We've heard plenty of chatter about Olaplex lately in the world of salons and healthy of hair.

olaplex hair treatment

"Olaplex is a preventative treatment that helps stop the damage that hair color can cause," according to Christopher Box, owner of The Beauty Box Salon in Dallas. "It's kind of a game changer," he proclaims.  Popular natural hair stylist, image consultant, and blogger, Janelle Sands of Secret Curl Society calls it "a new breakthrough in the chemistry of hair." 
But what exactly is Olaplex, and why do all the pros cosign using it for chemical and color treatment services?

Why is everyone talking about Olaplex?

This single ingredient is added both hair prior to and after a hair color treatment or other chemical service done at a salon. It's used to "preserve the integrity of the hair and essentially multiply the bonds within the hair shaft," according to Sands.

Olaplex reconnects broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair that were broken down during services that required the use of heat styling tools and chemicals. It comes in the following steps:

Olaplex No. 1 Bond Multiplier: for lightening 

Olaplex No. 2 Bond Perfector: for restoring strength into the hair (it is not a neutralizer nor activator)

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector: for maintaining healthier, stronger hair in between sessions (it is not a conditioning treatment and should not be left on the hair)

Applying Olaplex onto curly hair

On naturally textured wavy, curly, and coily hair, "Olaplex should be applied to towel dried hair," says Robin Sjoblom, named 2016 Curly Hair Artist of the Year by Curly Hair Artistry.

"This is because we will do a detox treatment on the hair to remove silicones and buildup before applying Olaplex." She follows up by applying a watered down mix of Olaplex #1 over a bowl to collect the run through, ensuring "total saturation."

Sjoblom mentions a gentler application makes all the difference for clients with curly hair. "We do not comb the Olaplex they the hair, we use our fingers to section and work into the curls. Using a comb on curly hair in this state would break the hair. Finger smoothing the Olaplex ensures saturation without disturbing the integrity of the curl."

olaplex for hair
photo courtesy of pashapixel - Getty images

How naturally curly hair benefits from Olaplex

Naturally textured hair is at a greater risk for becoming damaged, and using permanent hair color can make it much worse--and irreversible. Olaplex will provide them a buffer to experiment with the versatility of hairstyles, including ones that require color and heat styling tools.

Box explains that most hair conditioners and at-home treatments are made to only temporarily mask a damaged cuticle, but not fix it forever. "Olaplex is great for hair that is already damaged," he says, "because it allows you to do chemical services that would normally not be possible without it. In addition, it helps prevent damage from happening in the first place."

Another great thing about this protection treatment is that it's sulfate-free, silicone-free, phthalate-free, DEA-free, aldehyde-free, and is not tested on animals.

How to prolong your Olaplex treatment (after leaving the salon)

Sjoblom says to avoid the following:

  • heat styling
  • using products containing harsh chemicals (sulfates and silicones)
To maximize your treatment at home, she suggests purchasing a "take home #3 treatment for in-between freshening...it's amazing!" Ask your curly hair stylist for more details about how to purchase this kit.

How to request Olaplex at your salon

Even if it's on the list of services offered on your salon's website, it is recommended by the pros to consult with your specific stylist beforehand. And he or she may offer it first, too.

"It is usually by our recommendation that an Olaplex treatment is given," Sjoblom says. During the online prep between client and stylist to decide if it is a good fit, she will wait till her first in-person meeting with them before an in depth consultation of the benefits of Olaplex, depending on what look they are going for. "We then decide if the client is in need of an Olaplex treatment before her appointment or during her service, or not at all."

Locate a salon that provides Olaplex services here: http://locator.olaplex.com/

Have you tried Olaplex? How did it affect the health of your hair?