The Olaplex team has been very busy over the past year, creating a number of at-home products to give our DIY hair-care routines a boost. Last summer, we were introduced to Olaplex No.0, an intensive pre-shampoo treatment with the ability to repair damaged strands fast. Now, this month, Olaplex is unveiling the hotly-anticipated No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask, and it's already causing a stir among beauty lovers and hair pros alike. The new mask promises to make lackluster hair appear totally revived in just 10 minutes — and, in my experience, it delivers.
What is in the Olaplex No.8 Intense Bond Moisture Mask and how does it work?
Olaplex No.8 works on all hair types, including virgin hair. The star ingredient in all Olaplex products is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which the brand says is scientifically proven to add twice as much shine, four times more hydration, and six times more smoothness for all hair types after just one use, according to an independent study. The protein works by repairing damage and relinking hair bonds after they've been broken by things such as bleach or colour, harsh weather, heat styling, or general wear and tear. When the hair's bonds are broken, hair often appears split at the ends or frizzy, and feels dry or brittle.
The difference between other Olaplex hair products and the new No.8 is that the latter is souped up with a handful of extra ingredients, many of which can be found in skin care but are also shown to have brilliant hair benefits: hyaluronic acid for an extra hit of hydration, ceramides to speed up repair and lock in moisture, and avocado oil, rosehip oil, and rice bran oil, all of which nourish dry, brittle strands deeply and provide a glossy finish. (Think of it as a more concentrated version of Olaplex No.3.)
According to Lavinia Popescu, vice president of research and development at Olaplex, No.8 has been formulated to avoid protein overload so that hair doesn't become dry and break over time. Left on for just 10 minutes, the mask coats and absorbs into damp hair strands while the cuticle (the outside layer) is open, so it works from the inside out. No.8 is also free from sulfates, making it a safe option for coloured hair and those with a sensitive or reactive scalp.
How do you use the Olaplex No.8 Intense Bond Moisture Mask?
Recommended for use once a week, the mask works best on shampooed, towel-dried hair. The brand's experts suggest applying one to three pumps through mid-lengths to ends, depending on your hair length and thickness. The formula isn't at all greasy or heavy; it feels just like a lightweight styling cream with a subtle orange blossom scent. I used a wide-tooth comb to brush the mask through and applied a little to my roots, which sometimes frizz up. Then I wrapped my hair in a hair turban to lock in heat and maximize results.
London-based colourist Samantha Cusick is a huge fan of No.8, and recommends using the hair mask between salon visits. "You can damage your hair by doing nothing to it," she says. "This works deep inside the hair structure, and everybody has these breakable hair bonds, so everybody benefits. Olaplex is for everybody and every hair type and texture, whether that's naturally textured hair, virgin hair, colour-treated hair, straight hair, and even hair extensions. Curly and natural textured hair tends to need more moisture in particular, and this mask really delivers."
Does the Olaplex No.8 Intense Bond Moisture Mask work?
Yes, and the before-and-after pictures are proof. In just 10 minutes, the mask breathed new life into my frazzled, split, twice-dyed lockdown hair. After a quick rinse and rough-dry using the ghd Helios, I gasped. My hair felt smooth, soft, and so much easier to manage. My hair has one big wave at the back, which often makes it difficult to wear it natural, but my lengths were so glossy and soft, I felt like I could skip my straighteners. This is the first hair product that has made me consider ditching the heat, so it's already leagues above anything else I've tried.
When I did go to straighten my hair the next day, it took me all of five minutes — my straighteners glided through my hair without snagging. I'm most impressed by how it minimized my broken hairs, frizzy roots, and split ends. I'm in desperate need of a trim, but somehow my hair looks and feels so much healthier. While Olaplex No.8 isn't a leave-in product, I decided to apply a pea-sized amount to the ends of my hair for extra smoothness and it worked really well, making it a multipurpose all-rounder.
My only complaint is that you have to apply the mask through towel-dried hair, which means getting out of the shower, waiting 10 minutes for it to work its magic, then jumping back in to rinse it out. For lazy people like me, this is a bit annoying, especially when there are so many great deep conditioners and in-shower hair masks out there. That said, in my honest opinion as a beauty editor, the results of Olaplex No.8 are unrivaled. No wonder it's already racking up five-star reviews.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.