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Today I wanted to do something a little different: a hair review! Honestly, you've seen a few of these because about a month ago I had a skin reaction so couldn't test out a ton of new skincare. For this post I'm discussing why I think Olaplex was totally worth the money for me...
Let's start with a bit of an overview of the brand and what they're about. Olaplex is really a salon brand and their products are available for you to take home, so you'll often see them on the shelves when visiting a high-end hairdressers. They're all about bond repair; look, if your hair is coloured, chemically-treated or otherwise-damaged, you can't magically undo that but what you can do is protect your healthy strands and reinforce the damaged ones. Olaplex is kind of the OG brand when it comes to this; their technology is patented and there are other, more affordable options on the market, but I get the impression most of us feel as though nothing quite measures up to Olaplex. Let's get into the products...
I'll start with two products that are designed to be used together. The No 0 Intensive Bond-Building Hair Treatment | £26 | is kind of a primer for the 3 (though you can apparently use it on its own), which I'll get onto in a moment. This is a pre-shampoo treatment so you're applying this to dry hair and you have to totally saturate your hair, which can feel a bit faffy. It's intended to boost the effectiveness of the No 3 Hair Perfector | £52 (jumbo size) | which is probably the brand's hero product. What does the 3 do and does the 0 add anything extra? Well, the 3 is a treatment to be used on damp hair for 10-20 minutes. I ran through a standard size of it and picked up the jumbo version because it's just so good. If you get nothing else from Olaplex, I do think this lightweight treatment is my top recommendation. I think it's amazing; I didn't think my dry, dull hair could look as shiny and full of life as it does when I use this. It's so smoothing and gives you that amazing, satisfying, immediate and noticeable improvement. I use it a couple of times a week and it's not thick or heavy in the hair and it's a pre-shampoo treatment so even if you have quite fine hair, I don't think you need to worry too much about it weighing you down. Look, the 0 does level up those results a bit, but it doesn't last long, it's £26, it's a bit faffy and the difference isn't that dramatic. This is only going to last you a few washes anyway, so I'd save your money and stick to the 3.
Moving onto the washing phase of your routine, I have the Bond Maintenance No 4 Shampoo & No 5 Conditioner Bundle | £52. I like this shampoo - it's gentle, moisturising and does help get that flexibility in your hair. You only need a tiny amount as it lathers up a lot, so use sparingly. It really helps to smooth out the hair and in achieving a healthy look. I also have the conditioner which is a really nice formula; it isn't overly thick or heavy, because not everyone wants that (there's the hair mask for this, which I'll get onto shortly). I honestly don't really have any complaints; sometimes I can't be bothered doing the 3 treatment and want to be in and out of the shower, and this is still substantial enough. This combination without the other Olaplex products is a nice, easy way to get the hair-smoothing and silkiness-boosting effects of this technology without messing around with treatments. For me, I prefer using the treatments to get a concentrated hit, but I get that it doesn't fit with everyone's lifestyle (and sometimes even I'm in a rush and reach for these when I don't have time to leave on treatments for 20 minutes).
I then have the new No 8 Moisture Mask | £26 | which would slot in between shampooing and conditioning. This is up there with the 3 as a hero product. It's a rich, nourishing mask, so if you have fine hair, I'd skip this and potentially get the 3. If you have thicker hair that just needs all of the goodness, then this mask is for you. It works in 10 minutes and is incredible on its own for providing deep moisture but also the smoothing benefits of bond repair so your hair looks shiny and feels silky. You can combine it with any of the other products, but standalone, it's still a fantastic hair mask.
Finally, Olaplex also does some styling products that I really enjoyed. The first is the No 6 Bond Smoother | £26. I absolutely love this product; it's a kind of creamy finisher and you don't need a lot of product so I'm not racing through this as quickly as some other Olaplex products I have. I tend to use it on damp hair before blow-drying but you can also use it as a finishing, smoothing product on dry hair to nourish it, make it feel softer and also get rid of any flyaways. It has a thicker, richer texture, and I've seen some people with fine hair not enjoy it, but it's perfect for me. The last product I have to discuss is the No 7 Bonding Oil | £26. This one kind of takes the mick with how small it is, I won't lie! But, it's a lovely, light oil that will work for most hair densities and has both a smoothing and nourishing quality. Is it my all-time favourite? No, I do tend to go for something a bit more heavy-duty, but I do appreciate the smoothness it gives my hair, which my other oils don't necessarily provide. For me, I do think there are other products in the line that give me this sort of effect so it's possibly not the first thing I'd rush out and repurchase once I'm out.
Honestly, in the past, I was never one to spend much on haircare, but I'm really in love with the Olaplex system. I think the 'can't live without' products for me are the 3 and the 8, I really enjoy the 6 and the 7 and would probably repurchase the 7 and maybe even the 6 after using up some other products. The 4 and 5 are lovely, though I think I get the bond repair benefits from other products in the range and prefer something that's a little more scalp-calming from my shampoo and the hair mask is more exciting than the conditioner for me, so I may not repurchase but am enjoying them whilst I have them. The 0 is the only thing I'm not that into. My main criticism is that I wish you got more product for the price because some of these are positively dinky and I specifically bought the supersized version of 3 because the original only lasts me about a month or two!
Have you tried Olaplex? Do you tend to save or spend on haircare?