Despite suffering from hair loss and damage, I still do something I know I shouldn't. Around once every three months I get my hair colored and sometimes (gasp!) highlighted.
I realize that the hair I do have would be a lot less prone to breakage if I learned to embrace its natural color. Unfortunately, though, its natural color is a very unflattering shade of mousy brown - leaving me rather resigned to accepting the damage in return for a color that doesn't leave me quite so depressed when I look in the mirror!
A few months ago, however, my hairdresser offered me a possible way out of this Catch-22 situation when she introduced me to Olaplex (™).
It is designed to reconnect broken disulfide bonds in the hair - in other words, fix the damage. It is NOT just another conditioning treatment - you still have to use conditioner as usual - but claims to actually repair the structure of the hair and prevent it from any further damage. It is silicone-, sulfate- and phthalate-free.
I researched the product whilst at the salon and there is a LOT of buzz about it in the beauty industry.
Among its many raving fans are Kim Kardashian. Kim - who once famously bleached her dark locks platinum blonde - said of Olaplex:
"When your hair is really damaged, if you sleep in that, it really works. I notice a huge difference."
In addition to Kim's recommendation are MANY positive reviews online from women who feel it has dramatically improved the strength and structure of their hair. I also came across lots of impressive before and after photographs from individuals who'd tried it.So I happily agreed to pay extra (£20 extra!) to go ahead with the treatment, and my hair felt lovely after it was done. I got home and immediately ordered myself the Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 version to use at home.
And I actually felt really excited that - at last - there might be a product that could reverse any damage I'd done to my hair and allow me guilt-free coloring in future! I looked forward to writing about my discovery here on Hair Sentinel to encourage those of you with similarly fragile hair to give it a try.
Sadly, though, this review isn't the glowingly positive one I thought it would be.
At first things seemed fine, but after two or three applications of the home treatment, I noticed that my hair felt odd - almost hard and very, very dry and with a peculiar stiffness that felt as if I'd left product in it. What's more, it had become difficult to style, quickly losing its shape.
Finally - and perhaps the most depressingly - the breakage continued unabated!
Now, my results don't seem to be typical and I continue to come across rave reviews of the Olaplex treatment. I'm sure it does produce amazing results for some people - but clearly not for everyone.
When I returned to my hairdresser this week and told her what I'd experienced, I discovered that one of her other clients had had similar problems.
I'm still sad that it didn't work for me - I've never felt quite so hopeful about a treatment before - but I've resigned myself once again to minimizing any damage with lots of conditioner!
I'd love to hear from you, though, if YOU'VE found it effective. Please do drop me a line if you've used Olaplex (™) and let me know what you thought of it.