New Deluxe Olaplex No7 Bonding Oil

The ultimate Olaplex guide: What is Olaplex, what does it do and how to use Olaplex No 3 at home

20th February 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

There is an increasing number of Olaplex products all designed for different hair types and needs. In this guide, we explain how Olaplex works and how to use the full range


Click the links below to jump to the relevant section:

UPDATE: Olaplex has released a supersized bottle of its No7 Bonding Oil.

The Bonding Oil, as you can read in our guide below, Olaplex No7 adds shine to your hair while strengthening and protecting it from heat.

It adds softness and gives coloured hair a boost, helps to minimise frizz and flyaways without making your hair look or feel greasy.

Plus, because it provides protection (up to 232°C) it has built-in UV protection too making it great when looking to protect your hair from the sun.

Until recently, it was only available in a 30ml bottle but it’s not on sale in a Deluxe size, measuring 60ml.

Obviously, given its larger size, it costs a fair bit more but despite being double the size of the original, it’s not double the price. Olaplex and other retailers including SpaceNK are selling it for £51 – £5 cheaper than buying two 30ml bottles. A small saving but a saving nonetheless!


Original Olaplex guide continues below

Olaplex is largely revered as the holy grail of hair treatments. Since starting in a Californian garage in 2014, Olaplex’s patent technology is renowned for helping to repair damaged hair, especially chemically treated or coloured locks.

It’s so revered, it’s a salon brand that only relatively recently was made available for home use.

However, as with anything like this, there’s a catch – Olaplex doesn’t come cheap. Not to mention the fact there are now eight different Olaplex products in the range.

All that aside, we’re huge fans, and the reason we love Olaplex is that it offers a multitude of benefits; it’s more than worth the investment.

It can be used on all hair types, helping balance the PH levels in our scalps; it’s vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and nut-free. Along with being free of parabens, sulfates, phosphates, and phthalates.

To help you get to grips with Olaplex, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to what it is, what it does, how it works, and how to use the various treatments.

FURTHER READING: This hair porosity test will reveal if you have high, medium or low porosity hair 

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a salon-quality haircare brand that has gained an iconic, cult status because – instead of making hair look healthier, effectively masking the damage within, Olaplex repairs and restores hair from the inside out.

The brand was founded by Dean Christal with chemists Dr. Craig Hawker and Dr. Eric Pressly. The trio set out to discover a molecule that would penetrate hair strands and repair the bonds inside.

Explore the full Olaplex range

What does Olaplex do? 

Is Olaplex Worth itOlaplex

Our hair contains millions of structured bonds which are broken when we subject them to high levels of heat, colouring, and chemical treatments. Even brushing hair too vigorously can cause these bonds to break which in turn leads to weak, damaged, and dull hair.

These so-called disulfide bonds are in all three main parts of the hair including the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The latter is the innermost layer of the hair shaft that is where the strand is at its most fragile.

Inside hair, the structure has been likened to ladders that are twisted into “cables”. These cables and fibres combine to build the cortex and it’s the disulfide bonds that keep these cables in alignment. When all the bonds in your hair, but particularly the disulfide bonds, are intact and in alignment, your hair will be healthy and shiny.  When disulfide bonds are broken, it results in damage.

All of Olaplex’s products contain an ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. This is a patented ingredient – detailed here –  and according to the patent, the two ends of bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate form bonds with the sulfurs in the hair, creating an “artificial disulfide bridge”.

According to a superb explanation from LabMuffin, the “dimaleate part contain what’s known as Michael acceptors. These react to form covalent bonds…and so a new disulfide link is formed between the two sulfurs, making the hair stronger.”

FURTHER READING: Best hairbrush: Our pick of the best hairbrushes for thick, fine and curly hair

Explore the full Olaplex range

What Olaplex to use

Olaplex guide: What is Olaplex and how to use No3 at homeOlaplex

Knowing what Olaplex to use comes down to what you’re trying to achieve and how these products fit into your routine. However, if you only use one Olaplex product, make it the No.3 treatment. This is the best and most suitable for different hair types.

Ultimately, every product in the Olaplex range has the same end result – they repair damage and protect it from further impacts including those from pollution, heat and free radicals.

If you have dry, damaged hair that breaks easily (especially if it’s stringy when it’s wet,) you likely need the full range. At the very least you should use Olaplex No.3 a couple of times a week.

If you can afford it, add the Olaplex No.0 to dry hair and then add No.3 on top. Leave for a minimum of 10 minutes and rinse. Wash your hair with No.4, condition with No.5. Add No.9 to your towel-dried hair and then use No.7 to smooth and calm frizz. We also recommend that you apply the Olaplex No.8 mask at least once a week, preferably overnight.

If your hair is dry, or thick but not damaged, you can get away using Olaplex No.3 followed by No.4 Shampoo and No.5 Conditioner. Plus the No.8 hair mask for an extra hit of hydration. Instead of the No.9, we recommend the Olaplex No.7 oil for this hair type.

If your hair is curly, we recommend using Olaplex No.3, No.6, and No.8. Finish with No.7.

If your hair is fine and greasy, we recommend you avoid No.4 and No.5 and just use No.3 and finish with No.9.

Note: Olaplex’s patented formula works on damp/wet hair only. You can leave the treatments (No.0, No.3 and No.8) on your hair for hours, should you need to, but once your hair is dry it will stop making any more impact.

FURTHER READING: K18 vs Olaplex: Is Olaplex No. 3 or the K18 hair mask better for repairing your hair?

How to use Olaplex at home

Olaplex was originally developed for salons, and the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector was sold as an at-home treatment between hair appointments. Then followed No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner. The Olaplex at-home range now includes No.0, and No. 3-No.9. The No.1 and No.2 treatments are still for professional salon use only.

You can scroll through all of the products, or click one of the links below to jump straight to the required section.

Explore the full Olaplex range

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best shampoo | Best conditioner | Best curly hair products | Best hair dryer | Best hair dye | Best hair removal cream | Best hair mask | Best products for curly hair | Best products for straight hair | Best purple shampooBest hairbrush| Best dry shampoo | Best straighteners | Best hair dryer | Best cordless straightener | Best hair waverBest heat protectant spray

Olaplex Products Explained

To help you get to grips with the Olaplex products you can use at home, we explain what each number in the range does and how to use them – in particular, we show you how to use Olaplex No.3, the most commonly bought and used product in the collection.

♥︎ No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment 

£28 | Buy now

What does it do: Think of Olaplex No.0 as the mother of all haircare.

As its name suggests, the No.0 Olaplex has the highest concentration of Olaplex Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate to make it the most intensive treatment in the range. Olaplex says it primes the hair to absorb nourishment from all products that are applied afterward, to maximise repair. Kind of like how you use primer makeup before foundation to create a flawless base.

It promises to repair up to 68% of damage and gives hair three times more strength. These effects are even better when No.0 it’s used with Olaplex No.3.

How to use Olaplex No.0

  1. Apply Olaplex No.0 to dry hair and comb through
  2. Wait 10 minutes
  3. Apply Olaplex No.3 on top of No.0 – DO NOT RINSE NO.0
  4. Wait another 10 minutes and then wash off. Ideally using the No.4 Shampoo and No.5 Conditioner
  5. This treatment should be used once a week, or two to three times a week for visibly damaged hair

♥︎ Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector 

£28 | Buy now

What does it do: This product put Olaplex on the map. Olaplex No.3 is the brand’s bestselling home treatment because it rebuilds bonds within the hair. If you colour your hair or rely on straighteners or curling tongs, Olaplex No.3 is your best friend!

This is a once-a-week treatment that is highly recommended to be used between hair appointments. Even with highly bleached and overstyled hair, this little beauty works its magic to restore damage to the hair.

How to use Olaplex No.3 

  1. Apply Olaplex No.3 generously on damp hair from root to ends
  2. Comb the product through and leave for 10 minutes – or more
  3. Rinse then use shampoo and conditioner. For full benefit, use No.4 Shampoo and No.5 conditioner.

Social media recently blew up with claims and concerns that Olaplex was being banned in the UK because it causes infertility. These claims aren’t valid and were the result of some confusion concerning the banning of a substance in the EU that used to be found in Olaplex products.

You can read more in our: The truth about Olaplex “being banned” in the UK over claims it causes infertility guide.



♥︎ No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

£28 | Buy now 

What does it do: This bonding shampoo can be used at home and is gentle enough to be used every day.

It tames frizz, repairs split ends and can be used on all types of hair, including coloured hair.

It does have quite a heavy consistency so you only need to use a small amount to make a difference.

How to use Olaplex No.4

  1. Massage into wet hair in the shower or bath, concentrating just on the roots
  2. Rinse
  3. Follow with the Olaplex No.5 Conditioner

♥︎ No.4P Blonde Enhancing Toning Shampoo

£28 | Buy now

What does it do: This Blonde Enhancing Toning Shampoo uses the same active ingredients that mend broken bonds in the hair and now adds a purple toner to keep warm-toned hues from the hair.

In particular, toner has a tendency to dry hair out at the same time, it’s usually applied to bleached hair that is already dried and damaged. This means the addition of bond-building technology in this shampoo is a game-changer.

Officially called Olaplex No 4P Blonde Enhancing Toning Shampoo, it is an update on the No 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, with purple hair toner in the mix.

Purple is opposite yellow on the colour wheel. As a result, the purple in this shampoo helps to neutralise yellow tones in hair. This is also the reason why blue shampoo helps lift the colour of brunette hair. Both are effectively acting as hair toner.

In fact, it has been designed to “leave blondes three times brighter than regular purple shampoos” after just one use, and promises to use Olaplex’s Bond Building Technology to often customisable toning to “strengthen, soften, and neutralise unwanted yellow tones.” You can read more about what purple shampoo does on our explainer: What does purple shampoo do and which is the best one?

We recently dyed our hair platinum and can confirm that a single, weekly use of this shampoo makes a huge and very noticeable difference. It’s also great that the bottle is huge meaning it should last you ages.

How to use Olaplex No.4P

  1. Massage into wet hair in the shower or bath, concentrating just on the roots
  2. Rinse
  3. Follow with the Olaplex No.5 Conditioner

If you’re opting to use the No 4P shampoo, it needs to be swapped in for your regular shampoo (or the traditional No. 4) in between No 3 Hair Perfector and the No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.

FURTHER READING: Best shampoo for every hair type, from dry to curly, natural and fine


♥︎ No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

£28 | Buy now 

New Olaplex clarifying shampooOlaplex

What does it do? The No.4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo is a pH-balanced, clarifying shampoo that’s suitable for all hair types and conditions.

It contains Olaplex’s patented ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate which works to rebuild the bonds in the hair to make it stronger.

When used after an Olaplex treatment (Olaplex 0-3) but before a conditioner, the clarifying shampoo acts to remove scalp build-up and stop your hair from looking dull, dry, or greasy. By clearing the scalp, it can also encourage your hair to grow back healthier and thicker.

You can also read more about the benefits of clarifying shampoo here.

How to use Olaplex No.4C

  1. Massage into wet hair in the shower or bath, concentrating on the scalp
  2. Rinse
  3. Follow with the Olaplex No.5 Conditioner

♥︎ No.4D Dry Shampoo

£28 | Buy now

New Olaplex No4D dry shampooOlaplex

What does it do? The Olaplex No.4D Dry Shampoo is designed to “cleanse hair and detoxify the scalp” in between washes.

Olaplex promises that this dry shampoo will freshen up the hair and scalp but won’t leave any build-up or white, powdery residue.

This is because it uses rice starch to absorb excess oil, all while stopping your hair from smelling greasy and protecting it from the elements. Olaplex also claims it is “infused with skin-friendly ingredients” meaning it wouldn’t clog the pores on your scalp or cause irritation. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.

For a limited time, when you buy the dry shampoo you’ll get a free tube of Olaplex No.3 at SpaceNK.

We’ve ordered this dry shampoo and will be putting it to the test ASAP. Stay tuned for updates, or buy the dry shampoo for yourself here. You can also read more about dry shampoo here.

How to use Olaplex No.4D

  1. Shake well
  2. Separate hair into sections
  3. Hold the Olaplex No.4 D 6-10-inches away from hair and spray onto the roots
  4. Wait 30 seconds and massage into the scalp

FURTHER READING: How to get rid of greasy hair and stop it from coming backBest dry shampoo UK


♥︎ No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

£28 | Buy now 

What does it do? The Olaplex No.5 conditioner has been formulated to work most effectively with the No.4 bonding shampoo.

It leaves hair feeling soft and easier to manage and this conditioner is all about re-linking broken bonds. It’s suitable for all hair types including coloured hair.

Just like the Olaplex No.4 Shampoo, the consistency of this conditioner is thick.

This means that you only need a small amount. We recommend you avoid your roots with this conditioner, particularly if you have fine hair that gets greasy quickly.

How to use Olaplex No.5

  1. On freshly washed hair, massage Olaplex No.5 Conditioner from scalp to roots
  2. Leave on for 3 minutes
  3. Rinse

FURTHER READING: Best conditioner for all hair types and budgets


♥︎ No.5P Blonde Enhancing Toning Conditioner

£28 | Buy now 

Olaplex No.5P Blonde Enhancing Toning ConditionerOlaplex

What does it do? The Olaplex No.5P Blonde Enhancer Toning Conditioner works in the same way as the original Olaplex conditioner – it helps repair bonds in the hair and leave it looking smooth and healthy – but it also uses purple toner to remove yellow tones and brassiness, and freshens up blonde hair.

Olaplex’s purple shampoo is the best purple shampoo we’ve used but it works very quickly so the effect can end up looking a little silver if you don’t wash it off fast enough.

The Toning Conditioner is designed to offer similar toning skills but it’s less intense than the shampoo.

As the brand explains, it’s “the only purple conditioner with patented Olaplex Bond Building Technology to strengthen hair bonds for strong, healthy-looking blondes and greys” in just one use.

How to use Olaplex No.5

  1. Apply a generous amount to clean, damp hair
  2. Leave it on for 3 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly

The conditioner is designed to be used weekly or “as needed” and it can be used with the Nº.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo as Olaplex claims it creates “even, optimal toning.”


♥︎ No.6 Bond Smoother 

£28 | Buy now 

What does it do: If your hair feels dry and brittle then No.6 is the Olaplex product to help smooth and mend those broken bonds. It gives hair strength and, most of all, moisture to keep hair smooth and frizz-free.

This should be used mid-length to the ends of the hair. Not only does it follow numbers 0-5 in the range, but it’s also called No.6 because it can be used on six hair types and conditions.

How to use Olaplex No.6

  1. Fine hair: After styling, add a drop or two for a smooth and weightless finish
  2. Thick hair: Apply to damp hair to help speed up your blow-dry time
  3. Wavy hair: Work through waves of the hair to go frizz-free for up to 72 hours
  4. Curly hair: You can be generous when styling your hair, it helps define the curls in the hair
  5. Coloured hair: Safe for chemically treated hair and helps restore hair’s health
  6. Day 2 hair: Use No.6 to touch up and smooth frizz or flyaways

If you’re not sure which type you are, check out our What type of hair do I have? guide.


♥︎ No.7 Bonding Oil

£28 | Buy now 

What does it do: The Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil gives hair a gorgeous shine and strengthens hair along the way.

It also adds softness and gives coloured hair a boost, all while minimising flyaways and frizz.

We especially love this because it provides UV/heat protection up to 232°C and we recently featured it in our Best heat protectant spray list.

The Bonding Oil can be used on damp hair before styling or on dry, styled hair for controlling frizz and flyaways. This is our favourite Olaplex product.

How to use Olaplex No.7

  1. Turn the bottom upside down and gently tap to get the oil out
  2. Apply a small amount – about the size of a ten pence piece – to damp hair and then style as normal 
  3. It can also be used again lightly before re-styling on dry hair, and between washes

FURTHER READING: Best heat protectant spray UK


♥︎ No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

£28 | Buy now

What does it do: The Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask is one of the latest releases in the Olaplex range.

It’s a multi-benefit hair mask with a concentrated amount of Olaplex bond-building technology. It adds shine, smoothness, and body to the hair while injecting intense moisture into damaged hair. It doubles the shine and quadruples the moisture, all while making it 6x smoother (according to Olaplex).

We tend to apply this at night and wear overnight, wrapped in a silk turban.

How to use Olaplex No.8

  1. When hair is in need of a boost, apply Olaplex No.8 to clean, damp hair from the mid-length to the ends. For shoulder-length hair use two pumps; for longer, thicker hair use more. If you have fine or short hair, use less
  2. Work through with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb
  3. Leave for 10 minutes, rinse fully, and style

♥︎ No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

£28 | Buy now

What does it do: The Olaplex No.9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum is the newest release from the iconic haircare company.

As its name suggests, this is a protective treatment that can be used daily to prevent damage from free radicals, pollution as well as heat damage. All while repairing the bonds in your hair.

This serum is lightweight, meaning it won’t weigh down your hair. It’s also silicone-free and contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralise free radicals. This serum will also stop pollution from drying out your hair and leaving it looking dull.

Plus, it’s a heat protector! All-in-all a wonder product. Until now, we’ve been using the Bonding Oil in place of a standalone Olaplex heat protector. This serum has now replaced it!

How to use Olaplex No.9

  1. Apply a small amount of the Olaplex No.9 serum to damp, towel-dried hair working upward from ends to roots. Use more as needed for longer, thicker hair.
  2. Style your hair as normal. This means you can blow-dry it, or leave it to dry naturally.
  3. Once your hair is dry, you can also use this serum to help control frizz and add shine. However, this is what we use the bonding oil for so it’s up to you which one you choose.

♥︎ Olaplex Volumizing Blow Dry Mist

£28 | Buy now

Olaplex Volumizing Blow Dry MistOlaplex

What does it do? In addition to the numbered products, Olaplex also sells a standalone product called the Olaplex Volumizing Blow Dry Mist.

This mist is designed to protect your hair from heat damage by coating the hair in a thin barrier, and it’s able to withstand heat from stylers and hair dryers as hot as 230°C (450°F).

What’s more, it also helps protect your style from going frizzy or unmanageable in humid weather, and it contains Olaplex’s patented bond-building technology, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate which promises to help repair some of the broken bonds.

Finally, Olaplex claims the mist makes blow drying faster.

How to use Olaplex Volumizing Blow Dry Mist

  • Spray mist all over to clean, damp hair and blow-dry to about 75% dry.
  • Spray the Volumizing Blow Dry Mist again, focusing on the roots. Section hair as you blow-dry.

You can also use the mist in a similar way to dry shampoo. Spray onto your dry hair, focusing on the roots and blow dry.


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