Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is Olaplex the Most Overrated Hair Product in History?

It started in 9th grade. I wanted to spice up my mousey brown hair with a few highlights. Cut to me trying to doing my best impression of a hairdresser and use at home box dye (gasp!) to add dimension and color to my fine, previously permed hair. The result? A really pretty pumpkin blonde that was very sexy for anyone wanting to look like a windblown Carrot Top.

Since then, I've been allover blonde, platinum blonde and dirty blonde. I actually have gone to the salon and  had my hair basically destroyed on three occasions --once it was turned grey, once it was dyed white old lady Marilyn blonde and another time, at a ritzy salon,  I was given a wash of bleach. My hair was fried, broken and never really recovered. It was terrible and traumatizing.

Most people learn their lesson and stop coloring their hair or cut back. Now, I color my hair far less but still pursue flaxen Blake Lively tresses.

For a champagne hair wannabe, imagine my delight and excitement when I learned about Olaplex around six months ago. This supposedly revolutionary treatment claims to repair and protect the bonds of the hair during the color process. Not only that, it can be used as a quasi-conditioning treatment to further enhance in preserving the integrity of the hair between color appointments. Developed by scientists and hailed as a lifesaver by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, I was sold.

I headed to an upscale salon in Denver for my first life-changing Olaplex treatment about five months before my wedding.
Example of an Olaplex Treatment Before/After

I paid around $60 for the treatment and was astounded by...drumroll....the lack of results. It didn't strengthen my hair. It didn't make my hair particularly conditioned and it didn't repair anything. The girl at the salon recommended not washing my hair frequently and using a Bumble and Bumble blow dry cream. She didn't rave, as I thought she would, about the holy grail of hair, Olaplex.

Maybe it was a fluke or the salon hairstylist didn't really know much about Olaplex. So, I tried again because color gurus and stylist savants (as well as YouTube stars) like Guy Tang and That Girl Mandie preach that Olaplex creates the most shocking blonde transformations and keeps hair from becoming brittle or breaking.

A few months later, still questing my repaired and Kate Hudson happy hair, I was off to get my regular partial highlight at a top rated salon (different than the first) and was excited about mixing my color with Olaplex. The most senior stylist at the salon did my color with Olaplex and the results? My hair felt way more dry than usual. I panicked so much at the condition post-color that I even called back for advice and went in for a deep conditioning from a different Boulder-area salon.

My Kevin Murphy conditioning treatment did more than the Olaplex by far and I was still reeling that my hair didn't come out glossy, repaired or moisturized.

What gives? Why all the follicular fandom for this treatment?

I started thinking more and more about it. If celebrities have access to Olaplex, why are so many of them getting chemical haircuts and have badly damaged locks despite top-notch stylist care and the Olaplex revolution?

Example 1--Jennifer Lawrence whose hair has become straw-like at recent press events after repeated dye jobs and extensions.
Lawrence's hair BEFORE (her breakout Oscar red carpet walk) and after repeated color processes NOW
Not only is the texture different (stiff and immovable), but Lawrence's hair looks seriously parched and thinning.

Example 2--Jennifer Lopez
Another Jennifer in the straw hair club; JLo is known for her long, beautiful and luscious locks and has the L'Oreal hair endorsements to prove that she's a mane attraction. But despite her million dollar deals? Lopez without the fake hair is hardly recognizable; her real hair is super short, fried and dull.

Example 3
Kim Kardashian's stint as a blonde was short-lived and it really killed her glossy mane. Now, if you ever manage to get a viewing of Kim without her full and devious impostor hair, you'll see she doesn't have much left. HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

Other celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Rachel McAdams and Scarlett Johansson have gone shorter and shorter--likely due to over-processing of their fragile strands, i.e. chemical haircuts.

But if Olaplex exists--why aren't all these wealthy celebs sporting revived, long and healthy Barbie girl hair??

I started doing research to see if other people experienced lackluster results with Olaplex and found a few compelling stories. This YouTube beauty blogger claims her celebrity hairstylist doesn't recommend or use Olaplex. This redhead went from shiny ginger locks to dried out blonde while still using Olaplex. This girl had her hair destroyed while pursuing an Olaplex treatment.

I've read that a higher volume of bleach must be used when adding Olaplex to hair color as well as reading that hair that's already damaged will not have much success with Olaplex.

Just like the Brazilian blowout, Olaplex is likely a trend in the hair industry that might produce decent results when used on virgin hair (though the redhead above had virgin hair) and will likely gain acclaim for a time. As a final note, I took home the No. 3 Olaplex treatment to use after the salon session and didn't see any remarkable results with this product either, putting it on par with a so-so deep conditioner.

58 comments:

Rachel said...

Hi, thanks for the article. I also just had my hair destroyed by a stylist who over processed my hair, thinking she could do anything because she was using olaplex.

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MicrosoftSarah said...

I've yet to be convinced whether or not Olaplex will save extremely damaged hair. It does prevent a lot of damage, but it's important to remember that it won't prevent all possible damage. I'd say it prevents maybe half speaking from my experience going from dyed black to blonde. I did a lot of processes and my hair would've completely gone to crap if it wasn't for Olaplex. Granted, there was still damage, but not as much as there would have been.
That said, I've been using their No. 2 treatment, which simply contains less of the main ingredient, once every month or so with little to no visible results. Other people had great results. I'm stumped. At some point I'll buy bigger bottles of both the No. 1 and No. 2 and hope it revitalizes my hair.
But at this point, yeah, I think it might be slightly overrated. Or some people are just lucky.

zWayfarer said...

I've been one of those that's had remarkable results using this product, and dare add I was shocked the first time I used it with bleaching my own hair. This is as someone who has been bleaching my own for about a decade. I do think it can be overrated depending on how educated the stylist is regarding how disulfide bonds work using the product. There is also the case of how different everyone hair is, and It has its limits of course. One can guess some may get excessively hyped about it towards overlooking that fact towards over-processing a clients' hair with repeated applications of coloring or bleaching. That would be the worse case.

From my experiences, it definitely kept over 70 percent of damage I would normally have from bleaching my hair with Blondme 20 volume and powder lightener. I was able to get from nearly jet black to a light banana blonde, and apply a permanent toner using the same volume in one day. I could see my hair was dry after shampooing, but hardly any substantial breaking from what I could tell. Years ago, I used to nearly fry my hair using similar products without Olaplex. I would then suffer from continuous breakage to the point I would avoid wearing dark-colored clothing. This was while my hair would be left a crispy texture when I was not relying on heavy oil-based leave-in conditioners.

I've also been doing the repair treatments myself, and noticed parts of my hair that are greatly damage do seem to permanently repair. I have never experienced any conditioners work for me as that. I do use keratin conditioners to add lost proteins back into my hair, which also helps from what I can tell. However, I used to do it alone before Olaplex, and my hair would still be of a somewhat crispy texture.

Over all, I think the product is fantastic, and I would not bleach or color my hair without it. On the other hand, it does not prevent damage 100% of course, but of course lessens it, and eventually repairs (to a certain limit.) I think as long as a stylist is strict with measuring it as an additive, and gets familiar with its chemistry to a certain point—then it can correctly bring substantial results. Hopefully no one would be folded into thinking it would be able to return hopelessly fried hair to a nearly virgin state of course.

Unknown said...

I used this as a stand alone treatment twice and both times it destroyed my hair it caused it to fall out and significantly thin the strands. The bummer is my hair was in great shape before the treatment and now it's destroyed. I thought this would make my hair in wow shape like everyone says it does. So regretting my decision.

Unknown said...

I used this as a stand alone treatment twice and both times it destroyed my hair it caused it to fall out and significantly thin the strands. The bummer is my hair was in great shape before the treatment and now it's destroyed. I thought this would make my hair in wow shape like everyone says it does. So regretting my decision.

Karen S said...

My naturally curly hair is now limp and straw like after my salon used Olaplex on it. I'm very disappointed, it's been 10wks since I had the treatment and the texture is still just as bad!

May Ally said...

I've been trying to find someone...anyone... that has had a bad Olaplex experience (as I have). Thank you so much.

We need a support group!

I had Olaplex 1 + 2 stand-alone treatment(s) applied 3 times in hopes it would repair and strengthen previously relaxer-damaged hair.

Noteworthy: I haven't used heat, chemicals nor harsh products in over 4 years.

My hair felt like wet emery boards after Olaplex was shampooed-out and none of the deep conditioners used were effective at combating the rough, brittle texture and panic-inducing tangles.

Olaplex said users with this issue should have used / should use a Malibu C treatment (to de-mineralise those with hard-water hair / mineral deposits which may prevent Olaplex from being absorbed). Once Malibu C was shampooed-out, the hair felt just as compromised (actually, more so) than after Olaplex.

The last 10" may have been damaged but the 20" of new growth was all but virgin hair and I have babied it all for well over 4 years. I use pro salon / all natural products and I'm as healthy as a horse. No rough cuticle issues and no jagged tangling either (until Olaplex).

Six MAYDAY Urgent Customer Support Request emails sent... (a few days later) Olaplex rep talked a lot but offered no real solution (basically reciting the Olaplex sales pitch "...finds and repairs broken disulphide bonds"..."...insurance for the hair"... yadayada. I asked about Olaplex pH, if the treatment could worsen already highly porous hair, why does it feel so rough, could it be incompatible with certain shampoos / conditioners...why did it break in some areas... why did a few drops burn newly-shaven legs...the convo ended with her guess that maybe some people are just allergic to it (!?)

I begged to ship the products to them to determine if this was perhaps a 'bad batch' or similar but this was rejected.

Look - only those with compromised hair are using Olaplex (or one is about to undergo a potentionally damaging process that could more than likely strip the hair + worse). Damaged hair is susceptible to more damage no matter what is applied - even tap water can damage hair!

There is no way that it is as benign as they claim. Olaplex "holy grail", " revolutionary", "reverse all damage", " turn back time"-types of statements should be followed with "... for some people"...

My online searches re: what went wrong have been challenging - I sense some intense spin-doctoring is at hand; that and anyone on most any forum who mentions a not-so-positive Olaplex experience is bullied into submission via mean-spirited Olaplex lovers "... Your hair is the problem... It's not Olaplex". Sorry but that negates the Olaplex credo that it will unilaterally and across the board repair broken disulphide bonds, that is is impossible for Olaplex to strip hair = no way, no how will it ever leave the hair in worse shape than prior to treatment.

But it did.

I don't know why (and the Olaplex rep doesn't either). But I'm not the only one. Word to the wise: Think critically. Be careful. If your hair is comprised (even a little bit) always do a strand test.

May Ally said...

Hey, Karen.

Thanks for sharing. I just rambled-on a bit re: my bad Olaplex treament experience(s).

It IS so disappointing and actually pretty depressing considering the massive hype surrounding Olaplex.

If this bad Olaplex result had happened when I had my last / final relaxer-related chemical haircut (4 1/2 years ago) - that is, if Olaplex had been around then, I wouldn't be so upset.

It would have been yet another confirmation that trying to chemically and thermally straighten my naturally, intensely-curly hair was futile. It would have been one more product that just didn't deliver.

As of that day I ceased ALL heat, chemicals and harsh products. I've worn a bun for over four f-ing years!

Never did a big chop - the last several inches are damaged from the relaxer days but the 20+" of new growth is virgin. It was pretty smooth. No roughed-up cuticle. No knots. No de-tangling nightmares. No mush. No spaghetti-ends. Four + years of a bun...

Olaplex felt OK while it was on the hair but it felt rough as it was being shampooed-out ... jagged ... tangly ...

Never mind getting a seamless wide-tooth comb through it... I couldn't get my fingers through it!

It felt like it needed a neutraliser. It feels stripped. Olaplex says that's impossible. Whatever.

I've gone back to the salon for a Malibu C de-mineralising treatment (Olaplex recommends) which has only intensified the rough texture that resulted from the Olaplex treatments. Since it sounds like your hair responded to Olaplex as mine has, I wouldn't recommend Malibu C.

I did a porosity stand test (1 strand in a glass of water - if it sinks you have highly-porous hair). Mine sunk quickly and highly-porous hair translates into rough texture, low-moisture / dryness.

I used Shea Moisture High-Porosity Mongongo + Hemp oil masque which has helped to soften the hair but Apple cider vinegar will supposedly do the same (smooth, seal highly porous hair).

I don't know. I don't know why or what went wrong. I wish I did. But Olaplex doesn't appear to be too interested in determining why. They'll listen intently to the negative experience but offer no solution. All reps will say is "... That's impossible"...

Oana Stanculescu said...

I am happy to have found this forum ladies, but am sad that I didn't find it before I used Olaplex no 3. I am a naturally dark brunette who was a bleached blonde for around 8 years, between 19 yrs old until i was 27. During that time, my hair got shorter and shorter because of overprocessing and I decided to go back to brunette, completely natural, with frequent coconut oil treatments and sulphate free shampoos. I even stopped going to a hair salon and died my roots at home with ammonia free hair dye. Fast forward 6 years later and my hair is back to its waist length, rich glory. So, of course I decided that, because Olaplex is on the market and everyone is raving about it, that I could go ombre with blonde highlights on my ends. My hair looked decent after Olaplex 1+2 at the salon with minimum to no damage. I did a 5 hour coconut oil treatment before my first shampoo after the hair salon (3 days after) and my hair still look great, with minimal damage. I did, however, purchase Olaplex no 3 and decided I would use it on the weekend, after a night-long coconut oil treatment. I shampooed my hair, and generously applied Olaplex no 3 as per instructions, on towel-dry hair, covered my head with a shower cap and kept it on for around 5 hours. My hair was in horrible shape after I rinsed the treatment out, with strands brittle, breaking off, freezing and knotting. It was NOT in that shape after the salon. I truly think Olaplex no 3 has RUINED IT. Honestly guys, if you are reading this, stay away from it. I haven’t washed my hair since that disaster but I frequently find knots in it and brittle, oddly curled, knotted and split hairs falling out and breaking all the time. It’s honestly a nightmare. I will go back to my coconuit oil treatments and will die my ends dark again in a couple of months. I just hope that I won’t lose it all in the meantime…! Please don’t make the same mistake I did, don’t use this product.

Enzo said...

I did olaplex treatment alone just ones and it left my hair terribly dry brittle and thining.I don't understand why.

Dani Sankey said...

I am so glad you wrote this article and I too find my hair dry, brittle, and nothing I can do will change it ... as I lay in bed with coconut oil. (I will try the apple cider vinager rinse in the morning) I do agree with the previous responses that olaplex delegates and deletes anything negative on their closed Facebook forum.(I am a hairdresser) I have noticed though if I do a Malibu c treatment and a deep treastment like joy o King-Pak moisture mask that the qualities improve! Negating why olaplex has done. I see that every time I have done olaplex I wind up with brittle, worse off, hay of hair! I can only say that when I had highlights with olaplex in the bleach my hair turned out amazing and silky. I just wish I understood why my hair feels like crap after ... and will I ever learn. I truelly think the apple cider vinagar wash will help to break the bonds (stripping off the olaplex) and restore my shinny beautiful hair. Please anyone who has been able to reverse the damage please let us know! I really would love to have a forum about this!!! Thank u!

Curlychristina said...

Oh my gosh. I have been researching Olaplex for weeks since I had my treatment. I had a treatment with bleach about five weeks ago. It was so horribly dry and breaking after my stylist decided to do another Ola Plex standalone treatment thinking that would fix it. It made it 100 times worse. My hair was past my shoulders naturally curly. My hair Is now breaking an inch past the roots. It is extremely dry and brittle. The Curl pattern has changed. The strands are thin from all of the breakage. My bangs in the front of my hair or down to my chin. They are now about an inch from my scalp. I just got off of a live chat with the Olaplex Wanted to blame it on the color. I have had color damage years and years ago. This is absolutely not cover damage. Something needs to be done about this company. I told her so. If enough people get together a class action lawsuit can be brought against this company. Once again, this is not simply damage from bleach. This is a completely different kind of damage. Girls, what can we do?

Curlychristina said...

I'm sick to my stomach, depressed and humiliated. I cannot stand looking at myself in the mirror. I look in the sink I've got broken pieces all over the place.

minerva said...

Hi ladies. I just used Olaplex 3, over night. And the next morning, this morning, shampooed and conditioned. I lost a ton of hair in the shower. It came out in clumps. I gently wide combed my hair and more shedding. I'm so confused! I let it air dry and it looks like a dried out used up mop. My hair is awful. This evening I deep conditioned my hair with a Kerastase mask and am hoping this will help provide moisture. So far, it's still dry. I was going to try Olaplex 3 again, until I read of your responses. I'm sending the product back. Honestly, my hair was better before I used the Olaplex 3 yesterday. and I've been bleaching (salon) for quite a while. Just like your article says, if celebrities are loving it so much, why is their hair shorter and shorter?

Sharni Stevens said...

This thread is so bizarre for me to read. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who had olaplex do exactly what was promised. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. My natural hair colour is the darkest brown before jet black, and very fine.

For the past ten years, I have dyed it the lightest blonde possible as a full head of foils, with a tint in between the foils. Mainly at a good, reputable salon (where some of the staff were ex toni and guy trained - but then one of them broke off and made her own salon, charging prices I could afford).

Once I tried a full scalp bleach eight years ago and my hair would not grow longer than a bob (and it wasn't even a platinum blonde). When I would lighten my hair with foils (before olaplex came along), my hair never used to grow past shoulder length because of breakage and split ends. Now that I use olaplex (No. 1, 2 & 3) my hair is approaching belly button length (and will get there in about two months, judging by the rate it grows).

I still have split ends, yes, but nowhere near as many as I would get before. I find myself touching my hair all the time because it is so so smooth to touch. I get compliments all the time now on how long my hair has grown, and the shine it has! I NEVER used to have shine on my hair after lightening it. As I understand, it's rare for bleached blondes to have shine. Now my hair feels as soft as it did in my teenage years when it was virgin hair. I noticed this from the first application of olaplex, and now won't ever dye my hair without it. I've been using it for roughly the past nine months.

All I can think is that it might not be agreeing with the other products you use in your hair? Or, is it possible people are unknowingly sourcing fake olaplex? I get mine directly from the salon, though I've been considering buying the no. 3 off eBay. Reading the comment where someone used the number 3 and it dried their hair has me totally alarmed. I love using the number 3, but it's not cheap, so I tend to leave it in my wet hair overnight, in a plait, with a towel or two over my pillow. I do this the night before a special occasion or when I'm going out the next day or night. However, there is no need for my to use it in the first few weeks after having my hair coloured. Maybe week 4 or 5, and then week 7 post colouring, I'll use it again (its not cheap and my hair is long so it uses a lot of the little bottle, even when diluted in wet hair).

I truly am gobsmacked to read it doesn't work for some people. I'll ask my salon next time I visit, to see if there are other people who have had the same experience.

Sharni Stevens said...

As for the other hair products you use in combination, I can't say I've used any of them. Is it possible they mask its use or interact with the Olaplex? I use a Wella shampoo called SP Professional Repair Shampoo. I buy it in bulk (1L bottles) to save on the price (1L costs $50 in Australia - and lasts me 9 months to a year, but 250ml will cost $30). Sometimes I have used the Moroccan Oil Volume shampoo. I don't use conditioner but I use the Label M intensive hair treatment (also buying it in bulk, because I'm a student and can't afford to spend heaps on the little tubs when I used it every few days).

I do know that you have to alter the way you mix up your bleach when you add Olaplex in because it can make the bleach slower to process (I suppose you could leave the bleach on for longer, too? Although I'm not a trained hairdresser). There really is a science to it and if you get it done, you want to make sure you're going to a colourist who understands the chemistry behind it. One who can confidently explain to you how it works. If they can't explain it to you, I wouldn't be trusting them to use it properly. There is a reason the best colourists go through so much training. I have been told by my colourist that she personally won't try use it to produce results that she wouldn't have been able to achieve without olaplex (ie. hair that is dyed black and won't go platinum, or hair already damaged to the point she wouldn't touch it with bleach. I've seen Guy Tang's videos on dying asian hair blonde so I trust that would be possible, if done by a properly trained colourist).

If your colourist is just trying to wing it and hasn't had the olaplex team train them in its proper use, I'd be careful with that too.

As for celebrities with short hair - I always assumed that it was because 1) they've been using hair extensions for ages and that without a doubt will trash your hair, or; 2) a lot of them wear lace front wigs these days and I assume less hair would make it easier to wear those wigs. If its because olaplex failed for them, I wonder how I got so lucky with the stuff? I would love to get down to the bottom of this and find out what is going wrong!! As I said, I'll ask my hairdresser when I see her in a couple of weeks and see if she knows what might be happening.

For those that had a bad experience, are you sure it wasn't the bleach or condition of your hair prior? My hair wasn't totally trashed when I started using it. I use intensive treatments and have for years - but when you bleach your hair, you do get damage, and yes, it wasn't shiny or the smoothest hair. Are you using good quality hair products? I never use heat protectant, hair spray, nothing that causes build up, besides dry shampoo when I go camping or on holiday. I straighten my hair about twice a week but try not to use too much heat. I think I mentioned before, my hair dresser would never try use olaplex to produce a result she wouldn't be comfortable obtaining without it. And I trust her. My hairdresser was sought out by Giselle Bundchen to do her hair while she was in Australia. So its not just an expensive salon, but one that really knows what its doing. I am a student but also work in the entertainment industry so its really important to me that I have good healthy hair.

Its so sad to hear that so many of you are having bad experiences, and its so baffling to me because I truly find it a godsend. Hopefully we can work out whats going on!! I've been telling all my friends to try the stuff, I'd hate for it to be not working for them after I've raved about how amazing it is!!

Curlychristina said...

Another depressing day with my hair. Gummy, stretchy, breaking. This is going to be a three year process to grow out all of the damage OLAPLEX did to my hair. I hope women research prior to using OLAPLEX and see the many, many bad experiences we all share. Of course OLAPLEX representatives will try to counter any negatives posted. STAY AWAY FROM OLAPLEX or you will SEVERELY DAMAGE YOUR HAIR!!!

Liesl Weasel said...

It would be helpful if people actually mention their hair types when talking about their experience with a product. I'm thinking it plays a role. My hair is fairly fine and soft (or it was) but I have cubic butt ton of it. Professionals often remark that they have never seen so much hair on a person before. So I have what I have been told is an ideal hair type. Thick but not coarse, soft and strong.

I may be a good candidate for this but then again, maybe not.

I will tell you one thing though. Your hair can sustain protein overdose if you use too much. Which will cause it to behave the way many are talking. Falling out, breaking, snapping are signs of damage hut are also signs of protein toxicity.

Nancy sardari said...

Hi. I've been googling bad experiences from Olaplex for the last two months as my hair too is in the worst condition it's ever been. So I'm glad that I stumbled across this forum. Funny also that bad experiences are only materialising now!! I've been using it for a year at my local hairdressers but during my last visit ask the colourist not to bother. First off I was delighted with the results. It detangled my hair and felt thicker. Then about six months ago it started to feel different and it's got progressively worse. Like a junkie I thought - I needed more. And convinced myself that it was because I wasn't using the no.3 at home. But it didn't make a difference - it just started to feel thinner and thinner. My hair is so bad that I intend not to colour my hair for the near six months, I'm now taking supplements (have never done this before) and I'm not styling it and it's always up! It's so broken and I'm sure in places I lost patches of hair as there is new growth - woohoo (long may it last). The silly thing is that I've never had extreme colouring done. My hair is fine but has always looked healthy anyway. Obviously, hair problems can result from many things but comments above have reassured me that I don't have to go running to the doctors for blood tests just yet!! Just to stop using Olaplex.

Curlychristina said...

I do not do protein treatments as I know my hair does not like them. So sorry you have to endure the negative repercussions of Olaplex damage. I keep my hair up all of the time to in a loose bun and I have to bobby pin all of the broken pieces so they don't stick up. I've come to accept that this is the way I will have to wear my hair for the next year until I can get a sizable amount trimmed without being in shock from having long luscious curls too short broken bamaged locks. It was a process, but it's something I can't change so I just live with it right now.

Curlychristina said...

So sorry for the grammatical errors; talk to text.

Simone Goodwin said...

Hallelujah! I too have been searching for months for "alternative facts" on Olaplex. Olaplex has broken my hair, so when I read their ads about stopping breakage I have to laugh or else I'll cry. When I first read about Olaplex my long term colourist said it was for people who didn't know what they were doing. Sadly my colourist left the salon so I had to find another salon and thought I'd try this Olaplex stuff. I went to 2 different salons and was spending more money than ever on my hair. I have been professionally colouring my hair for close to 30 years. I have blonde highlights on thin-ish hair, but I have a lot of it. Furthermore I have never really bought expensive hair products but switched to those too. After the first in-salon Olaplex colour with No 3 at home the hair at the back of my neck snapped off. I then went to another salon, a prestigious one. I had a root shadow done with toner and Olaplex, continuing with No 3 at home. I then had 1/2 head highlights with Olaplex. Within a month the hair at the front broke off. I then got breakage all over my hair, including within 1-2 inches from the root. I went back to the salon and had a 1 & 2 treatment thinking it would help. I then realized Olaplex was the problem. On the next visit I was devastated and went over these issues. The colourist wouldn't colour my hair unless I used Olaplex. It was Christmas and had no choice but to say yes. I have stopped no 3 but my hair continues to break. I will not put this stuff in my hair again and am going to a new salon. But I am now faced with years of trying to grow my hair out. My hair has never been in this condition. This product does not suit everyone and Olaplex's standard comment that there's nothing in the product that can damage hair is bogus. I have contacted them and they don't care. I have a full No 3 bottle wasting away in my cabinet.

Jordan Northey said...

Olaplex does not give instant results. The problem is the colorist who is telling you that it is instant. It's working internally in the hair. Olaplex cross links single sulfur bonds back to disulfide bonds so that they do not form SO3 and eat away the protein in the hair. So that's Olaplex for you....it's designed to be in conjunction with protein and moisture. You are supossed to use it as if you don't have it and that's the problem is that it is people think they can use it and do anything and also you can use it as a treatment one time and see instant results. That's not what it's for .... it truly does maintain hairs integrity internally but you still must do protein moisture etc for your hair to feel healthy. Also it's not a stronger bleach. Olaplex #1 is a water based product. Developer is peroxide & water. When you mix the Olaplex with the peroxide that is a 30 volume it makes it 20 volume bc the water. So it's not stronger it's the same bc there's water added. I just hate to see people think that it can do what it doesn't people do not explain it they think it is a miracle worker and it's not it's an extra tool! ❤️ As for your hair feeling drier than normal that one time....I see your ends were already light and then you had platinum hair. Overlapping bleach even with Olaplex is going to result in damage. and when you got your partial ....Olaplex didn't make your hair feel dry I guarantee some of your highlights were pulled thru and overlapped previously lightened pieces that cannot get lighter. No matter what if your hair gets to white it is holding on for dear life even with all the Olaplex in the world.

The problem is not the product it is the user. It's used in the wrong way with the wrong mindset

Jordan Northey said...

Please read my comment. Also understand that you switched colorists. There is literally nothing in Olaplex to damage your hair. Read the ingredients. People use Olaplex as if they can do whatever they want to the hair with it. It's not Olaplex and it's not you it's the person using it. It's to be used as if you do not have it. Unfortunately people think It makes them invincible from damage so they try and push the hair further than they should or are lazy and overlap pre bleached areas that cannot get lighter. That's what caused your breakage.

Jordan Northey said...

Read the ingredients research them tell me how it damages your hair. The only way your hair would be so damaged and gummy is if your hair dresser pushed your hair too far. Sorry to tell you

Jordan Northey said...

Read my comment! ❤️ You are 100% correct. People don't know the true chemistry or how it works and expect things that are impossible and therefore push the hair to what it can't do bc they have Olaplex and it breaks off.

Jordan Northey said...

Actually ... that is bleach damage. Your stylist unfortunately probably thought bc they used Olaplex they could bleach your hair and not worry about elasticity or porosity. :/

Jordan Northey said...

Probably your colorist unfortunately damaging your hair and masking that with product and conditioner to make it look and feel shiny and then when you go wash it it is nothing of the sort. Not Olaplex fault

Erin Riera said...

people should also know that OLAPLEX IS NOT A CONDITIONER. you need to follow up the treatment with a moisture/protein mask to get silky, shiny, smooth hair. olaplex repairs disulfide bonds to make the hair stronger and resist breakage. THATS IT. it does not contain moisture. it doe not contain protein. IF YOU BOUGHT IT OFF OF AMAZON IT IS FAKE! if you bought it anywhere other than a professional distributor it is diverted product and either completely counterfeit all togehter, diluted, old, or many other things but it is not the real deal. IT IS NOT OLAPLEX's FAULT IF YOU OR YOUR STYLIST DOES NOT USE IT PROPERLY. education is key here and it is not a magic wand.
you need to find an EDUCATION FOCUSED stylist and make sure they are reputable. olaplex is a tool, just like bleach and it needs to be properly used to ensure proper results.

Simone Goodwin said...

I was at a leading Olaplex salon in Melbourne Australia. Guy Tang has been there to educate. They are frequently featured on Olaplex's Instagram. My hair is shiney but it is broken. I am using Pureology that is protein and moisturizing but I will not use Olaplex again. At the end of the day it's not necessary. I have consulted with other hair experts who have not drunk the Olaplex cool aid and they feel the same way and have seen similar damage from it.

Curlychristina said...

I went to a very reputable salon with VERY experienced stylists. I have ALWAYS gone to very well trained stylists at reputable salons. I do not balk at paying $300 to include tip for my hair color. These stylists have prestigious salons in New York and Chicago and have been trained by the best. I went for a consult at a new REPUTABLE salon to get advice...or more to hear comforting words as I know the damage caused by OLAPLEX is not reversible. The stylist said she no longer uses OLAPLEX. She has had some okay results but the BAD far outweigh any good. She said it is not worth the gamble so she is not using it anymore. The receptionist at the salon shared her hair story with me. She had an OLAPLEX treatment and has breakage on the front of her hair line and in the back. NO BLEACH JUST A TREATMENT. She showed her hair breakage at the nape of her neck, the sides and front around the hairline. It seems everybody's hair breaks at the same spot after OLAPLEX damage. Coincidence? There was another stylist who had OLAPLEX with bleach and her hair was fried beyond repair. She shared with me pictures of the damage she had. It had been 10 months since the treatment and her hair had started growing back. Her hair was below her rib cage and it is now at shoulderlength. She told me to hang in there as it will grow but all of the damage needs to be cut out first. Once again, these are very well trained reputable stylists who experienced damage themselves from using this product. They have had to refund patrons after using OLAPLEX due to damage. They said there are too many bad reviews of the product and it is not worth the risk. It may work for some, but it's not worth the risk. All I can say is buyer beware. I will go back to that salon for weekly deep conditioning treatments. I know it's not going to help repair my hair albeit I feel I have support and I am doing something good for my hair post OLAPLEX damage.

Jai M said...

This is exactly what happened to me! Years of suffering without putting products on my hair, refraining from heat styling, not coloring, not Over shampooing. Basically not looking my best and wearing a bun all the time. All to grow out the healthiest hair I could for years before coloring it. Now after adding olaplex 3 to my regemine ONE time after having my hair done (requesting olaplex) with the lightener. The Olaplex 3 destroyed my beautiful, strong, shiney, BOUNCY, flowy, moving HAIR. As of today it is frazzled, frizzled, shriveled, wired and fried! All for nothing! I really would sue them if I thought they would actually have to pay for all the time, money and suffering they cost me ruining all my hard work. Over a product that is supposed to help your hair! It'd be different if the color had this affect. But the hair was beautiful until I used the Olaplex 3 at home treatment! Reading these comments, we are told it is irreversible. And chopping it may be the only option. I'm am still holding on to my last youthful days and chemistry my never grow back those locks again. I think we should all petition a law suit together exposing them for the fraud this "technology" is. If interested leave your name and or email me. sushisushi2123@gmail.com. Let our voices be heard. Let's fight back while we regrow our hair Ladies!!

Jai M said...

Sorry but you're dead wrong. I wish that was the case. But in many cases such as mine the Olaplex 3 completely and soley destroyed my beautiful hair.

Unknown said...

Try using it once a week as it directs

Curlychristina said...

I wouldn't even suggest using it once, let alone once a week. I would NEVER recommend using OLAPLEX.

Curlychristina said...

Jai M, you are very pretty, beautiful, even if your hair is damaged. My friend told me "Thank goodness you have a pretty face," since my hair now looks so disgusting. I feel ugly, thanks to OLAPLEX.

Mary Carmen GarcĂ­a Tagle said...

Just got my hair fried! I got the treatment because I was promised that my already bleached hair would suffer no damage if using olaplex to bleach it again. The result... when rinsing my hair, it was falling apart and the remaining, is so fragile that if i comb it wet, it would stretch until breaking. So, I paid a very high price to fry my hair.

Sharni Stevens said...

So I spoke to my colourist and this is what she thinks (and I agree): People are trying to do things to their hair that they wouldn't or shouldn't have done before olaplex came along. As someone posted above, it has to be the bleaching that you guys are doing that is destroying your hair. Either that or some other product you use is interacting with it.

I didn't change hair colours, I kept lightening my hair the same way I have been for years, and I've gotten AMAZING results and get compliments all the time. As above, my hair is almost down to my belly button and I lighten it carefully but also quite dramatically.

Don't think that Guy Tang is a good teacher on how to use Olaplex. When he was in Aus recently he was caught out bleaching the HELL out of these poor models' hair, these girls were freaking out because he was so hell bent on getting them as light as possible and destroying their hair in the process. He has no concern about the long-term quality of people's hair and I've come to the opinion now that he is giving everyone unrealistic expectations.

To the person above: who told you that bleaching your hair with olaplex wouldn't damage your hair?!? Whoever they are, I think you have them to blame, not the product! I agree with what Jordan and Erin have commented above.

Curlychristina said...

My hair was damaged from a standalone OlaPlex treatment. No bleach wasn't bald for the standalone.

Curlychristina said...

Lol. That was meant to say no bleach was involved when my standalone OlaPlex treatment was done.

keri koefod said...

I just went lighter (full foil) on Monday, my stylist used Olaplex 1 & 2 during the service, and then I used 3 at home...My hair is FRIED. I have very fine, shoulder length dark blonde hair, and wanted to go very light, almost platinum. I assumed my hair would be okay, because in the past 3 years, I've only had balyage TWICE, and then lighter on Monday. I cannot believe the damage that I am seeing. All around my face the hairs are kinky and breaking...meh! I ordered the Brazilian B3 shampoo & conditioner and am hoping this helps. ANY advice is GREATLY appreciated.

Unknown said...

Same thing happened to me. My hair is awful now. Dry and crunchy feeling. I went to a 5 star salon and paid alot of money. She used Pravana as a toner. I barely went 2 shades lighter and my hair feels ruined.

Curlychristina said...

Unfortunately there's nothing you can do except a lot and I mean a lot of deep conditioning treatments. The texture of your hair is forever changed. The only thing that's really going to fix it is cutting it off. It's been 3 1/2 months since my Olaplex treatment and I'm finally seeing new, healthy hair growth. However, the Olaplex damaged hair is here to stay. The kinky, could damaged parts around my face, I trim every now and then. It is such a wired texture, like thin wires...ugh. THIS IS NOT BLEACH DAMAGE. Just know that you are not alone and there are many, many more other women that are going through what you're going through. How unfortunate though!

Rachel said...

Keri Koefod,

I was the first person to comment on this blog post. I am now almost a year out from having my hair fried by a stylist who took me too light, thinking Olaplex would make it okay. I wish I could say I revived my hair, but I'm still growing out the damage. I do have some advice though. Steer clear of protein conditioners. I understand that the best practice is to balance protein conditioners with moisture conditioners so that your hair has both, but in MY personal experience, that isn't true. The more moisture, the better, after my horrible salon experience. Every time I use a protein product, even still, a year later, I regret it for weeks afterward as I see more breakage and dryness.

I'm so sorry, people say it's "just hair," but I understand that it is a big deal. I'm not very high maintenance, but my hair was my best feature and it'll probably be another year until I feel that way again. Hang in there!

Curlychristina said...

Yes, moisturizer without any cones!!! Do not use shampoo with sulfates. I actually do not use ANY shampoo and only clean my hair with conditioner without cones, all natural products....called co-wash or no-poo method...research that...My hair was once beautiful....bouncy curls, now wiry, coiled and so not my hair....Hopefully in a year at least the new growth will be at least 6 inches...Also, I've been taking hair supplements, doubling up, using castor oil and doing nightly scalp massages with natural oils. I had nearly 2 inches of growth in 12 weeks....Going to continue this for the next year or two until damage is completely cut off and continue with my regrowth regimen.

Emily said...

Gummy, stretchy hair is what you get when you over lighten hair. It basically turns to mush. This is not from the Olaplex.

Curlychristina said...

The change in my hair structure, NEGATIVE CHANGE...is from OLAPLEX...NOT BLEACH!!!

Amyy said...

Olaplex as a stand alone treatment with either no2 or 3 (at separate times, many weeks apart) has broken half my blonde hair off, especially in the areas where I concentrated the product the most (crown of head). I had long healthy blonde hair and after leaving no2 on for 20min at home, I watched my hair come out in clumps in the shower. Both 2 and 3 were purchased at a Stylist only beauty store. I never used these take home products more than once per month and I can say with certainty that my hair is thinning in the front and breaking in the back. My massive breakage only occurs after Olaplex- I have never seen this before in my life and I have been blonde for 8 years with light brown roots. I had fine Swedish hair, but the texture has completely changed- I can see it on the strands! For a decade now I have used organic only products, and I can say that olaplex is the worst thing I have ever done to my hair. I feel like I have a mullet now. My stylist is my best friend and has 20 years experience- she has never done more than my 1/3" roots require- she has not pushed my hair to be anything besides a nice yellow blonde, no heat, process time 35min. My hair is no stranger to her careful and meticulous bleach applications. But after 6 months of olaplex at home- I have lost so much hair :( I want to further analyze this so called "miracle ingredient" and the company's censorship of bad reviews.

Curlychristina said...

i'll check back on the site because the OlaPlex people made me believe that I was at fault, almost made me feel crazy. Standalone treatments also damaged my hair. My stylist also only touched my roots and nothing else. My hair loss and breakage was at the hairline and nape of my neck. Hang in there. It's been a Little over five months and with a lot of babying, lots of moisture, hair supplements, eating healthy, massaging my scalp, and only using natural products, has made my hair start to grow back. The texture is starting to feel better, but that is only with lots of moisturizers and natural oils. I never use sulfate on my hair or silicone. With the 3 inch plus hair growth, I'm starting to feel a little bit better and can finally start looking at myself in the mirror without feeling depressed. It's a long road, and one I still have to keep traveling to get rid of all the Olaplex damage. To all of you who have damaged hair due to all OlaPlex, hang in there!

Simone Goodwin said...

Just dropping back in to say that in February I got my hair colored again. Went to a new salon using Wella colour. I insisted no Olaplex even though they use it there. No Olaplex in my hair now since December and I can now start to see a difference. The hair is growing and not breaking. The straw like condition has almost gone. My hair is shiney and soft. I'm using Pureology shampoo and conditioner which I love. With a Paul Mitchell Awapuhi treatment several times a week. My full bottle of No 3 is just sitting there. I still don't understand how so many people love be this product when it was the biggest disaster for my hair.

be curious said...

Jordan s answers are getting more and more desparate. I made a terrible olaplex treatment aswell, leaving me with extremely rough and frizzy locks. It is terrible.

Curlychristina said...

Hang in there. It has taken nearly 6 months for my hair to feel somewhat normal again after Olaplex damaged it from a STAND ALONE TREATMENT. The areas that were severely damaged around my forehead, hair line and the nape of the neck have started finally growing back and I have about 2 1/2 inches of regrowth. Of course it doesn't fit in with the rest of my hair but at least it's growing. Every time I go into the salon I get a little bit cut off. Once you get past the initial shock and sadness of losing your beautiful hair to OLAPLEX damage you finally start to feel a little better. It's taken six months at least for me to feel somewhat normal again After the Olaplex damage.

Monica Alves said...

Girls!!! Buy fresh aloe at a chinese, koren, etc market, apply the clear part to your hair and leave it overnight. Do it ever week, your hair will become strong and healthy again.
If you can't stand the smell, you can mix it with a natural/organic mask and apply it to your clean hair and let it sit for 30 min, then rinse it out.

Cortney Herber said...

My theory is either...hard or even softened well water reacting to the olaplex or the fact you have naturally curly hair. I've noticed on myself and two of my clients that we all have both in common.