical styling, or even just wearing tight hairstyles too frequently leads to a more serious condition and hair loss is evident, it is time to visit a specialist hair loss clinic for a full diagnosis and bespoke hair loss treatment advice.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.