Anything J-Lo and Kim K touch turns to gold, so it's no shocker that the beauty world was overjoyed when they announced the secret to their shiny manes -- it was a product called Olaplex.
How else do you think the infamous Kardashian went platinum blonde and back to brunette in a week without frying her locks?
The single-ingredient wonder has created quite the buzz in recent months as it claims to reverse the damage that's been done to your hair due to years of heat contact and hair colouring and shield it from further deterioration.
Does it live up to the mark? Is it truly as revolutionary as the hype suggests?
I tried it so you don't have to!
The chemistry between us: what is Olaplex?
I began dying my hair at the mere age of 16; the first time, I dyed it an oxblood maroon. Needless to say, I looked ridiculous but it's become a peculiar right of passage. And that was it, I was hooked. Since then, I've dyed my hair more times than I can count, and the toll it's taken on my hair is painfully evident.
Oiling, protein treatments, velvet treatments -- you name it and I've probably tried it. But still, I don't nurture my hair as much as I should, I'm too lazy and never follow-up any of these salon treats regularly because after one wash, the effects seem to disappear anyway.
That's because those treatments work on a superficial level, only making your hair look healthy on the surface. Olaplex, on the other hand, claims to work on a cellular level, in a way that it revitalizes your dull hair from the inside out.
In short, Olaplex is the full-throttle cousin of a deep conditioning treatment which repairs broken sulfur bonds in your hair structure that have been broken down due to chemicals, mechanical force and heat being applied. It bonds and seals your hair, a first of it's kind.
It can be used as part of colour routine, that is mixed with the hair dye to minimize damage or used as an independent treatment to nourish the hair.
Saba Khan, the cosmetic aesthetician running Curl Up & Dye, explains: "Sadly, the culture in salons here is very different to the one they have overseas. The integrity of a client's hair doesn't mean much but this product, it's almost like hair insurance; it's about doing your client a favour and yourself a favour -- if someone wants to go drastically light with their hair colour, I refuse to do it without Olaplex!"
"You can go blonde, you can go white, you can do whatever you want to your hair now without worrying it's going to become lackluster!"
What makes it all the more legitimate is the fact that it's not just the brainchild of a stylist but the perfect marriage of a chemist, Craig Hawker, and a beauty-industry entrepreneur, Dean Christal, coming together to create something that will transform the hair industry as we know it.
Years of damage go down the drain?
To see if I could be convinced to join the bandwagon, I showed up at the adorable Curl Up & Dye salon, one of the first few in Karachi to offer the product, to get my stand-alone Olaplex salon treatment.
One of the girls at the salon sat me down at the sink, doused my hair in the Bond Multiplier from root to tip and after five minutes, she applied the Bond Perfector, which you can also purchase and use at home once a week for maintenance.
It took all of 15 minutes and I was out of the chair and ready to get my hair blow-dried. Sounds too good to be true right? That can't be all it takes, right? It truly was!
I ran my fingers through my hair -- and my fingers didn't get stuck a single time! The strands were softer, I could feel more volume. Even so, I was skeptical. Everything looks good under the pretty salon lights; things change drastically when you go home, wash your hair yourself and examine it in its natural state, without the blow-out.
5 washes and a week later, my hair still feels smoother than it did prior to the treatment. A stand-alone treatment at the salon will set you back Rs. 1500, which will probably be the best money you'll ever spend on haircare! I know an Olaplex treatment is going to become a biweekly regimen; what can I say, I'm a convert!