If you’ve ever had your hair coloured at a salon, chances are your hairdresser has treated your hair with Olaplex. But what IS it and how does it work?
Olaplex has become something of an enigma. A household name for those that regularly visit their salon, you’ve probably even talked about it with your friends – “oh, my hairdresser uses Olaplex on my hair” – but in actual fact, few people understand what it actually is and what it actually does…
According to the brand, Olaplex is used in more than 800 thousand salons world-wide, and has been applied to almost 150 million lots of locks. It’s even getting a world tour!
Celebs swear by it too, with the likes of Drew Barrymore, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone crediting it to saving their hair from over-bleaching and frequent colour-change.
The original bond builder
Developed by Dr. Eric Pressly and Dr. Craig Hawker, two of the world’s leading chemists, Olaplex is a three step system that works on a molecular level to seek out broken bonds in the hair that are caused by chemical, thermal and mechanical damage. Olaplex No. 1 and Olaplex No. 2 – the ‘professional use only – steps of the system, are mixed with color and used when rinsing colour from hair, respectively.
It not only protects the hair from the process to get a desired color, but it also prevents further damage, makes the hair strong, healthier, shinier, and also helps mend some of the previous damage.”
Lasting perfection at home
The final step in the Olaplex system, Olaplex No. 3 is a take home treatment. But it can also be used a stand-alone treatment for ‘virgin hair’ damaged by heat. Not to be mistaken for a conditioner, No. 3 contains a small amount of the active ingredient bis-aminoprophyl diglycol dimaleate, which helps repair the broken disulfide bonds in the hair. Essentially, it ‘glues’ hair back together.
How to use Olaplex No. 3 at home
Designed to be used once a week, Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector should be applied to clean hair, free from product build up. Ideally, wash and towel dry hair before applying the treatment, though this isn’t necessary if your dry hair is clean. It will also take more product to fully saturate dry hair.
Step 1: Apply a generous amount to towel-dried hair and comb through
Step 2: Leave on for an absolute minimum of 10 minutes. But bare in mind that the longer you leave it on, the better the results. We like to leave ours on overnight and wash our hair as normal in the morning!
Step 3: Rinse, shampoo and condition hair as normal. Remember: it is not a conditioning treatment, OR a leave in treatment and is designed to be shampooed out of your hair.
Step 4: Repeat once a week in-between styling to help keep hair happy and healthy – voila!