Many of us have experienced the wonders of Olaplex in hair salons, but did you know there are many affordable products like Olaplex that you can use at home to get the same results? No longer do you need to spend hundreds of dollars just to keep your hair in great condition – now, you can do it at home with one of these Olaplex alternatives for as little as $10!
Before we jump into all the wonderful alternatives to Olapex that are meant to be used at home, let’s have a look at what Olaplex actually is and what products like Olaplex do to the hair.
What Does Olaplex Even Do?
Olaplex isn’t just another conditioner that adds shine and smoothness to your hair; instead, it is a system that rebuilds the damaged disulfide bonds in your hair.
It’s especially great for hair that has been damaged due to years of chemical treatment. Olaplex will rebuild the strength, integrity and structure of your hair strands, like a full reset.
Olaplex has been one of the most revolutionary, game-changing products for colorists as it allows them to go between light and dark hair colors while not sacrificing the health and thickness of the hair.
Olaplex is best used during color treatment rather than after it. The treatment is not a miracle cure for post-dyed dry hair, but it can assist in strengthening the bonds that are normally broken during the dyeing process. This will assist in stopping breakage and post-colored hair having that candyfloss texture.
The Olaplex color treatments are only available in salons, and many salons do not carry the product. Plus, unfortunately, many of the salon-only Olaplex products online are, in fact, fake.
Luckily, there are more readily available, lower-cost alternatives to Olaplex online that you can use if you’re looking to dye your hair at home. Without further ado, here are the best 9 products like Olaplex on the market.
The Best Affordable Products Like Olaplex:
1. Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster
Products like Olaplex: Ion Color Brilliance
If you’ve performed a quick search on Youtube and typed in “Olaplex alternative”, you would see that the Ion Color Brilliance Booster is by far the top-recommended and reviewed product.
And that’s not surprising, considering the fact that this little miracle in a bottle costs under $10 and is readily available for purchase on eBay! What’s more – the small vial actually contains two doses.
While the product is not exactly a professional bonding agent, people who have used this product swear by it (myself included!), especially because of its extremely affordable price.
If you aren’t willing to spend lots of money on an Olaplex alternative, it’s probably best if you start experimenting with this product first.
2. Redken pH-Bonder
Products like Olaplex: Redken pH-Bonder
Redken has its own uniquely formulated alternative to Olaplex that offers a synergistic system that bonds hair during and after dyeing or lightening. Their PH Bonder uses 100 years of scientific expertise and a team of hairdressers to formulate their hair care product.
The bonder aims to protect bonds during the process and keep fibers strong from the inside out. This will also help smooth the hair’s cuticles which will improve strength, encourage shine and make the strands softer.
The kit also includes an at-home remedy that will carry on helping your hair’s PH after the treatment. It’s recommended you use their maintenance products once a week before shampooing and alongside other Redken haircare products.
3. Schwarzkopf Fibreplex Bond Enforcing System
Products like Olaplex: Schwarzkopf Fibreplex
Schwarzkopf has created their own damage control system that can be used whilst undergoing color treatments. They claim that this Olaplex alternative can prevent up to 94% of hair breakage and that it will leave the hair fibers in their best condition.
Schwarzkopf’s system has three different steps much like Olaplex: the Bond Booster, the Bond Sealer and the Bond Maintainer.
The Bond Booster is used during the coloring process: The additive merges with hair fibers when added to the coloring system and creates a strong bond which reduces the amount of breakage.
The second part is the Bond Sealer which protects the outer surface of the hair and keeps it shiny. The last step is the Bond Maintainer, an at-home option that should be used twice a week at home to keep protecting hair from damage.
This alternative to Olaplex is great if you already use Schwarzkopf’s colorants as their formula is made to maintain the PH level of hair that has been colored with their products.
4. Brae Bond Angel Plex Effect Bond Multiplier
Products like Olaplex: Bond Angel
Brae’s Bond Angel was developed to help those who wanted more intense and healthy care for blondes. This alternative to Olaplex protects and prevents damage, especially for those who already have damaged hair.
The Bond Angel Multiplier can be used during heat, coloring and /or mechanical applications. It’s the best-selling bond reconstruction product in Brazil.
Bond Angel has the ability to multiply and protect the hair bonds whilst ensuring that the blonde color is bold and vibrant as well as the hair strong and healthy.
Bond Angel can be used alongside bleaching, coloring, straightening and keratin. There are 3 products or 2 steps to this product. The first is a chemical protector, and the second is a post-chemical rebuilder.
You can also use this Olaplex alternative on a consistent basis in a similar way as you use a hair mask, regardless of if you have bleached your hair or not.
5. L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond
Products like Olaplex: L’Oreal Smartbond
This two-step solution works in synergy with L’Oreal’s dyes and protects the hair from damage. The Smartbond kit is made up of an additive to put in color or bleaching mix.
This additive is the bond that protects and strengthens the hair during the coloring as well as acts as a pre-shampoo that should be applied after rinsing the color or bleach.
The main difference between the Smartbond system and Olaplex is that with the Smartbond system, malic acid absorbs into the hair during the chemical process and acts as a lubricant between protein chains to give the hair more elasticity. With Olaplex, the formula reacts directly with broken bonds.
6. Matrix BOND ULTIM8 Bond Protecting System
Products like Olaplex: Matrix Bond Ultim8
This Olaplex alternative from Matrix offers 8 benefits that prevent hair from breaking during chemical hair processes and intends to offer more long-term protection to the hair.
The formula uses active ingredients that protect the hair by trapping damaging lightener residues. The kit offers a 3 step system that will last for up to 35 applications, so it’s very cost-effective. Matrix claims Bond Ultim8 reduces breakage by 70%.
The kit comes with an amplifier, which is dosed through a professional syringe that should be added to the color product.
It then comes with a deep conditioning mask treatment that aims to seal in the amplifier for long-term protection.
The brand also offers a sealing treatment that can be used at home to add nourishment to your hair. This sealer is a conditioner-type product that should be used once a week before washing your hair.
This Olaplex alternative can also be used as a stand-alone treatment by adding distilled water to Step 1.
7. ONC QUINOAPLEX R3 Rapid Hair Renewal Formula
Products like Olaplex: ONC Quinoaplex R3
Quinoaplex is formed from the high protein quinoa, often called the mother of all grains. Quinoa protein is very similar to hair protein and when used between shampoo and conditioner, it can really revitalize damaged hair.
This alternative to Olaplex is shown to reduce damage by up to 32% and gives the hair 51% shinier and smoother appearance. Quinoa protein is formed from small molecules that can fit into the hair’s particles and makes it appear thicker and fuller.
Their tropical-smelling formula is a one-bottle, one-step product that will restore the health of hair, leaving you with shiny, renewed locks.
Use before coloring or bleaching to protect hair from being damaged. This Olaplex alternative will help the hair hold the color better.
Quinoaplex is made from certified organic ingredients and is gluten-free, toxin-free, not tested on animals and hypoallergenic.
8. B3 Brazilian Bond Builder
Products like Olaplex: B3 Brazilian Bond Builder
B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is an alternative to Olaplex that can be mixed with color formulations to reduce hair damage. B3’s aim is to allow people to break color boundaries and have creative freedom whilst improving the structural integrity of the hair’s cells.
This one-step system re-attaches and builds up the bonds that keep hair looking healthier by preventing the loss of cuticle cells. The advanced technology of this Olaplex alternative will improve the general look of the hair, reduce breakage and help the hair retain its color.
The product can be used with heat and by people with perms. In Brazil, it’s available both in salons and as an at home treatment, but it may be harder to find this service in salons outside of Brazil. For the most affordable experience, order it from Amazon to use at home.
Out of all these Olaplex alternatives, B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is considered one of the easiest products to use.
9. Coconut Oil
Yes, you read that right! There are very few things coconut oil can’t be used for and one of its greatest applications is on hair as an alternative to Olaplex. If you’re doubtful, simply do a quick Google search and you’ll find tons of hair forums raving about its effect against bleach and hair dye!
Coconut oil makes a great medium when mixing hair colorant due to the fact that it penetrates hair deeply and helps the color be vibrant. It’s super easy to use too!
When you’re ready to use coconut oil, simply follow these steps:
- For best results, leave the coconut oil in your hair for at least 2 hours before bleaching/coloring it. Simply cover your hair strands from the roots to the tips and put a shower cap on for added benefits.
- If you can, consider leaving the coconut hair on your hair for an entire night before dying your hair. This way, you will make sure that you completely submerge all your strands in the oil.
- When you’re ready to begin bleaching/dying your hair, don’t wash the coconut oil off. Go ahead with the dying process as you normally would.
- After your dying time is up, wash all the products off your hair with water and lots of shampoo. You will probably notice that your hair is still greasy from all the oil – if this is the case, simply re-wash your hair to get rid of excess coconut oil.
After you’ve dried your hair, you can assess the results for yourself: your hair should be noticeably softer than your scalp less itchy and irritated than usual. You can thank us later!
Whilst Olaplex may be the preferred choice by most professionals, there are many more affordable and easily accessible alternatives to Olaplex.
All these products work if you want to increase the level of protection you have during hair dyeing or lightening. While coconut oil is probably the most readily available and affordable alternative to Olaplex, we would still recommend that you try a product that is specifically formulated for re-building the sulfide bonds in the hair shaft, like the Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster.
If you’ve tried any of these alternatives to Olaplex, let us know how well they performed in the comments!