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Olaplex UK: What is the Olaplex treatment and how do I use it?

Use Olaplex’s restorative hair treatment, shampoo and conditioner to prevent damage from over-bleaching and heat styling

Keep split ends, breakage, and frizz at bay. Olaplex is the holy grail haircare brand for bleach blondes that want to maintain strong, healthy and shiny hair – no matter how many highlights. Its miracle bond-building formula promises to restore damaged, dull and dry hair, protect against future damage and keep your colour looking vibrant and fresh.

The Olaplex range includes two treatments that are only available at salons and five products you can use at home, which include a hair mask, shampoo and conditioner, styling hair creme and hair oil. There’s no need to buy all the products (although we’d definitely recommend it for swish-worthy hair) but you can need to use them in a specific order which we’ve covered below.

The Olaplex treatments have changed the way we care for our hair – but what does the seven step regime actually do? We’ve got the scoop on everything Olaplex.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best hair masks and conditioning treatments

Olaplex UK product guide: What is Olaplex?

What is the Olaplex treatment?

There’s no need to worry about the first steps in the Olaplex treatment as your hairdresser will take care of it. Put simply, the Olaplex Bond No.1 Bond Multiplier is mixed with your colour and applied directly onto the hair to rebuild broken disulphide bonds and protect the hair from damage during styling. Once the colour has been rinsed from your hair, the Olaplex No 2 Bond Perfector is applied and left to condition your locks for 15-20 minutes.

What does Olaplex do?

Now for the science-y stuff. When our hair goes through any chemical process (be that hair colouring, perming or relaxing), the disulphide bonds in our strands become weakened and can eventually break. The Olaplex range uses a breakthrough molecule that penetrates deep into the hair shaft to rebuild the broken bonds and strengthen your tresses from the inside out. All that means happier and healthier hair.

Does Olaplex work?

For me, yes. Nine years of bleaching my brown hair took its toll and left my locks damaged, lifeless and limp. After a healthy chop to get rid of my split ends and regular application of the No 3 Hair Perfector, my hair started to look healthier and thicker. However, it’s worth mentioning that Olaplex isn’t a cure-all hair product; hair that’s already snapped cannot be mended. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of the Olaplex hair treatment varies between salons but most offer it as an add-on for roughly £30-£50. That’s money well spent for bouncy, healthy hair. While the at-home Olaplex products serve as a top-up for £26 each; the bottles look dinky but trust us, their potent formulas are some of the best on the market.

Is Olaplex just for coloured hair?

Olaplex isn’t just for bleached blondes, either. While it was designed to repair and rebuild broken bonds post-colouring, it can help to restore dry or heat damaged hair to its soft and shiny potential, too. So, if you’re in a committed relationship with your straighteners, curling wand or hair dryer, Olaplex is sure to treat your strands to some much needed TLC.

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Which Olaplex treatments can I use at home?

1. Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

Price: £28 (100ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Brittle and damaged hair doesn’t stand a chance against this restorative at-home hair treatment. Comb the lightweight fluid through damp hair and leave it to work its magic for as long you want (even overnight) to reveal stronger, softer and healthier hair. We use the conditioning hair treatment once a week to pamper our locks but it’s recommended to use twice a week on very stressed out strands. If there’s one Olaplex hair product to invest in, make it this one. But be warned: a little goes a long way (which explains the dinky bottle), so use sparingly to avoid weighing down finer textures.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. Olaplex No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Price: £26 (250ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Ultra hydrating, sulfate-free and gentle on the hair, Olaplex’s strengthening shampoo works hard to repair broken bonds and protect against daily wear and tear. Lather up the silky shampoo after letting your hair soak in all the nourishing goodness from the No 3 Bond Perfector and follow up with the conditioner below for best results. It’s suited to all hair types and textures – whether that be long, thin, curly or thick – and promises shinier and more manageable tresses.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

3. Olaplex No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

Price: £26 (250ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Use the Olaplex No 5 Bond Maintenance conditioner to maintain your hair colour and keep your hair feeling strong between visits to the salon. The conditioner promises to nourish the hair from root to tip without weighing it down and like the shampoo is sulfate free, super hydrating and soothing enough to be used daily.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

4. Olaplex No 6 Bond Smoother

Price: £26 (100ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Thick, curly hair that’s difficult to style? The Olaplex No 6 Bond Smoother is a restorative leave-in styling creme that speeds up blow drying and smooths flyaways while hydrating and strengthening each strand. Apply a tiny blob to damp, freshly washed hair and comb through the lengths and ends, it’s too rich to apply from the root. Our only bugbear: the styling creme doesn’t protect against heat styling, so be sure to double up with a heat protectant spray.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

5. Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil

Price: £26 (30ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Let us introduce you to Olaplex’s latest addition in its award winning lineup; the No. 7 Bonding Oil. Not only does the hair oil work at a molecular level to rebuild broken bonds post-colouring or heat styling, but it’ll help combat frizziness and annoying flyaways to give your locks a healthy softness and shine. The lightweight oil uses a nourishing ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate to condition the hair without leaving a greasy layer and it’ll even protect your tresses against heat up to 450 degrees.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

6. Olaplex Hair Repair Trial Kit

Price: £24 (4 x 30ml) | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty’s exclusive quartet of mini-sized Olaplex treatments offers a cost-effective way to try the brand before forking out full-price. The four-step regime, which includes the No 3 Hair Perfector, No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner and No 6 Bond Smoother, uses Olaplex’s hero active ingredient to repair hair at a molecular level for stronger, healthier strands. Expect your colour-damaged hair to be restored from the inside out. The latest addition to Olaplex’s lineup, the No 7 Bonding Oil, would’ve made a welcome addition but since the repair kit costs just £24 it’s a minor moan.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

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