Believe us when we say Olaplex can seriously change the way you look at yourself in the mirror – and your view on haircare in general. And while this revolutionary system might seem a bit daunting for those not in the know, there's no need to be scared. We're here to hold your hand and introduce you to the wild, wondrous world of Olaplex.
First things first: what is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a hair treatment system that helps bring damaged hair back to life. Simply put: it's your ultimate hair saviour. Founded in a garage in California in 2014, this scientifically backed collection has helped millions of women around the world recover from the dangers of damaged hair and find their groove again.
OK, that all sounds pretty good. But what is the Olaplex system all about?
The Olaplex system is built on science (more on that in a second). But instead of just making a one-bottle-fits-all option, they've gone deep into the lab to concoct an entire system of products that can suit specific aspects of your routine and target specific hair concerns. The system consists of seven products, though to be fair to newcomers, they are a bit confusingly numbered. As you'll see below, we won't mess with Olaplex No.1 and Olaplex No.2. That's because they aren't sold for at-home use. Only the big-time, fancy pants professionals are able to get their hands on those. But trust us when we say the seven you can get your hands on have more than enough power to get the job done.
I'm into it. So how does Olaplex work?
The Olaplex secret is in what they call "the invention", which is an ingredient called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Luckily for all of us, we don't have to spell it, or say it, to use it.
See, your hair consists of millions of tiny little bonds, which are called disulfide bonds. You know that sensational, sexy structure, stability and strength you love? You can thank those disulfide bonds for it. When these bonds are broken, that's when the bad stuff happens – damage in the form of breakage, frizz, split ends and other annoying issues and frustrations. And that's when you need to call in the big guns.
That Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate goes deep, and it goes hard. It gets right into its work by taking an inside-out approach. When those disulfide bonds are broken, the holy ingredient goes and bridges those bonds before a nasty sulfate group (the bad guys) can get in there and raise hell. In addition to the big dog molecule, Olaplex ingredients are cruelty free, meaning you don't have to worry about any cute critters getting caught up in testing or production.
That sounds like some sweet science, and I'm ready to get amongst it. How do I use Olaplex?
Before we get started, it's important to remember that you don't have to walk the entire Olaplex path to reach your desired destination. You can pick and choose from each of these steps depending on what you feel you need. So which Olaplex product should you use? The handy guide below might help you figure it out.
Bona fide bond buddies: Olaplex No.0 and Olaplex No.3
Like the latest binge-worthy show everybody's talking about or that bushwalk you've been wanting to check out, it's always best to start at the beginning. That's why if you're just getting going on your Olaplex mission, Olaplex No.0 is the first place to turn. Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment does the important prep work for your hair, getting it ready to better accept and absorb the loving goodness that's to come from its partner in haircare – Olaplex No.3.
There's a reason why Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector is the brand's best seller. It goes beyond the average conditioner (which it's often incorrectly compared to) with even more repair and strengthening muscle.
This combo represents arguably the most popular way to use Olaplex products, and just a few sessions will probably help you see why that's the case.
How do I use Olaplex No.0 and Olaplex No.3? To start this one-two punch of hair-repair goodness, completely cover your dry hair with Olaplex No.0. The amount of hair you have and its length will determine how much you use, but you really want every little lock to be saturated, so don't be too shy. Don't rush it, though. Start by squeezing some onto your scalp to begin with the roots before working it out to the ends of your hair. Once you've got that taken care of, let it sit for 10 minutes to give your head a chance to absorb all of the Olaplex greatness.
Then it's time to get down with some Olaplex No.3. Apply it directly on top of your Olaplex No.0 – don't do any rinsing quite yet. As with the first step, you'll want to be pretty liberal with how much you put on. Then let it sit for another 10 minutes so it can get down to business. After that, give it a comprehensive rinse before moving onto your shampoo and conditioner routine (which Olaplex can help you with, too).
If you don't want to, or can't, use Olaplex No.0 first, you'll want your hair to be damp before using Olaplex No.3.
How often should I do it? If you've got relatively healthy hair, hitting it with this dynamic duo once a week should be good. But if you're really in the wars and dealing with some serious damage, you'll want to up your dosage to 2-3 times a week.
Who is Olaplex No.0 and No.3 for? Everybody is invited to hang with these two legends, but it's especially great for people who can see visible signs of damage from dry, brittle hair and are ready to get serious about sorting it out.
The staples: Olaplex No.4 and Olaplex No.5
Everybody who cares about their hair knows how important it is to make sure you've got a shampoo and conditioner at your side that can do the dirty work. So you know a brand like Olaplex, which is dedicated to perfecting the science of haircare, is going to come in hot with its own versions of these essentials.
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner achieve many of the same goals as other shampoos and conditioners – they're just known for doing it even better. That means hair that's healthier, shinier and softer for superior styling success.
How do I use Olaplex No.4 and Olaplex No.5?
There's no magical secrets here when it comes to getting down with Olaplex No.4 and Olaplex No.5. Just apply it like you normally would with any shampoo or conditioner. That means getting into your roots with Olaplex No.4 and giving your ends some extra love with Olaplex No.5. When conditioning, just make sure to leave it in for a few minutes before washing it out.
How often should I do it? Despite hard-hitting, high-powered science action, both Olaplex No.4 and Olaplex No.5 are safe to use each and every time you wash your hair.
Who is Olaplex No.4 and No.5 for? Once again, everybody can benefit from adding this shampoo and conditioner to their personal hygiene routine. However, if you need help in the clarifying department or find your hair has that slick oily feeling, these two can be especially helpful.
Style sisters: Olaplex No.6 and Olaplex No.7
After you've done your cleaning, it's time to consult two absolute styling kweens.
Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother is a bit of a set and forget type operator in the best way possible. This leave-in creme not only helps you get lewks you love, but also features that patented Olaplex hair technology that helps restore vital bonds. That means great looks on the outside with hard work going on behind the scenes as well. From curly hair to wavy looks, thin hair to thick, Olaplex No.6 can come through in the clutch time after time.
Similarly, Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil is a super styling aid that also helps repair some of the breakage and damage from the inside. It's the go for a shinier, restorative glow.
How do I use Olaplex No.6 and Olaplex No.7? Olaplex No.6 works on damp or dry hair, so you can use it after your shower routine or even if you aren't going to hop under the head for a wash. Just drop it onto the middle sections of your hair and comb it through for your preferred style. For Olaplex No.7, a few drops will do you. Just make sure to spread it throughout your damp or dried hair before you use your styling tools.
How often should I do it? You can feel free to get Olaplex No.6 involved after each time you wash your hair if you feel like, or just save it for when you want a look that's a bit more sensibly styled. Just remember it can work its magic for up to 72 hours, so you might not need to reach for it more than a few times a week. Olaplex No.7 is good for daily use.
Who is Olaplex No.6 and No.7 for? Olaplex No.6 is a smart option for those who are often dealing with dry, frizzy flyaways that never seem to stay put. All of you with coloured or chemically treated hair will know what we're talking about. And when it comes to Olaplex No.7, if you hit your hair with heated hair appliances, this oil can keep it nourished and rehydrated.
The cherry on top: Olaplex No.8
Sometimes you need a bit of extra help when it comes to keeping your hair looking and feeling its best. Hair masks can provide that boost of nourishment, blanketing your head with a marvellous, moisturising feeling that can leave your locks in tippy top shape.
Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask is all about increasing your hair's shine, moisture, smoothness and body. It's a great, short finishing touch for your routine with long-lasting results.
How do I use Olaplex No.8? After you've cleaned your hair, but while it's still damp (towel-dried, not hair dryer-dried), put a couple pumps of Olaplex No.8 into your hands and rub them together to disperse it evenly. Starting at the midway point of your hair, work your masked-up hands through your locks from mid-shaft down to the ends. Then wait 10 minutes before rinsing it out. For the best results, consider pairing it with the lovely Olaplex No.0 and Olaplex No.3 combo we mentioned earlier.
How often should I do it? Olaplex No.8 should be used once a week or so.
Who is Olaplex No.8? Those dealing with brutal damage or tough-to-control frizzy hair.
Who is Olaplex for?
Just about anybody can use Olaplex. That being said, there are a few people for whom the Olaplex benefits can really work wonders.
It's great for those who love to turn the heat up. Hair appliances are our trusted allies in the neverending fight for style. But, just like your favourite biccies or spending too much time with that one chatty mate, there can be some drawbacks if you go overboard with your hair straighteners, curling irons and hair dryers. Too much heat can cause those bonds to break, putting you in desperate need of the thermal protection Olaplex offers.
Are you obsessed with colouring and other chemical treatments for your hair? If so, by now you know all about the importance of having some colour protection up your sleeve (actually that's a weird place to keep it, so maybe just opt for the bottle). This can help you avoid some of the damage that comes from bleaching, colouring and perming your 'do.
Similar to those hair appliances above, your beloved combs and brushes are integral ingredients in cooking up those looks you love. But they can also bring damage from all the pulling and other strain they put on your hair. When the friction gets to be a bit too much and causes breakages across your head, Olaplex can swoop in and save the day by repairing the damage.
And for people who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, Olaplex can be just as important as that waterproof jacket you bought or that UV protection you slip, slop slap onto your skin before heading out. Everything from the sizzling summer sun and muggy humidity, to frigid, dry temps and everyday pollutants floating around the atmosphere can do a number on your hair's health. Olaplex can provide that revitalising, replenishing touch that can help protect you from environmental dangers.
Where can I buy the Olaplex range of products in Australia?
You know your mates here at Oz Hair & Beauty have you covered when it comes to buying the best Olaplex products. From single bottles of the most popular steps in the system to convenient Olaplex take home treatment kits, you can find the pieces you need to round out your routine or the tools you need to hop aboard the Olaplex train. Check them out today!