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How To Use Olaplex For Curly Hair

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Olaplex is a product that has gained a lot of popularity recently, and many women with curly hair swear by it. If you go to the salon for coloring, you've probably heard of it before. So, what is Olaplex? And how can you use it to get the best results for your curls? Keep reading to find out why I recommend Olaplex for curly hair!

What is Olaplex?

Olaplex is a bond building hair treatment that can be used by anyone with curly hair to prevent and repair damage, hydrate the hair, and improve the overall health and appearance of the curls.

Olaplex is used by professionals in salons, but is also available for purchase for at-home use.

Why Use Olaplex?

Olaplex can be used to prevent damage caused by heat styling, chemical processing, and other harsh treatments. It can also be used to repair existing damage, such as split ends and breakage.

Olaplex has been shown to improve the health of your hair, reduce frizz, increase manageability and shine, and make dry hair soft again.

If you regularly color or heat style your hair, then including Olaplex treatments would be a good idea.

using Olaplex on curly hair when coloring hair at the salon

How Olaplex Works

Olaplex works by rebuilding the disulfide bonds in the hair that are broken down during chemical processes such as coloring, straightening, and perming. This treatment can be done at a salon or at home with a two-part system.

The active ingredient is called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, and it works by forming a cross-linked polymer network that rebuilds the disulfide bonds in the hair. Disulfide bonds are broken during damaging processes, such as coloring, heat styling, and even brushing.

You can read more about how Olaplex works here.

Is Olaplex good for curly hair?

Olaplex is good for all hair types, including curly hair. Olaplex helps to improve the hydration and overall health of the curls, making them softer, smoother, and more manageable.

If you color hair, Olaplex is recommended regardless of hair texture. But damaged curly hair can also benefit from Olaplex products, since it can prevent further damage and help you revive your curls. Not everyone with damaged curly hair will see positive results with Olaplex, but most will.

healthy, soft, shiny curls from using olaplex for curly hair

Benefits of Olaplex for curly hair

  • Prevents and repairs damage
  • Hydrates the hair
  • Strengthens hair
  • Softens hair
  • Reducces frizz
  • Improves the overall health and appearance of the curls
  • Products are free of sulphates, parabens, & phthalates

Olaplex Products For Curly Hair

Olaplex recommends all of their products for damaged curly hair, but I don't think all damaged curly hair needs all of them. Read through and decide which you want to give a try.

Nº1 & 2

These are salon only treatments that can be added to your coloring service. Part 1 is mixed into the color and part 2 is used at the backwash.

Nº.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment

This is the first step in the Olaplex system and is the primer for the Nº 3 Hair Perfector. You apply the primer to dry hair then apply the Nº 3 Hair Perfector over it.

It can be used at a salon or at home with a two-part at home system. This treatment can be used on a weekly basis, up to three times per week.

Nº .3 Hair Perfector

This is the second step in the Olaplex system and is used to strengthen and repair all types of damage. It's a treatment, not a conditioner, and it can be used at a salon or at home with a two-part system. This treatment can be used on a weekly basis, up to three times per week.

This is the product that Olaplex is best known for. So many people LOVE what this does for their hair. You can use this on its own without the primer.

Olaplex claims that using Nº0 and Nº3 leads to “68% more repair & 3x stronger hair when used together.”

Nº.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

This is the third step in the Olaplex system and is used to cleanse the hair and maintain the bonds that were rebuilt in steps one and two. It's a reparative shampoo that helps reduce breakage and strengthen hair.

Nº.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

This is the fourth step in the Olaplex system and is used to condition the hair and maintain the bonds that were rebuilt in steps one, two, and three.

Nº6 Bond Smoother

This is the fifth step in the Olaplex system and is used to smooth the hair and maintain the bonds that were rebuilt in steps one, two, three, and four.

Nº.7 Bonding Oil 

This is the sixth step in the Olaplex system and is used to add shine and maintain the bonds that were rebuilt in steps one, two, three, four, and five.

Nº8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

This is the seventh step in the Olaplex system and is used to add moisture and maintain the bonds that were rebuilt in steps one, two, three, four, five, and six.

Are Olaplex products curly girl approved?

Only 4 of their products are curly girl approved:

  • Nº0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment
  • Nº3 Hair Perfector
  • Nº1 & Nº2 salon treatments

All of their other products contain silicones, drying alcohols, and/or waxes which means they are not curly girl approved.

curly hair results after using bond building treatment

Olaplex vs Other Hair Treatments

Olaplex is different from other hair treatments because it is the only kind that rebuilds disulfide bonds.

Other hair treatments may help to improve the appearance of the hair, but they do not actually rebuild the disulfide bonds. This makes Olaplex a unique and effective treatment for all hair types, including curly hair.

The only other bond building treatment I know of is the Curlsmith Bond Curl Rehab Salve, but it's a bit different compared to Olaplex so it can't be compared directly.

It's also worth noting that Olaplex is NOT a protein treatment. In fact, the Olaplex treatment does not contain any protein. It's simply a bond building treatment designed to rebuild the bonds broken during damaging processes, such as coloring and heat styling.

How To Use Olaplex For Curly Hair

It's good to start on a clean base, so I recommend you do your Olaplex treatment on clarified hair.

  1. Apply Nº0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment to dry hair until it's saturated. You can skip this step and jump ahead if you just want to use the Nº3 Hair Perfector.
  2. Apply the Nº3 Hair Perfector to damp hair all over making sure to distribute it evenly. You can use a comb to help with this.
  3. Leave the Nº3 Hair Perfector on for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the Nº3 Hair Perfector out with cool water.
  5. Shampoo, condition, and style as usual.

Bottom Line

Olaplex is a great treatment for curly hair that can help to prevent and repair damage, hydrate the hair, and improve the overall health and appearance of the curls. I recommend you give it a try if you have lots of damage, or if you regularly color or heat style your curls.

If you have damaged curls and are looking for more ways to rehab your curls, read How To Repair Damaged Curly Hair for more tips.


If you want help with embracing your naturally wavy or curly hair, you can join my FREE email course and download my FREE pdf guide, THE QUICK START GUIDE TO MASTERING YOUR CURLS, full of everything you need to know to get started and bring out your beautiful waves and curls.

Free five day curly hair course and ebook quick-start guide to mastering your curls

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Olaplex for curly hair: how to use it and why you should

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