Everything to know about Olaplex: What is it, how to use it, and why it's the most popular hair treatment around

Everything to know about Olaplex: What is it, how to use it, and why it's the most popular hair treatment around

Like a virgin

Text: Jeway Tan

Editor: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @olaplex

No matter if you are a hair professional or a novice looking for a transformative product to use, chances are, you probably heard of Olaplex. If all the chatter within the beauty sphere is anything to go by, Olaplex makes miracles out of even the most dry, damaged, and distressed tresses. Dubbed "liquid gold for locks," it is used by the likes of A-listers in the vein of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Drew Barrymore. This begs the question: what is in that stuff, and does it warrant such acclaim from the beauty community? We detail it all, below.

So, what is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a sulfate-free hair treatment that works on all hair types. Professionals highly recommend it for dry and damaged hair as well as bleached hair. It is commonly mixed with bleaching and colouring products to minimise the damage caused by by them. Anyone can easily use most of Olaplex's products for an at-home hair treatment. Olapex is free of phthalates, sulfates, aldehydes, DEA, formaldehyde, gluten, parabens, so you can safely use Olaplex without worrying about any harmful chemicals that you might be putting on your hair and scalp.

What does Olaplex do?

Olaplex is considered a "bonder" because of its properties. You see, when hair is bleached, its structural bonds are compromised, thus causing it to lose its strength and stability. This, consequentially, causes your hair to break off easily and become dry and fragile. Olaplex essentially restores and repairs all of said damage from the inside. Working on a molecular level, Olaplex uses a single molecule ,Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, to reconnect and repair broken bonds.

Is Olaplex suited for everyone?

In short: yes. Users liken it to going to the gym, where the more you use it, the better and more effective it is. Anyone with hair from virgin to bleached hair can use it. This applies to all hair textures, too, from textured to fine. And did we mention it can even be used on those sporting hair extensions? How convenient.

How do you use Olaplex?

There are eight levels of Olaplex products; N.°0 to N.°7. Not all levels are recommended to be used at home, such as N.°1 and N.°2.

N.°0 is an intensive bond-building hair treatment. While you can use it on its own (though using it alone will only give you minimal repair), N.°0 is designed to be paired with N.°3 for you to get the full benefits of the treatment. Olaplex products work best with damp hair. N.°0 drys quickly on the hair as it is a watery liquid. Here is where N.°3 comes in. N.°3 will keep the hair damp, allowing both products to be able to work thoroughly and better.

N.°1 and N.°2 are exclusively for professional use only. You can only use these two levels in the salon, and the hair professionals must administer it. N.°1 is a bond multiplier. It helps rebuild the broken bonds and repair the hair. At the same time, it protects the hair from further damage. N.°1 is usually added to bleach or colour by hair professionals to prevent damage and protect the hair while being bleached or coloured. N.°2 is a bond perfector. It is used after the bleaching or colouring to repair what N.°1 missed. N.°1 and N.°2 are sometimes mixed as a pre-shampoo treatment.

N.°3 is an at-home hair perfector treatment that is recommended to be used once a week. Generally, you do not need to shampoo your hair before applying N.°3. Though if you have used a lot of products on your hair beforehand, it is recommended that you wash all of the products off before using the treatment for you to get its maximum benefits. For best results, use N.°3 on damp or towel-dried hair. Leave it on for at least 30 — 45 minutes (the longer you leave it, the more it works).

N.°4 and N.°5 are a shampoo and conditioner duo. They are formulated for you to use every day to maintain, repair and prevent the damage caused by the more minor factors like UV damage and mechanical damages.

N.°6, on the other hand, is a leave-in conditioner and smoothing cream. It focuses on repairing, moisturising and smoothing the hair for up to 72 hours. N.°6 strengthens the hair and helps with speeding up your blow-dry time. This leaves your hair smooth and silky. Like all other Olaplex products, it is best used when your hair is damp.

Last but definitely not least, N.°7 is a bonding oil. It is a light-weight, highly concentrated repairing oil that is first of its kind. N.°7 is an all in one product that gives you many benefits. It is a heat protector that protects your hair from UV damage and heat up to 230°C. At the same time, it repairs your hair and prevents it from damage. N.°6 and N.°7 can be used together for the ultimate hair care cocktail to leave your hair glossy and frizz-free.