I Ditched My Blonde Hair For Good — & This $30 Oil Fixed The Damage

Olaplex Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil$28.00 Buy

I don't live my life with regrets, but that doesn't mean there aren't a handful of damaging decisions that — looking back now — I'd probably never make again. For example, I decided to shave my arms in middle school, which proved to be a sensorial experience I did not enjoy. Two years ago, I bleached my eyebrows after a particularly bad breakup. It was fun, but my friends have since informed me that I looked less like Bella Hadid in Paper and more like Jadis the White Witch of Narnia. Fine. More recently, I bleached my naturally-brunette hair. While the memories are good, the breakage left behind is less than ideal.

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Here's the thing: It's really hard to fix the kind of damage peroxide and bleach create, but that hasn't stopped me from trying to ease the dryness and breakage over the past six months. Several hair masks and damage-reversing shampoos later, the magic product that changed my hair ended up being a 1 oz. bottle of liquid gold, better known as Olaplex's No. 7 Bonding Oil.

Before using, Olaplex ambassador and hair colorist Chad Kenyon told me that the "ultra lightweight" oil wouldn't weigh my hair down, which makes it perfect for both damp or dry application. Not only would it instantly make my hair shiny and soft, but it would also protect it from heat — both from hot tools and UV rays from the sun. Better still, he said although it's a lovely product to revive second-day dullness, it's even more effective as a priming potion to prep and detangle after washing. Turns out, he was right about everything.

Unlike its popular older sister, the Hair Perfector No. 3, this oil takes two seconds to apply and even less time to show results. After using, my hair is visibly radiant, soft to the touch, and, believe it or not, I haven't seen a strand of damage since adding it to my regular wash routine. For so long I was plagued with cotton candy-like texture at my roots (high volumes of bleach will do that to a person), but now: back to normal. The product is also said to extend the longevity of your hair color. While I don't have scientific proof of this, I can say that I haven't had to touch-up my brunette color (which is usually created with a demi-permanent dye) in over three months since using this product. A coincidence? I think not.

But what makes this oil so much better than its competition? Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, otherwise known as Olaplex's secret sauce, which is the hero ingredient that actively restores broken bonds in the hair. Better still, it doesn't discriminate, fixing weak and broken bonds anywhere on the hair shaft. This is also the same ingredient that prevents bleach and other coloring agents from breaking disulfide bonds in the first place when used by your colorist during your color service. You'll also find grape seed oil — a deeply nourishing ingredient packed with essential fatty acids — and fermented green tea oil (promotes hair growth) inside this tiny bottle.

Like I said, it's not actual gold, but it might as well be.

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