In a little under a year, I’ve bleached and colored my hair three (!) times. To give a quick overview, it all started in Oct. 2020 when I got coral money piece highlights à la Bella Hadid. Once that faded, I dyed those two front strands blue. Then, in Apr. 2021, I made my childhood dreams come true and colored my whole head pastel pink (more details on my hair transformation journey here.) While these vibrant hues helped lift my spirits, the dyeing has left my hair worse for the wear.
Do I regret it? Not in the slightest. Did my strands desperately need some S.O.S.? Yes. Enter: Olaplex’s new 4-in-1 Moisture Mask, a new in-salon treatment I tried over the summer. This baby came to the rescue and gave me the softest strands I’ve had in years (no joke).
Though you can snag Olaplex products at stores like Sephora, it’s been seven years since the industry-favorite hair care brand last launched a professional salon treatment. According to Jue Wong, the CEO of Olaplex, the brand decided to create this moisture mask because its hairstyling community was in need of a salon-strength mask that would help bring dry and damaged hair back to life. Well, I can attest that this product — which is officially available in select salons starting this Aug. — was worth the long wait.
Read on to see exactly how this mask works and what it does to damaged, brittle hair.
The Olaplex 4-in-1 Moisture Mask
I’m a sucker for Olaplex’s whole line when it comes to giving my hair some much-needed rejuvenating love — my must-haves include the No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and recently launched No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask — however, this in-salon formula took my obsession to a whole other level. For the treatment itself, I arrived at Cutler Soho salon on a Monday afternoon in July greeted by Tracey Cunningham, author of True Color and celebrity hairstylist (who works with A-listers like J.Lo and Margot Robbie — NBD).
To start, Cunningham washed my hair with the brand’s shampoo so that it was clean and ready to receive the mask. She then applied the 4-in-1 Moisture Mask to my damp strands from mid-length to ends and worked it through with her fingers. She left it in my hair for 10 minutes (which is standard), but explained that those with really damaged hair might need longer. After that, it was time to be rinsed and styled.
Even while my hair was still wet, I could feel a huge difference in how it felt (read: less like un-watered blades of grass). The silky, smooth texture was even better once my hair was fully blow-dried. And while I don’t necessarily need extra body, it was bouncy and shiny, almost like Kim K.’s locks. (OK, maybe if you squinted from far away.) FWIW, Cunningham says the mask works on all hair types, and you can benefit even if you don’t get it chemically processed like I do.
According to Lavinia Popescu, Olaplex’s vice president of research and development, the magic of the mask lies in the signature reparative formula the entire line is known for. “It contains our exclusive bond-building technology at salon professional levels, along with high-quality ingredients found in skin care products, including ceramides, oils, and amino acids,” she tells Bustle. Ceramides keep the cuticle flat and, in turn, smooth your hair, while amino acids strengthen your strands. These hero ingredients work together to close the cuticles, seal in shine, hydrate the hair shaft.
The brand’s exclusive strand-repairing ingredient is the bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, which helps mend broken bonds (aka what’s responsible for brittle hair). Translation: “When bonds are intact, hair is healthy and able to reflect shine,” says Cunningham.
Before and after the Olaplex treatment.
I truly forgot the feeling of having super soft hair until I experienced this moisture mask treatment. As you can see in the before and after photos, my hair was frizzy and lackluster before using the Olaplex product — but, after, my strands were shiny and smooth as silk.
Though I’ve only had the chance to try it once, the mask’s results lasted me roughly two to three weeks. In fact, after the treatment, I didn’t wash my hair for a whole week — which is a personal record. Rather than it getting greasy by day seven as per usual, I found my shiny smooth strands looked (almost) as good a full week later. Plus, after my first post-treatment wash, my hair still felt incredibly soft.
IMHO, it’s worth heading to the salon to get the treatment every once in a while. According to Cunningham, though a professional will determine how often your hair needs the treatment, she recommends doing it weekly if you’ve got really dry and damaged strands. “Others may only require a monthly treatment,” the hairstylist adds. “It varies depending on each individual client’s needs.” The cost of the treatment will also vary by the salon you go to.
If you’ve also bleached your hair one too many times over the past year (oops), I can’t recommend Olaplex’s new 4-in-1 Moisture Mask enough — it’s the best thing I’ve ever used to revive my strands back to vibrant, bouncy life. Just a bonafide Olaplex fan? You’ll definitely want to experience this pro-level treatment. Personally, I’m booking my next salon sesh already.
Goluch-Koniuszy, Z. (2016). Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause. Menopause Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
Oh, J. (2019). Synthesized Ceramide Induces Growth of Dermal Papilla Cells with Potential Contribution to Hair Growth. Annals of Dermatology. DOI:10.5021/ad.2019.31.2.164