How does Olaplex work? How to apply Olaplex (which order?)

What is Olaplex and what does it do?

Maybe you recognize this situation: the endless cycle of dyeing your hair semi-permanently or permanently, and the associated unpleasant consequences. Your hair can become very dry, damaged, or frizzy, and brittle. Not a good look.

Especially in the past year, and unfortunately, I am also speaking for myself, there have been many of us who have experimented with our hair due to the lack of a good hairdresser.

Although we would have loved to support our local barbers to repair our damaged hair, they were closed for large periods in 2020. Partly because of this, the use of Olaplex has gained great momentum over the past year.

Their breakthrough technology is said to repair severely damaged hair in seven steps and offers a shiny treatment for all hair types and colors, whether colored or not.

Are you curious about these steps and how this treatment would transform damaged hair? Here’s all the information you need.


What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a system that permanently repairs the damaged disulfide bonds in your hair that were broken down during the chemical process (such as bleaching or having a perm put on).

Even if your hair is over-bleached or has been permed for many years, you can restore structure, softness, and strength with Olaplex.

Olaplex was invented by two chemists: Dr. Eric Pressly and Dr. Craig Hawker. They discovered a chemical compound that consists of only one ingredient and contains no silicones or oils.

How does Olaplex work?

Olaplex is unique in its hair restoration system. The main ingredient it uses is Bis-aminopropyldiglycoldimaleate (quite a mouthful, isn’t it?).

This is a patented ingredient that actively repairs broken bonds. The product repairs each hair strand as a whole (from the base to the tips), it looks for bonds that have broken in any way and reconnects them.

This means that broken or weak bonds in the hair, are the target of the product. The first two steps of the Olaplex line take place in your hair salon, while the rest of the steps are used at home to strengthen and expand hair quality. In fact, the first step is used during coloring and the second step after coloring to keep the hair firm and strong.


Olaplex, a must-have for blondes

Olaplex is a must for the blondes among us because dyeing your hair blonde (bleaching) breaks your natural bonds.

When is Olaplex a suitable product for me?

Olaplex is most often used for people with obviously damaged hair, but this doesn’t always have to be the reason to try the products. Also, people with “virgin” hair use the products with some regularity to keep their hair healthy.

Damage is not always caused by coloring, dyeing your hair blonde, or perming your hair, it can also happen after being in the sun for too long, chlorine in pool water, or when you blow-dry your hair daily.

It depends on the needs of your hair, and this is different for each individual.

Is Olaplex Sulfate-Free?

Sulfate is a cleansing ingredient added to many hair shampoos. However, this is often far too harsh on your scalp.

This is because a shampoo with sulfate also cleanses the natural oils found in your hair. This can create an irritating effect on your scalp and disrupt hair growth (and mainly cause itchy scalp).

Olaplex contains no sulfates, but also no phthalates, parabens, MIT, DEA, aldehydes, gluten, and nuts and is completely vegan.

Read more: the best sulfate-free shampoos

Read more: shampoo without parabens

Read more: shampoo without silicone

Is Olaplex cruelty-free?

Olaplex is cruelty-free (animal testing free), which means that they do not test products or ingredients on animals.

In this case, third-party manufacturers and producers of Olaplex don’t do this either and Olaplex also no longer sells products in countries that test on animals. Olaplex is very conscious in that respect.

How often should you use Olaplex?

But, how often and in what order should you use Olaplex products? If you bleached your hair or got highlights in the salon with an Olaplex treatment, you want to keep that fresh look for as long as possible.

If you are addicted to straighteners and regularly use a curling iron, apply Olaplex No.3 as a weekly treatment and use the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner. Olaplex No.6 and Olaplex No.7 continue to add shine and help bring hair back to life. If your hair is looking super dull, apply Olaplex No.3 twice a week and leave it on overnight.

And how long does Olaplex last?

It depends on how you treat your hair. If you always apply heat, you’ll need to use the treatment more often to feel the benefits.

How to use Olaplex?

Olaplex No.1 will be mixed with your hair color and applied directly to your hair in the salon.

Olaplex No.2 will be applied by your hairdresser once they have washed out your color. He or she leaves the treatment on for about 20 minutes to allow the hair to recover after the dyeing process.

Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment Kit (at home) (to be used as a primer for No. 3)

Olaplex No.3: hair perfector (at home)

Olaplex No.4: Shampoo (at home) (there is also a silver shampoo version for blond hair) Olaplex No.5: conditioner (at home)

Olaplex No.6: hair smoother (at home)

Olaplex No.7: bonding oil (at home)

You can only use Olaplex No.1 and Olaplex No.2 in a hair salon.

How often can you use Olaplex 1 and 2?

Ask to apply it every time you get your hair colored. The other products you can buy at the hairdresser or shop online in different webshops. These products are meant to continue the treatment at home to make your hair healthy again.

Many professionals swear by the restorative, bonding Olaplex home system. It’s a must-have for anyone on their way to a dyed head of hair.

But is it worth it?

If your hair is looking a little dull, it’s definitely worth trying this system. On healthy, shiny hair, your new hair color will look so much better.

So voilà, here you have the basic guide to Olaplex. If you have a “hair emergency,” used too much bleach, or just want your locks to grow healthy, the Olaplex system will help you get back on track.

Buy Olaplex a bit cheaper?

Want to try the Olaplex range, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in one go? We’ve got great news: there are also travel sizes of the Olaplex products.

If you have the first 2 steps done in a hair salon, you can continue with the rest of the step-by-step plan at home.

This way you can test the products out for a few weeks and assess whether the products are for you and whether you want to buy them full size.

Can you use Olaplex No3 on it’s own?

Yes you can! You certainly can. You do not have to use all of products together. You use Olaplex No3 on towel dried hair before you wash your hair and let it soak in for at least 10 minutes. Want it to soak for longer? Then keep your hair a little damp, otherwise it will not work.


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