So I’ve always been lucky enough that my hair takes color really well, which allows me to experiment a lot. And I LOVE playing with my hair color - it takes a lot to get me really freaked out about a haircut or color.
But what that means is that I’ve been able to experiment with being all kinds of hair colors - without having to bleach it. My colorists have been able to take me all across the spectrums of browns and red while doing really minimal damage.
So, after almost 10 years playing with any shade of red or brown you can think of, I was left with my final frontier. The one color I’d never been before.
My younger sister is a natural blonde; I am not. Growing up, it felt like a formative part of our identities that she had blonde hair and I had brown hair. But as I continued to play on the red spectrum, I realized I’d boxed myself into a corner. If I wanted to go back to any other shade, without lifting the color currently in my hair, my color would continue to pull red for ages.
And so, we find ourselves at blonde. I figured - if I was going to go for it, why not go all the way?
I consulted with my colorist and we landed on a plan of action. It would take two to three processes over 18 weeks or so, but we’d get me from bright red to platinum (and keep my hair attached to my head in the process.) A key part of that plan? Olaplex.
Olaplex is a bond builder. Coloring your hair - but especially bleaching - breaks the bonds in your hair to strip the color out and deposit new color in. This is what led to extreme breakage from over-bleaching hair - and what I was terrified of seeing happen to my hair. (I love a good pixie cut in theory, but I don’t want to find out if I have the bone structure to pull it off.) That’s where a bond builder comes in - it repairs the broken bonds caused by processing to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.
My colorist mixed it into my bleach, and I bought the at-home treatment to use on my own as a weekly treatment. After my first (and second, and third TBH) processes - my hair felt like straw. I actually curled my hair for the first week after bleaching because waves were the only way to disguise the frizz and dryness. The day my Olaplex package arrived, I soaked my hair in a few handfuls of it and parked myself on the couch for a half hour. The instructions say be generous - so don’t be afraid to use a lot, it won’t make you greasy - and while it says to leave on for 10 minutes, I see the best results when I leave it on for 30+ minutes.
What did I learn? IT WORKS. My hair immediately felt transformed and only continued to improve the more I used it - I was an instant addict. Suddenly it was softer, more manageable, and looked and felt way healthier - everyone was shocked how light I’d gone without sacrificing my hair completely.
I’ve learned a lot more about maintaining processed blonde hair - and I’ll be sharing it later on - but first I need to go shout my love of Olaplex from the rooftops some more.