Olaplex has gained popularity for its promise of healthier, stronger hair. But as we become more aware of horrible practices like animal testing, we have to ask — is Olaplex cruelty-free? Is it vegan? And is it actually good for your hair?
Join us as we answer these questions by exploring the brand’s policies and practices. Hopefully, by the end of this article, we’ll help you make an informed decision about your hair care choices.
Olaplex: Background & Company Overview
Founded in 2014 by Dean Christal, with the help of chemists Eric Pressly and Craig Hawker, Olaplex quickly made a name for itself in the beauty industry. The brand initially focused on products that could transform and rejuvenate hair damaged by chemical processes, such as coloring and bleaching.
At the heart of Olaplex’s success is its patented bond-building technology, designed to mend broken hair bonds and restore the integrity of each strand. This innovation has gained widespread acclaim and a devoted following among salon professionals and consumers alike.
And as the brand continues to make waves in hair care, we’re increasingly interested in finding out where Olaplex stands when it comes to animal testing.
Who Owns Olaplex?
Olaplex was acquired by the private equity firm Advent International in 2019. Still, the co-founders, Pressly and Hawker, retained ownership stakes in the company. Overall, since Advent has a major stake in the company but does not own the brand entirely, it’s hard to say that Olaplex has a parent company.
Where Is Olaplex Sold?
Olaplex products are widely available in stores and online. As the brand initially gained popularity as a salon-exclusive product, many professional hair salons and stylists around the world continue to use it in their treatments. Some beauty supply stores, major retailers, and various online marketplaces also offer Olaplex products.
You can find the brand in over 100 countries, and that list keeps growing.
Is Olaplex Cruelty-Free?
Yes, Olapex is cruelty-free, meaning the brand does not test on animals. Its products online feature this icon to mark that commitment:
What’s more, Olaplex does not sell its products in Mainland China or any countries where animal testing is required.
Is Olaplex Leaping Bunny Certified?
Yes, Olaplex is certified by Leaping Bunny, further proving its commitment to cruelty-free hair care products. Olaplex got its certification back in 2021. Still, it’s worth noting that the brand is not yet certified by PETA.
Is Olaplex Vegan?
Yes, Olaplex is 100% vegan. The brand takes great care to select its ingredients in a responsible manner, fulfilling its promises to its fanbase for cruelty-free and clean hair care. You can check any Olaplex product on the main website, and you’ll find it marked with this vegan icon:
Is Olaplex Sustainable?
At first glance, Olaplex appears sustainable, but there’s a lot to be desired before we can give this brand our official stamp of approval for preserving the planet. For instance, the company emphasizes its commitment to limiting secondary packaging but what about its primary plastic packaging? What is that causing to the environment?
One advantage of the brand when it comes to sustainability is the Olaplex ingredient list. The ingredients are non-toxic so at least they don’t pose a threat to the planet. Admittedly, the hair care brand is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint. According to its page on sustainability, Olaplex has achieved the following between 2015 and 2022:
- Prevented 91 million gallons of water from being wasted
- Prevented 56 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
- Protected 70,000 trees from being cut down
Overall, Olaplex has certainly taken some steps towards environmental responsibility. That said, the hair care brand could work more on its primary packaging.
If you’re looking for more cruelty-free hair care brands or a natural alternative to Olaplex, we have you covered. Here are some fantastic options:
- Giovanni: It’s one of my favorite hair care brands that focuses heavily on natural ingredients and essential oils. It’s Leaping Bunny-certified, and the shampoos smell amazing.
- Lush: Lush is a PETA-certified cosmetics company and a favorite of many. The brand also offers a shampoo line for various needs, including damaged, dry, or poly hair.
- Biosilk: If you want another high-end hair care brand that doesn’t test on animals, Biosilk is a strong contender. It’s incredibly innovative in its formulations while also staying committed to its ethical promises.
Even if you’re not currently looking for Olaplex alternatives, it’s good to know which brands you can trust to stay true to their words.
Is Olaplex a Clean Brand?
Overall, Olaplex is a clean brand if we’re talking about ingredients. Its formulations are non-toxic and free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and gluten. Still, the concept of a “clean brand” can vary, and you might have a different idea of its meaning. If you have any specific concerns about Olaplex and its ingredients, it’s best to check the full list or consult with a specialist.
While many find Olaplex products incredibly effective, a 2023 lawsuit argued that they’re dangerous and cause hair loss, scalp irritation, and hair breakage. The claims are that among Olaplex ingredients you’ll find lilial and panthenol — both known to cause such issues.
The EU banned lilial in 2022 as this ingredient can impact fertility. Olaplex claims that it removed this ingredient from its products, but there are speculations it did not.
So far the brand continues to deny all these claims and has provided third-party test results that show its products are safe. Many fans confirm this and explain that a lot of people simply don’t use Olaplex products correctly or overuse them.
Since the complaints against Olaplex are not unanimous, the judge has dismissed them. But this doesn’t mean the controversy is over. We’ll have to live and see what the future holds for Olaplex.
Is Olaplex natural?
Olaplex is not entirely natural. While it’s free of ingredients like parabens and phthalates, its formulations still include synthetic compounds for effective hair repair.
Is Olaplex bad?
Olaplex is generally considered safe for use and has gained popularity for its innovative approach to repairing damaged hair. Still, if you don’t use it correctly, you might find issues with it. Also, hair care remains highly individual, and your needs might disagree with some of the ingredients.
Does Olaplex cause cancer?
There is no credible evidence to suggest that Olaplex causes cancer. Olaplex products are non-toxic and free of many potentially harmful ingredients.
Is Olaplex safe?
Yes, Olaplex is safe for hair use. Still, read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any issues with the products.
Is Olaplex paraben-free?
Yes, Olaplex is paraben-free. The brand focuses on non-toxic formulations for healthier hair.
Is Olaplex sulfate-free?
Yes, Olaplex products are sulfate-free. You can confidently use Olaplex products for their bond-building and reparative properties.
Does Olaplex have silicone?
Some Olaplex products may contain silicone-based ingredients. These are commonly used in hair care for their smoothing and protective properties.
Does Olaplex have formaldehyde?
No, Olaplex products do not contain formaldehyde.
Does Olaplex contain protein?
Yes, Olaplex products, particularly Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, contain a patented active ingredient known as bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. While it’s not a traditional protein, it works to repair disulfide bonds in the hair, contributing to the hair strength and structure.
Is Olaplex keratin safe?
Yes, Olaplex is generally safe for use with keratin treatments. The brand focuses on repairing and strengthening hair bonds without relying on traditional keratin formulas.
Is Olaplex gluten-free?
Yes, Olaplex is gluten-free. If you have gluten sensitivities or are looking for gluten-free hair care, you can use Olaplex products without any worries.