Olaplex is all the rage but with it’s high price tag and growing product line, many of us are wondering: is there a dupe for Olaplex? In this post, we’ll explore how Olaplex works and if we can get bond-repair results from a dupe.
What is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a bond-building treatment that helps to repair damaged hair. The treatment works by restoring the bonds between the disulfide molecules in the hair. This bond is responsible for giving the hair its strength and elasticity. By restoring this bond, Olaplex helps to repair damaged hair and prevent further damage. Olaplex is available in multiple formulas, some of which are only available in a salon. Olaplex’s product line can all be used on all hair types, including color-treated and chemically-treated hair.
How does Olaplex Work?
Olaplex products contain an active ingredient called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, which helps to rebuild the bonds in the hair shaft. In addition to bond-building, Olaplex also helps to protect the hair from future damage and makes it more resilient to breakage. As a result, Olaplex is a popular treatment for anyone who wants to keep their hair looking its best, but especially by those who utilize heat styling tools or chemical texture or color procedures.
Does Olaplex really work?
Yes! Studies (and personal experience) have shown that Olaplex’s patented ingredient do indeed prevent hair damage from chemical processing like relaxing, bleaching, coloring, and straightening or physical processes like heat styling and manipulation like playing with your hair or putting it up in a bun. In addition Olaplex can repair hair bonds so you may see your curls bounce back and your shine and elasticity return.
How are protein treatments different from Olaplex?
Protein treatments work by filling in the weak points in the hair cuticle with protein helping to strengthen it. These won’t really give you shine and elasticity though. Protein treatments might in fact make your hair break more or feel crispy if you overdo it so you only want to use them on occasion and specifically when you need it. You’ll know you need a protein treatment if your hair’s porosity is high or it starts to feel mushy, without strength and structure. In some cases, a one-time protein treatment might do the trick if that’s what your hair is craving.
Because they function differently, you can use protein and Olaplex simultaneously. The Olaplex line of products can be used regularly, even daily, so working both into your routine may help keep your hair its best.
How to use Olaplex
When most people talk about Olaplex, they are referring to the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector. There is an entire line of Olaplex products, including some that are only available for in-salon treatment, but the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector is the most popular for at-home use. It works as a pre-shampoo treatment applied to damp hair and then rinsed out before continuing with your wash routine.
Is There a Dupe for Olaplex?
Sort of… but not exactly.
Olapex’s signature active ingredient is patented which means you will not find an exact duplicate for the formula anywhere on the market for years to come. Despite this, there are other products without the hefty price tag that will strengthen and repair hair using other active ingredients. Some of these reinforce broken hair bonds with other signature ingredients, some are protein treatments, and some are just glorified deep conditioners. It can’t hurt to try out some alternatives but you may end up returning to good ol’ Olaplex after all.
Our Picks for Best Dupe for Olaplex
Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector
- Apply as a pre-shampoo and rinse out
- Patented ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, repairs broken disulfide bonds
- A cult favorite for a reason!
Amika The Kure Multi-Task Repair Treatment
- Utilizes Bis-PCA Dimethicone to bond to damaged spots in the hair
- Can be used as a rinse out treatment or leave in conditioner
- Features other nourishing ingredients like Sea Buckthorn & Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein
Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate 14%
- Meant to be applied pre-shampoo and rinsed out
- Citric acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, reinforces weak hair bonds
- Clinical results show 63% less breakage
Elizavecca cer-100 collagen coating hair protein treatment
- Not a true bond builder
- A Korean cult favorite at a bargain price
- Definitely not vegan – contains pig collagen to moisturize the hair along with allantoin and ceramide
- Contains hydrolyzed silk proteins to strengthen hair
- Apply after washing, leave in like a hair mask and rinse out
Bondplex Bond Restore Treatment 3
- Not a true bold builder
- 100% Vegan
- Deeply conditions and strengthens with hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Apply as a hair mask and rinse out
While there is only one Olaplex, due to its patented ingredient, there are other products that can help if you are struggling with damaged hair from heat styling or chemical treatments. In the end, the best way to fight hair damage is prevention but if that ship has sailed, any one of our picks should help get your hair back on track.