Silicone Mythbusting (with Video)

Silicone Mythbusting Video

This post is sponsored by Grant Industries. Silicones are one of the Big Bad ingredients in skincare, make-up and haircare. They’ve been demonised by natural brands, and there are more warnings about them than you can count. So I was delighted when Grant Industries (ingredient manufacturer, maker of Granactive Retinoid, physical sunscreens and of course, silicones) asked me to do a …

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How Do Different Types of Hair Dye Work? The Science

hair-dye-science

Dyeing your hair is one of the easiest ways to change up your appearance. It’s quick and low maintenance, but the science behind it is actually very interesting. The Structure of Hair To understand what happens, first we need know what exactly a strand of hair contains. Each strand of hair is made up of three layers: Medulla – This …

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Amodimethicone: The Science of My Favourite Hair Ingredient

Amodimethicone: My New Favourite Hair Ingredient

Since I bleached my hair and dyed it purple (and am now slowly shifting to pink), my hair care needs have changed massively. Typical straight, black East Asian hair naturally has low porosity, with the outside cuticle lying very flat. This means that water and other ingredients don’t go in or out of the hair strand easily, so using the …

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My Asian Hair Bleaching Experience (Video)

Video-Bleaching-Asian-Hair

Today’s video is about my hair bleaching experience, back in July! A bit of background: The last time I had my hair coloured in a salon was in 2009. Those were the days before Olaplex, when hairdressers would just look at my coarse black Asian hair and shake their heads sadly. When I say coarse, I mean my hair should …

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How Does Olaplex Hair Treatment Work?

Olaplex 2 & 3: How Does Olaplex Hair Treatment Work?

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a line of hair repair, “bond building” treatments that’s getting heaps of buzz in the hair community, especially with people who have damaged hair from excessive bleach. It’s available in a couple of forms – Olaplex can be mixed in with bleaching products to minimise damage, or it can be used as a separate treatment. Here’s the science behind how it “repairs” disulfide bonds in hair.

Note (August 2018): I’ve updated this post, and there’s a video version now as well – click here to watch it!

olaplex-product-photo

The active ingredient in Olaplex is a compound called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. This is a slightly ambiguous name, but I’m pretty sure it matches this structure in the patent:

olaplex-structure

What does Olaplex claim to do?

Olaplex claims to “reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair.” The treatment is labelled a “bond multiplier”, which limits damage to hair during or after colouring.

A lot of people with damaged hair have managed to get amazing results from Olaplex. Here’s my friend Mary, who got her natural curl texture back with a single Olaplex treatment:

olaplex-before-after

So suffice to say, it definitely does something! But is it as revolutionary as the hype makes it out to be?

How does Olaplex’s claims stand up?

Background

First up, a bit of basic hair chemistry. I’ve posted about hair chemistry before in my explanation of how hair straightening and perming work, but here’s a quick recap:

Hair contains lots of keratin proteins, which has the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine is special because it contains a sulfur (S) atom. Normally, two sulfurs will join together to form a disulfide bond (S-S), creating a link between two proteins:

All these proteins holding hands is partially responsible for your hair’s overall shape and strength. When hair is permed or straightened, these bonds are deliberately broken into two SH (“free thiol”) groups, and then reformed after the hair is pulled into its new shape. Re-forming these bonds typically takes a few days (hence not washing your hair for a few days after perming, since it warps the shape).

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What to Expect After You Bleach Your Asian Hair

Purple asian hair after bleaching

I had my hair bleached to white and dyed it purple a little while back. Even though I read a ton of articles about how what to expect and how to look after bleached Asian hair, I was still really surprised by the change in haircare required! Here’s my tips and advice on what to expect when you get extreme bleaching done…

Bleached white Asian hair - What to Expect After You Bleach Your Asian Hair
My hair colour before the purple got put in

Your hair will feel completely different

Pre-bleach, my hair was smooth, shiny and strong, even when I didn’t use much conditioner. Like most Asian hair, it had low porosity, which meant the cuticle of the hair formed a tight layer on the surface of the hair. It felt pretty much the same wet and dry, and was pretty stiff and springy.

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Instagram Live Q&A session: 30 July 2018

Instagram Live Q&A session: 30 July 2018

I did my first Instagram Live session earlier this week, where I fielded questions and answered them to the best of my ability – it was basically a pop quiz for me! The questions were mostly about skincare (of course), but there were a few about hair and cats as well. I tried to answer as many questions as I …

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DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

Like most people with long hair, I have a million hair ties and bobby pins that end up strewn all over the bathroom. I’ve tried organising them with jars and hooks, but it never seems to stick.

I recently saw two life hacks for how to keep everything neat: a magnetic strip for bobby pins, and carabiner clips for holding hair ties. Why not combine the two into a not-entirely-ugly organiser and stick it to the wall? Yeah, that’s what I did. I’m a low-key genius.

DIY Hair Tie & Bobby Pin Organiser: Tutorial

To put hair ties into the holder, you can just press the hair tie in and it’ll click into place. Taking the hair ties out is slightly more effort but much less than scrambling around trying to dig one out of who-knows-where.

DIY Hair Tie Organiser

You want one too? You’re in luck, I have instructions!

DIY Hair Tie Organiser

What you need

  • A5 piece of perspex (Amazon, eBay): You can go larger or smaller depending on your hair accessory holding requirements, but this works great for me. Shiny works best with the suction cups. I went for opaque because I didn’t want to see the cups, and black because everything matches it.
  • Double sided suction cups (Amazon, eBay): This is what I’m using to fix the perspex to my wall. I like this because it doesn’t leave any marks on the wall or the perspex, but unfortunately the quality of these is pretty variable so in the pack of 10 I received I had 2 deformed ones. I also considered using a double-sided pad covered in tiny suction cups but it didn’t work at all.
  • Adhesive magnetic strips (Amazon, eBay): I got the 15 mm wide strip with adhesive already attached.
  • Carabiners (Amazon, eBay): I used carabiners that were around 4 cm (1.5 inches) long. I bought these specifically because the non-clip side was completely flat, so it would have a larger contact area when I stuck it to the perspex. The number will depend on the size of your perspex but I found that placing them around 6 cm (2.5 inches) apart was perfect.
  • Gorilla glue (Amazon, eBay): I’m sure other glues will work, but this is what the guy at the hardware store recommended and he knows more than me. I suspect that a slightly less brittle glue might actually be better. (Edit: I’ve since replaced it with silicone glue and yes, it does work better!)

I bought everything except the glue off eBay, but it took weeks to get to me. If you aren’t rushed, at current eBay prices it works out to be less than $15 AUD. Bargain!

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