Beauty

My Hair Journey 2007 – 2016

Let me take you back to 2007, I hadn’t turned 18 yet, I was going into Watford (underage, I know, awful, slap on wrists etc etc) and I wanted to make sure I was looking F-I-N-E. I had had my hair dyed blonde in a salon the week before (this experience was so traumatising I remember every damn detail) and I wasn’t happy with how blonde it looked. I wanted to be white blonde, not dark blonde/ brown-in-some-lights blonde. Therefore, I took my 17 y/o self off to Superdrug and purchased this exact dye, I walked home, made the dye up and whacked it on my hair. I washed the colour off and it was a beautiful colour, but I noticed that my hair felt terrible. It didn’t matter, I finally had the colour hair I was looking for. I went to my friends that Friday night and did my makeup, while my friend straightened my new blonde locks for me.

This is what s**t got real. When my friend was straightening my hair, I noticed tonnes and tonnes of the ends just snapping off and falling on top my lap. Ah well, I thought, it’s just because I’m straightening it. Went out that night, had a laugh and didn’t think anything else of it.

The snapping didn’t stop though. It continued to snap until my once boob-length hair had turned into a very, very uneven short bob. There was genuinely nothing I could do to stop it snapping. In the end, I dyed it all brown, had it all cut off and wore extensions from the age of 18 until 21. It was absolutely heartbreaking.

Lesson learned from this? I don’t touch my hair myself when it comes to dye. I trust my hairdresser 100% when it comes to colour and will only do what she says (which I’m pretty sure she loves!) and thankfully, now, it’s growing. Precautions to stop anything like the above happening again are as follows:

  • I try to avoid putting one colour on my entire head, instead opting for highlights
  • I don’t blow dry my hair if I can help it and I only use straighteners on my fringe. Last week I had my hair dyed for the first time in seven months and that was the first time I’d straightened it this year – I just don’t do it anymore
  • I take Biotin tablets daily
  • I use the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer once a week and leave it in overnight. Hair looks disgusting but feels amazing the day after use!

Now, my hair is better condition than it has been for AGES, and I thought I’d share one of the treatments I’m currently using with you all.

Olaplex

I first heard about Olaplex last year when reading about it on Cosmopolitan. Back when it was first launched it wasn’t available in any salons near me, and now there are multiple locations that do the treatment all over the UK, just google ‘Olaplex’ and your location to see where pops up.

The background of it is that it was developed by scientists, who were on a mission to find out if there was a way to repair damaged hair once the damage had been done, and they were successful. Olaplex repairs broken hair bonds from the inside out – there’s no sign of masks, temporary smoothness or short-term effects, it’s a serious, fact-driven treatment.

There are three steps, and I’ve used the information from the official UK Olaplex site to talk through what Olaplex is and the process in general:

WHAT IS OLAPLEX?

Olaplex is a single active ingredient invented by Dr. Eric Pressly, PHD in materials, and Dr. Craig Hawker, PHD in Chemistry.

QUICK AND EASY TREATMENT:

Quick and Easy – This is a great treatment that can be used on any client whether they have had a chemical service or not. Great way to help sustain the structure of the hair and leaves hair feeling soft and manageable.

The Bond Multiplying System can be used as a reset button for your client’s hair and by doing so allows you to rebuild the strength, structure and integrity to the point where a colour or chemical service would then be feasible once again. This treatment may be done before and/or after a chemical service and may be applied in the salon once a week or more. Compatible with all hair types from virgin to extremely compromised chemically treated hair.

There are three stages to Olaplex. The first is the Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier. Your hair is dampened, and then the No.1 treatment is mixed with water and applied all over. This is left on for ten minutes.

The second is Olaplex No.2 Bond Perfector. According to the website, “this is used to link the remaining disulfide bonds before and after service restoring the strength, structure and integrity of the hair.”  No.1 is washed off, your hair is brushed through and then it’s separate into inch/ inch and a half sections. The No.2 is then painted onto each part of the segmented hair. Again, you’re left with it sitting on your head to work its magic.

The No.2 is then washed out and your hair is washed, and you have the option of having it dried, as normal. Most salons will then offer you Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector. This isn’t a necessity, but I would suggest investing in it. It’s a treatment to be used post-salon trip at home and can be applied once a week or more, depending on how damaged your hair is. It continues to help heal the bonds after the initial treatment.

So far, I’ve had two treatments, and I can already notice the difference in my hair. It’s shinier, thicker and you can’t see anywhere near as many split ends as there used to be. I tend to get my hair cut and coloured, and will then book in for a treatment the same week or as close to the colour date as possible and this has totally reduced the damage done. As I have bleach blonde hair and will be getting my roots done every six – eight weeks moving forward I’m going to book in for at least another three treatments.

One of my favourite things about Olaplex is explained in this sentence:

Will the bonds that were created eventually break and cause my hair to then break? This question is asked often and the answer is no. Even if you completely stop using Olaplex, the disulfide link that Olaplex offered is permanent. The condition of the hair there after, depends on how the client treats their hair.

So many reconstructive treatments are one-time only or very short term effects which disappear once washed, but this doesn’t do that. Once the bond is repaired, it won’t become ‘unrepaired’ unless you damage it again. I think this is why I refuse to have my hair blow dried after a treatment – I don’t want to damage any mended hair’s for as long as possible!

I’ll do an update post once I’ve had all five of my treatments done. I was so sceptical before my first treatment that I haven’t been able to take a ‘before’ picture, but I can describe the condition then compared to what it’s like at the end of the treatments in as much detail as possible!

I have my Olaplex treatments done at Cedar’s Hair and Beauty in Bushey and it costs me £25.

Thanks for reading,

S x

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