If you colour or treat your hair, then you should read about this “holy grail” treatment

September 16, 2015

The term “holy grail” for Olaplex hair treatment is not my term, but a descriptor being used by hairstylists, beauty writers, and fans around the world. It’s the hair treatment everyone’s talking about, and you’re likely to find adjectives and headlines such as “legend”, “must-try”, “dreams do come true”, “beauty milestone with magical powers”, “new hair technology that might change your life”, “magic potion”, “big beauty breakthrough”, “save your hair with Olaplex”.


My stylist Shelene Shaer of Tanaz calls it life-changing, and when she says I NEED to try something, then I listen, and just go for it.

Firstly, what is this “miracle treatment” Olaplex? It’s a hair treatment that prevents hair breakage when colouring, even when it involves dramatic colour change from brown to blonde (Kim Kardashian used Olaplex for her blonde switch).

It was created by two chemists, Dr Craig Hawker and Dr Eric Pressly, and Dean Christal, a beauty industry entrepreneur.

They found that when you put chemicals in the hair from colouring or intense straightening treatments, the sulpur bonds split and turn into sulpur hydrogen. This process eats away at the hair proteins causing rough, dry and damaged strands. Olaplex works to prevent the splitting, and therefore keeping the hair from becoming seriously damaged.

Olaplex says that while other treatments hide hair damage superficially under oils, waxes and silicon, Olaplex actually repairs broken bonds, and doesn’t just make it “appear” improved.

It’s available in a couple of forms – Olaplex can be mixed in with colouring products to minimise damage, or used as a separate treatment.

  1. No 1 Bond Multiplier – mixed into the lightener or colouring mixture.
  2. No 2 Bond Perfector – applied onto hair after the colour has been rinsed out. Leave the Bond Perfector on hair for at least 20 minutes, rinse out and follow with shampoo and conditioner.
  3. No 3 Hair Perfector – an at-home maintenance treatment, which will help sustain hair’s colour and strength after your salon visit.

What else does it do?

By repairing broken bonds, Olaplex will not only help your hair look healthier and shinier, but it will result in longer-lasting colour as the pigment particles are trapped in the hair more effectively. They say that it will maintain your hair’s vibrancy and shine for longer periods, and make it quicker and easier to dry. (Scroll down for pics of Olaplex transformations).

Who is it good for?

It can be use on all hair types – curly, coarse ad fine, and on Caucasian, African or Asian hair. It’s particularly good for blondes, or those looking to make a switch to blonde as the bleaching process won’t cause any damage when done with the Olaplex. When I went for my treatment at Tanaz, I chatted to another stylist who had gone from dark brown to blonde, and her hair looked fantastic. She said she never would have gone blonde without Olaplex.

(PS: If you like celeb endorsements, those who use it in addition to Kim Kardashian include Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron and Gwyneth Paltrow).



The cost

Depending on your length of hair and colour, you could pay from around R450 a treatment (my dark brown hair which is just short of shoulder length, costs around R650). Shelene says that to continue seeing amazing results, I would need to go every six weeks, but blondes might need to go every four weeks. Remember, it’s not like touching up your roots where you kinda *need* to get it done. Olaplex is a treatment, and you can go once or regularly, for as long as you want results.

I bought the take-home treatment for R400, which I’ll use every 10 days or so to keep up my new-and-improved condition.

My thoughts

I very seldom say that a product has changed my life or look, but this has. I immediately noticed a change in look and feel after the treatment – my hair was shinier and had more “bounce”, and even though my hair isn’t very long, I still swung my head around a lot just to get that full-bodied-hair-sweeping-around feeling.

Granted, each time after leaving the salon I feel happier and more attractive, but this time I felt happier, more attractive, and felt that my hair was my new asset.

I also assessed after some gym workouts and washes since hair mostly never feels as good as it does when it leaves the salon, and while I haven’t been able to reproduce Shelene’s blowdrying and finished look, my hair still feels full, bright and really soft. I have tried the at-home treatment once and it was easy to apply and my hair felt “luscious”… I’m glad I got it to continue the good work done by the Olaplex.



Hair unstyled, but feeling fantastic

You can find Olaplex on Facebook, and you can book your appointment at Tanaz in Joburg or Cape Town, or find your nearest stockist here.

Here are some images via the Olaplex Instagram account:

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.54.25 AM\Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.54.40 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.54.54 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.55.17 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.55.35 AM


Have a look at some of the rave Olaplex video, to see how it works from a stylist’s perspective:

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  • Nicole

    Well I have bleached salon hair, full head of foils 2.months ago, I decided to try Opaplex 2, as my hair is so knotted after washing, was in for 20 minutes, rinsed off, let it air dry, and it changed my colour no longer whitesh blonde now golden blonde, and looks duller, am SO disappointed!

    October 7, 2018 at 7:07 am Reply
    • Tanya

      Oh dear, how disappointing. Did you chat to your hairdresser about using it first?

      October 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm Reply

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