Can You Leave Olaplex 3 on Overnight or Leave It on Too Long?

Cute African American female with color-treated hair follicles on 3C healthy hair after a salon treatment.

Olaplex 3 is Olaplex’s best-selling at-home bond repair treatment. It helps to reinforce the bond repairing benefits of Olaplex 1 and 2, both of which are only available in-salon.

If you know anything about the fantastic results that you can get with Olaplex 3, we’ll bet you want to leave it on your hair for as long as possible.

Some people have stated that you can leave this product on overnight to maximize its results – is this true? Can you leave Olaplex 3 on overnight? In this article, we’ll give you the answer you’ve been searching for. Let’s get right into it! 

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Can You Leave Olaplex 3 On Overnight?

You shouldn’t leave Olaplex 3 on your hair overnight. According to the Olaplex website, you should leave Olaplex 3 on your hair for at least 10 minutes, but you can leave it on for up to 90 minutes

It’s important to understand that Olaplex 3 isn’t a deep conditioner or leave-in. And that means that you will need to shampoo it out of your hair within the specified time limit. 

Here’s a statement from Olaplex themselves, advising against using any Olaplex products while sleeping: “As a company, we do not recommend sleeping in OLAPLEX treatments as it could get into your eyes. However, we have received great feedback from people who have used it this way.”

Key Takeaways

  • Olaplex Nº.3 Limitations. Do not leave the Olaplex Nº.3 hair treatment on your hair overnight. Instead, only leave the product between 10 to 90 minutes. This recommendation is consistent with Olaplex’s official guidelines.
  • Application Method for Best Results. For optimal bond-building efficacy, apply Olaplex Nº.3 to damp clarified hair. Ensure even distribution from your scalp to the ends of your hair. Then, rinse your hair thoroughly before using the bond maintenance shampoo and conditioner.
  • Not a Leave-In Conditioner. Olaplex Nº.3 is unlike traditional hair masks. It works on a molecular level to repair disulfide bonds. It’s not meant to be a leave-in conditioner. So, it requires you to rinse it out after the suggested duration.
  • Weekly Treatment Advantages. You can use Olaplex Nº.3 in your haircare routine as a weekly treatment to help mitigate future damage. It’s good for ongoing maintenance if you have dry hair, frizzy hair, or color-treated hair.
  • For All Hair Types. It’s suitable for first-time users and regulars at the hair salon. Olaplex Nº.3 is enriched with bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. This product improves your hair’s structure and works well for different hair types (source).

Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector scaled
The original Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3 repairs and strengthens all hair types.

How Long is Olaplex 3 Effective?

Per Olaplex, Olaplex 3 is most effective at 45 minutes and will continue to work until your hair dries. If you can keep your hair moist, the product will continue to work indefinitely.

But, as you may already know, more is not always better. In the following sections, we’ll take a deeper dive into the topic and look at how what happens if you leave the Opallex treatment on your curls overnight.

A woman with light caramel skin smiling after getting healthier hair after using an Olaplex treatment.

What Happens if You Leave Olaplex 3 On Overnight?

Even though the manufacturer does not recommend leaving Olaplex 3 on your hair overnight, that hasn’t stopped people from experimenting. You’ll find many posts, articles, and videos about people trying Olaplex 3 overnight, and the results are mixed. 

Negative Consequences of Leaving Olaplex on Overnight

Some people did not get the results they were hoping for. If you leave the product on your hair overnight, you could experience: 

  • Scalp irritation. When left on the scalp for several hours, the product may cause scalp itchiness and irritation. According to one woman in particular, the irritation was so bad that she likens it to a chemical burn. This irritation is temporary, albeit distressing. 
  • Uncomfortable sleep. Trying not to get moisture from the product on your pillow as you sleep can be a real drag. This may not be a big deal if you’re used to doing overnight treatments. But if you’ve never slept with a product in your hair, you’ll soon realize that it’s not the most comfortable thing in the world.  
  • No difference in results. The product is not formulated to be left on overnight. Also, it has already been determined by the manufacturer that 90 minutes is the longest you should leave it on. People who leave it on for longer than 90 minutes vs. overnight may not even notice a difference in their hair. 
  • Eye irritation. If the product happens to get into your eyes as you’re sleeping, you could experience severe irritation. It’s for that reason that you’ll want to take the necessary precautions to keep the product from running as you sleep. 
Adorable African American female with unwashed hair in an updo pineapple style wearing pink lipstick.

Positive Consequences of Overnight Olaplex 3 Treatment

Leaving Olaplex 3 in your hair overnight is not all bad, according to some. In fact, a representative of Kim Kardashian has publicly shared that Kardashian leaves her Olaplex 3 treatment in her hair overnight.

So, in true fan fashion, many women have tried it out without experiencing the adverse effects mentioned earlier. Instead, they had the following outcomes: 

  • Stronger hair. Almost immediately, many noticed that their hair felt stronger and shed less. 
  • Less breakage. The strengthening properties of the treatment fortify the strands so they can better handle regular styling and maintenance. 
  • Easier styling. Better nourished hair with fewer split ends can make detangling and styling much easier, as there will be fewer tangles to deal with as you’re creating your hairdo.  
Olaplex No.3 Overnight On Curly Hair

Note: Many of these effects could have been due to the other products in the Olaplex system vs. just the overnight application of Olaplex 3. However, many attribute them to the fact that they left the product in their curls overnight. 

A black lady with natural curls dressed in a pink shirt after using an Olaplex treatment to keep her hair healthy.

Our Recommendation: Follow Olaplex’s Instructions

With both positive and negative consequences following the overnight application of Olaplex 3, we recommend that you avoid leaving the product on for longer than the manufacturer suggests.

Keep in mind that just because someone says that something works for their hair doesn’t mean that it will work for yours. Although, if you still want to see how it will work for you, you can give it a try.

Just remember the potential adverse effects that can occur should you go through with an overnight treatment. If your hair or scalp feels odd after using Olaplex 3 overnight, you should probably use the product as intended.  

How to Use Olaplex 3

Hair products are most effective when used correctly, and that’s the case with Olaplex 3. Although Olaplex 3 is relatively easy to use, people still run into issues when using it.

Olaplex No. 3 Before & After Results - How to Use Olaplex to Repair Damaged Curly Hair

So, we’d like to help you out with a quick rundown of how to use the product for the best results: 

  1. Check your hair for buildup. If it’s caked in gel or product buildup, then you’ll need to wash it before using this product. Excessively dirty hair may be covered in a barrier that stops the product from doing its job. If you don’t have any buildup problems, move on to the next step. 
  2. Your hair should be damp before applying Olaplex 3. To achieve the right amount of dampness, rinse your hair thoroughly and then towel dry it with a microfiber towel. This step is recommended because Olaplex 3 works best on wet hair, so it’s important to ensure that your hair remains moist (e.g., hair stays damp).
  3. Apply Olaplex 3 to all of your hair, starting at the scalp and moving toward the ends. Ensure that all of your hair is covered in the product. 
  4. Allow the product to sit on your hair for 10 to 90 minutes. After that time, rinse it out thoroughly. Note: some ladies like to rinse and cover their hair with a plastic shower cap during to waiting period.
  5. Shampoo and condition your hair. The manufacturer suggests you do so with Olaplex No. 4 shampoo and Olaplex No. 5 conditioner. These products are designed to repair, strengthen, and hydrate all hair types (including kinky, curly, wavy, and straight hair).

You can use Olaplex 3 as part of your weekly wash day. But if you wash your hair more often than once per week, you can use the product as often as three times a week. 

Cute black woman with a curly hair structure wearing casual clothes with her arms folded.

Are You a Good Candidate for Olaplex 3?

There’s conflicting information out there regarding who should use Olaplex Nº.3 and who shouldn’t use it. So, we’d like to address that in this section.

Olaplex 3 is for anyone with damaged hair that needs a boost. It can provide the following benefits to any hair type:

  • Hair repair – When used as directed, Olaplex 3 can repair the broken bonds in your hair strands to increase their strength and minimize hair loss and breakage
  • Soften hair – Many who use Olaplex 3 realize that their hair is much softer after use. 
  • Enhance shine – With smoothed cuticles, your hair will catch the light, revealing a natural luster that you’ll love. 

If you thought you had to have color-treated or bleached hair to benefit from Olaplex 3, you’d be relieved to find that it’s not true. You can use Olaplex 3 for heat-damaged and overprocessed hair as well. 

African American female dressed in a pink pullover with compromised hair and split-ends from dyeing her curls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about using Olaplex No. 3 overnight? Our FAQ section answers the most common questions about Olaplex hair care.

Can You Leave Olaplex 3 on Too Long?

It is not recommended to leave Olaplex 3 on too long. The manufacturer suggests leaving it on for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 90 minutes. Leaving it on overnight may lead to negative consequences, such as scalp irritation, uncomfortable sleep, no difference in results, and eye irritation. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results.

Is It Bad to Leave Olaplex 3 on Too Long?

Leaving Olaplex 3 on too long can lead to negative consequences. Some potential issues include scalp irritation, uncomfortable sleep, no noticeable difference in results, and eye irritation. While some people have experienced positive results after leaving the product on overnight, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not exceed the recommended 90-minute application time for optimal results and to avoid potential adverse effects.

How Do You Use Olaplex No. 3 at Home Overnight?

We don’t recommend using Olaplex No. 3 overnight, although some people, including Kim Kardashian, have used Olaplex 3 overnight. However, we strongly advise following the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid potential adverse effects. If you still want to try using Olaplex No. 3 overnight, be aware of the risks and take precautions to prevent the product from getting into your eyes or causing discomfort while sleeping.

Can You Leave Olaplex 3 on Without Rinsing?

You shouldn’t leave Olaplex 3 on without eventually rinsing it out. Olaplex 3 is not a deep conditioner or leave-in treatment, so you need to shampoo it out of your hair within the specified time limit. The manufacturer recommends leaving it on for at least 10 minutes but not more than 90 minutes. After the allotted time, you should rinse it out thoroughly, followed by shampooing and conditioning your hair.

Can I Put Olaplex 3 on Dirty Hair?

If your hair has buildup from gel or other hair products, you should wash it before using Olaplex 3. Excessively dirty hair may have a barrier that prevents the product from working effectively. However, if you don’t have any buildup issues, you can proceed to dampen your hair before applying Olaplex 3. The treatment works best on damp hair.

Related Articles

The Olaplex Nº.3 Hair Perfector is an at-home treatment that repairs hair damage by fixing hair bonds. Its unique formula works on a molecular level. You can use it if you’re new to Olaplex or already familiar with their products. It promises to deliver healthier hair when used as directed.

To get the best results, apply it to damp hair after using a clarifying shampoo. Leave it on for the recommended time, and then rinse it out thoroughly. Don’t leave it in beyond 90 minutes.

If your hair needs it, you can use this treatment 2-3 times a week.

Also, get regular hair trims for split ends and use a conditioning hair mask. This product will make your hair visibly stronger and less damaged. You can use the Olaplex shampoo and bond maintenance conditioner if you wish. You can get salon-quality treatment at home. This will give your hair a fresh look and minimize heat damage. It will also improve the overall health of your hair.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and encourages you to follow the instructions given by Olaplex when using Olaplex 3. Good luck with your hair’s health!

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