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Extreme hair colour changes: The Chapel’s tips on care and maintenance

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Recolouring hair has long been part of humankind's beauty ritual. Even back in ancient Rome, citizens were actively bleaching to blonde, while across the Med in Egypt, Cleopatra's jet-black locks sparked a copycat fashion for darkening fairer hair with a cocktail of olive oil and, you've guessed it, the blood of a black cat.

This might sound extreme, but fast forward to today and you realise that not much has changed. Whilst taking the plunge and dying your hair is a great way to keep your style fresh and creative, we can't ignore the effects of some of the chemicals safely tucked within the standard box colour kit. It's important to stay savvy to the effects these can have on our tresses, and figure out what we can do to protect them from getting damaged.

Our addiction to drastic dyeing remains undiminished. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 70% of women and 12% of men artificially colour their hair at some point in their lives. Increasingly, more people are opting for radical colour changes rather than complementary tints to keep up with the latest tonal trends. Which is why we decided it's high time to take a look at the very best methods and treatments for getting hair protected and repaired as soon as the deed's been done.

Solution 1: Aftercare

All chemical processes reduce the elasticity of your hair, damaging the protective exterior cuticle layer and sapping its natural moisture within. As a result hair is left porous, dry, and brittle. Heavy bleaching is one of the most damaging treatments hair can undergo -- using the strongest colouring agents, and taking the longest to work effectively. Colouring also leaves hair vulnerable to adverse effects of other chemicals (why so many holiday blondes end up swimming-pool green), so you need to get working on your hair's R&R as soon as your shade is in.

Every strand of hair can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water, so make sure parched and depleted tresses receive a proper rejuvenating tonic. After all that artificial stress, it's time to turn to Mother Nature for first aid: coconut, olive and almond oils form the holy trinity of nourishment when it comes to your regular deep conditioning care regime.

Coconut oil adds strength and vitality to hair, olive oil improves suppleness and protects hair against breakage, while almond oil helps lock in the moisture heavily-dyed hair needs.

For those following on at home, try this: warm a cup containing coconut oil with two teaspoons of olive and almond oil. Massage gently into the scalp, working towards the ends, and then leave for thirty minutes before rinsing out with a mild (paraben-free) shampoo. Repeat this process two or three times a week, and your hair condition should visibly improve within the first couple of months.

Another way to revitalise parched locks is with a deep conditioning mask. One of our all-time favourites is Kerastase Nutritive Masquintense -- a worldwide bestseller, and the first commercial hair mask on the market. Apply once a week directly after shampooing, comb through with a wide-toothed comb, and leave in for the specified time. Rinse out before conditioning, and the mask's sophisticated blend of glucose and proteins should rapidly replenish moisture and restore vital nutrients. There are even separate formulas available for thick and fine hair.

Solution 2: Science

As much as we trust in nature for hair repair, when it comes to working beauty miracles against chemicals, science is essential. Which is why we're delighted to introduce Olaplex, and this time believe the hype - because this product is about to change the way we colour hair forever!  

Thanks to some clever chemistry, a compound has been developed with the ability to re-build bonds broken by heat and chemicals that form the link between keratin proteins in hair. These bonds essentially give hair much of its shape and strength. Put simply, add Olaplex to any colour treatment, however harsh, and hair can undergo radical transformations with total protection, and even improve of hair condition.

Having gone down a storm in salons all over the United States (not to mention becoming a staple in the toolkit of celebrity colourists, such as the Kardashian's Tracy Cunningham), we're ecstatic Olaplex has finally arrived over here. No one is more excited than our Islington Salon Director and chief colour guru Billie Cragow:

"Olaplex is a complete game-changer for the colour world," she says. "It allows us to colour hair that may have previously been too damaged. It means we can reach colours that were previously unsuitable for certain hair types, as it leaves all hair feeling as if it hasn't even been treated!".

Feel like you're ready to take a walk on the wild side, and go for the colour you've always dreamed of? Have a chat with one of our colouring experts and find out what we can do for you!

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