How to use Olaplex: what each product does and when to use it (2023)

Demystifying specific ingredients, explaining how to apply products and revealing everything you always wanted to know about skin types;Eliza explainswill fill you with knowledge of beauty.

The word game changer is used rather loosely in the beauty industry; We often receive many false promises about the "life-changing" properties of a new nail polish ormask, for example.

So I don't mean it lightly when I say that it was in 2014 that hair brand Olaplex entered our collective consciousness -- and our shopping basketsactuallychange game.

There are even a number of celebrities fighting to join the fan clubSpider ManactressLaura Harrieronce joking, "I'm a member of the Olaplex fan club—probably even president."

Everyone from Anya Taylor-Joy toKim Kardashianare also self-confessed supporters of the hair strengthener. So what's so special about it?

What is Olaplex and how does it work?

If you have never heardOlaplexor not sure what it's doing, listen up.

In short, the science behind Olaplex is as follows. The brand uses a proprietary molecule (bisaminopropyl diglycol, if you're trying to impress your friends) that works from within your hair to repair broken bonds.

Fixing broken bindings (that fray a bitcoloring, heat and general wear and tear) strengthens the hair. Essentially, this means that no matter how damaged your hair is -color addictsand fiendish heat tools included - Olaplex can transform difficult locks with ease.

If the beauty industry had a bodybuilding competition, Olaplex would surely have a great collection of gold medals. And the best part is that it promisesgive new life to all hair types.

Where does Olaplex come from?

Olaplex began as two in-salon treatments (Olaplex #1 and Olaplex #2) intended to be used by professionals as a complementary treatment for clients who frequently bleach or color their hair, preventing breakage during the coloring process. They still exist today and are only available in salons and not at home (so reserve as soon as possible).

In recent years, Olaplex has rapidly invaded bathrooms around the world and has a strong following for its highly recognizable #3 BondBuilder.

There are already ten home products out thereWash shampoos for the dayand conditioners for a variety of styling options.

Yes, they all use the same numbering system as the salon offerings, and yes, they are all designed to keep your hair healthy, shiny, and strong. But which one does your hair need?

Welcome to the Olaplex school where I cover what each of the Olaplex products does, how to use them and how to find the right one for you.

Olaplex No.0 Bond Builder

What is it:Essentially a primer for your hair. This leave-in treatment contains the highest concentration of the patented Olaplex molecule outside of in-salon treatments. Not only does it rebuild hair bonds, strengthen and protect hair, but it also leaves it in tip-top shape to absorb other Olaplex treatments.

How to use:Use the newly introduced spray bottle to wet the curls with the product from root to tip, leave for 10 minutes and apply product #3 on top. Leave this on for the recommended time and wash off in the shower.

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

What is it: Kim K´smost popular hair mask and one of the brand's best-selling original products; sells one every three and a half seconds! #3 is a pre-shampoo treatment that improves hair strength and softness.

How to use:Designed for weekly use, apply 1-3 teaspoons to damp hair and comb through, leave on for up to 30 minutes or use as a night treatment before a morning wash.

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

What is it:An upgraded version of your regular shampoo, this moisturizing option is like a little armor for your hair; It repairs broken bonds, but it also protects your hair from things like straightening, drying, coloring and pollution that it is exposed to every day.

How to use:Just like a normal shampoo; It's perfectly fine to use on a daily basis.

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Olaplex No.4-P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo

What is it:A savior for blondes, that is. The unique loop-forming system in Olaplex shampoos transforms dry, brittle and often overworked hair into the silky smooth curls you've always dreamed of. But this one also lightens and tones, lightening hair and removing any unwanted warm or coppery tones.

How to use:Because it's so effective at whitening, you don't need to use it as often as other purple shampoos. I suggest swapping out your regular shampoo for this once or twice a week.

Olaplex No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

Which is:This member of the Olaplex family is like adetox hair.Öclarifying formulagives locks a deep clean, removing product buildup, dirt, pollution and anything else you don't want. But crucially, it doesn't boost brightness or color.

And of course, it also helps strengthen broken bonds and restore your hair's health.

How to use:Apply to wet hair, massage into scalp and work into ends. Leave on for five minutes and rinse. Looking to maximize your strength training session? Experts recommend that you follow with No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner or No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask.


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How to use Olaplex: what each product does and when to use it (10)

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Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

What is it:The last step in Olaplex's "everyday" products, of course, contains the magical Olaplex complex that really repairs split ends and damaged hair while smoothing and softening it.

How to use:Apply to ends after shampooing and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. Best used with one of the brand's shampoos.

Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother

What is it:The ultimate protection from hot tools, this smoothing cream is like the equivalent of a face serum for your hair; hydrates dry, treated hair like a dream.

How to use:Use Post-Hair Wash while hair is still damp, comb through mid-lengths and ends and style as usual. The results should last up to 72 hours, so you only need to use this a few times a week.

Olaplex No.7 Bondingöl

What is it:An oil that takes your hair from medium to amazing in just a few drops. This material adds shine and vibrancy to even the dullest curls, and most importantly, it doesn't weigh hair down or make it look greasy and lackluster. Oh, and it has additional thermal protection benefits too.

How to use:Before styling, squeeze a coin-sized amount through wet or dry hair and you're done.

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Olaplex No.8 Bond Intensive Farbmaske

What is it:A 4-in-1 product that promises to repair broken bonds, restore moisture and add body and shine; This is a hard working mask.

How to use:After shampooing, apply to mid-lengths and ends while hair is still wet, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse well.

Olaplex No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

What is it:This daily serum helps protect hair from all the common damage we expose it to - including pollution and UV rays - for up to 48 hours. Red algae are the hair savers here; The extract acts as a protective shield against pollution and neutralizesUVA and UVB rays🇧🇷 ONEseriously smart serum.

How to use:Before styling, apply a small amount to damp hair, smooth with palms of hands, then dry or style as usual.


How do you use Olaplex for best results? ›

The choice is yours!
  1. Step 1: Apply a generous amount to towel-dried hair and comb through.
  2. Step 2: Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes. Keep in mind, the longer it's on, the more effective it is, especially for hair that is compromised. ...
  3. Step 3: Rinse, shampoo and condition. ...
  4. Step 4: Style as you normally would.
17 Nov 2020

When and how often should you use Olaplex? ›

OLAPLEX is a bond builder, not a conditioning treatment or protein treatment, allowing extensive use, the minimum is once weekly. Start with two treatments a week then go from there. Listen to your hair and what it is showing you it needs.

What is the correct order of hair products? ›

When it comes to hair care, Lee says the guideline is FSF: foundation (shampoo, conditioner, masks), structure (nourishing leave-ins and protectants), and finish (styling products and texture sprays).

What Olaplex should I try first? ›

OLAPLEX No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment is a professional-inspired treatment that is advised to be used as the first step of a two-part system. Its job is to prime the hair to ensure maximum absorption of OLAPLEX No. 3 Hair Perfector which is used as step two.

Do you wash your hair before or after Olaplex 3? ›

Please note that the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector is not a 'leave-in' conditioner. An Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector treatment should always be followed by a thorough rinse and shampoo.

Do you put Olaplex on wet or dry hair? ›

4 Bond Maintenance) to rid your hair of oil and build up, or if you feel your hair is already clean enough, you can apply Olaplex to dry hair. However, if you apply dry, you'll need more product to thoroughly saturate the hair. Apply a good amount to towel dried (or dry as mentioned above) hair and comb through gently.

Do I use Olaplex 0 or 3 first? ›

Comb the product through to ensure saturation. Wait 10 minutes, then apply OLAPLEX No. 3 Hair Perfector directly on top of No. 0.

Can too much Olaplex damage hair? ›

Olaplex cannot damage your hair, no matter how often you use it. Some users have reported that when they use it for long periods, the amount of time it requires to “take effect” will climb and climb.

How many days a week should I use Olaplex? ›

OLAPLEX is a bond builder, not a conditioning treatment or protein treatment, allowing extensive use, the minimum is once weekly. Start with two treatments a week then go from there.

What is the best way to use Olaplex at home? ›

This take-home treatment is recommended for use once a week and is best applied before your shampoo and conditioner. Apply 1-3 teaspoons to dampened hair and comb through evenly. Leave on for 10-30 minutes or do as Kimmy K does and leave overnight. Earlier this year, Olaplex No.

Does Olaplex work better if you leave it on longer? ›

Step 1: Apply a generous amount to towel-dried hair and comb through. Step 2: Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes. Keep in mind, the longer it's on, the more effective it is, especially for hair that is compromised. We've seen great results from people who leave it on 30 to 90 minutes!

Which Olaplex do I need for damaged hair? ›

To provide maximum repair for fragile hair, we recommend weekly treatments with Nº. 0 & Nº. 3 for the deepest repair possible.

Are you supposed to use Olaplex every wash? ›

Can I use it every day? Olaplex N°. 6 can be used daily on wet and dry hair, however, the effects of N°. 6 work up to 72 hours so you shouldn't need to use it daily unless you wash and condition your hair daily.

What should I put on my hair first? ›

Always begin with a leave-in conditioner.

You might be wondering why, exactly, this order matters. But there's a clear reason—each formula builds upon the last or prepares the hair shaft for the next step. As Henson notes, it's best to begin with a leave-in conditioner, thanks to its hydrating properties.

What does 2C hair look like? ›

2C type hair is extremely wavy but not coily. The S-shape bends in the hair start off at the roots. These waves are defined and thick. The bends are looser and wider than the tighter structure of curly hair.

Do I use Olaplex before or after shampoo? ›

The instructions on the bottle state you need to apply on towel-dried hair but to use the product before shampooing.

Is it better to leave Olaplex 3 on overnight? ›

You shouldn't leave Olaplex 3 on your hair overnight. According to the Olaplex website, you should leave Olaplex 3 on your hair for at least 10 minutes, but you can leave it on for up to 90 minutes.

How do you know if your hair needs Olaplex? ›

If you notice breakage, split ends, and overall fried, limp hair — you need OLAPLEX. Even if you don't chemically treat your hair or style it, the damage comes from environmental elements and mechanical styling like sleeping on a pillow or using a hair tie.

Will Olaplex make my hair curly again? ›

The effects of the treatment seem to last about 4 weeks for most, then the bonds revert back to their original state. It will help those straight end pieces of curls caused from heat damage, keratin treatments or other abuse, Olaplex can bring a bit more curl life into those pieces of hair.

How quickly does Olaplex work? ›

Extremely Damaged
APPLICATION PROCEDURE & TIMESApply Neutralizer To Each Rod And Immediately Apply OLAPLEX Down Over Neutralizer. Time For 10 Minutes. Remove Rods And Rinse Thoroughly.
9 more rows

How do you properly use Olaplex no 0 and 3? ›

0 to clean dry hair from roots to ends and comb through with a wide-tooth comb or wet brush to ensure saturation. Process for 10 minutes, then apply No. 3 Hair Perfector directly on top of No. 0 and comb again to saturate thoroughly.

What order does Olaplex 0 3 and 8 go in? ›

Each of these Olaplex products can be used on their own for great results or together for intensified results. You will use Olaplex No. 0 first, then Olaplex No. 3 hair perfector, then shampoo, and finally Olaplex 8 as a hair mask.

When to use Olaplex No 1 and 2? ›

As your hair lightens, normally your hair will weaken because some of the chemical bonds will break, so adding in the right amount of Olaplex No 1 should help to reduce that. Once your hair has developed and you've reached your goal colour, rinse out the bleach/Olaplex mix and then apply No 2.

Is there anything better than Olaplex? ›

George Katsaros, hairstylist, salon owner and creator of the Gkomb: Aveda's Botanical Repair is a great alternative to Olaplex. It's effective for most types of hair, particularly dry, bleached or damaged, as it works inside the cuticle to ensure deep penetration.

What is the controversy with Olaplex? ›

Earlier this month, news broke that Olaplex has been using an ingredient that could potentially be related to, or even cause, fertility issues. Since then, social media outlets (TikTok in particular) have been buzzing about the potential risk butylphenyl methylpropional (or “lilial") may cause to Olaplex users.

Why is my hair frizzy after Olaplex? ›

“Essentially what it's doing is it's going into the hair, it's repairing and strengthening it, but it won't make your hair feel extremely soft and shiny, so a lot of people will use protein treatments and say their hair feels worse, it feels strawy. That's the protein doing its job.”

Can I put Olaplex 3 on dirty hair? ›

Apparently, you are supposed to shampoo your hair first before applying the Olaplex. This is to remove the buildup of dirt as Olaplex can't penetrate dirty hair as effectively. Once you have shampooed and rinsed, you can then apply the Olaplex.

Which Olaplex is best for thin fine hair? ›

Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil : The best Olaplex treatment for fine hair.

Which Olaplex is best for dry hair? ›

To add moisture to dry hair, we recommend weekly treatments with the Nº. 8 mask for intense moisture, along with adding shine, smoothness, and body.

What is Olaplex No 3 used for? ›

When these bonds are broken, that's when our hair gets split ends and looks dry, frizzy and damaged. Olaplex No. 3 contains Olaplex's patented bond-building ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which penetrates the hair and rebuilds those damaged bonds. This results in hair that looks and feels healthier.

What happens if you don't wash out Olaplex? ›

People have used Olaplex 3 for more than 12 hours without ill effects, but that doesn't mean you can expect the same. If you leave Olaplex 3 on for longer than 90 minutes, you could experience several issues, from an irritated scalp to eye irritation, redness, and stinging.

Can Olaplex cause breakage? ›

Overall, it's very unlikely that Olaplex on its own will cause any breakage to your hair. Most of the time, the hair was already damaged before the application of Olaplex products. Stop using Olaplex and seek expert advice if you really believe that it is the cause.

How do you use Olaplex No 3/4 and 5? ›

It's always best to start at 100, and a 10-30 minute treatment before your relaxing vacation is just the way to do so! Apply the treatment on clean, damp hair, and let it sit for a minimum of 10 minutes. You can even keep the treatment on while you pack! Shampoo the treatment out with No.

Which Olaplex is best for damaged frizzy hair? ›

Olaplex No.

6 strengthens, moisturizes, and eliminates frizz and flyaways for up to 72 hours. It's excellent for all hair types, including colored and chemically treated hair,” Popescu says.

What Olaplex fixes split ends? ›

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 is your best option. Not only does it repair and strengthen your hair, but it also continues to protect it from damage. Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 works with all hair types on a molecular level to repair and restore your hair from broken bonds.

Does Olaplex help with thinning hair? ›

OLAPLEX is not formulated to treat thinning hair, hair loss, or promote new growth. However, it will keep the hair you have healthy, strong & prevent breakage.

How many times do you need to use Olaplex 3 to see results? ›

3 Hair Perfector on average once or twice a week. If your hair is severely damaged, we recommend using it three times a week. Using this treatment will help to rebuild the broken bonds in your hair and leave it feeling silky smooth between your salon appointments.

Can you use Olaplex No 3 after washing? ›

If build-up is present such as oils, silicones, or too much product, give the hair a light shampoo and towel dry thoroughly and proceed with applying the No. 3. You can use it on dry hair as well, it will just take a little more product in order to fully saturate the hair.

Do you use Olaplex No 3 before or after conditioner? ›

Rine your hair thoroughly before starting off your usual shampoo and conditioner routine. Olaplex No. 3 isn't a conditioning treatment, so for best results you will still need to follow it up with your regular conditioner.

Do I use Olaplex 3 or 8 first? ›

Olaplex 3 has patented technologies to repair broken bonds, rejuvenate the hair, increase strength, restore elasticity and protect the hair follicle from further damage. While Olaplex 8 is amazing for adding shine and moisturizing, it is better to start with repairing your hair first and then adding moisture and shine.

What does the Olaplex number 3 do? ›

Olaplex No. 3 contains Olaplex's patented bond-building ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which penetrates the hair and rebuilds those damaged bonds. This results in hair that looks and feels healthier.

Can you leave Olaplex 3 on too long? ›

You can leave the OLAPLEX N. °0 and OLAPLEX N. °3 in longer! However, the efficacy will diminish past 30-45 minutes or when the hair is dry.

What does Olaplex 0 and 3 do? ›

OLAPLEX Nº. 0 and Nº. 3 work together to rebuild broken hair.

Do you wash your hair with shampoo after Olaplex 3? ›

An Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector treatment should always be followed by a thorough rinse and shampoo. However having said that if your hair is really comprimised then get a very small amount and apply it to your hair and blowdry in. This works really well for curly hair where the curl has dropped out.

What's the difference between Olaplex number 3 and 8? ›

One notable difference between the two is that Olaplex No. 3 is not a conditioner or mask, but a treatment to be used on wet hair before shampoo. In contrast, Olaplex No. 8 is a moisture mask that should be applied after shampooing and before conditioning.

What does Olaplex 1 and 2 do? ›

1 the tool that fights damage during the chemical service and No. 2 the tool to revive and rebuild the bonds in your hair once the chemical service is complete or in between services to allow for more processes in a shorter time frame. OLAPLEX No.

Can Olaplex No 8 be left on overnight? ›

Yes, you can leave Nº. 8 in longer than the recommended time.


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