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What order do I use Olaplex hair products in?

Olaplex has become one of the most popular professional hair care brands for repairing and strengthening damaged hair. Their products contain an active patented ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate that works to rebuild broken bonds in the hair. Using Olaplex products in the proper order is key to getting the full benefits and seeing optimal results.

The Olaplex System

The Olaplex system is composed of 3 main steps:

  1. Bond Builder – Repairing Treatment (No. 0, 3)
  2. Bond Perfector – Strengthening Treatment (No. 4, 5)
  3. Bond Maintainer – Moisturizing Treatment (No. 6, 7, 8)

Using the products in this order allows Olaplex to work most effectively at each stage of the process. Here is an overview of what each step does:

1. Bond Builder – Repair broken bonds

The Bond Builder treatments contain the active Olaplex ingredient that finds broken disulfide bonds in the hair and rebuilds those bonds. This repairs damage and restores strength and elasticity. The two main products for this step are:

  • No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment – Professional concentrated treatment used in salon. Repairs the most severely damaged hair.
  • No. 3 Hair Perfector – At-home version of No. 0. Use weekly or as needed to rebuild broken bonds.

2. Bond Perfector – Strengthen and protect

Once bonds are repaired, the Bond Perfector treatments further strengthen and protect hair. These contain ingredients like protein and oils to add elasticity, softness, and shield from damage. The core products are:

  • No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo – Sulfate-free shampoo cleans while minimizing damage.
  • No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner – Lightweight conditioner strengthens and hydrates.

3. Bond Maintainer – Nourish and hydrate

The final step is to use Bond Maintainer treatments that work to nourish hair and lock in moisture. These moisturizing products improve manageability and smoothness. The main options are:

  • No. 6 Bond Smoother – Leave-in conditioning treatment to reduce frizz.
  • No. 7 Bonding Oil – Nourishing oil that restores shine and softness.
  • No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask – Deeply hydrating hair mask.

How To Use Olaplex Products

Now that we’ve covered the overall Olaplex system, let’s go over the step-by-step process for using the products properly at home:

Step 1: Shampoo

Start by washing your hair with No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo. Apply it to damp hair and massage gently into scalp and lengths. Rinse thoroughly. It’s best to shampoo every 2-3 days or as needed.

Step 2: Apply No. 3 Treatment

After shampooing, towel dry hair so it’s damp but not fully dry. Then apply No. 3 Hair Perfector by dividing hair into sections. Use the applicator tip to distribute the product from roots to ends, focusing on damaged areas. Leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes, up to 30 minutes for very damaged hair.

Step 3: Rinse Out Treatment

Once the No. 3 treatment has sat, rinse it out thoroughly with cool or lukewarm water. Be sure to remove all traces of the product from your hair.

Step 4: Condition

Follow with No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner. Apply from mid-lengths to ends. Leave on for 2-3 minutes then rinse. This helps strengthen and add shine.

Step 5: Apply Leave-In Treatments

After conditioning, apply any leave-in treatments like No. 6 or No. 7. Focus on mid-lengths to ends. This helps provide lasting hydration and smoothness.

Step 6: Style as Usual

Once you’ve gone through these steps, style and dry your hair as normal. Use heat protectant if using any hot tools. Olaplex products help make hair more resistant to damage from styling and environmental factors.

When to Use Each Product

Now let’s break down frequency and usage tips for each Olaplex product:

Product When to Use How Often Tips
No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment In salon during chemical services like coloring, bleaching, perming Every time you have a chemical service Professional use only
No. 3 Hair Perfector After shampooing 1-2 times per week Focus on damaged areas; leave on 10+ minutes
No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo Regular shampooing 2-3 times per week Gently massage into scalp & lengths
No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner After shampooing Every time you shampoo Rinse after 2-3 minutes
No. 6 Bond Smoother After conditioning, on towel dried hair As needed for extra moisture Focus on mid-lengths to ends
No. 7 Bonding Oil After conditioning or as finishing touch As needed when hair feels dry Just a few drops massaged through lengths
No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask In place of conditioner 1-2 times per week Shampoo out after 10+ minutes

Olaplex Treatment Schedule

Putting all this together, here is an example Olaplex treatment schedule for maximum repair and protection:

  • 2-3 times per week: Shampoo with No. 4, Condition with No. 5
  • 1-2 times per week: Apply No. 3 treatment before shampooing
  • 1-2 times per week: Use No. 8 Moisture Mask instead of conditioner
  • As needed: Use No. 6 or No. 7 for extra moisture and frizz control

This provides a good balance of regularly rebuilding bonds and strengthening with the No. 3 treatment, while gently cleansing and hydrating hair. Damaged hair may need more intensive No. 3 applications, while healthy hair can get by with just weekly use. Adjust as needed for your individual hair needs.

Olaplex Treatment Time

Properly using Olaplex does require some extra time invested in your hair routine. Here is an estimate of the time requirements:

  • No. 4 Shampoo: 2-3 minutes
  • No. 3 Treatment: 10-30 minutes
  • No. 5 Conditioner: 2-3 minutes
  • No. 6 or No. 7: 1-2 minutes
  • No. 8 Mask: 10+ minutes

For a thorough Olaplex routine expect to spend 20-45 minutes applying the products and letting them soak in. But restoring the health of your hair is worth the time commitment!

Key Tips for Getting Best Results

Here are some key tips to follow for optimal results from the Olaplex system:

  • Always shampoo before applying No. 3. This allows it to penetrate most effectively.
  • Use No. 3 at least once a week. More frequent use repairs damage faster.
  • Leave No. 3 on for 10+ minutes. Up to 30 minutes for severely damaged hair.
  • Use a moisturizing mask 1-2 times per week. This prevents drying and breakage.
  • Use a heat protectant if styling with hot tools. This protects from undoing Olaplex’s work.
  • Be patient! It takes 4-6 weeks to see significant improvement in condition.

Combining Olaplex with Other Products

Olaplex products are designed to be effective on their own as a complete system. However, you can combine them with other haircare products as long as you follow some guidelines:

  • Shampoo first. Always apply Olaplex No. 3 before any other treatments or masks.
  • Alternate masks. Use your regular hydrating mask in between Olaplex masks.
  • No protein treatments. Too much protein can make hair brittle when combined with Olaplex.
  • Avoid over-cleansing. Use clarifying shampoos sparingly to prevent stripping hair.

Pay attention to how your hair responds. If you experience any dryness or breakage, try reducing how often you use other products in conjunction with Olaplex.


Getting the most out of Olaplex requires using the products in the proper sequence and frequency. Now that you know the ideal order to use each Olaplex treatment along with tips for building an effective haircare routine, you can start repairing and strengthening your strands! Be diligent about the schedule and application techniques and you’ll begin seeing healthier, shinier, and more resilient hair in 4-6 weeks.