Oftentimes brands claiming to serve “everyone” don’t actually create products with all consumers in mind. (Picture the sunscreen that says it has “no white cast” but looks pasty out on darker skin tones. Or the “hydrating conditioner” that leaves your tight curls dry and thirsty.)
That’s what makes Olaplex different, though. When the brand says they make products designed for all hair types, they truly mean all hair types—from kinky, to curly, to straight, to wavy. Inclusivity is inextricable from the brand’s mission, explains CEO, Ju E Wong, who grew up in Singapore.
“Being an Asian female, I have experienced my fair share of being excluded or stereotyped,” she tells thirteen lune.
That said, with her leadership, Wong has ensured that Olaplex acts as an ally brand in the industry, providing products that make a genuine impact on all hair types instead of just catering to a white, straight-haired, eurocentric audience.
“For me, it is more than inclusivity,” Wong explains. “It is about consciously not excluding.”
This means that when you use Olaplex formulas, you’re getting sulfate-free, zero-build up products that instill shine, softness and moisture from roots to ends—regardless of your hair texture.
“I believe in all things being equal.” For Wong, this equality not only looks like serving up products designed for all, but also, in day-to-day life, “opening doors, removing glass ceilings, and consciously stretching ourselves to help people different from us,” she explains.
Ultimately, Olaplex will continue to be an ally for those across the beauty industry and beyond. “Allyship is an opportunity to leverage one's reach and influence for the greater good,” Wong says. Are you taking notes?
GET TO KNOW – JUE WONG
How has your background influenced your work and products?
My inclination is always to ask for “proof.” I evaluate the relevance and potential of everything that comes my way with the same instinct.
What excites and inspires you about the beauty industry today?
Adopting the advancement and speed of technology to drive Innovation. Also, gathering consumer insights and serving up personalized results to and for everyone. With technology, the ability to scale personalization is here and now.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
Prevention is better than treating a problem. But, if I already have the damage, then I want to lean in on science and technology to serve up the results. I continue to use the products of every clinical brand I have worked for. It’s the reason why I have a medicine cabinet the size of a small clothing closet!
What were some early beauty influences for you?
I wish I listened to my mother more when I was growing up to protect myself more from the sun. I saw that as vanity. Today I realize—having worked for three dermatology brands and alongside the dermatologists behind them—that if there is a cancer that can be prevented and eradicated, it is skin cancer.
What does self-care look like in your life?
I have my sacred self-care Sunday. It’s sacred, because I let nothing come between me and this personal time. I wake up and put on my running clothes and run about two miles, to and back from Central Park. I make myself the most decadent breakfast; Usually bacon, eggs, avocados, and toast with vegemite. (Yes, the hangover from my college days in Australia). I put on my Olaplex No. 0 and a glycolic face peel while having breakfast, simultaneously watching Sunday Today with Willie Geist. I follow that with my Olaplex No. 3, rinse off the peel, apply a hydrating face mask, and continue my television time with Open House NYC on NBC. In about 15 minutes, I shower and rinse off my No. 3, shampoo with my No. 4, and rinse off my face mask. I then follow this with my Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Hair Mask. I also have a cellulose facial sheet mask on. After about 15 minutes, I step back into the shower to rinse off my hair mask. By this time, I am dressed and I will then read, listen to Audibles, or create a social media post while my hair dries. Then I get ready to meet my friends for brunch.