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There aren't that many brands where I just add their new releases to my basket without skipping a beat, but Olaplex is on of them... I've been using the Olaplex No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum | £26 | for around the past 6 weeks and today I'm returning with my thoughts...
If you aren't familiar with Olaplex, definitely check out my original brand review, but in a nutshell: this brand formulates with a patented ingredient that actually has the power to repair broken bonds within the hair. This is kind of game-changing because most products on the market geared towards colour and heat treated hair damage are improving or smoothing the appearance of the hair and moisturising it rather than actually repairing from within. I'm not one of those people who thinks that to see the benefits you need Olaplex in every single step of your routine, though it's true that some of their products contain more of the active ingredient than others. I personally think it's about figuring out which of their formulas works for your own routine and hair type so you use your chosen product regularly and reap the rewards.
Just to give this a proper go, I did stop using the other Olaplex products in my rotation a bit before swapping this in so I could judge how it works as a standalone product (as I've said, I don't think you should have to spend £100s on the whole line to see results). This is a serum that should be applied to towel-dried hair after washing - I did experiment with it on dry hair but honestly this gel serum was too slippery and weird-textured to really work like that (and the product doesn't claim to be suitable for this use). It's not at all heavy and has a near-enough-traceless finish when used before blow-drying. I go for 2 pumps to take it through the lengths and ends of my hair.
I have to admit that during the first week or two of using this, I really wasn't convinced it was doing a lot but then I did kind of turn a corner with it. My hair felt sleeker and softer, it looked a bit healthier and shinier. I was getting that Olaplex goodness back into my strands! In terms of where I'd pitch this and who it's for: I don't think this gives as dramatic results as the No3 treatment or No8 hair mask and I slightly disagree with the 'nourishing' claim in the product name because this is really a water-based serum. I do find it more effective in terms of bond repair than the No6 styling cream or No7 oil, however, and I think that's where this fits in. I love the styling cream for my dry hair but if you want bond repair without that richness: go for the No9 instead because it's not going to weigh down even quite fine hair. It's also great if you find the No3 pre-wash treatment an extra step you just don't need in your routine and you're not really a hair mask person. This is a leave in product that can deliver the Olaplex benefits in a 10-second application!
It's been a bit of a slow burn but I'm actually really enjoying this product. I would still say the No3 and No8 are my favourites but if I need to wash my hair in a rush in the morning then this is perfect because I'm not having to sit and wait for a treatment to work its magic. Used in the right way by the right person: I think this is great.
Have you tried Olaplex?