Olaplex is a haircare brand that is a savior for damaged, dry, and frizzy hair. It works to repair damaged hair leaving it soft, smooth, shiny, and healthy. Olaplex is a best-selling haircare line for a reason. It simply works. Olaplex’s current at-home haircare line is a bit pricey, but for those who love it, it is worth every penny.
With Olaplex’s success, many other haircare companies have come out with bonding building haircare products that target damaged hair like Olaplex. A few brands have some excellent Olaplex alternatives that are priced very reasonably, so today we’ll take look at 6 affordable Olaplex alternatives for frizzy & damaged hair.
Keep in mind that Olaplex has patents on their technology, processes, and formulations, so these haircare products won’t be spot-on alternatives, or dupes, but still very effective options that won’t break the bank. First, let’s take a look at Olaplex products.
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Olaplex for Damaged Hair
Olaplex is a haircare brand that is known for its bond-building haircare products. Their products work to repair broken disulfide bonds in hair to increase hair strength and improve elasticity and also protect from future damage.
How Olaplex Works
Disulfide bonds are present in our hair in the millions. They are found in the cuticle, cortex, and the innermost layer of hair, the medulla (if present in the hair). They provide structure and strength for hair. When disulfide bonds are intact and aligned, the result is gorgeous shiny healthy hair.
So it should not be a surprise that when disulfide bonds in the hair are broken, the result is damaged hair. Broken disulfide bonds may result in frizz, thinning hair, dry hair, dullness, and split ends.
Olaplex’s Patented Ingredient: Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate
Olaplex’s patented ingredient that targets damaged hair and broken disulfide bonds is Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. A mouthful for sure. This single-molecule repairs hair from the inside out and improves hair strength by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and crosslinking them back together to form disulfide bonds.
This molecule works on all hair types, including natural, curly, fine, color-treated, textured, straight and hair with extensions. It addresses all types of hair damage. Olaplex protects hair from damage that comes from using heat appliances such as curling irons, blow dryers, and flat irons.
Olaplex also protects your hair from damage caused by chemical treatments used on the hair such as hair coloring and hair bleaching as well as perms and relaxers. It even repairs hair damage from mechanical factors like brushing, pulling, and tugging tangled hair. It also works to repair damage from environmental factors like UV exposure, humidity, extreme temperatures, and pollution.
Related Post: Olaplex Haircare Review
Olaplex Haircare Products
Olaplex’s pH-balanced hair treatments are free of DEA, aldehydes and formaldehyde. They are also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free, phosphate-free, sulfate-free and cruelty-free.
Inspired by a professional salon treatment, Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment primes hair to absorb nourishment. It is formulated with Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate to rebuild broken and weakened bonds in the hair.
Apply this Olaplex hair treatment to dry hair, saturating hair for 10 minutes. No. 0 works as an intensive repair booster and pairs well with Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector (below) for deeply revitalized hair. Do not rinse No. 0 before applying No. 3 over No. 0. Leave both on your hair for another 10 minutes. You can use No. 0 with No. 3 from 1-3x a week to treat damaged hair.
Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector is the best-selling product that made Olaplex a cult-favorite. It reduces breakage and strengthens hair by repairing damage and protecting the hair’s structure. Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate strengthens, protects, and restores damaged hair. It’s ideal for all hair types, including straight, wavy, curled, and coiled.
Olaplex points out that this is an at-home hair treatment, NOT a conditioner. This Olaplex treatment should be applied to damp hair (or on top of Olaplex No. 0), combed through, and left on the hair for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer. Then rinse your hair, and shampoo and condition. Use 1-3x a week to treat damaged hair.
Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo repairs, hydrates and protects hair from split ends, frizz, and heat damage by relinking broken bonds in the hair with Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. The shampoo is pH balanced at 6.0-6.5 and is color-safe. It can be used on all hair types as it has been proven to reduce breakage and strengthen all types of hair.
You can use this Olaplex shampoo every day or every time you wash your hair. It works especially well for oil control and for hair types that usually use clarifying shampoos.
Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner repairs, strengthens and hydrates all hair types. Formulated at a pH of 4.0-5.0 this conditioner is very moisturizing, making it perfect for dry, stressed tresses.
Say goodbye to split ends and frizz, as Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate helps to relink broken bonds in the hair, leaving hair silky, smooth, and frizz-free. This conditioner should be applied after shampooing and can be used every day or every time you wash your hair.
One of the must-haves from the Olaplex line of haircare products, it leaves your hair incredibly soft and smooth and is perfect to use during the heat and humidity of the summer months.
Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother is a leave-in styling cream that strengthens, adds moisture, and reduces frizz. You only need a small amount of this highly concentrated cream, which is ideal for all hair types, including colored and chemically-treated hair. Apply from mid-length to ends to keep frizz and flyaways at bay for up to 72 hours.
This styling cream can be used differently, depending on your hair type:
- Fine Hair: After styling, apply a drop or two for a smooth and weightless finish.
- Thick Hair: Apply to damp hair to speed up blow-dry time.
- Wavy Hair: Work through waves for a frizz-free style for up to 72 hours.
- Curly Hair: Apply generously for defined curls and spirals.
- Colored Hair: Works to restore hair health and strength.
- 2nd Day Hair: Use this bond smoother as a touch-up to tamp down flyaways and frizz.
Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil is a very lightweight and highly concentrated styling oil for hair. The oil is formulated to increase shine, softness, and color vibrancy while minimizing flyaways and frizz. It also provides heat protection and UV protection up to 450 degrees F / 232 degrees C.
This hair oil is formulated with beta-carotene-rich grapeseed oil, vitamins D, C, E, essential fatty acids, and polyphenols. It also contains fermented green tea oil, a moisturizer, and humectant for better absorption and performance.
You need only a few drops to improve hair texture and smoothness. It can be used on both wet and dry hair or before styling your hair with heat appliances.
6 Affordable Olaplex Alternatives For Frizzy & Damaged Hair
OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Salon Technology 3-Step System
If your hair has been fried by color and heat, you can reclaim your hair health with this three-step system from OGX. The system includes a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment to restore damaged hair.
This salon-strength three-step system is ideal for overly-processed and damaged hair and uses OGX’s proprietary ingredients to treat damaged hair:
OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Salon Technology Shampoo uses salon technology Cystine, a cross-linking polymer, plus vegetable proteins to smooth the hair cuticle and protect the hair from damage. This OGX shampoo can be used by all hair types, including dry, oily, curly, frizzy, and fine hair.
Related Post: The Best OGX Shampoos
OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Salon Technology Conditioner helps to improve the look and texture of dry and damaged hair. This conditioner targets damage from hair color, chemical treatments, and over-processed hair and works to replenish and strengthen this damage.
Like the shampoo, this conditioner is formulated with Cystine and vegetable proteins, and helps to boost bonds in the hair. This vegan conditioner can be used on all hair types, is color-safe, and may be used daily or as often as you wash your hair.
OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Salon Technology Bonding Cream Leave-in Treatment is a lightweight cream that should be applied to damp freshly-washed and conditioned hair from mid-shaft to ends.
It uses Cystine and vegetable proteins to help hair retain moisture and to prevent future damage. The cream also provides a barrier to protect hair from continuous styling. This leave-in cream smooths hair, adds a vibrant shine, and strengthens strands.
From Schwarzkopf Professional comes BlondMe Keratin Restore Bonding Mask for All Blondes. This repairing treatment works on the internal structure of fragile, lightened, and colored hair. It works for all shades of blonde, both cool and warm shades.
BLONDME’s Integrated Bonding Technology helps create new bonds and strengthens hair. It balances moisture levels and helps to detangle hair, making it easier to comb. Hydrolyzed keratin smooths the surface for optimum shine and helps to reduce frizz and hair breakage.
This is an excellent alternative to Olaplex Conditioner. It really does smooth hair and makes it more manageable and easier to comb and brush through.
Related Post: The Best Conditioners for Frizzy Hair
pH Plex Protect, Repair & Stabilize Full Service Kit protects, repairs, and stabilizes hair with an easy 3 step process. This patented professional-grade product was developed for both at-home and salon use.
- Step one, pH Plex 1 Protect*, is formulated to protect hair from damage from the coloring/ bleaching process. It is formulated to match the same pH as coloring/bleaching products: a pH of 9.
- Step two, pH Plex 2 Repair, is formulated to repair damage and to bring hair and skin back to a normal pH level: a ph of 5. A concentrated natural active ingredient boosts hair health.
- Step three, pH Plex 3 Stabilize, is formulated for weekly use on all types of hair. Formulated at the natural pH of hair and skin, this step will fortify the hair structure and rebuild the 3D bonds of your hair. It can also be used as a deep treatment for hair, strengthening it from the inside out.
The natural active ingredient in pH Plex is malic acid (sodium malate). Malic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, a type of acid that is often used in skin care to exfoliate the skin.
PH Plex is dermatologically tested and externally verified to not react with hair color or bleach. PH Plex is vegan, colorants-free, ammonia-free, peroxide-free, perfume-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. The kit comes with (1) packet of pH Plex 1 Protect, (1) packet of pH Plex 2 Repair, and (4) packets of pH Plex 3 Stabilize.
NOTE: You don’t have to have colored or lightened hair to use this product. If your hair is damaged or stressed from environmental factors like sun exposure, this treatment will help improve hair resiliency. You can combine steps 1 and 2 for an intensive treatment or apply step 3 once per week.
*Step 1 should never be used alone – it must be mixed with other hair products. Please follow directions as instructed by the manufacturer.
Derma E Bonding Hair Repair Oil is a clean, highly concentrated bonding oil that improves shine, minimized flyaways and reduces frizz while helping to repair damaged stressed hair. This hair oil is formulated with alma, coconut, and mongongo oils to moisturize and strengthen hair.
- Chaga Mushroom: Supports a healthy scalp.
- Jojoba Protein: Adds shine and helps to reduce breakage and split ends and targets dryness with its moisturizing properties.
- Vitamin E: Supports a healthy scalp.
- Sunflower Seed Extract: Locks in moisture.
- Coconut/Linseed Oil: Contains fatty acids that help repair dry, damaged brittle hair.
- Amla and Mongongo Oils: These moisturizing oils promote hair thickness and hair growth.
This hair oil is formulated for all hair types and is safe for color-treated hair.
While the oil feels slightly heavier on hair strands than Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil, this hair oil from Derma E leaves hair highly moisturized and replenishes frizzy flyaway strands. At less than half the price of Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil, this Olaplex alternative is affordable and effective.
Related Post: Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Anti-Frizz Haircare Review
Final Thoughts on Alternatives to Olaplex for Damaged Hair
While Olaplex is a unique bond building haircare line, these Olaplex alternatives will support and strengthen hair bonds and reduce hair breakage for shiny, healthy stronger hair.
Since every full-size Olaplex product is $28, it can get pricey if you want to try multiple products from the line. If you want to try the best of Olaplex start with Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector, or try the shampoo and conditioner. Otherwise, consider the Olaplex alternatives in this post, as they help repair, protect, and strengthen damaged, frizzy and dry hair, all at an affordable price!