Summer can be a challenging time for hair – sun, sea water and humidity all take their toll. I love the sun-kissed look but without the dry hair that excessive sun-worshipping usually creates. So a process that claims to give you a beach babe look with silky smooth hair sounds like a real winner. That’s why I was intrigued to find out about Olaplex, the new treatment that protects your hair when coloring. If the name sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because many celebrities have raved about it. For not only does it claim to protect hair, but also to repair sun or colour damage. I was invited to famous hairdressing salon, Nicky Clarke, to get my hair ready for Summer.
I’ve been here before for a CACI facial massage with the lovely Chelseé Lewis, but not for my hair. With salons in Birmingham and Manchester as well as London, they’ve been styling hair for over 25 years so I was in good hands. Located in upmarket Mayfair, almost directly opposite The Connaught, it’s housed in a handsome red brick building.
Once inside, I was greeted by the reception team and whisked off downstairs to meet Heidi Donaldson, my Colour Technician. Heidi is a very experienced colourist, who first examined my hair and asked me what look I was hoping to achieve. I was keen for a strawberry blonde look for Summer. She explained that Olaplex repairs bonds in the hair shaft, improving the appearance and condition of your locks. It can be mixed in with a colouring treatment or used on its own. No more green hair then! Not that it’s ever happened to me, touch wood, but I have heard some hair colouring horror stories. Olaplex is actually very gentle, being free from aldehydes, phthalates, DEA, silicone, sulfates and not tested on animals.
Heidi told me that I have pretty thick hair but apparently that makes it more of a challenge to colour. Olaplex is a three-step process, with a Bond Multiplier liquid first applied to dry or towel-dried hair. This was massaged into my hair and left on for five minutes before the second stage, when the Bond Perfector is applied on top and left for 10 minutes. Then for the final stage, when the Bond Multiplier is mixed into the colour and applied to your hair. Heidi then placed me under a heat lamp so that the colour and treatment could work their magic.
Not long after, it was ready to be washed out and Heidi led me upstairs to her colleague Jack Gillott, a Style Director at the salon. Jack has been a hairdresser since 2001 and has worked with some of the top names. He really understands hair and quizzed me about my hair care routine so that the final cut would suit my lifestyle. I was impressed that he asked me to stand for the actual cut. I’ve come across this technique before, when I lived in France, and it seems to work very well.
Jack and I chatted as he snipped away and the time flew by. He checked that each side was even, which is always a good idea as my hair has a life of its own! He then set to work blow-drying it, transforming my locks into a glamorous style. Since then, the cut has kept its shape really nicely and the colour is luminous. I’m really pleased with my new look, they certainly got my hair ready for Summer. The Olaplex treatment seems to have given it a lovely shine and my colour hasn’t faded at all.
How would you change your hair if you were going for a whole new color or style?
Nicky Clarke, 11 Carlos Place, London W1K 3AX