Olaplex 3 review

I Hopped on the Olaplex 3 Bandwagon – Here’s Why I Regret It

AD : This post on How to Use Olaplex 3 is sponsored by Notino

So, I think we probably all knew it was inevitable that I’d end up trying the Olaplex 3 treatment I mentioned a few weeks ago, didn’t we? I mean, a so-called “miracle” product, that costs a small fortune? It sounded right up my street: so, when my longtime sponsors at Notino asked if I’d like to choose some products from their site, it went straight into my basket.

Other things I wanted from the site: this Chloe perfume which I’ve been coveting. Oh, and a beautiful bottle of my favourite: Lancome la Vie Est Belle – just gorgeous!

Olaplex 3, for the benefit of those of you who who DON’T spend most of your free time trying to talk yourself out of buying expensive beauty products in the hope that THIS ONE will be the one that finally makes you look a tiny bit better, is what is known as a “hair perfector”. It is NOT a conditioner: a fact that is so important, apparently, that it even says so on the bottle:


See? NOT A CONDITIONER, PEOPLE. It’s a freakin’ BOND BUILDER. Which means that it repairs broken bonds in the hair, apparently. Do you have broken bonds in your hair? Because I… well, I’m assuming I do. I mean, my hair looks like ass most of the time, and I use heat products on it almost every day, so I’m pretty sure it probably qualifies. But moving on…

How to Use Olaplex 3:

You’ll find all of these instructions on the bottle itself, but, in brief, here’s how to use the so-called miracle product that is Olaplex 3:

Step 1: Prepare Your Hair
Before applying Olaplex 3, it’s important to start with clean, towel-dried hair. Shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly, then gently pat it dry with a towel until it is damp but not dripping wet.

Step 2: Apply
Dispense a generous amount of Olaplex 3 into your palm, taking into account the length and thickness of your hair. Start by applying it to the roots and work your way down to the ends, ensuring that every strand is coated evenly. Use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to distribute the product throughout your hair.

Step 3: Let it Work its Magic
Once you’ve applied Olaplex No 3, leave it in your hair for a minimum of 10 minutes. For optimal results, you can also leave it on overnight. The longer you leave it, the more time it has to penetrate and repair your hair.

Step 4: Rinse and Shampoo
After the desired duration, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water. Follow up with a gentle shampoo to remove any residue. You may notice that your hair feels slightly different during rinsing, which is normal and a sign that Olaplex No 3 is working its magic.

Step 5: Condition and Style
After shampooing, apply your regular conditioner to nourish and moisturize your hair. Rinse it out as usual, and proceed with your regular styling routine.

Step 6: Repeat as Needed
For best results, incorporate Olaplex No. 3 into your hair care routine once a week or as recommended by your stylist. Consistent use supposedly help maintain the strength and integrity of your hair, especially if it’s chemically treated or frequently subjected to heat styling.

Other things we know about Olaplex 3:

01. Until recently, it was only available in salons.

02. Kim Kardashian swears by it, apparently.

03. It “works on a molecular level” to repair the aforementioned broken bonds.

04. It is a “genie in a bottle”, and now I’m going to have that Christina Aguilera song stuck in my head all day: thanks, Olaplex 3!

So, that’s what the brand themselves / various beauty journalists have to say about it. In lay-person’s terms, however, the biggest difference between this product and a conditioner is that you use this BEFORE shampooing, rather than after, and you leave it on for at least 10 minutes: or, as the bottle vaguely states “longer if desired.”

In my case, I DID desire to leave it on for longer (My logic here being simply that if 10 minutes = “good”, then 25 minutes must surely = “even better”, no?), so I carefully applied it to my shower-dampened hair, then allowed it to soak in for 25 minutes, while smugly thinking about the Kardashian-esque hair I was about to have.

Now, my main concern here – and, I suspect, one of the biggest issues a lot of people will have with Olaplex 3 – is this:

The bottle is tiny.

OK, not tiny, exactly: I mean, if you have short hair, you’ll probably get multiple treatments out of it. I, meanwhile, only got about 2.5, which, given that it costs £26 per bottle, and is supposed to be used at least once a week, would make it a pretty expensive long-term addition to my haircare hoard.

olaplex 3 hair perfector

So I waited, as I said, for around 25 minutes, before heading back to the shower to rinse the product out, after which you continue with your usual shampoo and conditioner. (Note: Olaplex obviously recommend that you use their shampoo and conditioner, which I’m pretty sure would, indeed, give you better results than the regular old products I used. They would say that, though, so do with that information as you wish…)

(This is probably the only downside I can think of to this product (Other than the price tag, that is…), actually: it basically adds an extra 30 minutes to my morning routine every time I use it, and while I could justify that every now and then, it’s definitely not something I’d be able to manage 2-3 times a week, say. )

And the results?

Even as I rinsed the product off in the shower, I could tell it had made a difference to the condition of my hair, which felt super-smooth, and silky: a fact which made me start to regret my decision not to get the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, because, to be honest, it felt like a bit of an insult to the hair to put ordinary products on it when it was clearly feeling its best self. Would that silky, mermaid-hair remain once it was dried, though? Well, sort of.

There’s no denying that Olaplex 3 definitely did make a difference to my hair, which certainly felt much softer and smoother – and also, somewhat unexpectedly, thicker. Or am I just imagining that bit? – than it’s been in a long, long time. You’ll notice, however, that there are no before and after photos attached to this review, because, quite simply, the kind of improvement it made wasn’t really the kind that will wow people in a photo. In fact unless you are me, and are very familiar with my hair, and its texture, I’m not sure you’d even notice. Which is kind of the whole point, really: I mean, if you’re paying almost £30 a pop, you want to be able to actually SEE a difference, don’t you?

But I don’t, in this case – or not a huge one, anyway – and while I do FEEL the difference in terms of the texture of my hair, it’s just not dramatic enough for me to be able to justify the price tag of this product on anything like a regular basis.

With that said, however, it IS definitely the best hair product I’ve used, and a lot of the reviews I’ve read of it suggest that it’ll make the biggest difference to hair that’s been damaged by bleach, say, as opposed to by regular styling, so although I don’t think my hair is in particularly great condition at the moment, it’s possible that it’s not quite bad enough for me to see the radical difference I was hoping for. C’est la vie.

In conclusion, then, although I won’t be adding Olaplex 3 to my regular routine, I’d definitely consider buying it as a one-off treat, or in the run up to a special event that I considered worth splashing out on, and I’d happily recommend it to anyone with damaged hair in need of a bit of TLC.

Have you tried Olaplex 3? What did you think of it?

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  • Anita


    When I want to really, really break the bank, I get my hairdresser to mix in Olaplex when she colours my hair (I get it coloured every 10 weeks #hidingthegrey ) and it makes an enormous difference to the shine, colour, condition… basically everything really. BUT it does also push the price of my hair appointment well above £200, sooooo… I hear you about the price 🙁

    October 13, 2021
  • Steph


    I have rainbow hair and was an early adopter of olapex ( when there was just 1-3!)

    The best way to describe it is it acts like cement inside the hair where the broken carbon chains are. Which you do get a lot more of when you colour your hair. Conditioner is for the outside of your hair so has a more obvious result.

    It has made it so I can actually grow my hair out from a pixie to shoulder length. I usually soak my hair and slap the olaplex on before bed and sleep with it wrapped up in a towel to keep it damp for longer. Works a treat!

    I also have the zero and it does help when combined with the 3.

    I however HATE the shampoo and conditioner! The conditioner is sooooo thick that it’s a nightmare to get out of the bottle! And the shampoo is not good for coloured hair (strips it much quicker than my usual shampoo from pureology)

    October 13, 2021
  • Brenda


    I tried Olaplex. My hair was fairly heat damaged so I thought this would be the holy grail of products. It didn’t impress me too much. The only thing I found that actually worked was to cut the heat damaged ends off and start over, using a better leave in conditioner/heat protector. Once your hair is damaged, I really don’t think there is a product that will actually repair hair. Sure, it might smooth it out, soften it up, but once it’s damaged there is no going back. So now, I am more into preventative maintenance and it has been a lifesaver. DryBar’s Mr. Incredible is my holy grail product. Kicks Olaplex’s butt at a fraction of the cost! A can lasts me a good 6 months.

    October 13, 2021
  • Lucy


    I do love Olaplex but the bottles could be a bit bigger as £26 is a lot of money! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    October 13, 2021
  • Miss Kitty


    I have no idea about Olaplex, I haven’t tried it. But Lancome La Vie Est Belle is basically become my signature fragrance, I love it so much. Every now and then I try another perfume just to switch things up, but I always come back to La Vie Est Belle. I really hope they never stop manufacturing it!

    October 16, 2021