Is Olaplex worth the hype? My review of Olaplex

Monday, October 17th 2016 Hair care

Is Olaplex worth the hype - Lena Talks Beauty

Olaplex has been the talk of the hair world for the last couple of years, it’s been proclaimed as hair magic. It’s what let Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner go from brunette to blonde in one day with minimal damage. I had Olaplex used in my last hair colouring session, and now I’m here to discuss the big question. Is Olaplex worth the hype? I’ve also done some research about what Olaplex is, and how it works, since it is a bit confusing.

How do you use Olaplex?

Olaplex is a three-step treatment system – two of the steps are done in the salon and one is done at home. It is primarily used alongside hair colouring but you can have it done as a stand-alone treatment. My experience of it was when I was having my hair highlighted so I will be focusing on that.

Bond Multipler No. 1 is added to hair color or lightener by the hairdresser and applied to your hair. Once the colour has been rinsed out, they apply Bond Perfector No. 2 to your hair. No 2 is left on for about 20-30 minutes so be prepared to get comfortable at the basin. I almost fell asleep when I was getting it done!

The at-home treatment is called Hair Perfector No. 3, and should be used at least once a week. If you have damaged hair, you should use it 2-3 times a week in combination with your favorite moisture and protein treatments where applicable. No 3 is applied to clean, towel dried hair and you leave it in for at least 10 minutes. They do say that the longer the better – Kim Kardashian reportedly leaves it overnight. Then you shampoo it out, and follow with a normal conditioner.

Hair after using Olaplex in Salon - Lena Talks Beauty

My hair after having Olaplex used in the salon

How does Olaplex work?

My understanding of haircare science is minimal, but I have done some reading. The main way that Olaplex works is to multiply the bonds inside the hair. This makes your hair stronger and healthier, and colour lasts longer with more vibrancy. If you have broken the bonds inside your hair, with colouring, other chemical treatments, or heated tools, Olaplex can ‘glue’ them back together.

Usually, people say you can’t repair hair – you can make it appear a bit better with serums and the like OR wait for it to grow out. Olaplex seems to be revolutionary in this regard, as it can fix your already damaged hair. If you want to read more about the science behind it I would recommend a post written by LabMuffin. She is a beauty blogger with a PhD in Chemistry, so is my go-to for scientific explanations.

Without Olaplex and With Olaplex comparison

Image Credit: Olaplex

Does Olaplex make a difference?

I am truly noticing the difference to the condition of my hair after using Olaplex. Last time I got my hair lightened I went quite a few shades lighter and felt like my hair had pretty much been fried. I had a lot of breakage and the texture was that classic ‘cotton candy’ you get when you’ve damaged it like that. I went crazy with hair treatments, using one every time I washed my hair but they just didn’t do much more than superficial improvements. On my latest visit, with having Olaplex used, my hair feels like it’s back to it’s old condition. HALLELUJAH. The photo below is my hair 6 weeks after my last hair appointment.

Hair after using Olaplex No 3 Hair Protector - Lena Talks Beauty

How much does Olaplex cost?

Prices for Olaplex treatments vary depending on the salon. I paid $50 to have it added to my colour service at Amanda Baker Hair and Beauty in Browns Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. According to my research of Auckland hairdressers, adding Olaplex to your colour service ranges from $39-70. It is kind of expensive, especially on top of the eye-watering amount of money I already spend on cuts and colours, but I think it’s worth it to repair the health of my hair. If your hair is already in good condition, or you aren’t lightening your hair, I probably wouldn’t spend the money.

No 3, the at home treatment, cost me $49 NZD and is a 100ml (3.3 fl oz) bottle. I’ve been keeping count to see how many uses I get out of it, since it looks pretty small. I’ll have to report back with the results when you see this in an empties post. Some people told me you can get it cheaper online but I was wary of buying fake or dilute products so I went to my trusted salon. If you are in the US, Olaplex is selling No. 3 directly to the consumer for $28 USD with free shipping from their website.

Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector - Lena Talks Beauty

I’m really pleased with the results I’ve had with using Olaplex. I’ve recommended it to so many people, and I wish I’d jumped on this bandwagon so much sooner. I have trust issues with hairdresser recommendations because I know they have a financial incentive to promote certain products. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – it’s like me using affiliate links – but it does make a difference. Since I paid for all of this all by myself I hope this review and recommendation is reliable to you, dear readers. So in summary  – YES I do think Olaplex is worth the hype.

Do you have any questions about Olaplex? Leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them!Is Olaplex worth the hype? Lena Talks Beauty reviews the famed hair treatments



  • I found Olaplex improved the feel of my hair but not necessarily the look when you are comparing it to conditioning treatments that make your hair shiny (and are probably full of things like silicone!) I tried Olaplex as a salon treatment because I had recently gone very light and my hair felt fried. I didn’t try the take home product though! I am excited to see what it will be like using Olaplex when I next lighten my hair – and to include the take home product.

    • Yeah it doesn’t make it look as good as a conditioning treatment but it does make it so much stronger. You can do other treatments as well, last night I did Olaplex, then shampooed, and followed with a Manuka Doctor hair mask.

  • I have been thinking about bleaching my hair and starting the old blue, pink and purple circle of colour again and Olaplex has been something I have been thinking about trying. Great review and I might see if I can get my hands on some.

  • Chontel

    I did some googling about this and discovered that Schwarzkopf have their own version – do you know if that’s any good? I’m asking as my salon is a Schwarzkopf one but wondering if I should change to an Olaplex one

    • I’m not actually sure to be honest! My salon uses a range of products, I’ll ask them next time I’m there if you’d like!

  • Ah…maybe it’s time for me to invest in it as well!

  • Rasa Virviciute

    Your hair looks amazing! It’s definitely something I’m going to look into now. x

  • Pingback: 2016 - a year in review - Lena Talks Beauty()


follow along @lenatalks