How I Recovered From An Accidental Mohawk Mishap

About 10 months ago, I sat happily at my usual hairdresser, unaware of what was about to happen to my perfect blonde lob as I had a colour refresh. What transpired next has haunted me ever since - my hair snapped. I'm not talking a little bit of breakage at the ends, I mean I was sporting an 80s mohawk with a 2cm spike down my centre part.

So no, I couldn't really disguise this little (major) mishap, but luckily I'm a haircare buyer and I have my ways. I immediately switched to a side part and incorporated some heavy duty styling products to tame the mohawk. I was mortified to say the least. The photo below was taken in July, so imagine how short it was in February.


How Does Bleach Cause Breakage?

Scalp bleaching is a high-risk intense colour process that must be handled with precision and care, and is used to achieve a high impact blonde (think Lady Gaga circa 2010, or Christina Aguilera circa 2001). 

If the hairdresser overlaps the product, or the product swells with the heat from your head mixed with oxygen and touches the previously lightened hair, it can cause damage and/or breakage. But, I can't blame my hairdresser - I hadn't used my Olaplex No. 3 for 2 months.

They'd warned me to do this at-home treatment every week to maintain hair strength throughout my lightening process to reduce the risk of damage and breakage. Take it from me - listen to your hairdresser's advice, I had to learn the hard way.

How Did I Grow My Hair Back?

I started by rotating in any product that promised to help strengthen and repair my hair (including reintroducing Olaplex No.3). By the end of April, I'd also started taking Apotecari's Mane Event hair growth supplement, and then from June added the Hair Food powder which boosts hair strength and scalp health. To my delight, my hair started growing 2cm every 4 to 5 weeks instead of 1cm.

I then found myself in a meeting with the Olaplex team. After they saw the state of my hair (which I was hiding with a Trump-like comb-over), they asked if I needed professional help. Obviously, I obliged. That's when I was introduced to my hair best friend, Chantelle from Telleish Hair Studio.

On the 18th of July, I started my new hair journey with 8cm of mohawk growth. Chantelle immediately put me at ease, assessing the damage and giving me options that allowed me to stay blonde, but without the risk of another scalp bleach. We went ahead with 3/4 head of foils, with Olaplex No.1 and No.2 in-salon treatments, and only my side part had a toner to limit any further damage. The integrity of my hair came first. See the whole process below.

What Happened Next?

Now for my at-home care (aka, the most important part). Chantelle gave me a strict at-home haircare prescription to repair, strengthen, hydrate and tone my recovering tresses. I was also told to lower the heat when using my Cloud Nine Original Iron to 150 degrees. This is the maximum recommended temperature for damaged and fine hair.

This value set contains Olaplex No.3, 4 & 5 (treatment, shampoo and conditioner). The No.3 works by finding and reconnecting the broken bonds that make up the protein structure of the hair, while No.4 acts as a gentle cleansing shampoo for damaged hair, featuring the same bond rebuilding technology. You only need a small amount as once it emulsifies, it foams up lot. And then the No.5 is a restorative conditioner, specially formulated with Olaplex's signature reparative ingredients.

In addition to using my No.3 Treatment, I also relied on using this intensely hydrating moisture mask once a week. It deeply conditions, adds moisture, enhances shine, reduces frizz and greatly improves hair manageability. It's designed specifically to improve the condition of colour damaged, dry, coarse, frizzy hair.

To keep my blonde looking fresh, I used Fabuloso once a fortnight or whenever required. It's a purple toning conditioner that also hydrates and softens, while neutralising brassiness and preventing fading to amplify your platinum blonde shade. Your hairdresser can also add the professional strength Fabulouso into your Olaplex No.3 to reduce time in applying treatments at home.  

When styling, I use Olaplex No.6 to finish, and when I needed, Olaplex No.7 for extra shine and protection. No.6 is a leave-in reparative styling creme, suitable for all hair types. It strengthens, hydrates, protects and fights frizz. It also acts as a heat protectant and contains Olaplex's re-bonding active ingredient.

The Progress:

By October, at my third colour appointment at Telleish, the top section of hair had grown to 16cm and my hair felt strong again, and looked a hell of a lot healthier. The shorter pieces have now started to blend in and look more like deliberate layers as opposed to a mohawk.

The best advice I can give you is:

a) see a colour specialist if you're considering lightening your hair

b) use Olaplex during the lightening process, and as part of your at-home haircare routine

c) support your hair growth and strength with supplements like Apotecari (they worked for me!)


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