I’m a Hair Color Addict: This is What Saved My Hair

Rachel Adler

I am what some would describe as a hair color addict. I notice the second my tone starts to change, and if I see roots, I book it straight back to the salon chair. Luckily, my long-time colorist at Bumble, Zoe Wiepert and I see very much eye to eye on all things color, and labor over inspiration images until we get the perfect hue.

I’m not just talking icy white (my favorite shade to be)—I’ve been purple, pink, green, blue and about every other shade of the rainbow. But of course, all of this toning and processing takes a toll on my hair. Horror of horrors, I even had to take a break for 6 whole months and go back to my natural dirty blonde shade; it was pure torture, although I did rock some Beyoncé roots a la her self-titled album.

Luckily, just when I knew I couldn’t hack it as a natural blonde any longer, the color gods introduced Olaplex, a product that links broken bonds in the hair both during and after chemical services to make your hair stronger. I rejoiced, and immediately bleached my hair. The results were amazing—I had pure white strands like I had always wanted, and they were silky soft sans breakage. Even after I washed the first time, my hair wasn’t a frizzy, dry mess (and for those of you who bleach, you know that is a wonderful thing).

The miracle protectant did come with some cons though—even though my hair is naturally light, it practically doubled the length of my bleaching process, taking about 6 hours in the chair. I also noticed that I didn’t stay icy white as long; my hair quickly faded to a brassy yellow, which is something that I work really hard to delay. Olaplex itself is yellow, and even though I have no proof, I suspect my brassy situation might be because of this.


Going all gray with Olaplex (look at those soft strands)!

So, back to the salon chair I went to tone (obviously) and we tried a very on-trend silver style—which was fabulous for a week, and then faded out in weird streaks. What was going on?? I called up my colorist who told me we would try another Olaplex-like product that she just discovered at a hair trade show, B3 Brazilian Bond Builder, the next time I came in. Coincidentally, I was meeting with the director of education for the brand, Alfredo Luciano, the next day, and I needed to know more.

MORE: How to Dye Dark Hair Pastel

Just a few weeks later I was blonde and brassy (with some hidden gray at the bottom).

Just a few weeks later I was blonde and brassy (with some hidden gray at the bottom).

Alfredo told me that Brazilian Bond Builder was made by the founders of Brazilian Blowout, and it uses a specially engineered co-polymer that’s combined with a targeted delivery system that helps to reattach and build bonds as you color. You simply mix the tube of protectant into your dye, and it saves your hair (little known fact: it’s also what saved Kim Kardashian’s strands when she bleached for a day and then swapped back). Generally, people who color their hair have damage due to the fact that you’ve continuously opened your hair’s cuticle again and again to color—a bond builder helps to reattach that cuticle and give you stronger, healthier hair for the future.


Ice, ice, baby. Icy white with Brazilian Bond Builder.

I was intrigued, so for my next color process we tried out Brazilian Bond Builder—this time I opted for my favorite icy white and told my colorist I would report back with all results. Much to our surprise, my white lasted a full four to five weeks—and my hair felt as great as it did after Olaplex. When I went back in to see her, we decided to give the Brazilian Bond Builder another test, this time trying it out with a color, going for a grey/lavender mix since we weren’t convinced it would really be able to hold a “fun” color without a quick fade time.

MORE: Pastel Hair Color: The Truth Behind the Maintenance

A gorgeous lavender/gray fade sitting in the salon chair.

A gorgeous lavender/gray fade sitting in the salon chair.

We were clearly wrong—I’m currently on week four of my lavender shade, and while all of the purple washed out in about two weeks, the grey tint stuck around, which really impressed me. After a good four weeks of washing and styling a color like this, I’m usually back to a clean white, or getting Zoe to refresh my color—or worse, left streaky and patchy (looking at you, Olaplex). Currently, I’m an ashy light grey, and I think white is right around the corner; the fact that Brazilian Bond Builder gave me such long-lasting color with a very slow fade has totally won me over. And did I mention that it left my hair feeling incredibly soft and healthy? That I can get results like this without half of my hair breaking off is a serious bleach miracle.

Like I said earlier—I’m a hair color addict. But I’m an addict who has finally found something that gives me the color that I want AND will keep me from going bald; how could I not share the Brazilian Bond Builder wealth?

My faded out gray/lavender hue – don't mind my frown, the bird didn't want to be my friend.

My faded out gray/lavender hue – don’t mind my frown, the bird didn’t want to be my friend.