Olaplex review September 2014

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For those of you who are new, or have never visited before, I’m Melanie Nickels, the Editor-In-Chief of The Hair Color Review website. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m sure you would like to know who I am and why I’m qualified to write these reviews, so here is my quick (albeit incomplete) bio:

I’ve been a licensed stylist for 17 years. I am the founder of Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida. It was the first organic/non toxic salon in all of South Florida. I still work about 50-60+ hours a week behind-the-chair there. I am the founder / creator of Raw Hair Organics and Rod’z Grooming For Men, both natural & organic salon quality products that are non-toxic, yet work just like traditional chemical based product lines. This past June, I launched a new, groundbreaking professional line for textured hair called  Raw Curls, a high quality natural / organic line made specifically for “Curlies”. For more info on both lines, visit the website at  www.rawhairorganics.com .  I am a working colorist, with well over 10,000 “non-ammonia” hair color applications to date. However, I DO NOT SELL HAIR COLOR.

I am an American Board of Certified Master Haircolorist, and an exam evaluator for the organization, however I do NOT do product reviews for ABCH. I only do them for my own website, and the content & opinions are mine and mine  only.  They do not reflect the opinions of the ABCH itself.   In addition to graduating from cosmotology school, I also have college degrees in Business Management and Accounting. I am internationally trained, was part of Inter Coiffure, a Broadway stylist on the hit show “42nd Street”, and certified by many companies way too numerous to mention here, but the likes of Deva, Quidad, Curlisto, and OCS. I am the Editor-in-Chief of another review website, Organic Hair Product Review.com which is at www.organichairproductreview.com . Later this spring, it will be merged with this review site. I teach nation-wide, including at shows like Premiere Orlando in 2013 & 2014, ISSE Long Beach 2014, and The ABCH Energizing Summit in 2011 & 2012. I taught a 3 hour hands-on curly hair cutting workshop at Premiere Orlando in 2014, which has prompted me to teach more and more 2-day hands-on curly workshops across the country, with one in Naples in September and one in Minneapolis in November (contact me if you are interested in attending). I’m also a contributing member of the elite Curly Hair Artistry group here in the United States.  In addition to all of that, as I stated before, I still spend about 50-60 hours a week, every week, behind-the-chair doing hair color in my salon in Naples, Florida. I have worked with many, many hair color lines on the market, both ammonia and non-ammonia based. That is my simplified, basic bio. I would highly encourage you to follow me on Twitter, as I post there quite frequently and post a lot of things that I don’t post here…things that happen in my normal day of hair coloring. My Twitter handle is @RawHairOrganics  (Melanie Nickels).

Today I’m reviewing a potentially groundbreaking hair coloring product: Olaplex. But first, let me share some history and background about the company and the founders:

The company was founded by Dean Christal. Olaplex, in it’s current form, was created almost by accident. According to Mr. Christal, “I was working with a group of chemists for three years trying to develop a UV activated silicone that would stay in the hair for up to 25 washes”.  They couldn’t quite get it to work right. One of the chemists that was working on the project referred Dean to Dr. Craig Hawker, who introduced him to Dr. Eric Pressly. These two Phd’s  were working on ways to stop organs in human transplants from being rejected by the body.  They had nothing to do with the hair industry whatsoever. Together, over the course of only about 24 hours, they created the first batch of Olaplex. It was just that quick.

Not much is known about Olaplex except the basics: It’s a molecule. They claim that you will never break your hair again.  They also state that you could do a bleach service and permanent wave the same day. It all sounds great and very interesting!

So, I went and ordered the sample pack of Olaplex, and took it with me to the Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida, and went to work with it.   Of course I was going to test these claims to see just how far I could go without really breaking the hair….knowing that at some point, you WILL still get breakage.

Here is what I found:

I mixed 1 oz of bleach with 40 volume developer, then added ¼ oz of Olaplex Bond Multiplier

I did a foil on previously highlighted, bleached out, porous, damaged hair (pulling the highlights all the way through the ends), and then did a bleach root touch up on my mannequin head.  I processed this at room temp for 30 min.  The foils were done, the root touch up could have been left on longer, but I rinsed everything out and applied the Bond Perfector as instructed, and left it in for longer than 5 min.

The condition of the hair was great……I was very impressed with this since the hair I was starting with was literally a level 5 porosity with already compromised hair.  There was no new breakage!

So,  I later tested it again.  Using bleach with 40 vol developer, then mixing in ¼ oz of the Olaplex Bond Multiplier, I applied this to all of the blond roots as if doing a bleach touch up.  I processed for 45 min at room temp, and then even put it under the dryer with medium heat for 15 more min.  At this point, I did have minimal breakage where I noticed some hair coming out when rinsing.  Really, this was unbelievable that there was any hair left on the mannequin-it should have disintegrated or completely broken off!!  I once again treated the hair with the Bond Perfector and left it in for an hour.  After rinsing it out and brushing the hair, I had some more shedding of hair in my brush, but again………just shocking that there is any hair left on that head at all and it looked pretty darn good!!  So there we have it.  It IS possible to break the hair using Olaplex, but that was doing way beyond what you would ever do to a clients hair.  So this product will really be great for so many uses and for those who are not careful about overlapping in their application process.

I wanted to note that it did not say anything about processing under the dryer.  I use a color that goes under the dryer on medium heat for 15 min. And, I also do my high lighting over the color (all at the same time) therefore, that all gets put under the dryer for 15 min.  So, I tested this process and I did not increase my developer when doing it this way and everything came out as it normally would…didn’t take any extra time for developing either.

I also tested the Olaplex when doing color.  Per manufacturers instructions, I added 1/8 oz (or less depending on how much color I mixed) of Bond Multiplier to my base color used for root touch ups to cover gray, lo-lights, and a high-lift blond.  It didn’t affect any of the processing (which I was a little concerned about with the non-ammonia hair colors), except for the high-lift blond, which took longer to process.  Everything came out great, hair was conditioned and shiny.  Clients liked the cooling feeling on their scalp with the Bond Perfector.

Looking at the MSDS sheets, there is one main ingredient and water.  I honestly am not familiar with the ingredient listed, but it is said that it is non-toxic, free of silicone or oils, and it  links broken bonds in the hair during and after chemical services making them stronger than they were before.

The Bond Perfector  is basically a conditioner.  It has a Bis-(Maleimidoethoxy) Ethane which is a prepolymer ingredient, along with a bunch of other conditioning agents, and also Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine which is a conditioning agent used as a water soluable silicone replacement.  The only other thing I would mention about this ingredient list is that it does contain wheat protein and wheat amino acids…in case anyone has allergies or sensitivities to wheat.

All in all, I have to conclude that this is a pretty incredible product!  Does that mean we as hair stylists can be care-free, pushing the limits of what can be done to the hair, and practically wreckless……I guess so, but I hope not!!

Here is a client I used Olaplex on:  she had level 4 porosity (previously damaged, over-processed hair) yet she wanted to be more blond.  I used a high lift blond on the scalp, then lightener mixed with 20 vol developer and Olaplex for her highlights.  Her hair came out great and was in better condition after coloring and highlighting than before….AMAZING!

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I rate this product a 4.95 out of 5

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Until next time, here’s to great hair and great hair stylists,

Melanie

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