I have tried dozens of top-rated hair care products over the years, including pricy salon and luxury brands, that have promised to restore the appearance of my aging, dry, dull, breakage-prone hair. While many have helped to some degree, the only ones so far that have truly delivered on that promise are Olaplex N°0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment paired with Olaplex N°3 Hair Perfector. Thanks to the company’s patented bond building technology that repairs and strengthens damaged hair and improves their elasticity, using this dynamic duo just once a week prior to shampooing, conditioning, drying, and styling with my usual products has helped my tresses look nearly as smooth, shiny, soft, and frizz-free as they do after a salon visit.
|This dynamic duo from Olaplex is an at-home version of the famous salon treatment|
Olaplex N°0 and N°3 Have Transformed My Damaged Hair
I have always worn my hair long. In my teens and twenties, my locks were smooth, silky, and frizz-free, even in hot and humid weather. After four decades of being color treated, bleached blonde for highlights, and styled with heated styling tools, however, the cumulative damage has left my tresses dull, dry, frizzy, and prone to breakage. I also have more and more gray hair, which is coarser, drier, more brittle, and more fragile, since the scalp’s sebaceous glands slow down their production of sebum (oil) that helps keep strands from drying out around the same time the number of cells producing melanin (pigment) diminishes.
The Olaplex N°0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment primer with Olaplex N°3 Hair Perfector made a remarkable difference in the appearance and texture of my mane after just one use, and I’m seeing even greater improvement with consistent weekly use, thanks to the cumulative repair and strengthening benefits of Olaplex’s bestselling product duo. My hair feels softer and silkier, and looks smoother and less frizzy, than it has in many years. It’s also stronger and less prone to breakage, and I’m quite happy to see fewer and fewer strands relocating from my head to my hairbrush!
The Patented, Bond-Building Molecule That Revolutionized Professional Hair Care Products and Services
Olaplex was born when the company’s founder teamed up with two UC Santa Barbara scientists, who discovered a new, single molecule, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, that works from inside hair strands. Thanks to this groundbreaking active ingredient, their proprietary, patented active chemistry allows the Olaplex professional salon treatments and companion products for at-home maintenance to work at a molecular level from within the damaged strands. Unlike traditional salon treatments and products that temporarily mask the damage, Olaplex finds and repairs broken disulphide bonds to strengthen the hair and improve elasticity.
The Olaplex standalone treatment is a salon service that pairs the company’s two flagship, professional-use-only products (Olaplex N°1 Bond Multiplier and N°2 Bond Perfector) to repair existing damage and improve the hair’s strength and elasticity. This proprietary, patented bond building treatment repairs all types of hair damage, whether caused by chemical factors (e.g., coloring, bleaching, perms, chemical relaxers, keratin treatments), thermal factors (e.g., blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons, hot rollers), mechanical factors (e.g., brushing, friction, tugging, pulling on wet hair), or environmental factors (e.g., sunlight/UV exposure, humidity, extremely hot or cold weather conditions, pollution).
Salons can also add Olaplex to any type of lightening, bleaching, or coloring services (or use it as a perm prep) to mitigate their damaging effects and decrease the hair’s porosity.
Top hair salons and celebrity stylists, as well as their famous clients (including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Drew Barrymore, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Julianne Hough, to name just a handful) have raved about Olaplex, fueling a social media buzz that turned the once-small startup from a dark horse into one of the global professional hair care market’s key players.
The brand's innovative technology was so disruptive to the industry that L'Oréal, the world's largest beauty company, went so far as to essentially steal the formula for Olaplex N°1 (which contains the largest proportion of bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate) and use the stolen intellectual property to develop competing products for three of its own professional hair care brands, L'Oréal Professionnel, Redken, and Matrix! L'Oréal was found guilty of misappropriation of trade secrets and patent infringement, and Olaplex was awarded $91 million in damages. The damages awarded were later amended to $53.5 million.
|Olaplex's "perfect pair" for repairing damaged hair!|
N°0 + N°3: A "Lite" Consumer Version of the Professional Olaplex Standalone Treatment?
The professional products used in the Olaplex salon treatments, the N°1 Bond Multiplier and N°2 Bond Perfector, contain the highest concentrations of bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate and deliver the maximum repair and strengthening benefits.
The products I have been using, Olaplex N°0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment and Olaplex N°3 Hair Perfector, are considered the "hero products" for at-home maintenance between salon treatments. They are sold individually and as an Olaplex N°0 and N°3 treatment kit. Both products contain significantly more bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate than any of the other consumer products (N°4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, N°5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, N°6 Bond Smoother, and N°7 Bonding Oil), which are more nice-to-haves rather than must-haves.
Olaplex introduced N°0, which it calls "a professional-inspired treatment that primes hair for deeper repair," has the highest dose of patented Olaplex technology in any of the take-home products. Designed to be used as "the first step in a two-part system with N°3 Hair Perfector," it rebuilds hair bonds, strengthens, and protects hair integrity. The N°0 "acts as an intensive repair booster, working in tandem [with N°3] to receive your most intense repair" and delivering "68% more repair & 3x stronger hair" after a single use when used together as a two-part system. According to the consumer website FAQ, "OLAPLEX technology works best when the product is wet in the hair. No.0 is a watery liquid that will dry quickly. Using No.3 over it keeps the hair damp, so both products can continue to work during the [at-home treatment] process."
Given the similarity of the product names and the characterization of N°0 as "a professional-inspired treatment that primes hair for deeper repair," I think this new primer was created to work with N°3 as a "lite" consumer version of the professional treatment, with N°0 and N°3 being used at home very similarly to the way N°1 Bond Multiplier and N°2 Bond Perfector, respectively, are used at the salon.
Even Without a Professional Olaplex Salon Treatment, a Weekly at-Home N°0 + N°3 Two-Part Treatment Can Deliver Impressive Results
The primary purpose of doing a weekly Olaplex N°0 + N°3 two-step treatment at home may be to maintain the benefits of the professional treatments between salon visits. However, I and many others have found that even without having had an Olaplex salon treatment with the full-strength, professional products, the weekly at-home, two-step treatment can still produce unprecedented improvements in the smoothness, strength, and elasticity of our tresses.
I would love to get the full, professional Olaplex salon treatment experience someday. In the meantime, however, I'm thrilled with how well these two consumer products perform together synergistically to repair, strengthen, de-frizz, and restore elasticity to my brittle, overstressed locks.
Note: Amazon Luxury Beauty is one of the authorized online retailer for Olaplex N°0, Olaplex N°3, and the rest of the brand's consumer products, which are also good for keeping healthy hair strong and resilient.
Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment + No.3 Hair Perfector Product Review written by Margaret Schindel
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