All the hype is 100% accurate.

By Tanya Ghahremani
Updated Apr 08, 2020 @ 4:45 pm
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When you’re a natural brunette like I am, it’s basically impossible to make your hair any lighter without severely damaging it, so it’s important to identify products that can actually help preserve the integrity of your strands. And so far, nothing has worked as well for me as Olaplex No. 4 and Olaplex No. 5, the best shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever used in my life.

See, my hair is normally a dark, dark brown — thanks to my Iranian heritage — and that kind of color can take hours to lift at a salon, even with copious amounts of bleach. I’ve been going blonde off and on since I was a teenager, and even still, I have to make sure I’m prepared to sit at a salon for up to six hours every time I want to lighten my hair. The downsides aren’t even done after you put in the processing time: Once all is said and done and you’re blonder, your hair is usually so dry it feels like straw.

It wasn’t until a salon visit a few months ago that I realized you don’t have to be left with severely dry hair after you highlight it. I was at the salon to lighten my roots, and my stylist only had to take one look at my parched hair before she asked what my haircare routine was. I told her the shampoos and conditioners I used, as well as the hair serums and moisturizers — and then admitted it clearly wasn’t enough.

“I’m going to use an Olaplex treatment in your hair today, and then after you leave, I want you to pick up the shampoo and conditioner to use at home,” she told me. “When you use it, leave it in your hair as long as you can. It’ll help so much.”

I was skeptical, but I agreed, mostly because I was out of shampoo at home anyway. I honestly didn’t expect much because I’d heard these “miracle” hair products touted so many times before — they always left your hair just as dry as before. But I’d try it, even if I wasn’t convinced.

When it was time to wash my hair again a few days after my hair appointment, I did what she suggested and used the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, leaving it in my hair for as long as I could stand to just hang out in the shower.

Shockingly, after washing my hair, I could run my Wet Brush through it without catching on a tangle even once. This never happened after bleaching it — usually, it was dry and matted after showering, even if I used half a bottle of conditioner on it. I put in my serums and moisturizers as normal, and let it air dry. It curled into perfect waves.

Olaplex is different from other shampoos and conditioners because it’s actually a bond builder: It works to relink the broken bonds that result in each strand of your hair after bleaching, dyeing, or heat damage. Consistent use results in hair that’s actually repaired, soft, and shiny.

I’ve been using it for six months now, and the shampoo and conditioner have totally saved my hair. I’m still shocked daily by how soft every strand is despite being the longest and the blondest they’ve ever been. Usually, I’d have to settle for a massive haircut by this point because my hair would be too damaged to do anything with, but right now it looks totally healthy.

A bottle of Olaplex No. 4 (the shampoo) and Olaplex No. 5 (the conditioner) will cost you about $14 each for 3.3 ounces of product, or $28 each for 8.5 ounces. Due to how rich it is, you end up not really needing to use that much every time you wash your hair, so even a small bottle will last you a long time. And trust me — you’re going to want to use this set for as long as you can.

Courtesy

Shop now: $14–$28; nordstrom.com

Courtesy

Shop now: $14–$28; nordstrom.com