I bleach my long hair every six weeks - all I can say is thank goodness for the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner

Wash and care bond repair

Olaplex Shampoo and Conditioner shot on Katie's shower shelf
(Image credit: Katie Thomas)

Here's a little backstory about me and my hair. I am naturally that mousey-brown that does nothing for a pale complexion. I was in my very early 20s when I first started bleaching it and have continued to lighten my hair ever since. (There was a brief interlude when I went a really dark brunette, which was so badly dyed that it looked green from most angles. But the less said about that the better.) I now visit the second most important man in my life (the vows I gave in 2018 mean that my husband legally has to take the top spot) every six weeks for highlights. Which means that I am the perfect Olaplex candidate. I use a lot of the products from the range, but none more than the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner. 

If you've heard of Olaplex but you're not entirely sure what is it or how it works, it's a brand that originally launched into salons only as a professional treatment for repairing broken bonds (the things that hold keratin in place) in the hair caused by bleaching, over-processing or chemical straightening. It was used during colour appointments and took the industry by storm because of the way that it transformed seriously damaged hair. It does this thanks to its patented ingredient called bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate - a mouthful right?! Due to its success the brand grew to include at-home products to allow consumers to continue the good work after they left their salons. This has also kickstarted a new category of bond-repair hair products.

The Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, also known as No.4 and No.5, have long since been a regular fixture in my shower. I tend to wash my hair twice a week and will use them in conjunction with No.3, the iconcic at-home Hair Perfector treatment every so often to help strengthen my strands and help my colour last.

How does the Olaplex shampoo and conditioner work?

Like all of the at-home products, the Olaplex shampoos and conditioners (because there are more than one - more on that later) contain the magic bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate but at much lower concentrations. It penetrates on a molecular level and once it's in your hair, it finds the broken bonds in your strands and repairs each one to reveal healthier and stronger hair. 

They can be used an effective of duo, or in conjunction with the rest of the Olaplex line, which now features 10 steps (including the two professional treatments). 

Olaplex shampoos and conditioners

There are in fact three Olaplex shampoos and two conditioners. The original Bond Maintenance formulas (No.4 and No.5), Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo and Conditioner (No.4P and No.5P) and the Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo (No.4C)

I use all three regularly. The original formula is my normal shampoo that gets used the most, the Blonde Enhancer is one of the best purple shampoos on the market and I use this to get rid of any unwanted brassiness. The clarifying shampoo is something that I use every so often to get rid of everything from product build up, to heavy metals, minerals, chlorine and pollutants - all of which dull colour. This brightens my blonde and brings a vibrancy back to my colour.

Shop the Olaplex shampoos and conditioners:

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.