The 3 Ounce Bottle of Hair Repair That Reversed My Color-Induced Damage

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Over the past year, I’ve continued to gradually make my hair lighter. What started off as more of a sombré color quickly escalated into nearly a full head of blond locks. As much as I love the brighter, lighter color, it has definitely done a number on my hair. What were once silky-smooth ribbons of hair has quickly taken a turn for the worse and morphed into frizzy, ragged ends that are dry and ready to snap off in a split second.

Worried that I had done severe, irreparable damage to my hair, I frantically texted my colorist Alen M. and explained my current state of curls. All the conditioners, hair oils and masks were barely making a dent in the degree of dryness, but when Alen mentioned Olaplex to me, I stopped and thought to myself, “How could I have not even thought about that myself, being a beauty editor and all.” He explicitly gave me instructions to use it at least once a week, leaving it on for no less than 10 minutes at a time. Of course, I took it one step further and started using it two to three times a week (basically, every time I wash my hair) and letting it saturate my parched strands for 30 to 45 minutes, if not longer.

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Different from hair conditioner or even a hair mask, Olaplex is a three-step system (steps one and two are done in the salon and added into your color formula by your colorist; step three is the take-home step that saved my hair) that literally rebuilds broken, damaged hair, regardless of the cause. Known as the Hair Perfector ($28), the rinse-out formula contains the same ingredients found in the professional versions of Olaplex that, according to the company’s website, “relinks the broken disulfide bonds in every type of hair providing real, structural repair that works from within.”

No matter if you apply Olaplex step three to freshly washed hair (if you are an avid user of products that contain a lot of oil or silicone, it’s a good idea to shampoo first) or dry hair (you may need more product to fully saturate your strands), the end result is the same: soft, shiny strands that feel like the hair you love and know. I can attest to that because this is the only thing that makes my hair feel good—it really works!

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