I Tried The New Olaplex No. 0 — & It Transformed My Dry Hair

Photo by Jacqueline Kilikita.
From oils and masks to leave-in conditioners, there are thousands of hair products out there that claim to repair and strengthen dry, damaged, and over-processed hair. But most hair specialists would argue that nothing on the market works quite like Olaplex.
The hair treatment system, which contains the patented molecule bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, treats all types of damage, including chemical (keratin, color, perms, and relaxers) and mechanical (brushing, tugging, and drying), as well as heat styling and environmental damage like sun exposure.
What is Olaplex?
The Olaplex range consists of a number of different steps from No. 1 to No. 7. When used professionally in the salon, No. 1 is mixed into bleach, lightener, or hair color to repair broken bonds as a result of the chemical process, which can lead to dry, brittle hair. No. 2 follows: Left on for 10 minutes, it continues to rebuild and strengthen those weak strands so that hair emerges soft, shiny, and healthy.
Photo by Jacqueline Kilikita.
The No. 3 Hair Perfector is essentially a hair mask that can be applied to damp hair for 10 minutes or even left on overnight, while No. 4 and No. 5 are the Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner to reinforce and protect hair in the shower. No. 6 Bond Smoother is a leave-in styling treatment that ensures hair is moisturized until your next wash. Finally, No. 7 Bonding Oil is a styling oil that can be applied to damp or dry hair for an extra hit of moisture. Considering the extensive lineup, you'd think that Olaplex has your entire hair-care routine covered from top to bottom... but you'd be wrong — in a good way.
What is Olaplex No. 0?
Last month, the brand added yet another product to its hair-care dynasty: No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment. Priced at $28 and sold at retailers including Sephora, Dermstore, and Violet Grey, Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment is an extra-strength product inspired by professional salon treatments. This formula boasts the highest concentration of Olaplex’s patented molecule, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, and "deeply repairs, strengthens, and protects hair integrity," according to the brand. It works best when used in combination with No. 3, and the best part? You can skip the salon and use it in the comfort of your own bathroom. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes in total.
How do you use Olaplex No. 0?
Unlike other Olaplex treatments, which are thicker in texture, Olaplex No. 0 looks and feels like water. I was skeptical at first because it's so lightweight, but the product's transformative powers are nothing to sniff at. It's easy to use: Simply apply to dry hair until fully saturated and leave on for 10 minutes. Olaplex says that leaving it on for longer (up to 45 minutes, at which point the product loses efficacy) won't cause any damage to the hair, though leaving it in overnight is not recommended as it could end up in your eyes.
After 10 or so minutes, Olaplex No. 3 — which, as of right now, is included in deluxe size in the limited-edition launch box — must be applied through the hair and left on for 10 more minutes before shampooing out and conditioning. The brand suggests using the treatment once or twice a week, or more often if your hair is very damaged.
Photo by Jacqueline Kilikita.
Does Olaplex No. 0 work?
My hair has been through a number of chemical processes lately: an at-home keratin treatment, followed by '90s-inspired chunky highlights using bleach, then an all-over darker color to take me back to my roots. It's fair to say that my hair is in need of some TLC as it can feel a little dry and matted, especially when I let it air-dry, so I was intrigued to give the new Olaplex a go. The squeezy bottle and precise nozzle are meant to make application simple, but it could take a while to saturate your lengths fully if you have a lot of hair. I struggled, and in the end, I had to section my hair. I applied the product to the top of my head, then flipped my head upside down and repeated the step. It was a hot day and the formula dried fast, so I did this a couple of times. I ran a wide-tooth comb through to make sure each and every strand was covered.
I lost track of time and left the product on for 20 minutes before following with No. 3. The first product dries relatively quickly and the second step keeps hair damp, which means both products can work to the best of their potential. The brand recommends shampooing and conditioning with Olaplex No. 4 and No. 5, but I ran out so used a color-safe shampoo and conditioner instead.
After I blow-dried my hair as usual, I was positively surprised. I couldn't see any frizzy bits, which usually crop up at my roots, and the rest of my hair felt like silk. I considered rocking my natural waves but wanted to see whether styling would be easier. I was right: Straightening felt like much less of a chore, as my hair was so soft. I got a trim very recently so I can't say that it helped repair any split ends, but the brand says that this is another perk of the treatment.
Photo by Jacqueline Kilikita.
From No. 0 to No. 7, Olaplex products can be used on all hair types and textures. Hair that is significantly damaged will see more dramatic results with No. 0, but if your lengths just look a little dull or feel a bit dry, it's definitely worth a try. At the moment, Olaplex No. 0 is available in a limited-edition kit with the No. 3 Hair Perfector, but you might be required to purchase them separately in the future. One thing is for certain: I'll be shelving my current hair mask treatment for a helping of this pre-wash. It really does work.
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