If you have ever gotten your hair colored at the salon then there is a good chance you’ve heard the word “Olaplex” being thrown around whether it’s a treatment or recommendation your stylist makes to add to your product regime. There's a reason for that.
As a naturalista who loves to color her curls I can say without hesitation that hair dye does a number on your texture, pattern, and overall hair health when not treated properly. Finding the right mix of shampoo, conditioner, and products to give your curls the bounce and moisture they need can be extremely challenging. Every product can say “color safe” or “sulfate free” but you can go through plenty of trial and error to determine which product is actually helping your hair versus hurting it.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a patented system developed by scientists to repair, protect, and strengthen damaged hair regardless of your texture or type. These bottles are filled with liquid gold and are known for their reparative qualities that re-links broken bonds whether you have damaged hair, frizz, colored curls, or split ends. “Olaplex is Insurance for your tresses” says textured hair expert Niki Mackey. “I have seen first hand what this product can do to damaged as well as healthy hair. Olaplex’s game changing products repairs the disulfide bonds in your hair, which give your hair it's structure, strength and stability; when these bonds break - this is what results in damage. The products work for every hair type and texture.” The short version is that it leaves your hair easier to manage, healthier, stronger, and moisturized. We’re breaking down all the Olaplex products, why people love them, and which hair types they work best with.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 - The Best-Seller
Known as the “Hair Perfector” the original Olaplex is one of the most popular products because it is an at-home treatment that nourishes, strengthens, and repairs hair from the inside out. It is the global best-seller of the brand because it improves the overall look and feel of the hair texture giving it a noticeably healthier appearance. “I use Olaplex on myself and my clients” curl stylist LaQuita Burnett told us, "I perform a lot of color services on my clients, especially blonde. I use Olaplex No. 1 with my color mixture during color service and No. 2 after color is rinsed to protect, repair, and strengthen curls post color treatment. I then recommend taking home care Olaplex No. 3 along with any additional products following No. 3 my client decided to use. Olaplex is definitely a must for healthy curls.”
It can be used 1x-2x a week to help strengthen hair before you shampoo. You can use it all over the hair or on the roots but much like a deep masque, you want to comb it through and leave it on your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes or more. This product is ideal for all curl types and should be used for naturalistas looking to maintain their favorite color treatment between salon visits.
Olaplex No. 4 - The Shampoo That Gives Back
This is a highly reparative and nourishing shampoo that is designed to repair and protect hair from daily stress like frizz, split-ends, damaged hair, and relinking broken bonds. As a sulfate-free shampoo this is a crowd favorite because it will not leave your hair dry and provides great moisture for regular and color treated hair.
Chicago color specialist Rhi Hibionada uses this on her color clients, “when a client sits in my chair, I believe they should have the most luxurious experience. That includes adding an Olaplex treatment to help keep their hair strong and healthy. I specialize in color services only, that being said, I use Olaplex no. 1, no. 2, no. 4 and no. 5. I start off by mixing in Olaplex no. 1 with the color then when the color is rinsed out, my client sits with Olaplex no. 2 for 15-20min. Lastly, they are shampooed and conditioned with Olaplex no. 4 & no. 5.”
Curlies can incorporate this into their weekly wash regimen or use it after they use it with the signature No.3 product. If you're looking to reduce breakage and incorporate moisture into your curls, this is the product for you!
Olaplex No.5 - Say Goodbye To Frizz
The No.5 is the perfect pair to the shampoo because it’s a nourishing conditioner aimed to keep hair healthy, shiny, and strong. Known for being an ultra-hydrating conditioner, this is an excellent remedy for frizz and infusing moisture into your thirsty strands. For those of us with super dry ends and damaged hair, this is your best friend. One of the benefits of this conditioner is that it is lightweight and doesn’t require a heavy handful.It can be applied daily and should be washed out as it is not leave-in conditioner and should be used by slowly working it’s way up from the ends to root.
Olaplex No.6 - The Leave-In Conditioner
Finally a leave-in we can fall in with. The No. 6 separates itself from the average leave-in conditioner because it is designed with curls in mind. Hydration and moisture are the staples of this product that can eliminate frizz and flyaways for up to 72 hours. It adds weightless nourishment while protecting and defining your curls just the way you like it. If you have chemically treated or color treated hair this can greatly improve your hair health and can be used on dry or damp curls. It is recommended to be applied from mid-length down to your ends and combed through generously.
Olaplex No.7 - The Big Finish
An oil that is a step above the rest. The No. 7 is the Bonding Oil that can be applied for extra gloss and shine. The product is highly concentrated, lightweight, repairative, and can be used for all hair types and textures. Just a few drops can drastically change the appearance of dull, dry curls, and it can be applied to wet or dry hair at any time. If you also like to straighten your hair this is an oil that can also provide heat protection which is vital to preserving your hair health when applying large amounts of heat.
Olaplex No.8 - Time to Mask Up
This bond intense moisture mask is the latest and greatest edition to the lineup and debuted this past year to stellar reviews. As a “multi-benefit” reparative mask this product works to shine and smooth hair that has been damaged by heat. It has been clinically tested to treat all hair types and is recommend to be used weekly as part of your regular hair routine. "Six of [the] eight products are available for shoppers to use at home," says stylist Nicki Mackey, "Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector and Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask are both my top leave in treatments for home. You can mix and match based on your individual hair needs. Give your hair the TLC it needs and watch it transform!”