Kim K’s and Khloe’s blonde, Emma Stone’s pale locks, Chrissy Tiegen’s honeyed waves, Ariana Grande’s funky ombre, all radical looks achieved with little to no damage thanks to the Olaplex Bond Multiplier system. Since the hair-strengthening treatment’s introduction via Instagram two years ago, its ability to protect hair from damage during chemical services continues to impress impressive colorists like Sharon Dorram and Tracey Cunningham. Beauty editors are equally smitten, Snapchatting their dedication to using the take-home portion of the treatment weekly and honoring the product with awards including Allure’s Best of Beauty Breakthrough Product for Hair.
Olaplex, the brainchild of two PHDs in Chemistry and Materials, has freed colorists to venture into previously uncharted territory. Says Tracey Cunningham, who recently used the product to help her take Emma Stone platinum:
“It filled a hole that every hair colorist/stylist/every person needs. It gave us all strength, which is great… I can definitely be a little bit more daring…When clients push me, it’s great to have Olaplex.”
Comments Sharon Dorram:
“The end result that I see is shinier, more resilient hair. It really is a transformational product.”
Despite big benefits like less breakage, more color options and less frizz, the process adds little time in the salon chair. Olaplex 1, the most concentrated solution of the 3 part system is added directly to the bleach or color then rinsed out when the color is rinsed out. Then Olaplex 2, a more diluted cream formula, is added and left in hair for 10-20 minutes allowing the key ingredient to work without competing with a color or bleaching solution. This is followed by a shampoo, condition and rinse. Clients are sent home with Olaplex 3 to be used on a weekly basis.
The simple yet effective process has made the treatment popular as a stand-alone service particularly among curly-haired clients. It’s become a holy grail option for those who are “transitioning” or moving away from chemical services to a more natural state. Clients see marked improvement and curl definition after just one application and avoid what is known as “the big chop.” Says Dorram, “Anyone that needs help with their texture can benefit from using this product.”
Stylists have also begun to use Olaplex 2 as a multitasking cutting lotion. Since the product consistency is light and odorless, stylists can apply to towel-dried hair and proceed with the cut, allowing them to improve hair quality even as they snip.
What makes Olaplex so unique within a saturated market of deep-conditioning and restructuring treatments? Most other products contain silicone or oils that coat the hair. Olaplex uses a single active ingredient, a carbon chain Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, which repairs broken disulfide bonds.
Broken disulfide bonds result from damage to hair due to chemical services like coloring and keratin treatments, but also every day wear-and-tear like heat styling, sun exposure and brushing.
Says VP of Education for Olaplex, Jordan Alexander:
“Olaplex does not create any type of coating on the hair shaft. It creates both an ionic and covalent bridge between two single sulfur hydrogen bonds. As soon as Olaplex is washed away from the hair, the only portion that remains is this bridge. Silicones would be more comparable to a bandaid for the hair as they tend to coat. Olaplex works to restore the strength, structure and integrity of the hair by repairing these broken disulfide bonds which are part of the foundation of hair itself.”
The company has now set its sights on revolutionizing chemical straightening and perming with a brand new chemistry they are calling Bond Shaper. The new service reshapes the bonds of hair without heat, silicone, preservatives, odors or toxic chemicals.
Says Olaplex founder, Dean Christal, “This product is going to be a wrecking ball to the keratin treatment industry. It works and what’s wonderful is that it is safe.”
All it involves is combing the aqueous solution through clarified hair for 10 to 30 minutes depending on desired straightness. No heat or flat ironing necessary. It is rinsed out and the hair is supposedly left much straighter and healthier than before.
Craving the ever-popular beach wave but sick of the curling iron? Bond Shaper applied to perm rods can give that desired texture but with modern body and movement. According to Christal, their test models have experienced zero percent reversion and repeated use only improves results.
Set to launch to its community on October 15th, we’ll have our calendars marked.
Olaplex Bond Multiplier System retails for $30-$70. Olaplex Bond Shaper will retail for approximately $150. Go to Olaplex for salon locations.