HG! This has been a way to "have my cake and eat it too!" I can go super blonde and yet miraculously have super healthy, silky looking and feeling hair! WOO-HOO!
My new stylist introduced me to Olaplex. She admitted that in her opinion, there were other options that may work better and for less money than the Olaplex 3, but highly recommended I get the Olaplex 1 and 2 during any bleach/color service. I appreciate her honesty, but I may try the Number 3 later on as I'm so impressed with the 1 and 2!
My natural level 5/6 hair always pulls an ugly gold/brass whenever I try to get the blonde I crave (which is a light 9/10ish cool ash blonde), unless the stylist uses sufficient bleach to lift it past the gold level. But then, the trade off for getting my dream blonde is ruined hair that feels like hay, straw, even a cotton candy texture if I'm really unlucky, and it needs loads of Argan oil just to begin to look presentable -- and even THEN, it continues to tangle and knot up no matter how much gentle combing and expensive products are used, with alarming amounts of breakage in the comb/brush and in the shower drain.
I took the plunge last week to go for a full heavy highlight over two thirds of my hair, just on the regrowth as I already had a partial highlight from a few months prior (also used Olaplex then). Even with 40 volume (wasn't on very long and no heat was used, but still, kinda scary) it does not look or feel like hair that just went through heavy bleaching! My stylist assured me I could maintain the health of my hair with the Olaplex and still get the light blonde I wanted, and she was right!I now finally have my desired blonde color and still have smooth, healthy looking hair! I keep running my hands through it as it feels so silky! It's not weird or coated feeling, just feels like healthy virgin hair, but plumped up (love that).
I could feel and see the difference even while still in the chair with wet hair, right after the toner was done. The comb slid through easily, and the texture was not all super rough as it usually is after bleaching. Hours later, after letting my hair air dry (didn't have time for a blowout), it felt and looked silky, smooth, shiny and soft, without the super dry tangled mess I'm used to after a highlight. I could brush my hair and not have tons of breakage - I actually didn't see any hair loss. I smoothed in about a pea size bit of Hask oil which made it look even shinier! I feel so much better about myself as I not only have the color I want, but my hair looks and feels healthy too! I can't stop touching my hair - it feels so thick and silky!
I will update if anything changes, but my earlier experience with Olaplex 1 and 2, used during my partial highlight, left my hair feeling and looking healthy for weeks afterwards, so I'm hopeful it will still hold true for my recent heavy highlighting.
Ok, after all my gushing, here's more background on my hair so you can judge if you may get similar results:
I'm 45 years old, about 25% wiry gray, with thick Caucasian hair that's mostly straight with some random wave. My hair's in decent shape since chopping off the severe damage I received from an attempt to get my dream color about two years ago. I rarely blow dry or heat style, and wash my hair about twice a week, lately using Kerastase Bain Satin 2 shampoo and Nutritive mask along with an occasional Matrix Brass Off mask**
The only other time I was able to get the beautiful neutral/ash light blonde of my dreams was a couple years ago at a Toni & Guy salon, but there was a big catch. It only lasted a week until the toner faded. Then I was left with dingy yellow hair with a brassy golden cast to it (have I mentioned that I HATE gold tones on me). Even worse, I had a ton of breakage, with hair that felt and looked like the texture of cotton candy.
** oh, that reminds me, I should leave a review for it, as it not only does a wonderful job keeping brass away, but makes my hair feel moisturized, which is a nice surprise as other purple shampoos and conditioners I've used have been very drying/tangle-inducing. The Matrix Color Obsessed mask is quite nice! It's described as:
"A neutralising mask to cool and lighten brassy tones in colour-treated hair. A unique treatment mask, Total Results Brass Off Color Obsessed Custom Neutralization Mask uses an ultra-high concentration of blue-violet pigments to neutralise and eliminate the brassy undertones in coloured hair. What's more, the nourishing formula helps to repair and protect fragile hair, resulting in ten times less breakage with continued use."