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Yes,I know that I said in this blogpost that I would not buy any leave in treatments for air drying the hair again because I simply don’t use them. Yet here I am, only six months later, with my review of the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum which, you might have guessed it, is a leave-in treatment, Olaplex latest release.
In my defense, Olaplex No 3, 4, 5 and 7 are staples in my routine, so chances were good it would be different this time around. At least that is what I told myself when I pressed purchase, purposefully ignoring that the latest fail had been from Olaplex as well.
Was it different this time? Let’s talk.
What the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum claims
A weightless, antioxidant-rich, multi benefit serum that provides pollution protection to perfect and protect all hair types and textures.
Facts about the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
Prize and size
One pump bottle in the typical design and a sleek form, contains 90 ml and is available for 28 $ on the website here. For my hair, a little over shoulder length, half a pump is plenty. It is vegan and silicone-free.
Texture and smell
Other than the Olaplex No 6, which looks more like a cream, this one is clear and looks and feels gel like, but not sticky. Different to the other Olaplex products it has a less floral scent, but smells more fresh, like shampoo maybe. The scent doesn’t linger in the hair though, so it isn’t really important anyway.
How to use the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
The product is designed to be used on towel dry hair, so after you get out of the shower you distribute it either through the lengths or all over. My hair is pretty fine and easily weighed down, but if I put the majority through the lengths and the rest around the crown, it worked really well for me. I tried it simply as a styling product on already dry hair as well, but found it left a stickiness that led to more tangles then, so I recommend sticking to damp hair usage.
While I appreciate the extra heat protection, for me it has the biggest benefit when air drying, something I do much more often in summer. For your comparison I used it on one half of my hair here and while the difference is very subtle on camera, it is a noticeable increase in shine, but more importantly a good reduction in frizz in real life.
If I don’t let it dry straight as I did in the video, but put it up in a bun for the last two hours of the drying process, the waves I get are really bouncy and stay better than they usually do – my hair tends to lose all styles very fast.
One thing to note though is that it slightly changes the feel of the hair, making it a little more – coarse? – less smooth to the touch. It might be just me missing the silicone slip though and can be counteracted by adding a silicone containing hair oil on top.
Ingredients of the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
When we look at the ingredients, we will find Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleat, Olaplex main ingredient responsible for the repairative claims, as well as a few moisturizing ingredients, some from a complex called Aquaxyl that apparently mimicks the Natural Moisturizing Factors in the skin and then PVP or Poly Vinyl Pyrollidone, a film former for hair that is probably responsible for the longer lasting style. The antioxidants for the claimed protection against pollution are probably hidden in the plant extracts rather than added separately.
Also part of the plant extracts are Citral, Citronellol, Linalool, Limonene and Hexyl Cinnamal, potentially irritant fragrant components, as well as fragrance. I don’t have issues with fragrance in my products, I just wanted to point them out in case you were allergic to any of these.
(More info: How does Olaplex claim to work?)
Does it live up to its claims?
It adds shine, manageability and increases the longevity of my hair styles. What is impressive is that it does all that without any silicones, which is usually the key to giving my strands smoothness.
How does it compare to…
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment
If you have been around for a while, you might have seen my blog post on The Inkey List Hair Treatments. I repurchased the Hyaluronic Acid one several times due to the reduction in frizz it gives me, but feel like I get the same frizz reduction with several added beneficial effects with the Olaplex version. For a much higher price, granted, so in the end it depends on what you want and how much you are willing to spend.
Would I repurchase and which hair types do I recommend the Olaplex No 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum to?
I am surprised myself, but I actually reach for it quite a lot in summer. It just makes my hair look and feel that little bit better, helps my waves last longer and would even offer additional heat protection should I decide to use heat rather than air dry, all that without weighing down my rather fine hair.
If you hair is very coarse and dry, the product might not be enough to nourish your strands, but especially for those of us with fine hair that is prone to frizz and refuses to hold any style, Olaplex No 9 should work very well.
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