which olaplex is best for me?

Are you already an Olaplex fan and just need to know which product is right for you - check out my 'Olaplex by hair type' overview below. 

To get the real 411 on each, keep reading as I breakdown each. 

Olaplex by hair type


What does it do?

Fine Medium Thick

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olaplex broken down...

The Treatments


Olaplex 0 intense treatment booster

The Booster

No. 0 is an intensive repair booster that was created to be used with No. 3 to amplify the results.

When used correctly (saturate the hair completely prior to using Olaplex 3), you are guaranteed to see the results of Olaplex 3 (e.g. hair's shine and strength) magnified.

While it is fine to use Olaplex 3 alone, using Olaplex 0 alone is not recommended.

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olaplex 3 bond building treatment

The Bond Builder

Olaplex 3 has the highest concentration of Olaplex's Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate ingredient, which is why it is recommended as a weekly treatment...up to 3 times per week for excessively damaged hair.

It is important to note that Olaplex 3 is a strengthening treatment...not a protein, a conditioner or a moisture treatment; therefore, I recommend adding a weekly moisture treatment to your routine as well. 

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how to use olaplex 3

As a stand alone treatment, take the following steps.

Step 1: Mist your hair from roots to ends with water. For extremely damaged hair, no need to mist...you want to soak in every ounce.

Step 2: Apply Olaplex 3 to mid-shaft and ends and comb through with a Tangle Teezer or wide-tooth comb. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as usual.

Can I leave olaplex 3 Overnight?

You can; however, it is not recommended as Olaplex 3 can pull hair color causing you to fade faster.

how to use olaplex 0 & 3

Step 1: Spray Olaplex 0 roots to ends on dry hair. Saturate completely. Comb through with a Tangle Teezer or wide-tooth comb. Leave on for 10-15 minutes.

Step 2: Apply Olaplex 3 directly over Olaplex 0 onto roots to ends and comb through with a Tangle Teezer or wide-tooth comb. Leave on for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Step 3
: Rinse thoroughly. Shampoo and condition as usual.

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olaplex 8 bond intense moisture mask

The Hydrating Hair Mask

As mentioned above, Olaplex 3 does not deliver hydration and every hair type can benefit from deep hydration. This moisture mask is light enough for medium to thicker hair types. It is not a replacement for Olaplex 3 although it also includes the patented technology. It is recommended to be used weekly in tandem with Olaplex 0 adn 3. For extremely dry hair, we recommend a richer moisture mask like Davines Nourishing Building Pak.

How to use Olaplex 8.

After shampooing, take a dime to quarter size amount of Olaplex 8 into the palm of your hand and emulsify. Apply to the mid-shaft and ends of your hair only. Comb through with a Tangle Teezer Ultimate Detangling Brush. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse and style as usual.

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The Styling Products

olaplex 7 bonding oil

The Hair Oil

Olaplex 7 is a hair oil that contains Olaplex’s patented active ingredient for repair and does provide heat protection up to 450 degrees. It delivers shine and smoothing; however, due to it’s weight it is only recommended for medium to thicker hair types.

How to use Olaplex Bonding Oil.

Take a dime-size amount into the palm of your hands and emulsify. Apply to the mid-shaft and ends only. Can be applied to wet or dry hair.

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olaplex 9 Bonding Serum

The Hair Serum

This silicone-free hair serum provides heat protection up to 450 degrees while providing shine, anti-frizz, ahd softness. Anti-statuic and lightweight, this leave in also protects from signs of pollution. Great for curly hair.

How to use Olaplex 9.

Take a dime size amount into the palm of your hands. Emulsify. Apply to the mid-shaft and ends of wet or towel-dried hair only. Comb through with a detangling brush. Apply more if needed. Air dry or blow dry.

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olaplex 6 bond smoother

The Styling Cream

Olaplex 6 is a styling product that is great for smoothing frizz and managing unruly hair. As this product is rich and heavy, I do not recommend it for fine to medium hair types.

Olaplex 6 is great for thick, unruly hair or even thick hair extensions to smooth. While it has some heat protecting qualities, it does not protect up to 450 degrees so supplement it with a heat protection product like Olaplex 7 or fan-favorite Oway Thermo-Detangling Cloud.

How to use Olaplex 6.

Pump a half a dime-size amount to the palm of your hands and emulsify. On wet hair or towel-dried hair, apply to the mid-shaft and ends only. Comb through with a Tangle Teezer or All Natural Glo Detangling Brush. Blow out.

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A little background

Olaplex has quickly become one of the bestselling hair brands in the world, but what these products do exactly is a point of confusion. Questions like "Does Olaplex have protein?" or "Is Olaplex 3 a conditioner?" are often asked and I'm here to help you weed through commonly asked questions.

It all started with Olaplex 3

Actually, it really all started with Olaplex No. 1 and No. 2, both for professional use only. The technology, once mixed with hair color or bleach, protected the hair by decreasing the amount of broken bonds during the hair coloring process. This not only allows hair to remain stronger and healthier after undergoing chemical services, but natural hair colors are now able to lift far beyond the levels it could prior to the advent of Olaplex (More natural brunettes and black haired beauties can go platinum blonde than ever before.)

Olaplex launched Olaplex 3, or No. 3, to extend the strengthening process once customers were home. Olaplex has grown far beyond their initial 3 products to include oils, serums, and styling products, all including the bond-building technology that the brand is known for.

Not only am I the Founder of North Authentic, I am a hair stylist who, due to advanced education and commitment to my clients hair health, became a master stylist and hair care expert.

In the salon, I am a huge fan of Olaplex, specificially Olaplex 0 & 3. So much that they are a mandatory step in all of my clients' hair care routines (See my recommended 8-Step Hair Care Routine to Kickass Hair).

Once a client applies any color or bleach to her hair, I want her using Olaplex weekly. If a new client comes in with broken, overly-processed hair and needs a color fix, I send her home with a 4-8 week prescription of weekly Olaplex treatments (plus other reparative products) before we will touch her hair.

Why? Because it is that damn good.

how to tell if your hair is damaged?

Before we get to how Olaplex works, we should talk about how hair gets damaged. The hair is made up of millions of bonds. These bonds give the hair its structure, strength and stability. When these bonds are broken, it results in damage. Damage leads to breakage, frizz, lack of shine, brittleness, inability to hold hair color, and dry hair to name a few.

The hair bonds are broken by multiple actions:

Heat - When high levels of heat from curling irons, blow dryers, and/or flat irons touch your hair;

Chemical services - hair color, bleach and highlighting treatments, perms, relaxers and keratin treatments;

Ill-treatment - rigorous brushing, friction, tugging or pulling on wet hair

Environmental factors - UV damage from the sun, humidity, extreme hot/cold weather conditions

Pollution - pollutants generate free radicals that penetrate the hair cuticle and cause damage.

Here are some ways to identify if your hair is damaged:

  • Breakage - This is number one. If you are seeing shorter strands in areas you have never noticed before (e.g. fringe area, crown), your hair is likely breaking.
  • Dry or Brittle hair - your hair is lacking moisture
  • Hair feels thicker in the root area but thinner in the ends. You are likely experiencing breakage
    Frizz and flyaways
  • Increased hair shedding or patches of short hair
  • Your hair tangles more easily than before.
  • You lack shine. Your hair appears more dull.
  • Your hair color fades quickly
    Split or frayed ends

what does olaplex do?

The patented ingredient that the company of Olaplex was founded on is Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. This science-backed technology restores damaged and compromised hair by repairing it from the inside out. It does this by relinking broken bonds inside of the hair structure. I like to call it couple’s counseling. Without couples counseling, many bonds will never make it. Olaplex gets those couples (bonds) back together after they have been separated or broken due to damaging actions listed above.

All Olaplex products contain Olaplex’s patented technology; however, their treatments are known for the highest and most effective concentration.

Do I need to use the entire olaplex line to see results?

Absolutely not. The styling products are a great addition, if they are right for your hair type, but they are not a necessary part of your overall haircare routine. Olaplex 3, and likely Olaplex 0, are enough to get the reparative benefits you are seeking.

Where to buy olaplex

You can purchase all Olaplex products (except for Olaplex 4 and 5) at ShopNorthAuthentic.com.

Due to ingredient and performance issues, North Authentic does not carry Olaplex 4, 4P, or 4C Shampoos as well as Olaplex Conditioner.

ingredient preferences
Shop "Free Of"

All North Authentic products are free of: Sulfates, parabens, EDTA, 1,4 Dioxian, and many more all provided in our Hair Crimes List. While we work with our brands to become even more conscious, we identify additional "Free Of" ingredients on every product page.

Shop "Free Of" ingredient preferences using our Filters. You can also take the North Authentic Hair Quiz to get your personalized hair care prescription of the best products for your hair curl type.

Product What Does it do? Fine Hair Medium Hair Thick Hair
Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Treatment
Primer and booster for Olaplex 3 (aka magnifies Olaplex 3's results) × × ×
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector
Strengthens the hair by repairing broken bonds × × ×
Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother
Repairative styling cream that smooths frizz and adds shine ×
Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil
Anti-frizz, hydrating oil wtih heat protection up to 450 degrees × ×
Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask
Repairative hydrating mask × ×
OLAPLEX No. 9 Nourishing Hair Serum
Leave-in styling serum that promotes shine and protects from pollution & heat × ×