How To Use Olaplex No.3

An intensive hair treatment aimed at repairing damage caused by bleach and heat, Olaplex No.3 has long since been a salon staple, but has recently gained popularity and gone viral on TikTok – all thanks to the amazing visible results you can see after use. 

A gamechanger if you’re struggling to find a solution for healthier hair, Olaplex No.3 goes a step further than regular moisture treatments (which only really smooth over the surface), by working to repair hair from within. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to use Olaplex No.3 and how it works.  

How to use Olaplex No.3

1. Apply to damp hair

Give hair a light rinse, then towel dry thoroughly and apply a generous amount of Olaplex No.3 to your lengths, then comb through from roots to tips. As with any hair mask, by applying to damp hair you’ll ensure a thorough saturation and even application of the product – so you won’t need to use as much as you would on dry hair. When hair is damp, this also improves ingredient absorption. 

2. Leave on

Although you can leave the mask on for a minimum of ten minutes, the longer you leave it on the better. Try applying before you go to bed and leaving on through the night or using the treatment to slick hair back into a low bun before work or an exercise class. To improve absorption, wrap hair in cling film or wear a shower cap. This traps the heat and moisture in which helps the ingredients to penetrate better. 

3. Rinse & remove

Rine your hair thoroughly before starting off your usual shampoo and conditioner routine. Olaplex No.3 isn’t a conditioning treatment, so for best results you will still need to follow it up with your regular conditioner. For maximum benefits, use the Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner. 

How does Olaplex work?

Olaplex No.3 isn’t a conventional hair treatment and is often mistaken as or incorrectly compared to moisture masks. While most moisture masks use silicones and oils to treat the outer layers of hair, Olaplex No.3 is different because it works by repairing the hair from within, rebuilding broke disulphide bonds. For this reason, it’s most effective if your hair is coloured or has been damaged by heat styling or treatments such as perms and keratin treatments. If your hair is healthy then you probably won’t notice such impactful results as someone with bleached hair would. 

How much Olaplex No.3 should you use?

The amount you need to use varies on how long and thick your hair is. Start off by applying a small amount and gradually increase applying more until your hair feels saturated. It’s always better to be generous with application than to spread the treatment too thin. 

How often should you use Olaplex No.3?

Depending on how damaged your hair is, you can use Olaplex No.3 as often as 2-3 times a week. If you regularly colour or heat style your hair then it’s ideal as a weekly treatment, but if you’re using it to maintain healthy virgin hair, then you probably don’t need to use it as often. 

Is Olaplex No.3 safe to use?

It was recently revealed that Olaplex No.3 contained an ingredient (a fragrance known as lilial) that was set to be banned by the EU over concerns about its impact on fertility. Cosmetic experts have confirmed that the amount used within the Olaplex No.3 formula (0.0119%) makes the product totally safe to use, and the product will no longer be formulated with lilial.