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9 Olaplex Dupes That’ll Keep Both Your Hair and Your Budget Happy

9 Olaplex Dupes That’ll Keep Both Your Hair and Your Budget Happy

With hair technology improving at the rapid rate that it is, there have been cheaper Olaplex alternatives popping up left, right, and center. But how do you know which Olaplex dupes are worthwhile, and which ones are simply capitalising on the “plex” name? I’ve got you covered.

Best dupe for Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment

This Olaplex dupe repairs hydrogen and ionic bonds in keratin structure to fight frizz and protect hair from heat and color treatment, without using the patented ingredient.

Best dupe for Olaplex No 4 Bond Shampoo

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Amika shampoo has bond cure technology like Olaplex, resulting in 55% less hair breakage and 87% more repair after one use (with matching conditioner)

Best dupe for Olaplex No 5 Bond Conditioner

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Conditioner for Damaged Hair

This conditioner, paired with Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo, revitalizes hair using bond cure technology, plant butters, and vegan proteins.

Best dupe for Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil

Ouai Hair Oil

This hair oil offers many benefits similar to Olaplex bonding oil, fighting frizz, adding shine, and protecting fine hair against heat styling and UV rays, despite lacking the patented bonding ingredient, and offers 50% more product than Olaplex No 7 for the same price.

As a natural brunette who’s been getting blonde highlights for more than 15 years, I’m no stranger to hair products that promise to return my hair to its virgin state. Sadly, most have failed to deliver.

But when Olaplex first arrived on the scene circa 2014 and my hairdresser told me I *had* to try it, for once I wasn’t disappointed. For the first time ever, my damaged hair resembled healthy, frizz-free locks and my colour didn’t turn brassy the second I stepped out of the salon.

Hallelujah! Only, as anyone who has ever used Olaplex will tell you: That little bottle of magic comes with a hefty price tag, and it doesn’t last long if you have thick hair like mine.

Read on for the internet’s favourite Olaplex alternatives.

How does Olaplex work?

Before we can determine whether something is a good Olaplex dupe, it helps to understand how the Olaplex technology works to repair your own hair loss.

Without getting too scientific, your hair is made out of keratin and the keratin structures in your hair are held together by hydrogen bonds and disulfide bonds. These bonds determine your hair strength, curliness, and elasticity, and when they become damaged they can lead to frizzy hair that breaks easily.

The key ingredient in Olaplex (that is, the one that works its magic to repair your hair) is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate—which can only be found in Olaplex No. 3 and other products of theirs. This ingredient repairs the bonds in your hair, just like magic.

However, the problem with Olaplex dupes is that this ingredient is patented, meaning other products can’t use the exact same ingredient, and they’ve successfully sued other hair care brands for attempting to copy their technology.

So while there are plenty of products similar to best Olaplex dupes, none of them work in exactly the same way.

Having said that, there are still many Olaplex dupes that work in a similar manner to repair the bonds in your hair—or at least have it appear healthier for a while.

Best dupes for Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

Olaplex No 3 is the very first Olaplex product I ever stepped out of a salon with, and now it’s readily available outside of salons as well. No 3 is a hair treatment designed to be used 2-3 times per week, applied after shampooing your hair.

Although I loved it, I’ll admit that I’m more of a low-maintenance hair care kinda gal, so anything that needs to be left in my hair for more than 5 minutes is too long for me!

Here are the best alternatives for Olaplex No 3:

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment

This Olaplex dupe doesn’t contain the patented ingredient, however, its technology works to repair the hydrogen bonds and ionic bonds that hold the keratin structures in your hair together.

This means that it fights frizz, and repairs and protects your hair from colour treatment and heat styling.

This Youtuber shared a great review of The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment vs. Olaplex No 3:

Schwarzkopf Keratin Restore Bonding Mask

Designed specifically for blondes (or anyone who has had bleach wreak havoc with their tresses), this hair mask strengthens and recreates bonds in your hair similar to Olaplex No 3. Plus, it hydrates dry and frizzy hair, smoothing it and making it look a lot healthier than before.

Best dupes for Olaplex No 4 Bond Maintenance™ Shampoo

Olaplex No 4 is the signature shampoo in the range, which uses the same Olaplex patented technology to repair the bonds in your hair. Unlike the No 3 treatment, No 4 and No 5 can be used every time you wash your hair.

Naturally, this would get quite expensive after a while—especially if you have long or thick hair. So, I set out to hunt down some cheaper alternatives to Olaplex shampoo and this is what I found.

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Similar to Olaplex, Amika shampoo has its own innovative bond cure technology designed to make your hair stronger. In fact, their study showed 55% less hair breakage, and 87% more repair after just one use (with the matching conditioner). 

Amika isn’t a much cheaper alternative to Olaplex, but you do get a little more shampoo for your dollar in each bottle, but the rave reviews may have convinced me to make the switch. One Redditor even claimed Amika was better than Olaplex, “Recently I was introduced to Amika – holy moly I am never going back to Olaplex!!”

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

Although both Redken and Olaplex work on repairing hair bonds, both serve slightly different purposes. According to a haircare expert, the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate “helps smooth and seal the cuticle and return the hair to its ideal ph between 4.5 and 5 after chemical services, and in turn speeds up the process of the salt bonds being reformed. This reformation happens on its own within 48 hours or so post bleach treatment, but Redken speeds that process up”.

On the flip side, “Olaplex’s active, Bis amino propyl diglycol dimeleate relinks and multiplies the broken disulfide bond, thus preventing the formation of protein-eating cysteic acid in the hair shaft that can otherwise lead to long-term weakening of the hair shaft and breakage”.

Best dupes for Olaplex No 5 Bond Maintenance™ Conditioner

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Paired with the Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo, this conditioner uses bond cure technology, plant butters, and vegan proteins to strengthen and repair your hair. It’s not the patented Olaplex technology (and nothing will ever be—it is patented, after all), but it has hundreds of rave reviews despite being still somewhat under the radar.

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Conditioner for Damaged Hair Repair

This conditioner is designed to be used with the rest of the Redken Acidic Bonding range to bring your hair back down to its optimal pH range—somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5—reversing the effects of heat styling and colouring. The citric acid technology works to repair the bonds in your hair and can be used in combination with any of the Olaplex products if you wish.

Best dupes for Olaplex No 6 Bond Smoother

Olaplex No 6 is the leave-in styling cream that’s part of the haircare range. If you hadn’t yet noticed (I’m sure you did!) the products are in order of use, with Olaplex No 1 and No 2 being salon-only products.

Fortunately, a little goes a long way with this multitasking product and you’ll find that it lasts for months, working to protect your hair against heat while smoothing it down—adios, frizz!

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, however, here are the best Olaplex No 6 dupes.

Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Leave-In Treatment

Olaplex and Redken (well, technically Olaplex and L’Oreal, who owns Redken) have a juicy history. L’Oreal were in negotiations to take over Olaplex and as part of the process, they were given access to the proprietary technology Olaplex uses in its products.

Long story short, the deal never went ahead, L’Oreal (and Redken) attempted to rip off the Olaplex technology in their own products, and Olaplex sued them and won.

So, what is the difference between Redken Acid Bonding Concentrate vs. Olaplex? Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate uses a different type of technology to fix the bonds in your hair—citric acid.

You might remember it from high school science class. This mighty acid strengthens the bonds in your hair, reducing breakage hair damage, and frizziness, making it an excellent alternative to Olaplex.

This leave-in treatment is heat protecting (up to 230 degrees Celsius), styling, smoothing and adds shine to your hair.

OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Leave-In Treatment

A favourite Olaplex dupe according to Reddit, the OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Leave-In Treatment is not only budget-friendly but also produces similar results to Olaplex, using cystine as the active ingredient.

The one drawback is that it contains silicones, which make your hair appear nice but aren’t ideal for your hair in the longer term. This is typical of cheaper products, however, and I would have been more surprised if this treatment didn’t have silicones.

Pair it with the equally budget-friendly shampoo and conditioner to complete the three-step system.

Best dupes for Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil

If you’ve ever been prone to oily or greasy hair, you might immediately write off bonding oil as a product you’d never use, but hear me out: Olaplex No 7 is super lightweight and won’t weigh your damp hair back down. This product can be used on either wet or dry hair, and provides heat protection while smoothing down any frizz.

Are there any alternatives to Olaplex No 7? The short answer is yes, there are.

Ouai Hair Oil

While this lightweight hair oil doesn’t contain the Olaplex patented bonding ingredient (aw!) it does offer many of the same benefits as Olaplex bonding oil. Just like Olaplex, this Ouai hair oil fights frizz, adds shine and protects your fine hair, against damage caused by heat styling and UV rays. It also has a sophisticated fragrance that’ll have you feeling all French-chic with just a few spritzes.

Although this product is the same price as Olaplex No 7, you get a whole 50% more in each bottle making this much better value for money.

Olaplex dupes FAQs

How do hair-repair products work and what should you look for?

Hair-repair products, such as bond builders, are designed to strengthen and fortify hair that has been damaged due to chemical treatments, heat styling, or environmental factors. These hair types of products contain various ingredients that work to repair and strengthen the hair from the inside out.
Bond builders are one type of hair-repair product that mimic the chemistry of healthy hair, and fill in missing links within the cortex, the innermost part of the hair. This helps to restore the hair’s strength and vitality, making it less vulnerable to future damage.

When shopping for hair-repair products, it’s important to look for key ingredients that can help restore and strengthen the hair. Protein, such as keratin, hydrolyzed wheat, silk, and soy protein, can restore strength and hydration to the hair.
Peptides, like gluco peptide, can penetrate the deepest layers of the hair cuticle to help strengthen hair repair damaged strands and split ends. Humectants, such as glycogen, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, caprylyl glycol, and glycerin, can attract and retain moisture in the hair.

It’s also important to note that professional bond-building products found in salons are typically more effective for extremely damaged or processed hair. These products are more potent and are more likely to balance the hair’s pH level, which is essential for its health, strength, and overall appearance.

Are Olaplex dupes Cruelty-Free Or Vegan?

When it comes to cruelty-free and vegan options for Olaplex dupes, there are a few brands that offer similar products with comparable ingredients and benefits. However, it’s important to note that not all Olaplex dupes are cruelty-free or vegan.

One example of a cruelty-free and vegan Olaplex dupe is the Schwarzkopf Professional Fibreplex Bond Maintainer. This product is designed to help maintain the hair’s strength and integrity after a chemical treatment and contains a blend of ingredients such as hydrolyzed keratin and panthenol to help repair and nourish the hair. Additionally, the product is vegan and free from animal-derived ingredients.

Another cruelty-free and vegan Olaplex dupe is the Fanola Fiber Fix Bond Connector Treatment. This product is designed to protect and repair hair during a color or chemical treatment and contains a blend of ingredients such as hydrolyzed keratin and hydrolyzed vegetable protein to help to strengthen hair bonds, and nourish the hair.

It’s important to note that not all Olaplex dupes are cruelty-free or vegan, so it’s always a good idea to research the ingredients and animal testing policies of different hair care brands to find one that aligns with your values.
Additionally, while some Olaplex dupes may offer similar benefits at a lower price point, it’s important to keep in mind that they may not be formulated with the same patented ingredients as Olaplex and may not offer the same level of efficacy.

Are Olaplex dupes good for broken bonds?

Olaplex dupes are generally formulated with ingredients that help to repair and strengthen damaged hair, including broken bonds. While they may not contain the exact same patented ingredients as Olaplex, they often contain similar ingredients such as amino acids, proteins, and ceramides that help to restore the already repairing damaged hair that’s structure and prevent further damage.

However, it’s important to note that not all Olaplex dupes are created equal, and the effectiveness of a dupe may vary depending on the specific product and its formulation. It’s important to do research on the ingredients and efficacy of different Olaplex dupes before choosing one to use on your hair.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Olaplex is a professional-grade product that is often used in salons by trained professionals, whereas many Olaplex dupes are designed for at-home use. While at-home products can be effective, they may not provide the same level of care and expertise as a salon treatment.


These Oplex dupes are great alternatives that save you money while delivering similar results as the original product:

Best dupe for Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment

Best dupe for Olaplex No 4 Bond Shampoo

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Shampoo for Damaged Hair

Best dupe for Olaplex No 5 Bond Conditioner

Amika The Kure Bond Repair Conditioner for Damaged Hair

Best dupe for Olaplex No 7 Bonding Oil

Ouai Hair Oil

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