All About Olaplex

Olaplex is one of the largest independent hair care brands in the world, with more than 100 worldwide patents. Through a grassroots approach, the brand quickly became a global sensation. Curious how to get started with Olaplex on your clients? Here, Christin Brown (@curlfactor), celebrity curl specialist and Olaplex Global Ambassador, shares her advice on how to use Olaplex in the salon, which products to send clients home with, and how to increase your retail sales without feeling like you’re upselling 
too much. 

How do you care for a client’s scalp?  

Scalp care is one of the most important things to talk about because it often gets overlooked. When it comes to scalp care, I use Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo. It cleanses the scalp and hair without stripping, which is a major benefit. The hair feels clean and not dehydrated. 

It’s important to remember people do things to their scalp that they wouldn’t dare do to their face. The scalp is an extension of the face, and people need to sit with that for a little bit. You would never scratch your face with your nails, but some would scratch their scalp.  

What are the key moments a client should have during the shampoo experience?  

One thing that is always big for me is how intentional we need to be. We can get wrapped up with forgetting the person at the bowl needs this time and space for an experience, an escape. The amount of time they are with you at the shampoo bowl is so important, and it needs to be relaxing. We need to be intentional with our touch, because touch gives you peace and can shake you out of a funk. It’s just as important as detangling, which is one of the most important parts of conditioning. This all can’t work unless you’re going back to the intention. I want to treat my clients how I want to be treated. For example, my barber is someone who magically found the time and space among seven other barbers to make me feel safe in his hands. He thanked me for trusting him. That was so mindful.  

How do you prep your brides so they have optimal hair health before the big day? What products do you recommend they take on their honeymoon?  

I did wedding hair for 15 years. That’s how I got my start. I did updos in Santa Barbara [California], a top wedding destination.   

As hair professionals, we have the unique opportunity to work with bridal parties before the wedding. I liked to work with brides a year in advance and took the opportunity to start a conversation about what I wanted them to do for their hair health. I put my brides on a regimen of Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector once a week. For their rehearsal dinner, I would have them wash and condition with Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.  

On the day of the wedding, I would go in with Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother and Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil when doing a blowout. When styling brides with curly hair, I used Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Serum. Seeing them before the wedding gave me more opportunity to see their hair transition, even if I didn’t see them again after that. I knew the integrity of the hair would hold up beyond the wedding night and into the honeymoon.  

Many brides also wear extensions. To prepare the extensions, I used Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector. By not treating the extensions for just one night, I was able to treat them like they were a part of the bride’s hair. I would also send clients the Olaplex Traveling Stylist Kit to take on their honeymoon for maximum hair integrity.  

How do you use and incorporate Olaplex No. 1 Bond Multiplier and Olaplex No. 2 Bond Perfector into your service menu?  

In the past, I’ve baked it in. It’s the same model I use when I incorporate products in service and care. Originally, I’d say, “Hey, I have you down for a highlight service. Do you want to add Olaplex into your service?” By adding Olaplex, an $80 service would become a $100 service. People were saying no because they didn’t understand the concept and the magic. The plot twist: I was still using it anyway. It was lip service at that point. So, I upped my prices and baked Olaplex into every service. I told my clients about the importance of Olaplex, so if they continued coming to me, they could see the difference in their hair versus going to someone else who might not be using Olaplex. For me, that was and still is important. I use it throughout the process in fashion colors, bleach, and toners. The only time I ask is if they are getting a cut. If they are coming out of braids, it’s a good time to do repair too. If someone is having a rough day, I use Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector or an Olaplex No. 2 Bond Perfector treatment. I follow up with Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner after all services.  

I am a big system person, and so are my clients. I believe it’s easier to convey this to hair professionals who are working with curly and textured clients to remind them how important a system is. It’s because they want to be sure their client is walking out saying, “Wow! I can’t believe my hair looks amazing and doesn’t need to be restyled.” They will subscribe to a system because they are safeguarded.  

When clients go to another stylist who doesn’t put them on a plan, they have to do their own research or take bits and pieces of product knowledge. Stylists who are trying to take their career to the next level can empower their clients and better their knowledge if they can commit to an Olaplex system, even for one month. 

Which clients do you use Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo on?  

I use it in the salon and send it home with clients who are swimmers and clients with curly hair. With clients who have curly hair, I recommend using it once a month at a minimum so they can get a fresh reset. I also use it on people who feel like their products “no longer work.” This is usually because of product buildup.  

Do you have retail tips that can help drive business for independent stylists and salon owners?  

The prep is really the biggest part for clients to understand how an Olaplex system can be beneficial. I send out an email that says, “Hello! We are looking forward to our upcoming session. To prepare you for your upcoming service, here are the products that I want you to use: Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, and Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.”  

Then I step away and let the magic happen. I just wait and see. By the time they come into the session, they’ve already fallen in love with Olaplex without me pushing it on them. They often buy again after the session.  

As a salon owner, my trick to help build revenue is the prep regimen. Clients see it for themselves—they can tell their hair feels healthy and strong. Then, Olaplex is part of the natural conversation without friction. It totally removes the upsell feeling.  

Any other business advice or wellness inspiration you’d like to share?  

I am an independent stylist. I do all my own social media posts and marketing—everything. I’ve always done everything myself. When I opened my first salon it was just me, and it still is.  

I strongly suggest stylists go to therapy. There are free therapy options for people who don’t have access to care. Being an independent stylist and salon owner is daunting, but you have to put one foot in front of the other every day.  

Identify your “why.” If it changes, that’s OK. People need to be OK with the unknown. I am currently experiencing radical change and uncertainty. My advice is to lean into change, because it gets better. I am empowered by the idea of pivoting—it’s what helps us stay creative.  

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