What happens if you leave Olaplex on too long?

repair treatment

  • If you leave the Olaplex 3 in your hair for too long, nothing will happen. In fact, you can leave it up to 12 hours, and nothing bad will happen. On the contrary, it’ll moisturize your hair deeply, and you’ll feel it much softer, more docile, and frizz-free. It only applies to OLAPLEX NUMBER 3, which is made to be used at home. There’s no risk involved.


  • Now, Olaplex 1 is strictly for professional use. You shouldn’t even get close to it, let alone apply it to your hair without the proper knowledge.
  • Olaplex 2 is also for professional use. You should leave it on for up to 15 minutes. As it’s used together with hair dye or toner, if you exceed the time and don’t have any coloring knowledge, you can ruin the process.


As you surely know, the Olaplex is a 3-stage treatment.  The only stage you should apply on your own is stage 3. It’s the moisturizing treatment that can be on your hair for up to 12  hours. Nothing bad will happen if you do. 


However, a professional should apply steps 1 and 2. They require special knowledge. Also, both Olaplex 1 and 2 should be left as indicated by the manufacturer. Otherwise, they could damage your hair. Anyway, since a professional will apply them, you shouldn’t worry.


I still remember when the Olaplex came out. Many Hollywood stars made Instagram posts showing their miraculous “before and after” color change.

Perhaps the best known was the controversial Kim Kardashian, who went from black to platinum hair in no time without losing a single hair.

Yes, her platinum hair was healthy, shiny, and without signs of damage, even though she had bleached it several times in one day.


Of course, Kim didn’t make this change in the bathroom at home or with her own hands. She paid thousands of dollars to one of the most expensive stylists in Hollywood to work the miracle.

Because the Olaplex, in the wrong hands, can be more harmful than beneficial.


Before you play with fire with the risk of getting burned, you should know how to manipulate the Olaplex to make it an ally of your hair’s health.

So, stay with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • How long to leave the Olaplex 3 on the hair
  • Why Olaplex 1 and 2 can be harmful on your hair too long

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How long to leave the Olaplex 3 on your hair

return to natural color

We know that the Olaplex is a three-stage treatment. Now, why do you think the only Olaplex that is over the counter is the Olaplex 3?


Because it’s a safe product that you can leave on your hair for up to 12 hours. You can even use Olaplex 3 as an overnight repair treatment. After all, nobody’s going to sleep for more than 12 hours, right?


Yes, you read it right! You can leave the Olaplex 3 on all night, and nothing will happen to your hair. On the contrary, you’ll get a good dose of moisture, which will surely come in handy for your hair. And that’s not all the good news.


You can use Olaplex 3 without applying 1 and 2.

So again, you can leave the Olaplex 3 on for 12 hours or overnight. Your hair won’t be damaged if you leave it on for a maximum of 12 hours. It provides hydration by strengthening the molecular bonds and sealing the cuticles.


 Olaplex 3 is applied alone. Don’t mix it with other products such as hair dye or bleach because it’s made to moisturize. And that’s why it’s safe for your hair, even if you don’t have any hairdressing knowledge. 

You can apply it once a week. If your hair is excessively damaged, you can increase the frequency to three times a week.


The main difference between Olaplex 3 and the other two products is that Olaplex 3 is an intensive hydration treatment, not a repair treatment.

That’s why you can leave it on much longer than Olaplex 1 and 2 without any risk to your hair.


Why can Olaplex 1 and 2 be harmful if left longer on your hair?

The Olaplex works differently from other products to repair hair damage. It was developed by two famous chemists who analyzed the hair in depth and worked on several fundamental things


Therefore, to differentiate it from other keratin treatments, they developed a compound that favors and repairs those molecular bonds, repairing them completely.

Olaplex provides keratin to promote the union of the molecules and repair the fiber completely.


 However, the best thing about Olaplex is that it can be added processes such as bleaching, to neutralize the harmful effects. 

That’s why our dear Kim went from black hair to platinum hair in a few hours. Well, also because of her big bank account.


Now, just as only the fairy could work magic on Cinderella, the Olaplex treatment, especially 1 and 2 must be used by professional hands.

It’ll even be very difficult to get them since the company requests data that only professional stylists can provide.

We have specific knowledge about how certain processes and products influence hair fiber health.


Olaplex 1. If you don’t have any hairstyling knowledge, don’t even try it

makes bleaching process more expensive

Olaplex 1 is added to the bleaching mixture to help the hair maintain the molecular bond. Therefore, color changes of up to eight shades can be achieved in just a few hours.

However, it doesn’t work by leaving the bleaching mixture longer, but by applying a higher volume developer.


Bleaching needs at least 30-volume developer. Using Olaplex 1, a stylist can apply up to 60- volume developer and perform several bleaches in a row.  The trick is never to leave it on the hair longer than indicated. 

Can you imagine what would happen if you bleach your hair using a 40-volume developer, confident that the Olaplex 1 will protect it, but you don’t mix the proportions well?


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Your hair will be completely burned.   Olaplex 1 should be used with the exact proportions of developer. Only a stylist can decide it considering the hair health, base color, and color you want to achieve.  


A scalpel makes it easier for the doctor to operate. However, only the doctor can use it because he knows exactly how and where to make the cut not to damage more than he’s trying to repair. The same thing happens with Olaplex.


Olaplex 2 works on the hair for up to 20 minutes

That stage should also be performed in a salon after bleaching to repair any possible damage.


It is left on the hair for 20 minutes and then rinsed off immediately. I have used it in the salon by mixing it with the hair dye or toner to speed up the process and leave the hair perfect.

Olaplex 2 reaches its peak after 20 minutes, completely repairing the molecular bonds and sealing your cuticles.


 I recommend that you go to the salon to get Olaplex 1 and 2 so you don’t waste time and hundreds of dollars. 

Remember that even if you apply the Olaplex with your coloring treatment, the chemical process can damage your hair if you don’t know exactly how to use the product.



You can perfectly use the Olaplex 3 at home for up to 12 hours, even all night, to take full advantage of the benefits of this incredible product.

However, both Olaplex 1 and Olaplex 2 should be used by expert hands because, otherwise, they can do more harm than good to your hair.

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