Beautiful Thursday: Truth and Lies About Olaplex

“Olaplex is a bond multiplier containing a single active ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Olaplex works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross linking them back together to form disulfide bonds before, during and after services. Disulfide bonds are broken via chemical, thermal, and mechanical processes.” ~

By Danni Gess


In the hair industry, there is a mystical aura surrounding this product. Over the past year we have seen Youtube videos, Instagram pictures and glossy magazine articles that extol the products benefits, but is it really the stuff of fairy dust, unicorn blood and dragon scales or is it just another product promising the world and delivering nothing?

Let me first preface this by saying that I use this product, not only on many of my clients but on myself as well. I am a natural level 5 and have an obsession with being REALLY blonde. Over the years, particularly before I became a colorist, I had pushed limits to try and achieve this blonde including an unfortunate incident where my hair fell out like needles on a old Christmas tree.

For many blondes this is a real thing. Over highlighting, too strong a lightener, flat ironing, can create a big fat plate of spaghetti hair.

Spaghetti Hair :  /spəˈɡedē her/ (n) Hair that has a disintegrated  cuticle which leaves the hair feeling slimy when wet. When dried, this hair typically falls away.


When presented a new product, I am the first person I test it on. Nothing goes on my client’s head until I am certain that it is a product that will add value to their service. For An addition to a color service starting at $15 ($30 for the take home) I wanted to feel confident that Olaplex is something that will bring results. So, based SOLELY on my own head of hair (though I’ve done hundreds services with the product) here is what it can and cannot do.

  1. It CAN protect your hair from unneccessary damage….when used responsibly. When I do my roots, I am using Olaplex. There are times when, inevitably, the lightener overlaps onto my previously lightened hair. In the “old days” this would create some hair breakage. Luckily, having a short funky haircut helps with this because it goes unnoticeable. However, now I can honestly say I have no breakage. To the point that I’m seriously considering growing my hair out, which I will only do if I have healthy hair.

  2. Olaplex is NOT a conditioning treatment. My hair is still dry. This does not shock me. Not once have I read that Olaplex claim it is a conditioning treatment or a mask. So if your stylist is claiming it will put moisture in your hair…refer him/her to this blog.
  3. Your hair will NOT be Teflon after using it in a chemical service. Olaplex has strengthened my hair over time because I use the #3 home care product. Olaplex IS going to give extra insurance when lightening your hair BUT when you get home and style with heat and exposure to environmental elements, your hair gets damaged. If you need to strengthen your hair, maintain what you invested in by using the number #3 at home product. It last about a month (I have short hair so it lasted MUCH longer)
  4. Olaplex works BUT if you are putting olaplex/lightener onto spaghetti hair and expect a miracle, I have a bridge I can sell you! Do yourself a favor. If you have mushy overprocessed hair, go to a salon, do an Olaplex treatment, purchase the at home #3 and a good mask. Stylists, when they come back in a month, not only will you be able to SAFELY work with their hair but you will have a client for life!
  5. Alas, It is NOT made of unicorn blood, fairy dust nor dragon scales. It’s just science which is equally awesome. However, don’t get confused. It ain’t magic. When people start claiming it can do stuff that it is not designed to do, it makes my job difficult. Not only do I wind up having clients that are disappointed when rainbows and sparkles aren’t glinting off their noggin, but as an industry, it creates a culture of mistrust.

Lastly, I have a little bit of friendly advice for my fellow stylists. I understand that we all learn differently and sometimes having someone TELL you how to do something seems reliable but seriously, not everybody knows what they are talking about. AND you are the person that suffers the consequence if you do not use the product correctly. Personally, I did this crazy thing called “reading the directions” and “research”. You’d be shocked at how awesome these two actions can be!

Have you used this product? What was your experience? Have questions?



8 thoughts on “Beautiful Thursday: Truth and Lies About Olaplex

  1. I have the hardest time making clients and other stylists understand that Olaplex is not a conditioner, but rather a bond fortifier.

    When explaining it to clients I liken it to weight lifting *lol* I usually say “weight lifting is going to make your muscles stronger but its not going to make you skin softer, it works on the inside of your hair to make it strong…. but just like weight lifting you still need to go to the gym a couple times a week to keep those muscles strong….. same goes for Olaplex and the #3 take home treatment.” Using that analogy has really helped the layman understand that Olaplex works on the inside not the outside of the hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep hearing you all say it’s not a conditioning treatment, and I get it! But if I am being honest about my personal Olaplex experience, my hair does feel Amazing after a treatment! Another Olaplex mystery?? All I know is I like my hair long, I color every 3 weeks and you would never know it from the way it looKS or feels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amy, Olaplex works from the inside! Because it is repairing those broken disulfide bonds it is slowly lowering the porosity of the hair. Which in turn will improve the longevity of your color and give you healthier, shiny and smooth hair!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One negative aspect to Olaplex, that I seldom hear professionals talk about, is the over hardening of the hair cuticule. This can make the hair inpenitrable by toners. If hair is not lifted high enough to eliminate yellow…you can end up with a warm cast. I still have trouble covering this sections of my hair with a 1b. I understand this is not everyone’s experience but something to be aware of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been using it on my hair for about a year and if anything, my hair grabs the toner a little TOO quickly. But again, that’s my personal experience.
      As for hardening of the cuticle making it impenetrable, O think that may be an overestimation of the products capabilities. Though the quality of the hair is improved, hence the porosity as well, my hair is still very dry from lightening…hence very porous.


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