I’ve struggled with dry and damaged curly hair for years, so when I heard Olaplex could potentially fix my hair, I ordered a bottle immediately and gave it a go. Here’s what happened.
I’ve tried a lot of different products to help nourish my dry and damaged hair, but the only thing that actually worked was switching to the curly girl method. As I’ve said in previous posts, my hair was damaged from poor nutrition when I was younger, box dyes, bleach, hard water in different countries, and travel in general. It was a borderline nightmare for a long, long time.
But in all honesty, following the curly girl method (CG) and getting rid of sulphates, silicones, drying alcohols, and parabens did wonders for my hair, to the point where the only issue I really come up against now is the intense amount of time it takes to detangle my hair every 4-5 days in the shower. Oh my gosh it takes so long.
So when I heard about Olaplex, I decided to give it a shot.
If you don’t know, Olaplex is supposed to temporarily fix broken bonds in your hair. While Olaplex’s main draw card is that it can help repair bleached hair, broken bonds can happen through excessive heat styling, poor nutrition, and regular dying as well. Basically, if you have damaged hair, Olaplex can supposedly help with that.
Olaplex 3: A Review
I’m careful not to buy non CG-friendly products these days for fear of my hair completely drying out again, which cuts out most of the silicone-infused products on the shelves claiming to ‘heal’ dry and damaged hair, so I figured I’d just have to live with the tangles.
Until I found out Olaplex 3 was CG-friendly.
I jumped online and bought it immediately.
While it has been touted as a salon product and you can only gain access to most of the Olaplex line through a professional, Olaplex 3 is available to everyone, and it’s the only CG-friendly product in the line at this point in time.
Here’s how it went down.
My hair was its usual tangled self when I woke up on hair-washing day. But instead of washing and conditioning the crap out of it like I usually would, I reached for the Olaplex 3 bottle.
The instructions say to apply the product it all over wet, towel-dried hair. I’ve always been confused by the term ‘towel-dried’ anyway (because seriously, what does that even mean? Is it meant to be damp or not?), so I put my head under the shower, absorbed the excess water with a microfibre towel, then squeezed a 10 cent coin-sized (quarter-sized or dollar-sized, depending on where you live) amount of Olaplex in my palm, and applied it to the ends of my hair, detangling and working up.
The product has a decent amount of slip (‘slip’ basically means it detangled easily) so, to my surprise, it wasn’t super painful or stressful trying to detangle it without ripping. Since the instructions say to put it all over your hair, I used a few more coin-sized amounts of products and made sure my hair was coated, before combing it through with a wide-tooth comb.
The instructions also say to leave it in for 10 minutes. I did some research beforehand and found a range of results. Some people swear 10 minutes does the trick while others leave it in for an hour, and some all-or-nothing Olaplex enthusiasts leave it in overnight. Feeling as though 10 minutes wasn’t quite enough, I tied it up and opted for an hour.
I noticed a difference immediately when I started rinsing it out. My hair felt lighter, smoother, and since it was already detangled, the washing process took a fraction of the time. I washed and conditioned as normal, used a microfibre towel to absorb the excess water, then skipped styling product (I wanted to see what happened when left to its own devices) and let is air dry.
Not only did my hair feel lighter and bouncier after washing, the feeling continued on all week. It was kind of amazing.
My hair looked shinier, felt smoother, and wasn’t as tangled by day four. There was also less hair in the comb after washing it again that week, and instead of drying out towards wash day, it retained moisture and stayed smooth.
The best part was I didn’t have to use it weekly. While the instructions suggest using it on a weekly basis, my hair isn’t bleached or dyed, so I found I only needed to use the product once every two weeks or so – whenever it started feeling dry again.
Overall, I was pretty happy with how Olaplex 3 changed my hair. It’s been a while since I started using it, and I still have less tangled and dryness. It’s kind of been a miracle.
One downside is it’s a little expensive, but it does last a while.
I read that you only need to use a little bit each time – one coin-sized amount…but…well…I definitely used more than that. About three times more than that. But the bottle is still more than three-quarters full.
I also tend to think if something is going to improve the overall health of my hair then it’s worth the cost, but that’s just me – it’s very individual and entirely up to you.
The other downside? Pretty sure I’m allergic to it 😂
The first time I used it my scalp was mildly irritated, but that happens to me sometimes when seasons change, so I put it down to that. The second time was a bit more of a disaster. My hair felt great, but my scalp felt so uncomfortable.
Super. Freaking. Itchy.
Oh. My gosh.
I don’t know what ingredient it was, and I don’t know why it happened, but it was so bad it started stinging after a while.
So obviously I had to stop using it for a while, but as a testament to Olaplex, my hair didn’t immediately revert back to its dry ways so, as insane as it sounds, I still stand by it.
Olaplex is vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben, sulphate, and silicone-free, so by all accounts, it’s pretty rare to have a reaction to it. I’ve only managed to find one other person on the internet who seemed to be in the same situation as me, so odds are it won’t happen to you!