Ever wondered whether a new beauty launch or trending product is truly worth the hype? If so, you’re in the right place. I Just Tried… is our beauty column where we test out everything from new formulations to cult classics to find out whether they’re really worth your money. Oh, and we’ll answer the most-searched-for questions so you don’t have even have to ask.
My hair has been through a lot in the past year. The culmination of not getting a cut or any treatments for months on end, experimenting with styling my natural hair texture and trialling a lot of new launches has resulted in seriously dry ends. This means that when it comes to hair-wash day I’ve been going all out to treat my strands to the most thirst-quenching and strengthening routine to avoid breakage and split ends.
So, when I heard that Olaplex was launching a new treatment I was beyond excited to get on my hands on it.
I have been a huge fan of the Olaplex system for years now. When I had balayage, my colourist used the salon-only part of the system (No. 1 & 2) to keep my hair strong despite the bleach and I regularly use the brand's cult pre-wash treatment, No. 3, when my hair is feeling particularly weak.
The latest launch is the No. 8 Intense Moisture Mask and it uses the brand’s iconic and patented bond-building technology to strengthen and restore a healthy texture to your hair—especially strands that are frequently exposed to heat and chemical damage. As someone with natural type 4 hair that uses a lot of heat on it, I was a prime candidate for this mask.
Generally speaking, I find that when I straighten my coils, my hair tends to lack shine and movement and, traditionally, hair masks that are formulated for damaged hair can leave my hair feeling coated and heavy. So even if I love the brand, I always have a little bit of trepidation on first use.
This mask, however, is different. Let's talk about the bottle: It's small. Honestly, I was sceptical that you'd get your monies worth this, especially as I’m used to masks that come in big pots where you're able to scoop out lots and saturate your hair from root to tip. But I was pleased to find you only really need to use two pumps if you have shoulder-length hair like me (although I added an extra one, as I have a thick mane). If you have short hair one to two pumps is more than enough, and if you have longer hair, then I think two to three will do the job. After washing and squeezing out excess water, I applied the mask and massaged it into the mid-lengths and ends of my hair.
I'll try to describe how good my hair felt after rinsing out this mask but I truly feel like you need to experience it for yourself. The slip was dolphin-like and the definition of my coils had been almost completely restored, something I often worry about with the amount of straightening I do.
The thing that surprised me most was how glossy my hair looked and felt after I did my styling routine. It had a beautiful sheen and felt full and voluminous without feeling weighed down at all. I would honestly say run—don’t walk—to get your hands on this mask.
Keep scrolling for my thoughts on the other products in the Olaplex range…
This is a pre-shampoo hair treatment but has a similar vibe to other la mellar waters on the market (like the cult L'Oréal Wonder Water), which are basically really runny conditioning products. You apply this to dry hair, coating it until it feels damp, then let it sit for ten minutes. However, the stinger is that you then have to apply the No.3 on top for best results—which is sold separately—and basically amplifies the conditioning and reparative aspect, making it a potent prewash duo.
This was the first pre-wash treatment that the brand launched and can be left on for as little as ten minutes and as long as overnight. The bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate in the formula strengthens where the hair is damaged by chemical treatments and styling.
These are the classic cleansing and conditioning products in the range. They're suitable for all hair types and textures as they are sulphate-free so the shampoo doesn’t dry out your hair, plus the conditioner is ultra-moisturising.
If you always blow-dry your hair, this is an unrivalled styling product that protects it too. It leaves frizz and flyaways in the dust, plus it actually speeds up your blow-drying time. Heads up though, this does contain silicones if that's something that you try and avoid in your hair products.
This product is more than just an oil—it smooths and conditions as well as protects hair while heat styling. You need the tiniest amount on damp or dry hair for luxe styling.