What Is Olaplex Hair Treatment And How Does It Work?

We all know that endlessly dyeing and colouring our hair can cause it to become dry, frizzy and generally just the worst. Hello damaged ends. But, now there’s a revolutionary in-salon treatment that can actually reverse damage, rather than simply glossing over it. The best bit? You can use it at home as well.

Enter Olaplex. Not on the bandwagon yet? Here’s everything you need to know, before snapping up a bottle or six while it’s very nearly half price (yes, seriously) on Amazon.


What Is Olaplex?

Formulated by a team of California-based US Scientists, Olaplex maintains the health of your hair, even after it’s been highly processed. Essentially, it’s the key to mastering the Billie Eilish-level bleach job without taking your hair home in a doggy bag.

As hair stylist Samantha Cusick explains, ‘Olaplex is the miracle revolution the hair industry has been waiting for. A single ingredient chemistry that not only stops chemical damage happening to hair but actually repairs it!’
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How Does Olaplex Work?

‘Olaplex is like nothing else out there, it’s a whole new molecule that works inside the hair strengthening and repairing the structure that has been compromised,’ explains Cusick.

‘It seeks out any broken disulphate bonds and links them back together making your hair feel fuller, thicker, stronger and healthier.’
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When Would Olaplex Be Used In A Hair Salon?

According to Samantha Cusick, Olaplex is a miracle worker for almost everything: ‘We recommend Olaplex to all our clients in the salon. It is especially important to use Olaplex in all colour services. In darker and vibrant hair colours it helps to massively reduce fade and maintains your hair’s integrity.

‘In lightening services, from balayage to full head bleaches, we are religious with Olaplex. We want all our clients to have beautiful healthy hair they can maintain at home and Olaplex allows just that.’

In short? Because Olaplex gives the hair such strength, you’re able to colour it more often and go lighter and brighter without the fear of it snapping off. Win, win.
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How Do You Use Olaplex At Home?

Olaplex might be your one-stop shop for healthy dyed hair, but there’s now a whole extended family of formulas for you to get stuck into.

Parts 1 and 2 take place solely in your hair salon as part of a professional treatment and can’t be bought for use at home. That’s where steps 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 come in. Now, there’s even a step zero. Yes, really.

You can mix and match any of the at-home treatment and styling steps, tailoring your routine to your hair type and degree of damage.

The Different Olaplex Formulas, Explained

Olaplex No.0

How can you have a step before step 1 we hear you ask? Well, when it comes to Olaplex it’s entirely possible.

Think of the No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment as a pre-treatment hair mask designed to prime your lengths for the upcoming dye process it’s about to undertake.

Apply to dry hair once to three times a week at home prior to your salon appointment, leave on for ten minutes, then follow with Olaplex No.3 (parts 1 and 2 are salon only) to encourage strong, healthy hair that’s ready to take a bit of a beating from some bleach.

Olaplex No.3

‘In cases of severely damaged hair I would recommend a series of stand-alone Olaplex treatments in salon teamed with at home application of Olaplex No.3 until the hair is in good enough condition to colour,’ advises Cusick.

‘Apply Olaplex No.3 to damp hair (it’s a pre shampoo treatment) and gently brush through with a Tangle Teezer. Bleached hair is suuuper fragile when it’s wet so be careful.

‘For best results sleep with Olaplex No.3 in your hair and wash out in the morning with a moisture rich sulphate free shampoo and conditioner. You’ll feel a difference instantly! Do it once a week to keep your hair health on point.’

Olaplex No.4 and No.5

Alternatively, get your hands on Olaplex’s No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner to give your entire hair wash routine a super nourishing overhaul.



Olaplex No.6

No.6 is known as the Bond Smoother. Previously only available in hair salons, you can now use this genius leave-in cream at home. Similar to Philip Kingsley’s legendary Elasticizer, the Bond Smoother seeks out broken bonds (caused by all that bleaching/hair straightening/over brushing) and repairs them, restoring them to their former glory.

Apply a small amount (seriously, a little goes a long way) to the mid lengths and ends of damp or dry hair and comb through.

Olaplex No.7

Finish with a few drops of the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil and your previously damaged hair will feel all sorts of soft and healthy. Lightweight, non-sticky and formulated to target dry, brittle hair, strengthening it against future damage, this might just be your hair’s new best friend. Oh, and did we mention it’s sulphate-free, vegan and protects against heat damage as well?

Olaplex No.8

Saving our damaged and bleached hair yet again is the latest step from Olaplex, No.8. An intense repairing mask, No.8 is infused with Olaplex’s patented Bond Building Technology to smooth and hydrate frazzled lengths.

‘Another step?!’ we hear you cry. We know, it seems like a lot. But, No.8 can be used once or twice a week in place of your usual hair mask or conditioner, rather than being added to your full Olaplex routine. Simply apply to freshly washed hair, leave on for ten minutes, then rinse out whenever your hair needs a boost of nourishment.

What Are The Benefits Of Olaplex?

  • Colour-treated hair is kept in optimum condition – it feels fuller, healthier and glossier.
    • Not just for the bleach addicts, Olaplex works wonders on virgin hair as well, helping to strengthen stressed strands and repair damage from hairdryers and straighteners.

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