How To Use Olaplex 3 Treatment at Home for Best Results

A confident black female with towel-dried hair used a conditioning treatment to build healthier hair strands.

Olaplex took the beauty world by storm several years ago with its science-based hair care and repair products. Olaplex’s professional-only products are mainly used during chemical services to repair broken hair bonds.

But they also have some DIY products everyone can use to keep their hair looking its best, and Olaplex 3 is one of those products.

If you have Olaplex 3 or you’re thinking about picking it up and want to ensure that you’re using it correctly on your hair, this is the article for you.

In it, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to use Olaplex 3 treatment at home, step-by-step. Let’s get right into it! 

What Is Olaplex 3? 

Olaplex 3 is a hair treatment that aims to perfect your hair. It’s full of ingredients that can reduce your hair’s rate of breakage and strengthen it so it’ll resist damage from regular hair care and styling.

The original Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3 repairs and strengthens all hair types.
The original Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3 repairs and strengthens all hair types. It’s also vegan and color-safe.

The Olaplex Hair Perfector is formulated for all hair types. But if your hair is extremely damaged, the product will be even more valuable to you.

Back of the Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3 bottle showing the ingredients.
Olaplex Hair Perfector Nº.3 Ingredients: Water (Aqua/Eau), Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Quaternium-91, Sodium Benzoate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-37, Benzyl Benzoate, Etidronic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Phytantriol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate

How to Use Olaplex No. 3 Hair Treatment

Now that you have an idea of what this product is as well as what it does for your hair, let’s get into how to use Olaplex. In this section, you’ll find step-by-step instructions that’ll help you get the most out of Olaplex 3. 

How To: Apply Olaplex No. 3

  • Examine your hair and wash it if necessary. Olaplex No. 3 is formulated to work its best on relatively clean hair. Your hair doesn’t have to be squeaky clean, but it shouldn’t have a lot of product residue or buildup on it. If your hair has buildup, lightly cleanse it with your favorite shampoo and then towel dry. 
  • Apply Olaplex 3 directly to your hair with your hands. Distribute the product through your strands with a wide-tooth comb. As you apply Olaplex, ensure that every strand of hair is coated in the product. 
  • Allow time for the product to do its magic. Per the manufacturer, Olaplex No. 3 should be left on for at least 10 minutes. But you can leave on your hair for up to an hour and a half if you have the time. The longer you leave it in your hair (up to 90 mins), the softer, stronger, and better your hair will be. 
  • Rinse the product out and shampoo. You don’t want to leave any remnants of the product in your hair. To ensure that all the product is out, you’ll follow up with a cleansing session using your regular shampoo. 
  • Condition your hair to replenish the moisture lost during your shampoo session, and you’re ready for the rest of the styling process. 
Olaplex No3 Hair Perfector Usage Instructions scaled
The directions of use on the back of the bottle recommend using Olaplex Nº.3 before shampooing, highlighting that the product isn’t a conditioner. It’s a bond building treatment. Here are the step-by-step usage instructions: 1. Use 1x per week and for damaged hair 2-3x per week. 2. Apply Olaplex on damp, towel-dried hair. 3. Apple a generous amount from your scalp to the ends until your hair is thoroughly saturated. 4. Leave it on for a minimum of 10 minutes. Longer if desired. 5. Rinse the product from your hair. For the best results, shampoo your hair with Olaplex Nº 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and condition your hair with Olaplex Nº 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.

How Often to Use Olaplex 3 Hair Perfector

Per Olaplex, Olaplex Hair Perfector should be used two or three times a week for the best results. Also, while you’re using this product, you’ll still have to continue doing other things to preserve your hair’s health and strength.

A happy young black female dried her damp hair after using an Olaplex intense moisture mask for broken bonds.

That means you should continue using your normal conditioner, leave-in treatments, and the occasional protein treatment

Where to Find Olaplex 3

Ready to give Olaplex 3 a try? Chances are you’ll find Olaplex at your local beauty supply store or professional salon. But if you prefer to get it online, you can find Olaplex on Amazon,, or Sephora. 

A female with shiny hair uses Olaplex bond-strengthening shampoo since it visibly strengthens hair (also works on fine or short hair).

How Does Olaplex 3 Work? 

Olaplex 3 is a unique product that’s often confused as a leave-in treatment or hair mask. It is neither. Olaplex 3 is a hair repair treatment that rebuilds disulfide bonds in the hair shaft.

Often, these bonds are broken from a chemical treatment, and Olaplex helps to reverse that damage. If this sounds familiar, maybe you’ve read about (or had) the Olaplex 1 and 2 treatment.

These professional-only treatments do the same thing – rebuild disulfide bonds in the hair. One of the fundamental differences between Olaplex 3 and the professional-level treatments you can only get in the salon is that the former is designed for home use.

Also, Olaplex 3 is used after a chemical treatment, whereas Olaplex 1 and 2 are used during chemical treatments to preserve the hair in real time. 

An elegant black lady with chemically treated hair uses Olaplex bond-building chemistry to repair hair damage.

Do I Need to Use Olaplex 1 and 2 Treatments First? 

Some might think that since Olaplex 1 and 2 come before Olaplex 3 numerically, it means that they need to use the first two hair products before using Olaplex 3.

You don’t have to use Olaplex 1 and 2 prior to Olaplex 3. Olaplex 3 was designed to be used either on its own or after Olaplex 1 and 2.

So, don’t worry about your hair’s history before using Olaplex – if you want to reap the benefits, get your hands on the product and follow the usage instructions we gave earlier for the best results.

A joyful young female dried her wet hair with a towel after treating it with a generous amount of keratin treatments.

Can You Use Olaplex 3 Overnight? 

Olaplex 3 will not harm your hair if you leave it on for longer than 90 minutes. However, you won’t reap any extra benefits by sleeping with the product in your hair. So, we recommend staying within the 90-minute recommendation and avoiding wasting your time.

Not to mention the fact that sleeping with Olaplex in your hair won’t be the most comfortable thing in the world to do.

If you decide to use Olaplex 3 overnight, examine your hair after shampooing the product out. Though Olaplex says that the product won’t harm your hair if you leave it on for longer than the recommended time doesn’t mean your hair won’t be negatively affected by leaving it on overnight.

It’s best to be watchful and tackle any issues that come up as soon as possible.

A cute black woman with dry hair strands uses a curling iron each morning during a heat styling routine.

Is Olaplex 3 Safe?

In most cases, people experience nothing but good things from Olaplex 3. But that doesn’t mean that the product is completely safe for everyone.

Some may develop reactions to the ingredients in the product’s formulation, which is normal across the board. Everyone has unique sensitivities, so some will experience scalp irritation or negative hair health outcomes, while others will not.

On the whole, most people don’t have any issues with Olaplex 3. 

Recently, it’s been revealed that the Olaplex 3 fragrance contains lilial, which has been linked to infertility. Knowledge of the inclusion of this ingredient sparked an internet frenzy.

The manufacturer responded with a statement explaining that a very small amount of the ingredient was used. Still, rumors circulated stating that Olaplex 3 would be banned in the EU and UK in mid-2022.

Since January 2022, though, Olaplex stopped formulating the product with lilial. So, you don’t have to worry about coming in contact with the ingredient should you give it a try.

A black girl with shoulder-length hair is wearing human hair extensions adding excess weight to her thicker hair.

On the whole, Olaplex 3, an intensive bond-building treatment, is thought to be safe to use. But we recommend that you use it with caution. Take a good look at the ingredients and research any ingredients that are unfamiliar to you.

And after you use it, pay close attention to how your hair reacts. If you notice any problems with your hair or scalp, stop using Olaplex immediately and contact your doctor. They’ll be able to treat you or send you to a specialist to remedy the issue.

Is Olaplex No 3 Worth It?

Whether or not Olaplex 3 is worth it depends. If you have damaged hair or chemically-treated hair, then Olaplex 3 can be an excellent investment because it repairs and strengthens your hair. However, if your hair is already healthy and you don’t have any damage, you may not see as much benefit from using it.

Can You Leave Olaplex 3 on Too Long?

There is no indication that leaving Olaplex No. 3 on for too long would cause any harm, but the benefits are mentioned for up to 90 minutes. So, leaving it on your hair for up to an hour and a half is recommended to achieve the best results. Beyond that, the effectiveness might not continue to improve, but it’s not stated that Olaplex would cause any damage to the hair.

Can Olaplex 3 Damage Your Hair?

When used as directed, Olaplex 3 repairs damage already done to your hair. There are some reports of hair damage when not used as directed, although we don’t have any verified claims of Olaplax causing hair damage. Follow the instructions carefully, and don’t overuse Olaplex.

A young black female with damp hair that we treated with an Olaplex bond maintenance conditioner.

Is Olaplex 3 or 6 Better?

Olaplex 3 and 6 are great products but serve different purposes. If you’re looking to repair hair damage, Olaplex 3 Hair Perfector is the better choice because it repairs and strengthens damaged hair. Olaplex 6 Bond Smoother, on the other hand, is a leave-in styling product that adds moisture and helps to tame frizz and flyaways.

Do You Apply Olaplex 3 to Wet or Dry Hair?

It’s recommended that you apply Olaplex 3 to damp hair. This is because damp hair is more receptive to the product and will help to distribute the product evenly throughout your hair. If you apply Olaplex to dry hair, it can be more difficult to distribute evenly, and you may end up using more of the Olaplex product than you need.

Do You Use Olaplex 3 Before or After Shampoo?

Olaplex No. 3 should be applied to the hair before shampooing. After applying Olaplex No. 3 to your hair, leave it in for the recommended amount of time and then shampoo and condition your hair as usual. Shampooing after using Olaplex No. 3 helps to remove any residue or buildup from the product, leaving your hair feeling clean and healthy.

How Do You Use Olaplex 3 for Best Results?

To use Olaplex 3 for best results, follow these steps:

1. Examine your hair and wash it if necessary. Olaplex No. 3 works best on relatively clean hair without much product residue or buildup. If needed, lightly cleanse your hair with your favorite shampoo and towel dry.

2. Apply Olaplex 3 directly to your damp, towel-dried hair with your hands. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product evenly through your strands, ensuring every strand is coated.

3. Allow the Olaplex product to work its magic for at least 10 minutes. You can leave Olaplex on for up to 90 minutes for better results, but there is no additional benefit beyond that.

4. Rinse the Olaplex product out and shampoo your hair to ensure all remnants of Olaplex are removed.

5. Condition your hair to replenish the moisture lost during the shampoo session, and proceed with your regular styling process.

For optimal results, use Olaplex No. 3 once per week or 2-3 times per week for damaged hair. We recommend applying Olaplex to damp hair and leaving it on for a minimum of 10 minutes, and then rinse, shampoo, and condition your hair as usual.

Does Olaplex No 3 Really Work?

Olaplex No. 3 really works as an effective treatment. It is designed to repair and strengthen hair by rebuilding disulfide bonds (i.e., broken bonds), which are often broken during chemical treatments.

Olaplex No. 3 is especially valuable for those with chemically treated or extremely damaged hair, as Olaplex helps restore the hair’s strength and vitality.

Olaplex is formulated for all hair types, but the results are more noticeable for damaged hair. When used as directed, many users have experienced positive outcomes with Olaplex No. 3.

Related Articles

Olaplex 3 is a revolutionary bond bonding treatment that aims to repair and strengthen damaged hair by rebuilding disulfide bonds. Suitable for all hair types, especially chemically treated or extremely damaged hair, this at-home treatment can help you achieve healthier and more resilient hair.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about how to use Olaplex 3.

We’ve also answered several other questions that may come up as you’re trying the product out. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair. Give Olaplex 3 a try and experience its transformative effects on your hair, restoring its strength and vitality.

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