What Is Olaplex? A Beginner's Guide To Repairing Damaged Hair

what is olaplex

Damaged hair? Repaired! OLAPLEX has just landed at Face the Future which means that you can kiss (or comb) goodbye to split ends, frizz and broken strands. If you've ever coloured or bleached your hair then you might be familiar with this Californian-based haircare brand (if not, you should definitely get to know). Their bestselling and breakthrough 7-step at-home haircare system has speedily become a popular hair treatment that beauty addicts and hairstylists simply cannot live without. 

Launched in 2014, OLAPLEX has quickly become a global sensation. With it's iconic abilities to repair and restore severely damaged hair from colouring, bleaching or excessive heat styling with their patented technology, OLAPLEX is now one of the biggest independent haircare brands in the world with 2.2 million followers on Instagram and over 100 patents worldwide. With the raving reviews and impressive before and after images, it isn't hard to see why this award-winning brand has become so popular.

But, with an ever so slightly confusing numbering system it can be difficult to know which products are right for you. So, what is OLAPLEX and what does OLAPLEX do? Allow us to breakdown everything you need to know about this prestigious haircare brand and how to use it correctly...


Previously, OLAPLEX was only exclusive to salons, where professional stylists would use it to help repair and rebuild damaged hair. However, luckily for us you no longer need to visit the salon to get your hands on these science-driven treatments and can use them within the comfort of your own bathroom. 

To simplify, OLAPLEX is a system that helps to rebuild the disulphide bonds in your hair that have become broken or damaged during the chemical process of bleaching, colouring or other treatments like perms, relaxing and keratin treatments. Their products are suited to all hair types, including curly, thick or coarse hair and can help revive strands that have been damaged from heat styling, brushing or even environmental pollution. 

What Does OLAPLEX Do?

Okay, so here's where the science comes in. OLAPLEX is a completely unique hair treatment that is unlike anything else on the market. The products restore and repair compromised or damaged hair by repairing it from the inside out with their patented ingredient Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate - which is infused into all of their products and is the only patented bond-building formulation in the haircare industry!

To put it simply, exposure to hair stressors and excessive styling can break the disulphide bonds in the hair which are incredibly important for keeping strands looking and feeling healthy and nourished. When these bonds break, a single sulphur hydrogen component can pair with three oxygen molecules creating a sulphate group (S03). This can cause Cysteic Acid to form which then eats away the protein from the hair. 

This is where OLAPLEX'S benefits really shine (literally), as their products work by pairing the single sulphur hydrogen bond much faster than the three oxygen molecules can for beautifully revived and restored tresses. 

What Olaplex Should I Use?

Now, you're probably thinking 'what OLAPLEX should I use?' Well, allow us explain each product in this phenomenal haircare system, what it does and why you need it in your haircare routine ASAP. Suited to all hair types, vegan and cruelty-free there's no doubt that OLAPLEX will provide some much-needed restoration to your strands no matter your hair's texture. 

Here's what each OLAPLEX product does:

1. No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment

Think of this as your primer at the beginning of your journey to healthier hair. This intensive bond building treatment primes the hair so that it's ready to absorb optimum nourishment and moisture from the rest of your haircare routine. For optimum results, use as part of the two-step haircare system with the No.3 Hair Perfector for a supercharged at-home haircare treatment to rebuild bonds, strengthen and protect strands for hair that feels healthier with each use. 

How to use: Use as part of the two-step system with No.3 once per week or two-three times per week for damaged hair. Apply to dry hair and comb through, making sure to fully coat each section from root to tip.  

what does each olaplex do

2. No.3 Hair Perfector

OLAPLEX's bestselling product, this weekly treatment (not to be confused with a conditioner) visibly strengthens the hair with a healthy shine and soft, manageable texture. Scientifically tested, this weekly haircare hero is proven with 68% more repair and 3x stronger hair.* For best results, prime your hair first with No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment and use as the first step in your two-part haircare system. 

 *When used as a two-part system in just one use.  

How to use: Use as part of the two-step system with No.0 Intensive Bond Building treatment once per week or two-three times per week for damaged hair. Dampen hair and apply from the roots to the lengths and ends, making sure to fully coat from root to tip.  

what does each olaplex do

3. No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo 

This deeply hydrating shampoo repairs broken bonds, prevents damaged hair, frizz and split ends. Gentle enough to be used daily with a PH balance of 6-6.5, this shampoo is free from sulphates, parabens, phthalates and thoroughly cleanses and moisturises brittle, exhausted hair from continuous bleaching, colouring or thermal styling. Your hair will be left feeling and looking smoother and softer with a glossy shine. 

How to use: Massage into damp hair, working from root to tip to create a lather. Rinse of thoroughly and then follow with No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.  

what order do you use olaplex

4. No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

This thirst-quenching and moisturising conditioner fortifies the hair's structure to improve manageability, giving your hair that post-salon smoothness and shine that it's been craving. Gentle enough to be used daily with a PH balance of 4.0-5.0, this colour-safe conditioner deeply hydrates and restores damaged hair caused by frequent styling, colouring and environmental pollution. 

How to use: Smooth through damp hair after using the No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, focusing on the ends and distributing evenly before rinsing.  

what order do you use olaplex

5. No.7 Bonding Oil

If you're looking for a product to tame frizz and flyaways, look no further than OLAPLEX'S No.7 Bonding Oil. This lightweight, non-greasy yet very concentrated oil significantly increases hair's softness, shine and improves the vibrancy of your colour. It can be used on either dry or damp hair, creating the perfect sleek, luminous finish with a glass-like shine. 

How to use: Remove cap and turn the bottle upside down. Gently tap to dispense a metered drop and apply a small amount onto damp or dry hair and style as desired. 

what is olaplex

6. No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask 

This intensive, multi-benefit and reparative moisture mask deeply restores the hair whilst adding incredible shine, body and smoothness. This unique hair mask works on all hair types and coloured hair to revive brittle, dry and weakened strands without weighing hair down, revealing visibly healthier, more lustrous hair. Ultra-concentrated, meaning you only need to use a little, this hero product is proven to boost shine, moisture and smoothness with 94% of users saying they saw more body after using it**.  

**According to a consumer test with 80 people (hair stylists and end-consumers) 

How to use: Apply to clean, damp hair and work through the mid-lengths and ends with your fingers. Use 1-3 pumps depending on your hair type. Leave on for up to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly and style as usual.  

what number olaplex do i need

Shop OLAPLEX at Face the Future here. 

Written by Heleayner Davies 


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