Christopher Box, owner of The Beauty Box Salon in Dallas, calls it "hair color insurance." Both experts and bleach hair dye addicts alike swear by using it. What exactly is Olaplex, and what is the reason for it becoming such a sought-after staple in the hair care community?

What is Olaplex?

"Olaplex is a preventative treatment that helps stop the damage that hair color can cause," says Box, who has been using Olaplex on his clients the past couple of years since its big boom. "It's kind of a game changer." The more your stylist uses it on your hair, the more effective it will have on preventing color damage. If you've thought about bleaching your hair for a vibrant hue that never took before, Olaplex lets you achieve that with the safest product and process on the market.  

The Olaplex system comes as:

  1. Olaplex No. 1 Bond Multiplier is used for lightening
  2. Olaplex No. 2 Bond Perfector works for restoring strength into the hair (it is not a neutralizer nor activator)
  3. Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector works to help you maintain healthier, stronger hair in between sessions (it is not a conditioning treatment intended to be left on the hair)

Who is it intended for?

Any person with any hair type who wants to color their hair with chemicals should use this tool. According to the Olaplex site, it is free of silicone, sulfates, phthalates, DEA, aldehydes, gluten, and is never tested on animals, making it ideal for those living by a strict natural, gluten-free, and vegan lifestyle. But it's not just for naturals--the brand says it's also useful for those with relaxed hair, as long as a clarifying shampoo is used following the Olaplex Bond Strengthening Service.

How does it work? 

Salon industry professionals call Olaplex hair insurance because of its ability to reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. "Hair bonds are broken during thermal, mechanical and chemical services. Basically, it helps put everything back like it was before the hair was colored. The system also conditions, and for best results should be used after every chemical service or every six weeks.

Olaplex claims to help "buffer and protect the hair during a color service." It means that stylists "can do bigger changes in a smaller amount of time without damage."

Olaplex does the unthinkable when it comes to repairing the look and feel of already damaged hair. "What most people don't know is that once hair is damaged, it can never be undamaged," Box explains. "All hair treatments and conditioners do is make it feel and look better--temporarily. If you stop using the treatment your hair will feel damaged again. Olaplex is great for hair that is already damaged, 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."

As mentioned before, Olaplex is recommended for anyone who has had any chemical service, not just coloring. addition to assisting with damage-free, more accurate color, Olaplex can also be used in conjunction with keratin treatments. It will smooth and seal the cuticle.

Who can buy Olaplex?

Only salon professionals have access to purchase Olaplex online. If you color your hair regularly, ask your stylist if he or she offers Olaplex as a service. They are trained to introduce it as a "color service upgrade."

The brand also offers a take-home kit but it can only be sold to non professionals by certified hair experts in their salons. Of course it may be fairly inexpensive compared to the salon service, but it requires thorough steps in order for the treatment to be effective on colored or chemically-treated hair.