My Ultimate UK Guide To Olaplex 3

Hailed as a ‘miracle hair treatment’, Olaplex 3 is constantly talked about and there’s a reason for that!

Olaplex 3 is a sulfate-free bond rebuilder that can be used on all hair types, from keratin-treated to naturally curly, bleached to virgin hair, it can repair hair from the inside out. 

In this post, I’ll give you answers to the questions that just aren’t covered on the back of the bottle.

Tip: You should check my guide on where to get genuine Olaplex in the UK if you want to buy the real thing and avoid fakes! Plus see my recommended Olaplex dupes, too.

How Much Olaplex 3 Should I Use?

The amount of Olaplex 3 to use depends on how you’re going to use it. Once your hair is damp, apply Olaplex in sections and comb through. 

You shouldn’t use much more than 3 teaspoons of Olaplex 3 as it is a moisturising bond rebuilder. If your hair is over moisturised, it can lose its elasticity and break off. If you’re applying Olaplex 3 to damp hair, use 1-3 teaspoons depending on the length and thickness of your hair.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but too much moisture can be bad for your hair (source: Healthline) – so don’t overdo it!

However, you can also use Olaplex 3 on dry hair. Doing it this way will take slightly more product in order to fully saturate the hair, so it’s harder to judge exactly how much product you should use as it depends on your hair type, try around 5 teaspoons and see how your hair feels once it’s washed and dried. If it feels too dry, use less product next time.

olaplex before and after

Tips On Applying Olaplex

It can be frustrating when products don’t go into detail in their instructions on how exactly to apply, so here’s some tips on applying Olaplex No. 3.

  • Olaplex works well as a treatment after colouring your hair, as it will repair any bonds that have been broken by the dyeing process. It also works well for those who have permed hair, or use heat on their hair a lot that has compromised the hair’s health.
  • Brush your hair beforehand in order to remove any knots and tangles. It doesn’t matter whether you have curly or straight hair, as long as it’s tangle free so the product can get into your hair shaft. 
  • Ensure that your hair is free from any products as this will also prevent Olaplex from entering the hair shaft and doing its work. Olaplex works well with any regular shampoo and conditioner range, although I’d recommend a clarifying shampoo and a hydrating conditioner to seal in that intense moisture and keep your hair super healthy!
  • Wash your hair with shampoo, or even Olaplex No.4 if you want extra bond maintenance, in order to remove any oils and product buildup. You can also apply to dull hair if you’d prefer – but make sure it’s clean!
  • If you’ve washed your hair or just dampened your hair, towel dry your hair before applying. Your hair should be damp, not wet, so make sure that there’s no water droplets dripping as this can make the product slip out. If you have thicker hair, maybe leave your hair a few minutes before applying to give your hair time to dry a little. 
  • Apply 1-3 teaspoons of product to your hair and comb through with a wide-toothed comb. I prefer to do this by sectioning my hair into around 6 sections, starting with the bottom sections, I apply a little to my hands and using the ‘prayer hands’ method to saturate my hair. I’ll then take a comb and brush through before moving on to the next section. Remember, start with less than you think you need as you can always add more, you can’t take any away!
  • You should always wash Olaplex out of your hair, this is not a leave-in treatment! Shampoo it out of your hair, even if you have shampooed your hair beforehand! This isn’t a conditioner either, so follow up with your regular conditioner, or Olaplex No. 5.
  • If you wear human hair extensions and they’re starting to look a little worse for wear, you can actually use Olaplex 3 on these! Just treat the extensions the same way you would when applying it to your own hair and restore them to their former glory!

Can You Leave Olaplex 3 On Overnight/Sleep With It In?

Olaplex have said that the treatment should be used for no less than 10 minutes and it can be slept in overnight. They’ve said they have had great results from those who sleep in it, but they personally do not recommend doing so as the product may get into your eyes which can cause damage. 

However, if you want to try leaving Olaplex overnight, there is a way around this. Simply apply the product and then put your hair up in a protective bonnet, or a shower cap, that will prevent your hair from coming loose and getting into contact with your face. For extra protection, you can even tie your hair up into a loose scrunchie underneath the cap so that it won’t slip out! 

Can You Leave Olaplex On Too Long?

Olaplex have stated that No 3 reaches its maximum efficacy at around 30-45 minutes, so ideally this is the length of time you should leave it on your hair for. However, they’ve also said that as long as the hair remains moist then Olaplex will continue to work and rebuild those broken hair bonds. 

Although you can leave Olaplex on your hair overnight, if you have finer hair that is likely to dry out during your sleep, it may be best to avoid doing so. 

professional Olaplex treatment in a salon

How Often Should I Use Olaplex 3?

Generally, it’s recommended that Olaplex 3 is used once a week to avoid over moisturising your hair. However, if you have extremely damaged hair from heat or dyeing and bleaching, you can use Olaplex 2-3 times a week! 

How Long Does A Bottle Of Olaplex Last?

Although Olaplex 3 at home treatment only comes in a 100ml bottle, don’t let its small size fool you! If applied around once a week, the bottle should last you 3-4 months. A little really does go a long way with this treatment, so if you find that you’re having to purchase a new bottle every few weeks, it may be that you’re using too much product.

Can Olaplex 3 Make Your Hair Grow?

Olaplex is not a treatment designed for hair growth, so it won’t explicitly help with that. However, if your hair breaks due to severe damage which prevents it from growing past a certain point, Olaplex can prevent this.

As it repairs the bonds in the hair to prevent breakage, those with damaged hair may find that Olaplex helps their hair grow, but this isn’t down to it having ingredients for hair growth. The reason for this will be because it is stopping your hair from breaking off and thus encouraging it to be healthier, meaning it grows longer!

my Olaplex

Can You Use Olaplex 3 Without 1 And 2?

In short, yes you can use Olaplex 3 without using 1 and 2 beforehand! Olaplex 1 and 2 are treatments that are only available in a hair salon and cannot be purchased by non-professionals, but Olaplex 3 is an at-home treatment that you can do yourself. The whole line of Olaplex products contain the same active ingredient that repairs the bonds, so you’re not missing anything by only using No. 3. 

Olaplex 1 is often added to hair colour to prevent the colouring process causing damage to the hair shaft and keep healthy hair in the best condition possible. Olaplex 2 is a salon treatment that is applied post-colouring, but pre-shampooing to further rebuild any bonds. 

As mentioned above, Olaplex 3 is an at-home treatment that ensures your hair stays super healthy and doesn’t break off. You can still feel the benefits of Olaplex 3, without using 1 and 2 alongside it! 

After reading this article, I hope that you’ve found all the information you were looking for. Remember, if you have any questions on Olaplex or any other hair products, it’s always best to ask your hairdresser. Also, watch out for fake Olaplex when you’re buying it – here’s my guide on where to buy genuine Olaplex in the UK, too.


I'm a busy working mother of three, so my specialties are anything to do with kids, the home, saving money while shopping, beauty and cleaning up mess!

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