Olaplex explained

Hi have been getting quite a few enquiries about Olaplex, what it is and what it does. So in the interests of happy, educated clients I thought it would be a good idea to explain:

What is It?
simon clark hairdressing uses olaplex

olaplex at simon clark hairdressing

Well technically olaplex is, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Which is the single active ingredient mixed with water and a few other goodies to make it stable and easy to use. Forget about the big words I’ll explain it more simply in a second

Some back ground basics

Simpy put your hair is made up of Keratin, which intern contains a lot of the amino acid cystine. Cystine inturn contains a sulpher atom. When you put 2 of these amino acids side by side the sulpher atoms are able to join the 2 cystine molecules together by forming a disulpide bond.

It is this bond that gives hair its strength and shape. (This is the bond you break and reform when you perm or straighen hair.) Now when you are colouring hair, more particularily bleaching it the bleaching process also breaks these disuphide bonds. Interstingly, for reasons we won’t go into here, the peroxide used in the bleaching process can prevent these bonds from reforming. This is usually what leads to the damage to hair.

How does Olaplex work?

Now if you imagine these disulfide bonds as the stairs in a spiral stair case, then a stair case with broken stairs will not be any good. Olaplex is essenially a replacement stair and when mixxed with hair colour will seek out and repair broken disulfide bonds before the peroxide can prevent them from being repaired.

How long does it take?

Your Olaplex in coloring treatment consists of adding Olaplex to your bleach mixture. This can cause the mixture to develop about 30% slower. Most salons, us included over come this by bumping up the strength of the peroxide mixed. So it should add much if any time to your colour processing time. Interestingly this also seems to improve the effects of the Olaplex in preventing damage.

When should I use Olaplex?

At Simon Clark Hairdressing we recommend that you use Olaplex when ever you bleach or perm your hair. It is absolutely essential to prevent damage when making dramatic color changes. Beyond that if you are just doing your normal month to month hair colouring, then your normal in salon and at home after care like, Wella’s oil refections should be more than suffient.

Remember you can book your next hair appointment online at www.simonclarkhairdressing.co.za

Toners, glazes and getting the perfect highlighted colour

There are few things I used to despise more than toners! Generally I viewed them as a money making exercise for hairdressers. Well what’s changed? In some senses not much. Apart from a much better understanding of glazes. I still despise toners, but I understand the rational behind them better.

So what is the difference between the two? Again, not much, so lets start with toners:


Are usually used when a hairdresser has F#$&ed up! (Probably why I despise them so much)  Generally speaking and if you have highlighted your hair regularly I am sure you will have had this experience. A toner consists of:

  1. Having your hair rinsed
  2. Hairdresser mixing colour
  3. Shampooist / hairdresser applying colour faster than Wayde van Niekerk can run.
  4. Hairdresser develops colour a little longer than Wayde van Niekerk runs the 400m
  5. Shampooist / hairdresser gets client to basin faster and rinses faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100m
  6. Client leaves salon with:
  • Perfect coloured hair/
  • Purple rinse that they are assured will wash out in a day or two
  1. Glaze washes out well before next appointment and client is stuck using purple shampoo.

Well if you’re cooking, a glaze is a glossy coating. If you are doing pottery it is a coating fused to the outside, or if your painting it is a layer of paint thinned so as to be somewhat transparent. The last is perhaps the closest to the definition of a glaze as used in hairdressing.

There are 2 ways of glazing in our understanding:

  • The first is you mix your colour with developing lotion, read peroxide and a condition/treatment as a diluent.
  • In the second is you use a pastel developer (usually about 1/3 the strength of normal developer)
  • Both of the above mean that a glaze can not make the colour it is applied to lighter it can just add other colour to it.

Either work equally well! Now is however the time to point out the key difference between a glaze and a toner, if done properly: In a toner the colour is rinsed when the hairdresser thinks it has developed to the right colour. While in a glaze the colour is developed to completion. The net result of this is if done properly is glazes are:

  • More precise as the colour is developed to completion.
  • Far more durable as a colour developed to completion is less likely to wash out.
  • Usually take much longer and use more colour.
  • Cost far more to do.

Where as with a toner you have a lot of half developed colour molecules who don’t quite know what they are supposed to do. Which is probably why they rinse out of your hair so quickly. And it is so easy to get purple hair!

Why I despise toners
  • Any idiot can highlight hair and then cover up the fact that they did not rinse at the proper time to get a decent highlight with a toner. (Good luck will ensure that a toner will give the right result most of the time)

However with modern colour cooler shades are becoming more and more requested and it takes real skill to:

    • Develop the highlights until they are light enough to achieve the target shade.
    • Select the correct glaze and develop accordingly to achieve it.

Yes, I dare say, I may be going soft in my old age, but the more I work with glazes the more I believe they are a legitimate part of a colourists tool bag. They allow me to guarantee a clients colour every time with a precision I can not do with highlights alone. Glazes can also do this in some instances faster than I can do with highlights alone, even including their extra development time. They also allow me to guarantee with reasonable certainty that my clients colour will last between appointments.

The Way of the future

I am reading more an more of , and using more often too, double glazing techniques. No I am not talking about windows, but rather a process where not one but 2 or sometimes 3 or 4 glazes

Usnig 2 differenet glazes instead of a toner at Simon Clark Hairdressing

Using 2 different glazes instead of toners to kill chicken fat yellow at Simon Clark Hairdressing the best hair salon in Port Elizabeth

are applied one after the other or in combination to achieve the desired result The picture along side was done using a full head of foils using 2 different strengths of highlighting mixture and then doing another full head of foils using 2 different glazes. A simple analogy is you would not expect an artist to create an master piece using one colour,  so how can you expect your hairdresser? This though is a topic for another blog. Modern hair colour is no longer a case of just doing a few highlights and the slapping on a toner. If you want a colour that will stand out from the crowd it will take a little time, but at the end of the day, if you have the right hairdresser, it will be time and money well spent!

To see more of our great colours follow us at www.facebook.com/schairdressing or visit www.simonclarkhairdressing.co.za to book your appointment.

Everything you want to know about the Sweet First Shampoo to straighten hair

So the Sweet First Shampoo to straighten hair, is taking the market by storm and almost everyone is rushing to offer a better price, on

Before and after showing the Sweet First shampoo straighten hair

Before and after showing the Sweet First shampoo straighten hair

the newest kid on the block. So, having trained on the product with trainers from Sweet, what do you need to know?


Is The Sweet first shampoo faster ?

Well yes and no. I was once taught by a wise engineer, you can have fast, good or cheap, now pick two! If it is fast and good it won’t be cheap! Likewise if it is cheap and fast it won’t be good! So which is it? As above, the truth is somewhere in the middle. It is definitely faster to do than a traditional Brazilian (this is what I can tell from reading) However you need to follow certain processes properly and this takes time. It is definitely not something you can whack off in an hour and half!

So how long will it take? simon Clark hairdressing book online tab (400 x 288)

Work on 2-3 hours unless you have a real mop in which case it might take a bit longer.  You can get an idea of how long you should allow and book your appointment here:

Do I need to use special shampoo?

No not really, your cheap and nasty supermarket shampoos won’t damage it, but a good shampoo will definitely get your hair looking better!

Can I colour my hair?

Yes immediately after your treatment? You can even swim in salt water. You can also colour and then straighten, but it does strip colour from hair so this is perhaps not the best idea. (unless you had a home job boo boo in which case…. ) You can even do it on top of a relaxer or use it to fix that perm you are now regretting.

Will it irritate my scalp?

The shampoo has the same ingredients as most facial peels so some tingling is to be expected, but nothing serious. If it goes beyond this shout for help!

How long will it last?

Depending on who you talk to, but 3-4 months seem to be the numbers being quoted. Truth is we don’t really know yet. If you want the real answer come back in January. In the meantime, it seems to work and our clients have yet to complain…

Does it have any Formaldehyde? Not it does not contain any.

Is it safe?

Well I would not drink it, I would not drink shower gel either, as a number of the ingredients, are toxic if drunk, but that aside and the note below I am completely confident in it’s safety

Is there anything else I need to know?

The product contains Aspirin, so if you are allergic to aspirin I would have a sensitivity test before doing it. (I might even think twice about even trying the sensitivity test in this instance. So talk to your doctor first… !!) Likewise I would take care during pregnancy. Yes I know they, the manufacturers say it is safe, but lets be sensible about it. I, and I admit this is my personal opinion, think we need a little more info here. Aspirin is contra indicated in pregnancy and I for one do not want to cause any complications.

So all in all should you use the Sweet First Shampoo ? If you are not allergic to aspirin or pregnant I can’t see why not. Based on the results we are producing it really seems to do what it says it will on the bottle. Just don’t go to a salon that claims they can do it in under 2 hours as all you are likely to get is fast and cheap!