Olaplex – blond overhype or wonder product?

What does Olaplex really do?

It is the latest hair care hype from California, brand new and nearly sold out. Olaplex promises to make hair damage and breakage from salon procedures a thing of the past. It is a treatment that can be used as part of chemical procedures like colouring, straightening, bleaching but also afterward, to maintain optimal results. The numerous before/after pictures flooding social media give the impression that you can go from dark brown to platinum blond in one session and still maintain healthy, strong and luminous hair. Is this even possible?


Are these picture-perfect results simply due to good professional blow-drying and styling work or have platinum blondes found a new wonder weapon with continuous benefits after they wash their hair at home? To learn more about Olaplex, I asked hairdresser Stefan M. Pauli, who has been testing the product in his salon long before it was marketed in Germany.

Stefan M. Pauli: “The product goes definitely beyond just what we see after professional blow-drying and styling. Hair feels totally different, with a lot more resilience.”

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Pauli’s client business consultant Niklas (Niki) Epstein discovered Olaplex at a trade fair in California. The Olaplex stand had a very long line, as all hairdressers wanted to get the product for their salon. Epstein wanted to learn more about its distribution in Germany and eventually brought it to the Munich-based hairdresser one day to test its efficiency at improving hair quality after a straightening procedure. Epstein had previously brought the popular Tangle Teezer detangling brush to the German market as well as the Invisibobble, the traceless hair ring that looks like old-fashioned telephone cord. In the meantime, Invisibobble has become the “it” accessory on every ponytail from Berlin Mitte to Munich Schwabing.

Pauli tested the product and, like his US colleagues, was astounded by the improved hair quality he noticed, even after the harshest bleaching procedures. “What’s interesting about Olaplex is that it contains a completely new substance that reconnects broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair, the bonds that give hair its elasticity and strength. Procedures like washing, brushing, styling, colouring, straightening and exposure to sun damage those bonds in the long-term making hair weak and dull.”


Olaplex Stefan Pauli Friseur München Modepilot

The series of three products is designed for professional use only though No. 3 is sold at hair salons to clients for use at home (currently at around 50 euro). In California the series was launched a year ago (No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3) and was originally developed for improving hair quality after a chemical perm procedure. During a perm, disulfide bonds are broken and reconnected, which achieves the perm wave form in the hair. Olaplex helps reduce the number of damaged bonds during such procedure, and by using all three products, these bonds are gradually rebuilt again.

The method is effective for all types of chemical and styling hair damage, but bear in mind that it is not designed for hair that is naturally weak! In Hollywood, where celebrities and actors constantly undergo all kinds of colouring and styling procedures and use numerous products to secure a good look that will last throughout the entire evening, it is not surprising that the product was so well received.

Pauli has noticed that “during a highlighting procedure the scalp is much less sensitized. Olaplex No. 3, for home use is already sold out in Germany again.” And although he just received a new delivery, he knows this will soon be gone too, as the waiting list of interested clients is much longer than the stock he received.

Pauli breaks down how Olaplex is used:

No.1 is a runny fluid that we mix with the highlighting or colouring product, which restores hair strength and structure.

No.2 contains substances that aid to smooth the surface of the hair (as in the image below). It is applied following a chemical procedure for 10 minutes and then rinsed.

No.3 is a product the customer can take and use at home as a mask once or twice a week. The frequency also depends on how often the hair is washed.

The series can also be used as a treatment to damaged hair, without necessarily following a chemical procedure, in which case

No.1 is applied in combination with water on dry hair and left on the hair for 5 minutes. Without rinsing, you apply Olaplex No. 2 and leave on for an additional 10 minutes.


This treatment is great for strengthening damaged hair.


For a salon treatment, cost can vary anywhere from 12 euro (No.2 mask) to 60 euro for an intensive hair restoring treatment. (You can buy Olaplex No. 3 online here).

Of course the photos below don’t show the reconnected disulfide bonds – too scientific an analysis for our liking – but the dramatically improved surface of the hair, which makes a lot more sense for the consumer to understand how this product really works. Quite impressive.


Olaplex Schema Modepilot

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Translation by Maria Giannakopoulou

Photo By: Olaplex

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