Olaplex No 8: a beauty editor's honest opinion and a complete guide to how it works

Olaplex No 8—the buzzy new conditioning mask—is here and our beauty editor has put it to test

Model and actress Jane Seymour shows off her long tresses in the park, London.
(Image credit: Getty Images / Hulton Archive)

Olaplex No. 8, is the newest launch from the cult brand, Olaplex which first turned our heads with the rather iconic No. 3 Hair Protector. The premise of this new product is punchy—but, what do we expect given the cult status of all their products—it promises to transform dull, lifeless hair in just 10 minutes. A bold statement, yes. But, can this conditioning treatment REALLY live up to the hype? Luckily, ever the guinea pig for a new beauty treatment—putting the condition of our locks into their hands—we've tried and tested this fabled new product and have everything you need to know.

We've got to grips with using the best shampoo bars for everyday maintenance but when it's time to bring in the heavy hitters, Olaplex steps up to the plate. For the uninitiated, Olaplex rose to fame almost overnight, this was thanks to two in-salon treatments—perfect for those who frequently bleach or dye their hair. The first is mixed into your hair color, the second is the equivalent of a professional-strength deep conditioning mask and is applied at the backwash. 

Both are scientifically proven to prevent the disulfide bonds in your hair from breaking during the coloring process by effectively ‘gluing’ them together. Olaplex also prevents any protein-destroying molecules from ravaging your strands by stepping in before they have the chance to wreak havoc. Hello switching up your hair color while still maintaining healthy strands!

There are also eight products in the lineup (including the newly-launched Olaplex No 8) which all do different things. They all work separately but also together in a treatment plan so if you want to repair damaged hair at home then it's the perfect place to start. All are powered by the same hero ingredient as the salon treatments—the bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate molecule—albeit at lower percentages.  

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

Olaplex No 8: Everything you need to know

Its full name is Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask—but goes by Olaplex No 8 for short—and it is a highly concentrated repair mask. Just one push on the airless pump will dispense the right amount of product to add shine and body as well as throwing copious amounts of moisture at frazzled, damaged hair when the cuticle is open.

A cursory scan of the ingredients list reveals nourishing ingredients you're more than likely to find from the best moisturizer for dry skin. There is 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 unpronounceable) bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate molecule.

But there's one thing you need to know and that's the impressive bit: independent clinical trials reveal strands have two times more shine, four times more hydration, and six times more smoothness after just one 10-minute session. 

Olaplex No 8

(Image credit: Lookfantastic)

How to apply Olaplex No 8

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

Simply apply Olaplex No 8 to freshly-shampooed, damp hair from the mid-lengths to the ends. 

Start with 2 pumps for shoulder-length hair; use less or more depending on length. Work the product through with your fingers; leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse fully.

If 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 No 8. 

A side profile shot of a a woman with glossy shiny hair

(Image credit: Getty Images / Michael Haegele)


Olaplex No 8: an honest review

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 resembled straw in every sense of the word). 

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 of the genuine science behind Olaplex for some time now. 

Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask has the same impressive credentials and I predict it will become another sell-out success for the brand, especially post-summer swims and sunbathing. 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. 

It's the perfect booster product and I like to rotate it with No 3, a repair 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 you normally have to sacrifice if you want bleached blonde hair.

 Does No 8 warrant hype? It’s a resounding yes from me.

Fiona Embleton
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.