Before and After Using the Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Builder
Olaplex is pretty much the gold standard of hair conditioning treatments. Unlike regular conditioner, not only does it hydrate hair, but thanks to its smart patented formula, it also helps to minimise breakage and promises to "reconnect broken disulphide sulphur bonds in hair" — essentially encouraging regrowth and strengthening strands from within. Now, the brand has kicked our at-home hair-treatment options up a notch with its new No.0 Intensive Bond Builder (£26). Before diving into the ingredients, application, and review, let's break down all of the different Olaplex options available.
Types of Olaplex
If you've ever been confused as to what Olaplex is, it might have something to do with the fact there are many different variations. First up, there's Olaplex No. 1 and No. 2, which are in-salon-only treatments and often added to colour services to help maintain healthy hair. Next is Olaplex No. 3 (which is what I'll be using in this review), an at-home version of the in-salon treatments that is infused with the special bonding ingredient (which I'll touch on more in a second). After that, we have Olaplex No. 4 and No. 5 shampoo and conditioner to maintain all of those intensive treatments at home. Olaplex No. 6 is an intensive leave-in conditioner, and finally there's No. 7, a lightweight, highly concentrated bonding oil.
But now there's another new product in the lineup. The Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Builder is a pretreatment, so think of it as the prequel to all of the other at-home products. The newbie on the block aims to give salon-worthy "fuller, softer, and more volumised" hair after one use. I put it to the test to see if it lives up to its claims.
No.0 Intensive Bond Builder Ingredient Breakdown
So what makes the formula of No.0 Intensive Bond Builder so special? It's all down to its patented ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which aims to help the condition of chemical, thermal, and mechanically damaged hair. Basically, it helps repair any kind of damage, be it caused by brushing, bleaching, stylers, or relaxers. When followed by the much-loved No. 3 Hair Perfector, which also contains bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, plus a bunch of other ingredients, including behentrimonium methosulfate (which helps condition and defrizz), stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (which helps to detangle and reduce static hair), and cetrimonium chloride (found in a lot of co-washes, it reduces buildup and conditions), it makes for an impressive at-home conditioning treatment.
Application of the No.0 Intensive Bond Builder
Enough about ingredients, let's get into the application. The No.0 Intensive Bond Builder is a lightweight, preshampoo treatment that's applied onto dry hair and has the consistency of water. Due to the consistency, combined with its tiny nozzle applicator, I found it took forever to saturate my hair, even after sectioning it to make application easier. Despite the precision nozzle, my bathroom was pretty much covered in the stuff by the time I was finished — but maybe the blame should be on the worker rather than the tools. By the time my hair was mostly saturated (I wouldn't say fully saturated; I gave up before I was 100 percent happy), my arms ached and I was ready for a lie down. OK, that may be an exaggeration, but it definitely was hard work.
As per the instructions, I waited a further 10 minutes before applying the No. 3 Hair Perfector. I adore this product. It's easy to use, a little goes a very long way (making the price tag slightly more affordable), and I always see great results (less frizz, more shine, and visibly less-frazzled ends). At first I didn't think the small tube (which came with the limited-edition Olaplex No.0 Bond Builder Launch Kit (£26)) was enough to soak my hair, but it was the perfect amount. Due to my hair already being damp from the pretreatment, with the help of a wide-tooth comb, it took just a few minutes to coat my hair in the mask.
Normally, I keep hair treatments on for longer than the instructions suggest (don't we all do it, in hopes that our hair will turn out 100 times better than the treatment promises?). But for the sake of the experiment and because Olaplex promised during a press Q&A that 10 minutes was enough time for the product to really work its magic, I stuck to the suggested time.
No.0 Intensive Bond Builder Results
Since my hair was doused in a lot of product, I did wonder whether it would be a pain to shampoo it all out, but it took barely any effort at all to rinse out the treatment. I used the Topic Scalp Massager (£8) to help get to those hard-to-reach places in my roots. Whilst rinsing out in the shower, I noticed straight away how soft my hair felt compared to normal. It was also much easier to brush my hair than usual, and it felt silky smooth when applying my postshower treatments, which include the Virtue Perfect Ending Split End Serum (£19) and L'Oréal Serie Expert Vitamino Colour 10-in-1 Spray (£13). I stuck to my usual work-from-home routine and left my hair to mostly air-dry, then I blasted it with a hair dryer at the end to make it a little more sleek.
No.0 Intensive Bond Builder Final Thoughts
The No.0 Intensive Bond Builder definitely lived up to its claims to "give the appearance of healthier, glossier hair." It made my hair incredibly soft and frizz-free — even after going out in the rain, which is a huge win. I found that the treatment didn't make my hair greasy in the slightest.
However, if I'm being completely honest, the lazy in me wouldn't do this treatment regularly due to the time it takes to saturate my hair with the nozzle. My hair is fine and straight, so I can't even imagine how long it would take to apply if you have thick hair or tight curls. If I were to use the treatment again, I would consider transferring the product into a spray bottle to make the application faster and easier.
Overall, the No.0 Intensive Bond Builder (£26) is an effective preshampoo treatment that lived up to its claims. If you want to add a little something extra to your usual hair-mask routine, then this will do an incredible job. Just be prepared for a little extra work. Strong, healthy hair is worth it though, right?