What is Olaplex treatment and what does this hair treatment actually do?

What is Olaplex? In a nutshell, it’s a hair care line that every hairstylist worth their salt swears by to keep strands looking healthy.

You see, it doesn’t just cover up the cracks, making the hair smoother. The Olaplex treatment actually improves its structure.

The Olaplex treatment line includes ten steps, two of which are in-salon treatments for those who frequently bleach or dye their hair. These prevent breakage during the staining process and “stick” with the resulting broken bonds.

Then there are seven home products. These include the now infamous Olaplex #3 mask, which Kim Kardashian swears bysaying: “When your hair is really messed up if you sleep in it, it really works.” I notice a huge difference.

All bring shine, strength and manageability to all hair types and textures, colored or not.

In other words, Olaplex is a complement to other rules for healthy hair.

But what do the experts think? We spoke to a top stylist and trichologist, while testing the range ourselves…

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex was founded by Dean Christal, who teamed up with scientists Dr Craid Hawker and Dr Eric Pressly to create a new molecule that works from on the inside strands of hair.

Each of the ten Olaplex products contains varying amounts of that hero active ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which repairs broken disulfide bonds in hair.

Nicholas Clarke, Creative Color Director at John Frieda Salons, explains for us: “Olaplex is the biggest game changer in hair color. It maximizes hair strength by reconnecting sulfur disulfide bonds. These are normally broken down during the coloring process or when the hair is subjected to regular heat treatments.

“It helps rebuild hair structure and integrity and is compatible with all hair types,” she continues.

This includes afro hair as it will help reduce frizzy hair and make curls more defined.

Olaplex: before and after

Olaplex: A Review

by Fiona Embleton

Six years ago, I saw Nicola Clarke at John Frieda after a hair color disaster at another salon.

To sum up a long traumatic story, my colorist had left the bleach on for waaayyy too long and, in the ensuing frenzy to get the sheets out, I ended up with broken hair.

I looked like an angry child who had taken a pair of scissors from my hair. It was so bad that I even gave up my usual coloring session for 6 months – which is as controversial as a Strictly pro skip self tanner.

But old habits die hard and I desperately wanted sun and beach for the summer. “Not yet,” Clarke said, leading me into the back room of the living room.

Here she pushed a test tube containing Olaplex #3 into my hand. She had siphoned it off from the first British sample tested at the salon. “Use it three times a week without fail and come back in three months,” she whispered.

I felt like I was in possession of pixie dust and applied it religiously, praying to the hair gods for a miracle.

Gradually, softness and elasticity returned. It was as if I was resurrecting lifeless hair.

By the time I saw Clarke again, she had Olaplex #1 and #2 in the living room, so we tried that with my color. The only difference was the extra 20 minutes added to my appointment for the Bond Perfector to be applied after the sheets were rinsed out.

For the first time in ages, my new color not only looked great, but my hair actually felt stronger — not frazzled — when I ran my fingers through it.

And the products?

With such good results, of course, I followed with all home products.

Special mention to Olaplex #6, the darling of a styling cream and leave-in conditioner to smooth the ends of my hair.

During this time, hair oil was my nemesis. I hated it and more often than not I ended up with a hot greasy mess when I used it on my fine hair.

Olaplex #7 changed all that – lightweight, effective, it babies my hair but is also ideal in place of a heat protectant spray. Learn more about my relationship with Olaplex Bonding Oil here.

All of this, I know, costs a pretty penny. So have I lost my mind trying to save what’s growing on it?

I asked trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver for her opinion.

“Olaplex is an awesome product, I actually bought mine to take to my colorist and used it for my last three sets of highlights,” she says. “My personal experience is that my hair is stronger after coloring than it normally would be.”

So should you believe the hype? That’s a big, resounding yes from me.

Olaplex: the ten steps

Ideally, the system is numbered so that you know precisely in which order to use the products…

Melissa R. Brumfield