A revolutionary new hair treatment that claims to repair hair from within is making its way across the US right now.
Olaplex is a salon treatment developed in America that has just arrived in UK salons and has already won rave reviews from clients.
It has garnered celebrity endorsements from the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow, and top hairdressers such as John Frieda, who is offering the treatment in his London salon.
How does Olaplex work?
The hair treatment works by repairing the bonds within the hair shaft.
Hair is made up of keratin proteins which contain amino acids such as cysteine. Cysteine is especially important as it contains a sulphur atom that links with another sulphur atom to form a bond between two proteins. When hair is damaged, through processes such as heating and frequent colouring, these bonds are broken.
Olaplex contains an artificial bonding agent that links the two broken sulphur atoms together again, making the hair shaft stronger and improving the texture and condition.
John Frieda’s salon in London’s Mayfair have been trialling Olaplex since July.
“My clients love it,” says stylist Melanie Pellegrini. “It softens and revitalises their hair. Even if hair has been repeatedly coloured and heat-damaged, Olaplex leaves it feeling natural again.”
Melanie explains that most conditioners and hair masks sit on the surface of the hair and only work to smooth down the hair shaft.
“It feels good but doesn’t last. Olaplex is different because it works from the inside and actually repairs the damage,” she said.
The unique selling point of Olaplex
Olaplex can be used as a separate hair repair treatment, or it can be used as part of the colouring process. This is the real USP of the product, as it allows clients to continue to dye their hair several times over without it becoming dry and unmanageable.
“We add Olaplex Bond Multiplier into the hair colour when it is applied. It doesn’t affect coverage at all. We rinse it out with the colour and then apply stage two,” says colourist Carmel Blackburne.
“This minimises damage from the dye as it is applied and the results are particularly amazing when you use it on people who have heavily coloured hair, from balayage, dip dyes or full-scalp bleaches.
“Olaplex means you can go further with bleaching and, as long as you treat the hair with it, you can bleach over and over again without turning hair to candy floss.”
And it’s not just colourists that love Olaplex, with over 30 years’ experience dealing with treating hair problems in his North London clinic, consultant trichologist Andrew Bernie agrees that this treatment may be offering something different:
“Disulphide bonds in the hair are damaged through chemical change from dyes and physical change like heat.
“The weaker the hair becomes, the more vulnerable it is. Problems with damaged hair are really caused when you repeat the processes again and again.
“Olaplex does seem to be offering something new. Previously, we could only re-moisturise hair but not repair it.
“The chemistry behind Olaplex does seem to make sense but the proof will be in the results.”
Clients that have had the Olaplex treatment say that their hair feels more manageable and lighter than after using a standard deep conditioning treatment. They also say that their hair is shinier and softer, but not in an artificial slippery way, in a more natural way.
Where to buy Olaplex
At present, Olaplex are not setting the charge for salons so expect higher prices in major cities such as London.
If you don’t want to visit a salon and prefer a home treatment, check out eBay for cheaper prices, where you can pick up trial sizes of all three treatment bottles for around $40, or expect to pay about $110 for standard size bottles.