Olaplex Was Making My Hair Worse? Why I Ditched The Popular Hair Products

Categories Beauty

As a former natural blonde now bleached blonde girlie, I’ll never forget the winter when I realized my hair was starting to look like a mullet. No matter what I did I couldn’t manage an even hair length past my shoulders. And I was dejected.

I tried everything I could think of to fix it: regular trims, stopping the white blonde, going for a darker color, doing no color. And the experiment led me back to one place: Olaplex doesn’t work for me.

Cut to a few years later, and my hair is the longest, thickest, and healthiest it’s been in over a decade. 

I Ditched Olaplex & It Saved My Hair

Too Much Protein?

Something my hair stylist casually mentioned once was that we should be rotating our protein/strength-building masks with our moisturizing ones. Olaplex No.3 (the hair protector) is probably one of the more common products for entry into the Olaplex bubble. And there are plenty of people who have no issues with it.

I, however, found that there was a line of hair about 3 inches from my root that wouldn’t grow. And I was doing all the “right things”. But I feel confident in saying I wasn’t overusing the product. If it’s a pre-shower ritual, I’m terrible at remembering to do it

how to use dry shampoo and ditch olaplex
I ditched olaplex

Using A Heat Protectant 

If you’re using hot tools, you’ll know that there’s often a bit of hair that ends up shorter than everything else. Our hair is resilient but the temps we put it through are a lot. Given that I’m a Dyson girlie (very much inspired by this journey), I’d hoped that the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding oil would work as a solid heat protectant and end oil for me. It lists heat protectant as one of it’s highlights.

As a fine hair gal, it’s easy to weigh down my hair with product if I’m not careful. But given my already damaged locks, I wasn’t helping myself reverse it by relying on the oil as a heat protectant. If you’d like a visual aid, search heat protectant test on Tiktok. It’s alarming.

No to The Purple Shampoo

One of the first videos I spent months making was testing as many purple shampoos as I could get my hands on. Along with a friend who was a brunette with blonde highlights, we compared notes so I could make sure I had the most accurate information. You can find that video here.

All this to say, when I got my hands on the Olaplex purple shampoo, I knew what I wanted and needed from the product. Bleached hair tends to be naturally drier so maintaining moisture is just as important as maintaining strength. And a lot of brass neutralizing shampoos leave the hair feeling dehydrated after use. This wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker with the product for me. But I did feel like the purple shampoo was more wow in the hand than impact on the hair. 

The first time I used it was during a Christmas trip to Atlanta a few years ago. I remember being scared that the purple was going to stain the shower because it left my hands stained for a few minutes. Also, I can’t say that my natural displeasure for all things Olaplex didn’t contribute to my less-than-exciting experience with this product. I also already have a holy grail purple shampoo which we will talk about in a second. But given the already rocky experience, it didn’t sway me to want to use any more Olaplex products.

What Savvy Said blogger Savannah Cyree showing her hair after she stopped using olaplex

What Happened After I Ditched The Products?

When I decided that despite only getting the idea from one random Tiktok comment to ditch Olaplex, I wasn’t sure it would work. But I did find it interesting that no one else was talking about it or the issues I was dealing with. It wasn’t until after my journey that another hairstylist told me she hates olaplex and refuses to use it on her clients.

In the spirit of transparency, it felt important that I mention I also made other big changes to help with the process of solving the issue.

I made it a point to take a break from coloring my hair for 6 months to give it a break and stepped away from the white blonde. I saw my hair even out with the exception of the top line damage after I stopped going white blonde. After the extended break from coloring and Olaplex, I went back in for my appointment with no issues. And as of the day I’m writing this post, my hair grew at least 6 inches last year with no issues.

Other Factors That Contributed To Getting My Hair Back

There are multiple ways hair issues show up. It might be thinning at certain spots, overall breakage, hair loss, or other things. And often they indicated other things going on in our bodies. For women, it can be signs of hormonal issues, stress, or a need to address nutrient issues.

The things that worked for me that I would do again and still do: regular trims, mindful protein consumption (my hair is so much stronger for it), K18 as a regular hair treatment, heat protectant for every layer of heat on my hair, using my dyson airwrap, opting for a lower temp on hot tools, and finding sleep hairstyles that help me protect my ends so I’m not tossing, turning and pulling on them more.

If you want to know my current routine, you can find it in the shoppable images below. I’ve made very few changes to this routine as I know it works now but I am always looking at little changes to keep my hair luscious. 


Wherever this finds you, I hope that it helps make navigating your healthy journey just a bit easier. And if you like this post and want to join the WSS fam, we’d love to have you. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter here. Until next time. Xoxo, SavvyI 

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