How To Bleach Your Hair Without Ruining It

Photographed by Collins Nai

meet a true miracle product

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that bleaching your hair isn't great for it. We've all witnessed the dry, brittle mess that generally results from lightening hair, which is a problem if you want to be blonder or try any of those pretty pastel colors that are so in right now. However, thanks to a new product technology called Olaplex, bleach-related damage—and hair damage in general—is about to be a thing of the past. Yes, really.
There are tons of products that claim to repair hair, from proteins that make it feel stronger to keratin which smooths the cuticle. Those treatments work on a superficial level, making your hair appear healthier without actually healing it. Olaplex, though, works on a cellular level. As Shaun SureThing, lead stylist and co-owner of Seagull Salon, explained to me, "It actually repairs the bonds of hair like little workers coming in and soldering chain links together." It doesn't just make your hair look better; it reconnects the broken chain links in the hair's cells. Pretty cool stuff.
Olaplex contains the ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, but if that means nothing to you, Shaun says to think about it as more of a chemical process than an ingredient. He says, "It's a combination of molecules and polymers that that act to seek out the natural disulfite bonds in hair and attach themselves, resulting in strong chain links. It's kind of magic." What this means for your hair is that the damage that occurs from bleach can actually be almost reversed. In fact, it allows colorists to lift significantly more color from hair without worrying about damage: "We can push past yellow into pale yellow and white with the confidence that the hair won't break," Shaun says, "which is key in terms of pastels and platinums."
For the most part, Olaplex is currently used alongside damaging chemical hair treatments. But Shaun says he's seen success from using it on its own. "I've been experimenting with clients who say their hair just won't grow past their shoulders, and it's been amazing. Women who had given up on growing their hair have found new hope." He says that instead of cutting off a few inches of split ends, he treats the ends with Olaplex, and the results are nothing short of amazing—instead of cutting three inches off, he can just cut off one, which lets clients grow their hair longer than ever before. 
So, after hearing about the wonders of Olaplex for a few months, I decided it was time to try it for myself. I asked Shaun to take my warm medium-blonde to an icy, pastel pink/purple—and was promised that despite the fact that this would involve coating my locks in bleach, my hair would be even healthier than it was before.
As of right now, you can only get an Olaplex treatment in salons. It was a three-step process: First, Olaplex was mixed with the lightener, and applied to my head, which repairs the broken bonds in the hair while the color lifts. Then, after the chemical color process was complete, another round of Olaplex was applied. Shaun clarifies, "This isn't a conditioner. It's more like a second step to make sure the hair bonds and links are set up in a perfect chain." Shaun sent me home with Olaplex #3, which is a take-home product that uses the same technology to maintain the hair between salon visits. I've been using it about once a week like a hair mask on damp hair before I shampoo it. 
So, after my hair was bleached out and dyed a mix of lavender and pale pink using Wella's Illumina Color, Shaun blow dried my hair to reveal pastel locks that were softest, strongest, and healthiest my hair has been since I first started dyeing it. And every time I use the take-home Olaplex, it feels even healthier. I've worked in the beauty world for years, and this is one of the very few science-based products that truly delivers on its promise. From now on, I will never let a colorist dye my hair unless they use it. Why damage your hair if you don't have to? While most salons aren't currently advertising whether or not they use it, it doesn't hurt to just call and ask when you book your appointment.
Check out the before and after pictures of my hair in the gallery above. 

Photos by Collins Nai

Before: Brittle, sad blonde. My hair has been bleached and toned so many times, I've lost count.

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.