Olaplex the OG

More than likely, you’ve at least heard the name. And if you’ve been in my chair, you’ve had it used during your appointment. What is my obsession over this product? Where did it come from? What is it used for? Let’s dive into it! And keep reading until the end for something extra special!

What is it? Olaplex was created to be a “hair repairer.” It seeks out the broken bonds in the hair, and fuses them back together. How is that possible, you ask? It’s science, duh. No but really, the main active ingredient is called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. I don’t even know if I can pronounce that correctly! This single ingredient is what seeks out the sulfur hydrogen bonds, and fuses them back together. It creates a protective barrier.

So why do we need this in our hair? I don’t care if you’ve straightened your hair every day since you were 15, colored it only twice in your life, bleached it into oblivion, or never put color on your hair ever; your hair is going to experience damage. From tool heat, the sun, chemicals, even all those ponytail holders you’ve lost and gained over the years. It all puts stress on the hair, and eventually it can break. Eventually you get split ends.

Picture taken from olaplex.com

Now, am I saying that Olaplex is the magical wizard of hair products and you never need anything else? No. I’m saying that this product is a helper. It’s going to help protect the hair, help repair those broken bonds, and help you walk around with more confidence that your straightener, those highlights, and that sun, aren’t going to turn your hair into straw!

Okay, so now that we know what Olaplex actually is; how is it applied? It originally started as a 3 step system. Lets break it down:
Step 1: No.1 is applied to the chemical service (color, lightener, perms) in the salon.
Step 2: No.2 is then applied in the sink, after rinsing or shampooing. Usually left on for 5-15mins.
Step 3: No.3 is a take home treatment, that you can use weekly, bi-weekly, basically whenever you want! It’s applied to damp hair before you shampoo & condition, and I tell my clients to leave it on a minimum of 45 minutes.

All of the products contain bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, as well as other important ingredients, but the No.1 is going to have the highest concentration, at 50%
But here’s the fun part! Olaplex has expanded their line! The same chemistry, has been applied to 4 more products! FOUR! And, you can probably guess the names.
No.4 Shampoo. No.5 Conditioner. No.6 Bond Smoother. No.7 Bonding Oil.

I feel like I need to say something about how you get ahold of this liquid gold. You can only get Olaplex 1 and 2 in the salon. Please, do not try to buy it off of Amazon. Olaplex 3-7 can be bought either through your hairstylist, or specific retailers. I know that Sephora and Nordstrom have a deal with Olaplex; but again, I wouldn’t trust buying it off of Amazon. I love prime, but I prefer to buy my hair and skin products directly from the company.

So we’ve gone through the chemistry of it. We’ve broken down the system and how they work. Here’s the last question: why do I prefer Olaplex over anything else?
Because it’s the OG! Olaplex was the first chemical bonder on the market. Since then, almost all professional color lines have created their own. And I mean zero disrespect to the others, but I prefer Olaplex since it was there from day 1. I’ve been using this system for 5, almost 6 years; and I can tell you story after story of what its been able to do. Repairing chemically frazzled or shattered hair on color corrections, letting me lift hair in confidence that it’s not being destroyed, giving dry hair a revived boost of moisture, and so much more.

I always keep stock of Olaplex, and usually have a hard time keeping it on the shelf because they buy it religiously! But with the Holiday season coming upon is quickly, I’ve decided that I want to do a giveaway! I am going to be choosing one person to receive the entire take home system: Olaplex 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7; that’s a $140 value!!
Do you, or someone you know love Olaplex? Want to try it? Know someone that would greatly benefit from it?
Here’s how to win:
1. Follow my IG page: sculptedtresses and tag a friend!
2. Leave a comment here on this blog post

Easy as that! I’ll be picking the winner on Sunday, November 17th!

Color is a Journey

I’m blessed to have clients that understand that title. I’m thankful that through showing pictures and descriptions, more and more people understand that it’s usually not possible to achieve exactly what they desire in one sitting. Could it be? Yes. But at what cost? Let’s break it all down.

I specifically tell new clients that their “hair goal” may take several sessions to achieve. If you have ANY kind of previous color on your hair, it’s going to take extra time to lift through it. If your hair has high porosity, its going to take time. If your hair has chemical damage, its absolutely going to take time. Have I had clients, with previously colored hair, lift perfectly? I have. But it’s rare!
Porous hair is broken down into three categories: low, medium, and high. Porosity simply means how much moisture your hair can retain. Chemical processing and excessive styling heat can change this, and sometimes your porosity is hereditary.
1. Low: the cuticle of the hair is flat, and even though it can be more difficult for moisture to get into the cuticle; once it does, it will not escape. So that conditioning treatment, those creams and oils you’re using, will last!
2. Medium: the cuticle of loose, but it easily accepts moisture. This is the most ideal kind of porosity: easy to manipulate, but healthy enough that with proper care, it will remain strong!
3. High: the cuticle is completely open, making it impossible for moisture to be retained. This means that color will grab very quickly, appearing too dark; and then shortly thereafter will be pushed out again because the cuticle has too many holes for it to pass through. Zero retention.

If none of that made sense, think of your hair as a door with a screen door. Low porosity, the front door is slightly cracked. It’s hard to get a breeze through, but it is possible to feel the air. Medium porosity, the door is ajar, but the screen door is closed. Allowing the breeze to freely flow through. High porosity, the screen door, and the door are wide open. Air rushes through, but there’s no boundary to control the air flow, or the bugs!

My first concern has been, and will always be, keeping the integrity of the hair healthy. If someone sits down in my chair, and wants a drastic change; it can happen, but over time. I never promise to deliver the exact picture they showed me. “Pinterest hair” (as I call it) is usually edited, or the tone isn’t actually what it appears to be. Further than that, I’m not that stylist and can’t recreate the exact image because I don’t know what they did! That’s why I use the term “hair goals” because it’s something to aim for, but my clients are aware it will not be a replica!

Over the course of 3 years, we had fun along the way. Not pictured: pink and lilac!

“Good hair isn’t cheap, and cheap hair isn’t good.” It’s a motto that I repeat to clients all the time. Does that mean, that as stylists, we are trying to get more money out of you? Absolutely not. It means that I care about you, and the health of your hair, and I will not push it past the limit. I’m blessed with clients who trust me, implicitly. And know that I will always do what’s best for the hair. I will also tell you “no.” If I know its not achievable, or if it will clash with your skin/eye tone; I will always be brutally honest. Because, again, your hair is more important to me, than money.

Subtle changes during appointments can make a huge difference.

Another thing I tell new clients, “we’re on a journey together. This is a working relationship, which means communication has to happen.” Relationships are a two-way street. Confusion can easily happen from behind the chair, to in the chair. If someone’s confused, or unhappy, or concerned; I want them to speak up! And I will always take the time to listen and explain.

Toner? What’s That?

If you’re a client of mine, chances are you’ve heard me say “let me mix up your toner, and then we’ll rinse you out.” Toner? What’s a toner? You may have heard it called a “gloss” or “rinse” as well. They all do the same thing: manipulate the hair to imitate a certain color.

Let’s talk the basics…when you lift the hair with lightener, you are removing pigment, and exposing the undertone. Everyone has these pigments in their hair, it’s just a matter of how much. The chart below is a perfect explanation of how much is present depending on how dark or light your hair is. The darker the hair, the heavier the red. The lighter the hair, the less red and more yellow/golden.

When I first started doing hair, I didn’t understand color theory. And that was mainly due to a lack of education during cosmetology school. Let me be blunt: certain schools do not dive into this. Other schools do; and I had a rude awakening when I graduated and got behind the chair.
So I read articles and blogs, I watched videos, I researched, and I asked for help. I spent a couple years afterwards, doing trial and error. Slowly experimenting, always learning.

Fast forward ten years, and here we are. When using lightener and exposing the underlying pigment, this is why its important to lift to the correct level and formulate accordingly. Now back to the main topic of this blog: toner. Once you’ve lifted to the level you need, toners help enhance or dilute the underlying pigment.

Platinum, ash, golden, copper, etc. they’re all colors. They have to be created or enhanced with toners. If someone wants platinum or silver, combative colors will be applied to eliminate yellow, or golden tones (blue and violet). If you want copper, golden, or warm tones, the same thing applies…but it’s not as intense as if going blonde. Here’s the difference: you need only to lift to the level needed. If a brunette sat down in my chair with level 3 hair, and wanted a copper/golden tone; I need only to lift her to a level 5 or 6, because of the underlying pigment! We’re enhancing that tone, not trying to eliminate it.

If you’re still reading this, then let me throw in this last bit of information; and it’s something that I think is the most crucial when lifting. There is only so much you can do in each session without causing major stress or damage to the hair! The picture above is a prime example of the phrase “I don’t want to push your hair over the edge.” In a later post, I will explain in detail the “why’s” of lifting. But for now, I think this is a good stopping point! Confused yet? It’s okay, because that’s what a colorist is trained to know. Leave it up to me to get you to your desired hair goal! Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day; great color usually takes multiple sessions to achieve.