Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil Review

The No. 7 Bonding Oil is the newest addition to the Olaplex line. This is a lightweight, concentrated oil that claims to increase softness, shine and manageability, repairs damaged hair, strengthens and protects hair structure and improves color vibrancy while minimizing frizz. It also provides heat protection up to 450 degrees.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Coco-Caprylate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propanediol, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Beta-Carotene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Water (Aqua), Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Powder, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Limonene, Tocopherol, Citral, Linalool, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Citronellol, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed (Green Tea) Oil Ferment Extract Filtrate.

The first ingredient is dimethicone which, from what I’ve read on different sites, is a cheaper silicone that is not water soluble and is hard to remove. However, Olaplex says they use a high quality, low molecular weight, water soluble dimethicone that easily washes away and does not build up in the hair. I was surprised to see corn oil listed, as this is not an oil I think of for use on hair, but corn oil prevents dryness by locking in the hair’s moisture. It contains vitamins K and E and omegas 3, 6 and 9. In addition to other oils, this has propandiol, a conditioning humectant. The Bonding Oil also contains Olaplex’s bond builder that helps repair disulfide bonds that are broken down during a chemical service.

Directions state to tip the bottle upside down and tap on the bottom to dispense a few drops to damp or dry hair. This can be mixed into the No. 6 styling cream (or leave-in conditioner or other styling aid).

As a side note, I’ve been using silicone-free products in my fine hair for about a year mainly because, if I use a silicone-containing conditioner, the silicone seals moisture in the hair, but doesn’t allow other treatments to penetrate the silicone (apparently), so anything I put on my hair after using that conditioner would be useless I gather. Over the last few months my hair has gotten so dry and looks quite damaged despite my best efforts (though I do need a haircut; I haven’t gotten anything done with my hair for about 8 months). I’ve also had breakage. I’ve been thinking about adding silicone back to my hair and thought this bonding oil would be a good place to start.

The oil is easy to get out of the bottle. It has a light scent that doesn’t really linger. This feels like a dry oil that is not heavy. Above, I rubbed it on my arm for a couple seconds and it doesn’t leave an oily residue, but leaves a smooth-feeling sheen.

Above, in the before photo, I air dried my hair and combed through it a bit, then added about 8 drops for the after photo. There is an immediate smooth feeling to the hair (due to the dimethicone) and it looks a bit less frizzy and less poofy with a bit of shine.

The before photo above was after using the Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment and after, 8 drops of the Olaplex oil. Again, the hair feels smoother in the after photo. It’s harder to see results on this curlier hair.

I’ve used the oil on towel dried hair as well to see if the hair detangles with a wide tooth comb and the Bonding Oil on it own. It’s better than combing with wet hair and no product, but using a leave-in conditioner detangles and combs through better.

My flat iron glides through the hair much nicer and with less friction with the application of the oil.

I wash my hair about every 5 to 6 days and can use the Bonding Oil morning and night with no buildup or heaviness on the hair between wash days.

Again, my hair is quite dry, damaged and poofy and my hair seems to absorb this quite fast, so there aren’t really amazing visible results in the photos (of course, I haven’t been using this for long). I can only assume that the hair is getting repaired from the inside due to the bond repair technology. My 4-inch grown out hair with no color feels better than my colored hair with the Olaplex use.

I’ve used the oil for about 3 weeks, morning and evening, and my hair is softer and more manageable. I apply after using a leave-in conditioner and/or heavier hair oils on towel dried hair to seal in moisture. I’ve been getting breakage at the back, underside layers of my hair when I wash it and I think, with the use of the Olaplex, there is less breakage.

I’ll try and update the photos here after I get my hair cut and colored in a couple weeks to see if there is a more visible difference using the No. 7 oil after I get a few of those dry, damaged inches off my hair.

Update (October 26, 2019):

The above photos are a couple weeks after a color, cut and keratin straightening treatment. For the first photo I blow dried my hair and applied Olaplex No. 7 after. The second and third photos are air dried hair with the after photos showing application of the hair oil. The hair looks smoother with less fly-aways and a more “finished” look.

I like that the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil creates an immediate smoothness and softness on the hair and I can feel results rather than see a dramatic difference at this point. My hair might be too dry and damaged and this product is so light, I feel like I could use a lot of this oil before my hair would actually feel moisturized. I’ll likely continue to purchase for the bonding technology, heat protection and smooth feeling on the hair as a nice last step in my hair routine to seal moisture in. Time will tell if there is long term improvement.

Thank you for reading.

Brunette to Blonde

My journey to blonde began months ago with a dream I had one night – I was at my usual hair salon, about to get my hair colored and cut by a stylist I had never been to before and she had had a few glasses of wine and suggested I get my hair colored blonde. I have dark brown hair with bronzed highlights and warm medium skin. I was reluctant to let her color my hair, as she was drinking, and suggested she ask my regular stylist what she thought about me going blonde. She started crying, saying I didn’t trust her to do her job, and that is when I woke up.

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I began by reading online about what to expect, maintenance and what shade of blonde would look best with my skin tone and then started to work on getting really healthy hair. I wanted to get my hair as hydrated as possible and used leave-in conditioners, hair masks and hot oil treatments, stopped using my flat iron and bought a UV protectant.

I’ve been going to Style Theory in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the last year, and the owner, Celleste, created my color. If you are in the Calgary area, I highly recommend checking out the salon.

She started with the bleaching process while using Olaplex. Here’s a photo of about midway through:

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My hair got a bit lighter than this, but with being so dark, didn’t lighten to the level she wanted and was pretty yellow, so I was worried how it would look when dried. No worries though, my hair was then toned to a pretty strawberry blonde color.

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After this first stage of color, I continued hydrating with masks and oils and used Olaplex No 3, the at-home version, to repair and strengthen the hair. Olaplex strengthens and protects the hair by relinking broken disulfide bonds from chemical services, heat and mechanical damage. After giving my hair time to heal and hydrate for about 3 weeks, I was ready for the next session, this time using Malibu Color Prepare the day before the service. To use Color Prepare, shampoo and rinse, add water to the crystals, work through the hair, leave on for 5 minutes, then shampoo and rinse. Do not condition. This treatment prepares the hair for color by removing minerals to ensure color coverage and extends vibrancy of color.

For the second session, she bleached while using Olaplex, and then used a number of treatments and toners.

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A few days after this session I went back to the salon to get the Ultra Bond and Seal treatment. The Bond treatment replenishes keratin, protein and amino acids after multiple color services such as I had. It also helps relink and strengthen broken disulfide bonds in the hair. The second treatment, Seal, fuses the repaired bonds into the cortex (middle layer) of the hair. The first and second treatments were left on wet hair for about 15 minutes each. After this treatment, my hair was bouncy, soft and shiny.

Maintenance and care of blonde hair is something I’m still working on, finding the right products that work for me. The first time I washed my hair after the first blonding session, I was shocked at my hair texture (while actual texture doesn’t change, porosity and elasticity does, and the hair feels very different). I read articles about dry, straw-like hair after a bleaching process, but that didn’t prepare me for the actual thing. I thought it was the new Schwarzkopf BlondMe shampoo I was using. After trying two other shampoos (Malibu Color Wellness and Balance from Josh Rosebrook), the BlondMe shampoo is more drying than those, but still as I was rinsing these shampoos off my hair, it seemed to become swollen with water (because the hair is now very porous), tangled, stiff and straw-like. After conditioning, my hair smoothed out and felt relatively normal after drying.

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Blonde hair needs purple toned shampoo to prevent unwanted warmth; the yellow, brassy color on light blonde hair. As mentioned, I’m using the Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe Tone Enhancing Bonding Shampoo for cool blondes. While neutralizing warm tones, this shampoo also creates new bonds in the hair fibers.

Blonde hair is dry and fragile; I need to prevent breakage and only use a wooden comb and have stopped using a flat iron. My hair stylist told me, when washing my hair, before shampooing, put conditioner on from about the mid-shaft area down to the ends, shampoo the roots, rinse and condition all the hair. This prevents dryness and breakage at the ends. Deep conditioners, hair masks, oils and Olaplex No 3 helps with damage, dryness and help protect the hair.

My makeup and jewelry had to change a bit as a result of the blonde hair. Instead of using the warm corals and bright pinks for blush, I now look better in a pale pink, and rather than my usual rose gold earrings and nose ring, I have switched to white gold.

The blonde hair seems to bring out the redness in my complexion, so I need a bit of concealer. My black eyebrows are more noticeable and they will have to be well maintained. I recently purchased the Fab Brows kit in slate/black and the slate color has a mattifying effect and helps the eyebrows blend a bit better with the ash blonde hair.

Of course, cost, number of sessions and time will depend on your hair; do you have old color, virgin hair, boxed color and/or damaged hair? The process can also be affected by the hair stylist’s experience. I am lucky that my hair stylist is a blonding specialist and a specialist in treating damaged hair. I’ve been to salons previously wanting to get my dark brown hair to a light brown, only to be left with burgundy hair.

This process can be listed as a color correction with charge by the hour. These two blonding sessions, for me, were about 9 hours total. Consultation is key. Roots need to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on growth. While waiting a few months for touch ups may seem cost effective, the color service can take longer and cost more in the end.

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Maintaining blonde hair:

  1. Wash your hair in room temperature or cool water.
  2. Wash your hair less often. The washing process is drying, as it washes away natural oils. While I have an oily scalp and would like to wash my every second day, I can get away with every 3 to 4 days.
  3. Use a purple shampoo to neutralize warm, brassy tones from mineral buildup and oxidation. Get an in-salon toning service.
  4. Protect your hair from the sun. Use a UV protectant and wear a hat.
  5. Protect your hair from chlorine. Saturate with conditioner then wear a swim cap.
  6. Hydrate your hair. Use oil treatments, deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners, hair masks, in-salon moisturizing treatments.
  7. Use sulfate-free, salt-free, color safe, moisturizing shampoo.
  8. Avoid styling products with sodium and drying alcohols.
  9. Protect your hair from heat. If you need to use heat, protect your hair with a heat protectant and low temperature setting.
  10. Protect your hair from mechanical damage. Avoid backcombing, use a wide tooth, wooden comb or brush, detangling from the ends of the hair up.