If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard that Olaplex is great for repairing hair – and can even help with hair growth.
Is it true?
We’ll take a closer look at the entire range of Olaplex products that work to repair over-processed, damaged hair back to health.
Keep in mind that while some of the treatments are best administered by a salon professional, there are several products that you can use yourself at home.
- What Is Olaplex?
- How It Works
- How To Use Olaplex
- Can Olapex Treat Hair Loss?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- In Summary
What Is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a series of hair treatments that strengthens and repairs protein bonds in your hair.
It comes in a series of 9 different products (numbered 0-8) and is supposed to make damaged, dry, brittle strands look and feel healthy and shiny.
Many salons and hairstylists recommend using the complete range of Olaplex products in the correct order so that everything can work as it is supposed to.
It’s worth asking your hairstylist about Olaplex to see what order they would recommend and what type of treatment plan can realistically help your hair and maximize the chances of new hair growth.
Many salons stock the entire range of Olaplex products, and you may find that most high-end hair salons use Olaplex when they are washing and rinsing clients hair.
This is so that your hair will have the best possible chance of regrowth and thickening. The fact that most salons know about Olaplex and use the range of products indicates how well they work on all types of hair.
Some Olaplex products require a little more precision, which is why most salons will provide you with a particular treatment if they think it is needed.
This is because the recommended amount used, and the type of hair that it is used on, can impact the overall effects of the Olaplex product.
Other products, like No. 3 and up, can be done at home.
Olaplex is pretty expensive compared to other haircare products and brands. This is why you should speak with your regular hairdresser to see if they think it’s the right option for you.
Additionally, they can tell you which numbered product(s) to purchase and use regularly, so you don’t end up paying for something that you won’t use.
Once you’ve gotten into the routine of caring for your hair and figured out what works best for you, it’s generally recommended that you treat your hair with Olaplex products three times a week.
You do not have to use each product in numerical order. This is a commonly preconceived notion, but there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule about it, and it won’t negate the benefits of each treatment.
There are recommendations on the packaging for each product that can help you decide when to use each, and how often.
It’s definitely worth integrating Olaplex into your haircare routine to improve the overall strength of your hair.
This is especially true if your hair has been exposed to more chemicals through bleaching or color treatments. Find something that works for you, that helps your hair gradually recover with regular use.
How It Works
Olaplex repairs hair by re-linking the protein bonds that have been damaged by over-processing and overstyling.
The active patented ingredient in their products is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate (no need to memorize that mouthful!).
Olaplex aims to replenish the millions of disulfide bonds, which are present in a healthy head of hair, especially curly hair.
These protein bonds can weaken and break as a result of chemical use, UV exposure, bleaching or coloring a little too frequently. Heat exposure is also more likely to damage hair.
Olaplex was created to strengthen the bonds in each strand, making it healthier and shinier overall.
When using Olaplex, follow the directions and recommendations accurately.
This will give you the best chance at strengthening those disulfide bonds and can also encourage new, healthier hair to emerge over time.
By nourishing any existing damaged hair, you’re creating a stronger foundation for more growth. This can also help create a more seamless look if you want to grow your hair out.
The combination of active ingredients which tackle even the driest, most brittle hair types, and high quality natural ingredients is what makes Olaplex such an effective brand.
Fermented green tea oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and vitamins E, D, and C have a great effect on the overall health of your hair.
The combination of all these ingredients work together to strengthen every strand, and repair broken bonds within your hair’s molecular structure.
The great thing about Olaplex is their complete range of products are also cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.
Some products within the range of Olaplex come in dropper bottles to help you apply them properly. Each has a slightly different range of properties, and should be used at different stages of your hair care routine.
Though there isn’t much proof that Olaplex actually makes hair grow more quickly than other products, it can greatly improve the overall health and appearance of your hair.
If you can keep your current head of hair healthier, it’ll be less likely to break off while new hair is growing out of your scalp.
Not only that, but your hair will be much stronger and more resistant to things that can damage the strands.
These include pollution in the city air, using harsh chemicals to color your hair, using heat on it for styling, or generally not taking care of it over time.
How To Use Olaplex
Because Olaplex has been designed specifically for use in salons, it is highly recommended that you head to a salon for a consultation on the first two Olaplex treatments (Nos. 1 and 2, that is).
Olaplex No. 0
Though No. 0 seems to be the first in the line of Olaplex treatments, it’s actually one of the later products (it came out in 2020, and no, I don’t know why they didn’t just continue counting upwards in their line of bond treatments).
It’s an intensive bond builder that’s meant to be used in combination with Olaplex No. 3. Ideally, you’d use the No. 0 as a primer before applying No. 3.
The nice thing about this treatment is that it’s more liquid and feels like water, unlike the thicker texture of the other products. It even comes in a spray bottle for easier application.
Apply No. 0 to dry hair and work it through evenly. You should leave it in for a minimum of 10 minutes, but some people feel that their hair is even softer and silkier if they leave it on longer, including overnight.
Olaplex No. 1
The very first Olaplex product in the range of treatments is the bond multiplier. This is used in one of two ways – to combine with bleach or lightening agents if you are coloring your hair – or as a standalone treatment.
No. 1 helps when you are using potentially harmful chemicals on the hair, as it helps reduce some of the damage caused by the process of lightening or bleaching hair.
Because No. 1 is highly concentrated, it’s only sold to licensed cosmetologists to apply in salons.
Olaplex No. 2
For those who are lightening their hair, Olaplex No. 2 is used once the bleach has been washed out – again, when you are in the salon.
It is known as a bond perfecter, and is recommended to be left on for around twenty minutes while the hair is wet. The point of No. 2 is to help tackle some of the chemical damage that the hair has been through.
This step isn’t always necessary, depending on the amount of color changes your hair has been through and its overall health. However, this is a great tool used by hairstylists whenever they think your hair needs it.
Olaplex No. 3
Your hairstylist may give you a small amount of Olaplex product to strengthen your hair before washing.
This is likely to be the No. 3 Hair Perfector, as it will help reinforce weakened hair caused by UV exposure, frequent heat treatments, and coloring.
A common mistake with this treatment is using it as a conditioning product. Olaplex No. 3 should be evenly combed through damp hair and left on for around thirty minutes.
You can even leave it on overnight if you wish but there’s no additional benefit to leaving it on longer than the recommended timeframe.
Once the half hour is up, rinse No. 3 out and wash your hair as usual with shampoo and conditioner.
Try not to mistake No. 3 for conditioner, because it will limit the effects of the product if its used as a deep conditioner rather than a repairing treatment.
Olaplex No. 4
No. 4 is a bond maintainer shampoo that is safe for colored hair. It reduces frizz and is quite concentrated so you don’t need to use a large amount.
The product works by re-linking damaged bonds within the hair, and can give hair a silky, soft texture. Not to mention, your hair will be more resistant to everyday stressors and heat exposure when you are styling it.
There is also a No. 4 product designed specifically with blonde hair in mind.
The Olaplex No.4-P is a blonde enhancing shampoo with a toning agent. It works similarly to purple shampoos, and helps brighten the hair when used on a regular basis.
Olaplex No. 5
For a complete experience of the qualities that Olaplex can introduce to your hair, check out No. 5.
It’s a high quality conditioner that helps maintain hair bonds and hydrate the shaft, giving you an incredibly soft texture once your hair has dried.
No. 5 can be used like any regular conditioner, applying to wet hair and washing out after around three minutes.
It provides high levels of hydration for dry, damaged hair. Because it encourages bonds to strengthen, No. 5 is great for those who are prone to frizzy, poofy hair.
Olaplex No. 6
No. 6 is a leave-in conditioning product for eliminating frizz and moisturizing hair that has been treated with chemicals.
Many people choose to use it as a more gentle styling product. Using a dime-sized amount, work No. 6 into your hair before styling to prevent flyaways and promote shine.
This helps lock in moisture and encourage bonds to strengthen when you are on the go.
Use Olaplex No. 6 to smooth down hair when needed, and even achieve a slicked-back look. Sporty chic is all the rage right now, and No. 6 is great for tight braids and ponytails too.
Olaplex No. 7
If you’ re worried that your hair is exposed to a lot of heat styling and UV damage, No. 7 has you covered.
Its a bonding oil that doesn’t leave a greasy residue (amen!). It protects your hair from high heat if you curl or flat iron your hair daily, which can definitely leave your hair in poor shape.
The great thing is you can use it on damp or dry hair. Just apply a small amount evenly throughout.
No. 7 is a great hair oil that is definitely worth investing in. It helps hydrate your hair, and increases natural shine, protects it from heat damage, and enhances color vibrancy.
Olaplex No. 8
If you love spa treatments (who doesn’t?) Olaplex No. 8 is the thing for you.
Its a 4-in-1 hair mask that can be used to treat damaged hair and give it a new lease on life.
Although its the last number in the series so far, No. 8 should be used between shampoo and conditioner when washing your hair.
To use, apply onto damp hair once you have rinsed out the shampoo. Leave it in for about ten minutes before washing out and using your regular conditioner.
Two pumps of No. 8 are recommended for people who have not used it in the past, as it is plenty.
However, the great thing about this product is that you don’t really need to be precise about how long you leave it in your hair for, or the number of pumps used.
Some people even choose to sleep with No. 8 soaking in their hair for a deep, hydrating treatment.
Many hairstylists recommend using Olaplex No. 8 once a week, but you could try to use it once or twice a month if you find it easier to make a habit of it.
Can Olapex Treat Hair Loss?
There are two types of hair loss that are categorized by how long they last and what caused the loss – permanent and temporary.
Some individuals experience thinning hair due to hormonal changes or stress. Significant life changes can cause hair loss over time due to increased levels of stress.
Hair loss is also common during menopause, but there are a range of causes, and things that can contribute to thinning hair over time.
It can be a result of hormonal imbalances, sudden life changes, side effect to medication, or genetic conditions such as alopecia.
While some of these are more challenging to resolve and encourage hair growth, it can be worth stimulating the hair follicles and trying different treatments to encourage some thickness and length to return to your hair.
Some people choose natural methods to encourage hair growth and boost circulation in the scalp. These include Chinese hibiscus, scalp massaging, lavender, and aloe vera.
While Olaplex can be highly effective at strengthening the bonds within your hair and making it feel and look smoother, softer, and shiner when used regularly, there is little proof that Olaplex products encourage hair growth.
When used appropriately though, Olaplex can do some impressive things to the look, feel, and strength of your hair.
Unfortunately, this means that it is not guaranteed to help create new follicles for new hairs to grow from.
For this reason, Olaplex alone won’t necessarily lead to an increase in hair growth. Rather, it will help keep the hair that you do have in good condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Make My Hair Grow Faster?
You can take hair growth supplements to encourage new follicles to produce more hair. This can lead to thicker hair over time, and an increase in overall hair growth.
Additionally, consider changing your diet to include foods that help the body build proteins to nourish your scalp and follicles for hair production. These include spinach, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, avocados, and sweet potatoes.
Other ways to stimulate hair growth are massaging the scalp or area where you want to encourage hair to grow. This can be done using oils, massage tools, or your hands.
It could be worth asking your hairstylist for advice when you want to massage your scalp for hair growth. It will increase the blood flow to the area and act as a wake-up call for your hair follicles.
If all else fails, there’s also the option of getting a hair transplant.
Depending on the desired look and thickness that you are trying to achieve, it could be worth speaking to a specialist about inserting healthy hair follicles into your skin so that your system will accept these as their own.
Of course, taking care of the existing hair that you currently have is a great first step, so don’t discount that while you try to grow your hair faster.
Will I Benefit From Olaplex If I Don’t Have Damaged Hair?
While those with over-processed, damaged hair have the most to gain from using Olaplex, it’s quite beneficial even if your hair is healthy. It can greatly improve the texture and overall feel of any hair type.
This is because of the active ingredients in the formula strengthens bonds in the hair. It’s this strengthening that gives hair a softer, more supple texture in addition to making it thicker and healthier.
In turn, keeping your hair strong and resistant will make it more resistant to breakage and even give the appearance of more volume.
Can Olaplex Help With Thin Hair?
While the answer is technically no, Olaplex does makes hair feel and look healthier and even thicker in the long run.
While Olaplex does not necessarily give you more hair, it’s formulated to strengthen your existing hair, making it seem like you have more.
Thin hair that has been damaged by heat styling, or color treatment like dye or bleach will greatly benefit from Olaplex products.
What About Other (Cheaper) Hair Repair Treatments?
Olaplex isn’t the only hair repair treatment around, naturally.
Olaplex is a great system for treating damaged, dry hair, making it feel thicker, more voluminous, and look shinier.
Despite these benefits, Olaplex isn’t known to accelerate hair growth. This is because the products and ingredients mostly focus on reducing the effects of damage with the hair that you already have, rather than stimulating follicles to grow new hair.
If you want to encourage the growth of more hair, it is worth speaking with a specialist but continue maintaining the hair that you do have.
Healthy hair is growing hair, which is why it is recommended that you take care of the hair that you have while you are trying to grow new hair.