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Best Olaplex products 2023: Dry, limp or coloured hair, there’s a bottle of magic for you

best olaplex products 2022

No matter your hair type, give your locks some love with the best Olaplex products available now

From frizz to breakage to fading colour, there can’t be many of us who haven’t a single issue with their hair. And considering the trauma to which we regularly subject our locks, we should hardly be surprised. After all, it accompanies our face everywhere it goes, except we probably spend less time nourishing and protecting our hair than we do our skin.

That’s where Olaplex comes in. Chances are, you’ve already heard of the brand – or at least its biggest claim to fame, the No.3 Hair Repair Perfector, which is well known for its ability to repair broken or damaged hair post-colouring and restore it back to its frizz-free glory.

Or maybe you’ve heard of it via social media, where TikTok users began to spread the word that Olaplex was allegedly set to be banned in the UK because it had been using an ingredient that could potentially link to fertility issues. And while there was no truth in the Olaplex ban, there is an EU-wide ban on an ingredient previously found in the Olaplex formula, with the UK expected to follow suit.

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The ingredient in question was butylphenyl methylpropional – also known as “lilial”, a synthetic scent that’s used in several cosmetic products as well as laundry detergents and household cleaners. Under the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, it’s listed as a possible concern for developmental/reproductive toxicity, and having been monitored for the past few years by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, in 2020 the EU regulatory authority announced its intent to have it phased out by March 2022.

Despite having a minute concentration of lilial of less than 0.1%, which according to experts is “not enough to directly impact fertility”, Olaplex clarified that it will be excluding lilial from its products from here on, and no products containing lilial have been sold in the UK or EU since January 2022.

So, we can all breathe a sigh of relief – Olaplex is still here to save us from our troubled tresses with formulations that are as effective as ever before. And to help you decide which at-home products are worth dipping into your wallet for, we’ve tried and tested every offering to bring you the six we deem essential for your healthiest hair yet.

Best Olaplex products: At a glance

How to choose the best Olaplex products for you

What exactly is Olaplex and how does it work?

Olaplex is a multi-step hair-strengthening treatment that uses a patented “Bond Building” technology to repair damaged and compromised hair on a molecular level. Our hair contains millions of disulfide bonds, which give our locks its structure, strength and stability. The hero ingredient in Olaplex products is “bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate”, which repairs these broken bonds from the inside out.

The lineup comprises multitude products, two of which are in-salon treatments for those who frequently bleach or colour their hair, repairing the fragmented bonds that occur as a result.

Then there are nine at-home products, all designed to work in harmony. Even if you don’t colour your hair, Olaplex repairs and protects against all kinds of damage, from heat styling to pollution, ageing and more.

What hair types is Olaplex suited to?

Whether your hair is fine or curly, oily or suffers a halo of frizz, Olaplex works well on all hair types. Despite being originally designed to repair and rebuild the broken bonds post-colouring, it also works well on hair that hasn’t been dyed.

How much does it cost?

The cost of an in-salon treatment can be anything up to £50 – but it’s worth it if you’re in need of rapid rehydration or your hair is overprocessed from bleach or heat styling. For home-use products, you’re looking at a starting price of £26 per product if you subscribe (£28 for one-off purchases), and although the bottles look small, the powerful formulas pack a punch and last much longer than you might think.

How we test Olaplex products

Our tester swapped their usual shampoo, conditioner and haircare products for the complete Olaplex range for four weeks to gauge results. The shampoo and conditioner were used every two days, while the other products from the range, such as the No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask, were incorporated into the haircare routine once a week or as recommended by the brand. As well as noting scent, application, the quantity of the product required and the cost, we also consider any instant or long-term results seen from incorporating these products into a regular hair-washing routine.

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The best Olaplex products you can buy in 2023

1. Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector: Best Olaplex treatment for hair prone to breakage

Price when reviewed: £17 (100ml) | Check price at AmazonDid you know that hair is elastic, stretching up to 30% before breaking? But if it’s damaged, it will snap under only a fraction of tension. Cue Olaplex’s wonder product, the No.3 Hair Protector, designed to be used once a week before washing. Comb the lightweight fluid through damp hair and leave it to work its magic for at least ten minutes – but really, for as long as you like. We tried it overnight and it really does have the effects of a pro salon treatment at home. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly, particularly if you have fine hair or are prone to oiliness.

2. Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment: Best Olaplex treatment for smoothing hair

Price when reviewed: £26 (155ml) | Check price at LookFantasticAs one of Olaplex’s more recent additions to its lineup, this was originally added as a primer to the No.3 Hair Perfector. However, we tried both products individually as well as together and found No. 0 does have smoothing effects of its own. Together, however, the two are a dream for stressed-out strands prone to breakage or damage by colour or heat styling. Allow to sit on damp, towel-dried hair for ten minutes before applying the No.3.

Check price at LookFantastic

3. Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo: Best shampoo for coloured hair

Price when reviewed: £28 (250ml) | Check price at LookFantasticIf your hair is colour-treated and prone to damage, it could be time to switch up your shampoo – and this sulphate-free version is worth every penny. Simply use in place of your regular shampoo to hydrate and repair as often as every day. The texture feels thicker and heavier than most shampoos, but it lathers easily without stripping away colour. Great for all hair types, too.

Check price at LookFantastic

4. Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner: Best lightweight conditioner

Price when reviewed: £19 (250ml) | Check price at AmazonIf you’re picking up the shampoo, you may as well get the conditioner as well, right? Much like its counterpart, this creamy conditioner works to not only maintain coloured hair, but also nourish and protect against heat styling and environmental damage. It’s much lighter in texture than most other conditioners you’ll find on the market, which means you can feel confident applying it from root to tip, safe in the knowledge that it won’t add excess weight. It’s a great option for anyone whose hair often feels lank and oily.

5. Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask: Best Olaplex treatment for dry hair

Price when reviewed: £28 (100ml) | Check price at LookFantasticApply this creamy, reparative mask to damp locks – from mid-lengths to ends – once a week, and you’ll notice the hydration benefits immediately. Leave on for ten to 15 minutes before shampooing and hair looks smoother and sinfully silky. This mask also delivers body, lifting the hair and giving it real bounce. Our skin and hair are our body’s first barrier against pollution, and this hero mask contains both ceramides and hyaluronic acid that work to protect your hair and keep it hydrated all week long.

Check price at LookFantastic

6. Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil: Best Olaplex treatment for fine hair

Price when reviewed: £28 (30ml) | Check price at LookFantasticWe truly believed that hair oil wasn’t for us – until we tried this. Nourishing plant oils, including grapeseed and fermented green tea, mean this product is weightless enough to use even on the finest of hair and it has a pleasing subtle citrus scent. A couple of drops does everything – soothes frizz, adds shine and protects from heat styling. And all without the heaviness or greasy layer that some oils can bring. We trialled on both dry and wet hair before heat styling, and it delivered every time.

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