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I Tried Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 and I’m Going to Need Another Bottle

Three Olaplex No. 3 products against an orange background

The pandemic has been a drag, but the one good thing that came out of it is my relationship with my hair. I have big curly hair (and when I say big, I mean BIG), that seems to have a mind of its own. On the days I need it to behave, it acts out and embarrasses me. On nights when I want to lounge on my couch and do nothing, suddenly it’s perfectly tousled. My love/hate relationship with my hair has always leaned more toward the hate side. 

Enter the straightening irons, the curling irons, blow dryers, 400 degree heat and 18 inch hair extensions. I did anything to not be me. I’m a classic introvert and my hair was always just so loud. The heat damage let me slip under the radar the way I’ve always wanted to. 

Related: I tried REN brightening dark circle eye cream and now I can’t go back.

One day, I was washing my hair like normal. Then, I got in front of the mirror and… oh, no. Where were my curls? They had turned into limp waves with ends that had just given up completely and gone straight. It struck me that I was literally killing the one feature that made me unique and I was doing it just to fit in with everyone else. That’s just sad, and not the person I ever want to be. 

I made a plan to revive my curls and to learn everything there is to know about getting them back. I watched YouTube videos, read articles about my specific hair type and researched hair products — everything from leave-in conditioners to hair gels. In my research, I kept seeing this Olaplex No. 3 hair treatment. The five star reviews and before and after photos were persuasive. People really swear by this thing! I had to try it. 

Related: I tried LUS Brands for curly hair and here’s what I found.


Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3: is it worth the hype?

The product boasts the only patented system to noticeably repair extreme damage. That’s already a bold statement. It works by repairing the disulfide bonds in damaged hair strands to reveal visibly healthier, shinier hair. I have no idea what that means, but because of the scientific jargon, I had no choice but to trust it’ll work. It’s also good for all hair types — though that’s a line on bottles that I tend to stay away from because I feel like my hair has its own unique needs. At nearly $40 for a 100ml bottle (which translates into two uses for my hair), it needed to be worth the hype.

At nearly $40 for a 100ml bottle (which translates into two uses for my hair), it needed to be worth the hype.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3: The pros

This isn’t one of those hair treatments where you have to keep it on for half the day while sitting under a blow dryer. The directions couldn’t be easier — apply it to unwashed hair, leave it in for 10 minutes and wash it out. There’s almost no excuse to be too lazy to do it. For extremely damaged hair, you have the option to leave it in for up to 90 minutes, which is what I chose to do. I found the silky formula was an excellent de-tangler, effortlessly gliding through the strands. Even though I couldn’t take a microscope to my hair strands and see the disulfide bonds being repaired, I did trust that the patented formula was doing its job.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3: lessons learned

The first time I tried the treatment, I was left wondering if it even made a difference. After watching a few YouTube videos to see if I did something wrong, I learned that women of colour with 3c hair like mine were using it on clean hair and they weren’t using the product sparingly. That made so much sense to me because my hair is usually clogged with gels and other hair products, so it felt like the treatment was just sitting on all of that. The first time, I had only used 1/3 of the bottle, so the second time I finished it. The results weren’t immediate, but I can say that my hair has been much better behaved than in the past. I can see it returning to it’s natural state, but I can tell that I’ll need to use the product several times before it’ll get back there. Unfortunately, buying a new bottle just isn’t in the budget right now. But if ever I need a product that I know is doing something good for my hair, this is it.

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