A beauty editor's Olaplex No.8 review—the need-to-knows about the brand's clever hair mask

Our expert beauty contributor shares her Olaplex No.8 review, guiding you through this hair mask's capabilities

Collage of Olaplex No 8
(Image credit: Olaplex)

One of the brand's newer launches from the past few years, Olaplex No. 8 is a great option to invest in if you want healthy and shiny hair. Along with the iconic No.3 Treatment to its shampoo and conditioner duo, this conditioning mask is one of the best Olaplex products that works to repair damaged hair with the brand's patented molecule.

A hair mask should be quick and easy to apply with a thick consistency that coats the hair, leaving hair healthy, soft, and shiny. Olaplex's is specifically designed to transform dull, lifeless hair in just 10 minutes. With such bold claims, the crucial question for shoppers remains: can this conditioning treatment really live up to the hype? Before you commit to spending, our contributing beauty expert tested Olaplex No.8 to find out if it really delivers on its promises, sharing the results in this in-depth review.

Meet the tester
Fiona Embleton
Meet the tester
Fiona Embleton

It's no secret that Olaplex is the church I worship at when it comes to colored hair that is healthy and still manages to be full of bounce and shine. Seven years ago, after a hair color disaster, my new stylist covertly passed me an unmarked white tub while point-blank refusing to color my hair until I had used what was inside. It was Olaplex No 3. It hadn't launched in the UK yet but a Google search convinced me that I'd been handed fairy dust—or, at the very least, a passport out of my current hair crisis (think frazzled, broken, over-bleached ends that not even the best microfiber hair towels could save). 

Long story short, I used it three times a week without fail and within three months the softness and elasticity returned. So I've been convinced bythe genuine science behind Olaplex for some time now. 

A beauty editor's honest review of the Olaplex No.8 Mask

Pros & cons


  • Lightweight and easy to apply
  • Visible results


  • None for us!

What's in the Olaplex No.8 Mask?

Olaplex No.8 is a highly concentrated repair mask; one push on the airless pump will dispense the right amount of product to add shine and body as well as infusing copious amounts of moisture into frazzled, damaged hair when the cuticle is open.

A cursory scan of the ingredients list yields nourishing ingredients that you're more than likely to find from the best moisturizer for dry skin. There's hyaluronic acid, a moisture-attracting molecule that holds 1,000 times its weight in water; ceramides for locking in that hydration; and oils including avocado and rice bran oils. 

And of course, there is a generous helping of that famous—if difficult to pronounce—bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate molecule, which repairs broken bonds in the hair. 

Olaplex No 8

(Image credit: Lookfantastic)

What is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate in Olaplex?

If you're not familiar with this tongue-twister ingredient, Olaplex includes it across all of its products in varying concentrations, so it's worth getting up to speed with what it actually does. Bis-amniopropyl diglycol dimaleate is a patented ingredient that's designed to repair broken bonds in damaged hair, which often occur as a result of over-styling or bleaching and are the reason for dull or weak locks. 

Newly repaired bonds strengthen your strands and prevent further breakage, also locking in shine. The Olaplex No.8 mask boasts some impressive stats: independent clinical trials found that strands had two times more shine, four times more hydration, and six times more smoothness after just one 10-minute session. Add it to your routine to save yourself the immense effort of the rice water for hair trend.

How to apply Olaplex No.8

To achieve the optimum results from this conditioning mask, you should follow the pack's instructions.

  • Step 1: Work out how much product is needed. Start with 2 pumps for shoulder-length hair; use less or more depending on length.
  • Step 2: Apply Olaplex No 8 to freshly-shampooed, damp hair from the mid-lengths to the ends. 
  • Step 3: Work the product through with fingers and leave on for 10 minutes.
  • Step 4: Rinse fully. 

If your hair is seriously compromised, Jenni Mennella, senior director of global education at Olaplex, recommends a three-step application combining the brand's No 0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment and No 3 Hair Perfector for deeper repair, followed by Olaplex No 8.

The verdict: Is the Olaplex No.8 Mask worth it?

Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask is great to replenish hair after swimming or sunbathing once you've taken it out of those cute braided hairstyles to find that you're left with dry strands. Even on fine hair like mine, I never felt like my hair was slick and weighed down with product. It just got to work without any fuss—which is exactly what I demand of my beauty arsenal. 

I found that it's the perfect booster product and I like to rotate it with No.3, a repairing treatment with a higher percentage of bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, so I get the best of both worlds: happy bonds and that light-reflecting sheen that you normally have to sacrifice if you want bleached blonde hair.

If there is one thing you take away from reading this, make it this: the best thing about this miracle product that sets it apart from the competition is that it doesn't just paper over the cracks by visually making the hair look smooth. While the visual improvement is a welcome effect, Olaplex actually improves the hair's structure—a claim most haircare brands simply couldn't back up.

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years +  of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.