Olaplex: Review

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Thoughts on Olaplex header image

As I write this review, I am currently grazing hip length. Retention has been, to say the least, difficult. I notice small, broken hairs everywhere, regardless of what I’m doing. I keep on top of moisturizing and sealing, deep conditioning, and being gentle, but breakage has been persistant…until I used Olaplex.

What’s Olaplex you ask? Well, let’s rewind a bit and address protein first. Protein, found in many different hair products, like deep conditioners and leave-ins, help to repair hair. As Natural Haven describes, proteins are “deposited” in the hair shaft, sticking to and forming temporary bonds to hair.
Protein is effective, but has a few drawbacks. It can make hair feel hard, and for those with low porosity hair, can sometimes do more harm than good. In regards to me, even with protein, this longer length of hair often makes it difficult to retain more length. About six months ago, I noticed I could retain more length by doing protein treatments weekly, but this technique is no longer working now that I’ve retained another two inches. That’s where Olaplex comes in.

I first heard about Olaplex from one of my Facebook friends, Heather, who is like seriously one of the dopest people I’ve ever encountered, and she has some seriously enviable tresses. She mentioned it in passing, and I tucked it away in the back of my brain to revisit later. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of making another hair product infographic and was reminded of Heather’s recommendation, and I decided to do one on hair bonders, which is where Olaplex falls under. Unlike a protein, which forms temporary bonds using amino acids, hair bonders repair the actual bonds in hair. While it’s not permanent (hair bonds break with normal wear and tear on the hair), hair bonders return hair as if it were new and undamaged. If this sounds confusing, check out Lab Muffins super science-y explanation.

So what does this all mean in terms of hair care? It means a few things. For one, Olaplex and other hair bonders are more superior at repairing hair than protein treatments. I’ve done two treatments so far, and my breakage has stopped almost completely. I had recommended Olaplex to another Facebook buddy, and she noticed 70% less breakage after her first use. Second, because proteins bond to hair, it often can make hair hard, or for those with low porosity hair, prevent moisture from getting to the shaft. With Olaplex and other hair bonders, the bonds repair themselves, so you don’t have to worry about hard hair.

Olaplex has one down side…the cost. At almost $30 for 3oz, it’s the most expensive product in my regimen. The bottle says to use once a week, but since Olaplex was designed for those with color treated hair (you don’t need color treated hair to use this), if your hair isn’t colored or extremely damaged, you can probably get away with using it once every other week or once a month. There’s also cheaper alternatives, but from what I’ve read, Olaplex is the industry standard, so results may vary.

All in all, if you’re having trouble with breakage and protein treatments aren’t working, your low porosity or protein sensitive, or you have color treated or really damaged hair, I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of Olaplex.


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