The Olaplex System: Exploring This Revolutionary New Hair Treatment
Few hair care products have joined the international marketplace with more pomp, pizzaz, and anticipation than Olaplex. First introduced back in 2014, the Olaplex system has quickly become one of the most desired hair treatments in the salon world. In fact, at some points, demand reached such a fever pitch as to completely devour the available.
However, despite this rampant popularity, there are still plenty of people who have questions. They want to know what Olaplex is, how it works, what it does, and who should use it. In this article, I’ll attempt to answer these questions and more. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading, you’ll have all the information necessary to determine if Olaplex is right for you.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex’s popularity ties directly to the growing realization. This is that many of us women regardless of how well we think we treat our hair, have actually done significant damage to our luscious locks over years of dyeing, drying, curling, and more.
You see, each strand of our hair features thousands of small disulfide bonds. These are what gives each follicle its strength, stability, and structure. When these bonds break, it results in damage to our hair’s internal and external makeup. Remember, our hair is a living thing – Olaplex treats it that way.
Put simply: Olaplex is an eight-step hair treatment system specifically designed to repair damaged hair from the inside out. Those bonds I mentioned a few sentences ago? Olaplex is uniquely formulated to fix them. This effectively revitalizes each hair follicle to produce a shiny, healthy result.
How Does the Olaplex System Work?
As we briefly mentioned above, the Olaplex scientists designed the product to fix broken disulfide bonds. From a scientific standpoint, these are molecular groupings that stabilize and organize the structure of proteins. In essence, they function as the “glue” that holds the very fibers of our hair together.
The problem is that these disulfide bonds are actually very susceptible to damage. Some of the worst offenders include chemical hair treatments like dyes, perming, and lightening, as well as UV light, air pollution, and heated tools. In fact, even the simple act of brushing our hair can break these bonds down over time. This means that hair damage (to some degree) is utterly unavoidable.
Once disulfide bonds break, they become highly sensitive to the oxygen present in both water and air. To make matters worse, your hair can eventually become so brittle that it can no longer support additional chemical treatments.
Now, you might think this sounds more like a chemistry class than a hair product review. However, all of this information is vital to understanding both Olaplex and the root (no pun intended) causes of your worst hair problems. You see, what Olaplex does is reconnect, repair, and strengthen the broken disulfide bonds that cause your hair to look damaged and dry.
To better illustrate the point, imagine every single hair follicle on your head is like a floorboard in your home. After years of cleaning chemicals and countless steps and spills, the nice protective varnish your floor once had has completely worn away. Without it, water and mold entered the floorboards, causing them to dry out and warp. Dry, damaged hair is very similar.
Of course, floorboards can’t heal, but your hair can. Olaplex helps the process along.
The Steps / Stages of Olaplex Treatment
As I said above, Olaplex is a professional hair restoration product. This means it’s only suitable to be applied in a salon environment by a trained professional. However, this only applies to the first two steps of the eight-step process. In the following section, we’ll outline the first three stages of the Olaplex treatment that we use in our hair salon to give you a better idea of how it can help you.
Step 1: Olaplex No.1 is what is known as a “bond multiplier.” This is a highly concentrated formula designed to rebuild the broken disulfide bonds in your hair while kickstarting the “rebuilding” process. It can be used with any lightener for those seeking hair integrity protection, or with a dye or coloring to help prevent damage.
Step 2: Olaplex No.2 is labeled a “bond perfector.” Also designed to be performed in the salon, No. 2 helps rebuild and restore any remaining damaged bonds to leave your hair healthy and soft. It is usually applied post coloring, but before you shampoo to maximize benefits.
Step 3: Olaplex No.3 is a once-a-week hair treatment that you apply at home. The goal of this “hair perfector” is to nourish your damaged hair bonds between coloring sessions. The product functions as a pre-wash treatment, and most women find the best results come from applying it to damp hair before bed.
Steps 4-5: Steps No.4 and No.5 are a Shampoo and Conditioner designed to hydrate and repair the damage done do your disulfide bonds on a daily basis.
Step 6: No.6, which is known as a “bond smoother,” is essentially a leave-in conditioner designed to hydrate your hair, leaving it silky and soft.
Step 7: No. 7 is a highly-concentrated, weightless styling oil that dramatically increases shine, softness and color vibrancy. It eliminates flyaway and frizz, and repairs, strengthens, and hydrates all hair types.
Step 8: Olaplex No.8 is an intensive repair hair mask that also moisturizers your hair. The mask is great for all hair types but especially beneficial for dry, damaged, highlighted or bleached hair. It adds shine, smoothness, and strength while providing intense moisture to treat damaged hair.
Who Can Use Olaplex?
One of the main reasons why Olaplex is so popular is because it is an incredibly versatile product. In fact, you can use it in several different ways. Currently, Olaplex recommends the system for:
1. Standalone hair rejuvenation.
2. Along with bleaching, highlighting, balayage, and other color services.
3. As part of a perm treatment.
4. Along with relaxers.
5. In conjunction with keratin treatments.
6. To aid thermal reconditioning treatments.
Now, as the main purpose of the Olaplex system is to repair damaged hair, you will most commonly see it recommended to people who already know their hair is in bad shape. Alternatively, you might consider the system if you are at risk of having damaged hair or fit one of the categories below:
- Women with chemically treated or textured hair.
- Women with hair extensions.
- Women with fine hair.
- Women who are getting or currently have colored hair (or who have colored in the past).
- Women with highlighted hair.
- Women with dry hair.
Of course, as I mentioned, there are plenty of factors that can damage your hair that have nothing to do with the salon. From heat and air pollution to chlorine and other common chemicals, un-colored or un-curled hair can also suffer significant disulfide bond damage. Ultimately, if your hair is dry, brittle, or otherwise unhealthy, the Olaplex treatment can help. Visit our Olaplex hair salon to improve your hair condition.
An Olaplex F.A.Q.
I understand that Olaplex is still a relatively new product. To help you decide whether or not this system is right for you, I’ve included this brief F.A.Q.
Are there more parts to the system than what’s listed?
Actually, yes. Olaplex has released several new products intended to for use in conjunction with their current system. One is their No.0 Intensive Bond-Building Hair Treatment, and the other is the No.7 Bonding Oil, which helps protect hair from extreme temperatures.
How often should I get an Olaplex treatment?
Use the home treatment once a week. Apply it on damp hair and leave for as long as you can for better results
Why is Olaplex so important for blonde hair?
Lightening your hair can do serious damage to your follicles, especially when going from a darker color to something like platinum blonde. In fact, some women have hair that is already far too weak to support this level of bleaching. When it comes to reversing this damage, Olaplex is absolutely essential.
How much does Olaplex cost?
The costs associated with the Olaplex system will vary quite a bit from salon to salon. We charge $30-75 at our Olaplex Hair Salon. That said, this is a premium array of products designed to perform lasting wonders for your hair. In most cases, it is well worth the investment.
Olaplex Hair Salon
300 Josephine St #110
Denver CO 80206