Olaplex might be one of the only hair care brands I’m truly loyal to. Many moons ago, when the original No. 3 Hair Perfector first hit the scene, I was buying it (and sleeping in it) before my hairstylist even knew consumers could get their hands on the bond-repairing treatment. It was there for me after every at-home bleach blonde transformation went awry, somehow turning my fried and damaged hair into something silky, and most importantly, stable. So when I first saw that the Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask was launching on April 6, I knew I had to be the one to figure out how the brand’s very first hair mask stacked against No. 3.
Because, to be honest, I’d always lumped the No. 3 Hair Perfector (AED145) into the “masking” category — where it actually doesn’t belong. Olaplex gets its cult-status kick from an ingredient called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, a brand exclusive that reconnects disulfide bonds within hair while minimizing protein damage. While No. 3 does feature other hair-loving ingredients such as aloe leaf juice and jojoba seed oil, it’s a treatment, not a mask.
This is notable, since it’ll help you understand why now was the time to add No. 8 to the Olaplex product family. While the new AED145 hair mask does still feature Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, its formula also includes ceramides, sodium hyaluronate, meadowfoam seed oil, and avocado oil; all ingredients that help nourish your scalp and hair.
So, you should use No. 8 when you want to coddle your hair bonds, increase moisture, and smooth the strands. I’ve tried it twice now, and had noticeable results both times. While I’m not bleach blonde anymore, my hair is thick, wavy, and frequently frizzy (which I like!). After using No. 8 and letting my hair air dry, I noticed my hair was much smoother and straighter than usual, though I did have a few unruly gray hairs and broken strands that still fought back.
To me, this makes No. 8 ideal for anyone who’s going to follow it up with a hair straightener, curler, or some other styler — it turned my hair into a tamer, more conditioned blank slate. And as a self-proclaimed Olaplex fan, I noticed the telltale feeling of the brand’s signature ingredient; my hair felt smoother, stronger, and healthier, like I’d never fallen asleep on it while it was still wet or forced it into too tight of a bun. (Guilty.)