How to Use Olaplex No.3
Author: Danielle Cauchi Date Posted: 9 November 2022
If you go to the hair salon regularly, you may have heard about an interesting product that stylists swear by, called Olaplex.
Olaplex is a salon must and is trusted, loved and used routinely by countless hairdressers, celebrity hair colourists and famous figures around the world.
While Olaplex No.1 and No.2 are reserved for industry professionals, the everyday beauty goer can use other products in the range themselves to repair, protect and maintain their locks between salon visits.
So why are there different numbers? Why is No.3 so beloved? And what makes Olaplex so special that it has attracted so many A-Listers as loyal fans?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a multi-step hair strengthener and hair follicle rebuilder that repairs hair from the inside out on a molecular level. It rectifies all types and levels of hair damage and can be used on any hair type whether that be virgin, coloured or textured.
Unlike leave-in conditioners and hair masks that primarily focus on making the outside look pretty (eg. smoothing fly-aways and frizz and adding shine), Olaplex re-builds the disulfide bonds that make up our hair using their patented ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate.
Our hair is comprised of millions of disulfide bonds that are disrupted by things such as colouring, bleaching, chemical treatments such as perms and relaxers, heat styling, environmental factors like UV exposure or cold weather, mechanical stress from tugging with hair combs and much more. Since there are so many contributors to hair damage, it’s important to have products like Olaplex on hand to repair the damage and restore hair health.
What do the numbers on Olaplex mean?
As you may have noticed, Olaplex products are numbered. But don’t let this overwhelm you. The numbers are in place to signify the difference between products.
Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier and Olaplex No.2 Bond Perfector are salon only products that are used during and after the bleaching process.
Then there are the other numbers – Olaplex No.0 Bond Builder, which is formulated to strengthen the Olaplex No.3 treatment (more on that later!), Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector which we will break down for you step-by-step, Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo, Olaplex No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo, Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother, Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Colour Mask and Olaplex No.9 Bond Perfector Nourishing Hair Serum.
Which celebrities use Olaplex?
There are a multitude of famous celebrities that have used Olaplex. The growing list includes Drew Barrymore, Julianne Hough, Kim Kardashian, Yara Shahidi, Jennifer Lopez, Billie Eilish, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone, Addison Rae and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Kim Kardashian revealed in this Allure video that she loves being blonde and uses “a lot of Olaplex” whenever she is blonde to keep her hair healthy amidst all of the processing.
Drew Barrymore took to Instagram with before and after photos, stating “Within 3 weeks @olaplex saves me! 20 minutes on clean wet hair! And so quickly my hair is remarkably and clearly better. It’s curling and actually bouncing and looking like hair rather than coughed up bird feathers.”
How to use Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector
Just like any treatment, Olaplex No.3 will not be able to fully penetrate the hair if it’s full of debris, oil and product build-up so you should wash your hair prior. You can use Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo (like Jenny from the Block did!) or another shampoo of your choice.
You will be able to apply the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector easier on damp, towel-dried hair rather than completely dry hair. Apply Olaplex No.3 to the hair from roots to tips and carefully comb it through. Allow it to sit in your hair and work its magic before washing. It is recommended that you leave Olaplex No.3 in your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 90 minutes. There is no real point to sleeping in Olaplex No.3 overnight as it loses its effectiveness around the 30–45-minute mark (or once it dries). Plus, you still need to follow up with shampoo and conditioner. Since it loses its efficacy once dry, you can improve product absorption by wearing a shower cap while using the treatment to lock in the moisture for longer.
If your hair is very damaged and you’d like a more intensive treatment use the Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment immediately before Olaplex No.3. Olaplex No.0 was formulated to intensify the No.3 treatment for 68% more repair and 3x stronger hair when used in tandem. You can use Olaplex No.3 over the top of Olaplex No.0 and rinse them out after 10 minutes.
Once the time has passed, hop in the shower and rinse the Olaplex out, following up with shampoo and conditioner. Again, you may use your own, but it’s best to use Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner to get the most out of your treatment as they are both formulated with Olaplex Bond Building technology.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can use Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother after your shower. This leave-in styling treatment speeds up the blow-drying process while ensuring your hair remains smooth and clear of frizz or fly-aways for up to 72 hours.
What are some hair repair alternatives to Olaplex?
There are no exact dupes for Olaplex on the market because of their patented ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate which is what makes Olaplex so unique and special.
There are, however, several hair treatments and hair masks that improve the look and feel of hair by protecting and strengthening it, sealing split ends, adding shine and providing hydration to increase manageability. These products include Marc Anthony Instant Miracle Mask Damage Rescue Hair Mask ($18.99), Marc Anthony Repairing Macadamia Oil Rapid Rescue Conditioning Treatment ($6.99), Marc Anthony Strengthening Grow Long Anti Breakage Oil ($12.95) and Schwarzkopf Bio Tech 4-In-1 Repair Treatment Cocoa Butter ($8.95).
Hopefully this article has taken the complexity out of Olaplex for you and you can go forth and achieve all of your hair goals!
Get Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector at Cosmetic Capital for $48.95 (RRP $54.00).