I’ve been dying sections of my hair since I was 16, but it wasn’t until recently that I committed to becoming a bottle blonde. I love how my platinum locks make me look and feel, but it hasn’t been without its downside. Enter Olaplex 3.
Not only do I have to spend four hours in the salon chair every eight weeks, but I’ve also wasted a ton of money on products proclaiming to soften and repair my bleach-damaged hair. You should see the graveyard of half-used bottles in my shower! But after a lot of trial and error, I finally found something that actually works — and really well, at that.
After lamenting to my colorist about my hair feeling particularly crispy and dry, she suggested Olaplex’s No. 3 Hair Protector ($28, Sephora). It’s a treatment you apply before shampoo and conditioner that repairs, restores, and strengthens damaged hair. At first, I hemmed and hawed about what I thought was an outrageously high price tag, but after I saw the results I knew it was worth every penny. If you dye your hair it’s a must-have addition to your beauty regimen.
You simply apply it to damp but unwashed hair, let it sit for roughly 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition. When I first tried it out one evening, I could tell that my hair felt softer in the shower, but then again I wasn’t sure if that was because I had just conditioned it. But when I woke up the next morning, not only did my hair not feel like straw, it was silky and smooth again. When I looked down at the end of my strands, I didn’t see tumbleweeds, my mane was shiny, sleek, and bonus, it smelled so nice. Now, I definitely notice a difference when I use it versus when I don’t.
The only hiccup I’ve experienced is when I decided to use Olaplex No. 3 overnight. I thought I would end up with the sleekest, glossiest hair ever, but it just made my scalp super itchy — similar to the way it feels post bleaching. Plus, sleeping with a shower cap on to protect my pillows was so uncomfortable. Suffice it to say, I will not be trying that again.
But that one teeny tiny mishap aside, I can only say good things about this product. Whether your hair is damaged from dye or frequently using heat styling tools, I can’t recommend No. 3 enough. Your locks will drink up this magic potion, and the result is salon-worthy strands.
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