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The Science of Hair
August 21, 2020

The Science of Hair

 For OLAPLEX super fans and those seeking to understand how OLAPLEX repairs hair, it’s important to understand hair itself. OLAPLEX works for every single hair type, from straight to curly and virgin to compromised–– but why is that? OLAPLEX’s patented non-toxic chemistry approaches hair on a molecular level. On a molecular level, all hair is the same, no matter its texture or integrity. This means the hair can break in the same ways it can heal!


Hair is Hair


Every single hair type and hair color can benefit from being healthier. Yes, even virgin hair is susceptible to damage and can be improved. We are inclusive at our very core from our values to our products, making OLAPLEX’s chemistry the healthy solution for damage in everyone’s hair! Curly hair, although more fragile, is broken the same way as straight hair–it’s science. 


The cuticle, cortex, and medulla are the three layers that comprise the hair shaft. The cuticle is the most outer layer of the hair shaft and is responsible for protecting the inner layers of the hair from damage. In doing so, this is where most damage begins. The color and texture part of the hair derives from the cortex in the middle of the shaft. The medulla is unique to lengthy coarse hair. The integrity of each hair shaft is compromised when bonds are broken, whether by chemicals, thermal and mechanical styling, and environmental factors. Until OLAPLEX, a haircut was the only way to solve damage in the hair. Now, with OLAPLEX, we’re able to relink those broken disulfide bonds and create a permanent change to the internal structure of the hair. This means rebuilding hair permanently until broken again.




OLAPLEX is a patented single ingredient chemistry that links broken disulfide bonds in the hair during and after chemical services making them more durable than they were before. Bonds are broken in order when a chemical or textural change occurs. Chemical and textural changes can be in the form of color, lightener, relaxer, and perm services to mechanical styling with hair accessories to thermal styling with flat irons and curlers. 


In the instance of color services, a colorist uses OLAPLEX No.1 to with color or lighter to mitigate the damage the chemicals cause in hair to create the change. Without OLAPLEX, the chemicals would break the bonds to create the change, and the bonds would stay broken. This is why hair can feel lackluster or appear a bit damaged after chemical services. With OLAPLEX, the chemistry works on a molecular level to mitigate the damage the chemicals are doing to the hair. Imagine little No.1 fighters knocking out the bad guys damaging the hair. The same goes for OLAPLEX No.2, but envision No.2 rebuilding the hair on its own without fighting against chemicals. 


Everyone deserves the best hair day, every day.


As you may have noticed, even with OLAPLEX, damage can occur to the hair daily. You may be enjoying the summer sun and exposing your hair to harsh environmental damage. Damage can occur with something as simple as brushing your hair or using a hair elastic. These are the more subtle ways damage infiltrates the hair, in addition to more noticeable methods such as chemical and texture treatments. The best way to stay on top of it is by treating the hair regularly at home with OLAPLEX No.3 and No.0 treatments to ensure intensive weekly bond rebuilding.

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