Can you use Olaplex 0 on dirty hair? Short answer: No! Here’s why

use for coloring hair

  • Your hair must be clean to apply Olaplex 0.
  • What’s more, you need to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue and help Olaplex 0 penetrate into your hair.
  • Finally, to complete the repair process, include Olaplex step 3.


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Things were so easy when there was only Olaplex 1 and 2 for professional use!

I guess the Olaplex manufacturers imagined that if we want to keep things simple, we should live on an island like Robinson Crusoe, away from the benefits of civilization.

So, true to that idea that things should be complex, they added steps to Olaplex 1 and 2. Then, all kinds of doubts and questions started to spring in social networks and chats.

  • How should I use Olaplex 0?
  • Can I use it on dry or wet hair?
  • On clean or dirty hair?


I’ll make things easy for you.

 Olaplex 0 is applied on clean hair.

You can only be sure your hair is spotlessly clean when you wash it with a clarifying shampoo. 


So, Olaplex 0 should be applied to clean, dry hair.



Because the complete Olaplex treatment has several stages.  It starts at the salon with Olaplex 1 and 2, and continues at home with Olaplex 0, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

It’s like face cleansing. Where do you start?


First, you apply a cleansing foam to remove traces of makeup.

Then, you apply a cotton pad soaked in micellar water to remove traces of makeup remover and dirt.

Afterward, you apply an exfoliating mask to deeply clean at the dermis level. Finally, apply a moisturizing or hydrating lotion.


Olaplex, in turn, is a hair repair treatment. So, each step has different functions.

  Can you use Olaplex 0 at home without using step 3 and the following steps?  Yes, but the results may not be as effective. 


That’s you should get acquainted with these products and get to know how to apply them properly.

If your hair is dirty or has residue from other products, Olaplex 0 cannot penetrate inside the hair to repair it.

The same happens with lotion. It cannot bring the nutrients into the skin of your face if you didn’t clean it before.


 Therefore, before applying Olaplex 0 on your hair, you need to wash it with a clarifying shampoo  and dry it.

If you want to know how to do it the right way, read on. I’ll tell you everything in detail below.

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How to properly wash your hair before using Olaplex 0

washing removes color

At this point, you already know that your hair must be clean before using Olaplex 0.


As you may probably know, thousands of particles are deposited in your hair every day without you noticing them.

They are microscopic particles from smog and environmental pollution. Also, washing your hair also leaves traces of conditioner and lotions.

And as if that were not enough, even the scalp’s perspiration deposits toxins in your hair.


So, your hair may be clean if you washed it yesterday, but not completely clean.

 Only one type of shampoo is powerful enough to remove toxins from perspiration, environmental particles, and hair products residue. It’s a clarifying shampoo. 


If you don’t use it before Olaplex 0, your hair will absorb the residues which will prevent hydration, shine, and softness. This is why you need to use a clarifying shampoo.

You will find several brands, although Neutrogena is one of the most well-known ones because it’s pH-balanced and doesn’t contain perfume or color.

You can easily get it on the web or in specialized stores.


 Once you have your clarifying shampoo, you should wash your hair with a professional technique we use in salons. 

Do you want to know about it?


  • Wet your hair with plenty of warm water.
  • Apply the clarifying shampoo to the lengths and ends of your hair.
  • Then, apply a little more to your roots and massage with your fingertips.
  • Rinse with plenty of warm water.
  • Apply the clarifying shampoo but only on the roots and massage thoroughly.
  • Blow-dry your hair at medium heat.


Once your hair is dry, you can start applying Olaplex 0. And of course, that’s what I’ll talk about next.


Applying Olaplex 0 and Olaplex 3

Now that your hair is clean and dry, you can use Olaplex 0 and Olaplex 3.

Why do I only refer to Olaplex 0 and Olaplex 3?


Because those steps are designed to be used together.

Think of Olaplex 0 as the basis for Olaplex 3. Step 0 can repair your hair on its own. However, the product is designed to work as a two-part process.


Olaplex 0 is a watery liquid that dries quickly. By using Olaplex 3 without rinsing out step 0, you keep the hair moist so that both products can work during the process.

In other words, if you use Olaplex 0 and 3 together, the benefits are multiplied by three. That way, your hair will be three times stronger and repaired than if you use Olaplex 0 alone.


The application is simple. I’ll give you some tips to help you get more out of these wonderful products.

Let’s start with the step-by-step.


  • Comb your dry hair and separate it into four sections, two front, and two back.
  • Apply Olaplex 0 carefully to each section you have separated.
  • Leave it on for 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes if your hair is damaged. Then, WITHOUT RINSING YOUR HAIR, apply Olaplex 3.
  • Comb it through thoroughly so that your hair absorbs it.
  • Leave it on for 45 to 120 minutes if your hair is seriously damaged.
  • After the exposure time, rinse your hair with shampoo and conditioner.


The manufacturer’s recommendation is to use Olaplex 4 shampoo and Olaplex 5 conditioner for best results. I dare say that you don’t have to.

Still, choose a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that contains moisturizers such as coconut oil or keratin.

Olaplex can be expensive and the key stages for home use are Olaplex 0 and Olaplex 3.



Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo is a must for the application of Olaplex 0 because it works as a base for the subsequent application of Olaplex 3.

Alternatively, if you prefer to use only Olaplex 3 (although the manufacturer recommends applying both steps together), your hair should also be clean.

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