I used to think about Olaplex for my virgin hair kind of the same way I thought about Botox for my 24-year-old skin: It's a great product, I'm glad it exists, but I just don't need it right now. In my experience, any mention of Olaplex is coupled with a comment about its efficacy for preserving highlights or healing hair post-bleach. Since I can't relate, I predicted the clinical formula would sit heavy on my fine, wavy hair — which, while unprocessed, needed a trim four months ago, goes haywire when it's raining or about to, and gets blasted with a blowdryer three times a week, minimum.
That being said, despite what I thought I knew about Olaplex, when a telltale stout white bottle — the newest No. 6 Bond Smoother — slid across my desk for product testing as a part of the Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards in the hair-care category, I felt strangely giddy. Secretly, I wanted to feel a part of the Olaplex fan club, of which I had actively excluded myself because I don't have a colourist. Plus, I knew if my initial fears came true and I ended up with greasy strands, I could just pull it all back in a low bun for the day.
For background, the Olaplex No. 6 formula is designed as a leave-in styling cream to both hydrate dry hair and eliminate frizz. Considering my dead ends rage against humidity and I maintain a steady heat-styling habit, that sounded promising. I washed my hair with shampoo and conditioner, towel dried it to damp, and squeezed a pea-sized drop of Bond Smoother (and that's very important, because a little goes a long way) into the palm of my hand before raking it through my hair, just on the mid-shaft and ends.
Post-blowdrying, my hair was velvety soft and faintly citrus-scented, where it usually feels hot and smells fried. Plus, instead of adding extra weight, my ends actually felt bouncy and sealed, newly smoothed with a healthy dose of polished shine. While I still don't think I'm the poster girl for Olaplex from a damage perspective, in my opinion, that's kind of the best part about the Bond Smoother: It's a hair treatment for everyone.
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