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Obsessed with Olaplex: the bond reconstructor for bleached hair

As you can tell from my previous post, I’m pretty obsessed with hair at the moment. Specifically, a hair product called Olaplex – which is mentioned a lot in many hair bleaching videos and usually for people going to the salon. Olaplex has been around since at least 2015, but it was only in hair salons and even now, is more pricey than most hair treatments. Stylecaster wrote a great introduction to it back then. So without copying and pasting the whole article, here’s what it does in a few sentences:

It makes it possible to lighten and tone hair several levels with minimal to no damage. It’s called Olaplex, and here’s how it’s changing the game of hair treatments.

No More Breaking Up With Your Hair. Olaplex, when used for a double process or when lightening very fine and delicate hair, drastically reduces breakage– often with zero breakage at all. There’s nothing worse than getting a great color treatment that just sheds into your shower drain the next week.

And they cite a professional’s opinion on the subject for a further explanation:

Bleach Buffer. “Olaplex works by essentially acting as a buffer between bleach and your hair to protect its integrity,” says hair colorist at Mizu Salon, Miguel Angarita. When you double process hair, the hair’s structure is compromised a great deal, often changing the texture completely. Olaplex prevents that from happening by stopping the hair bonds from breaking in the first place.

Recently, I discovered I had a 1 oz Sample of Olaplex step 3 Hair Perfector thanks to a Sephora Pop beauty box I bought last year, so imagine my excitement learning I had something to try! It’s a pre-shampoo/conditioner treatment and according to Olaplex’s website:

The product that made OLAPLEX famous!

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

Our global best-seller is an at-home treatment, not a conditioner, that reduces breakage and visibly strengthens hair, improving its look and feel. It will restore your hair’s healthy appearance and texture by repairing damage and protecting hair structure.

PH Balance: 3.5-5

However, the complete Olaplex system is 7 parts and a whopping $168 retail! Here’s a breakdown of what the set includes:

Olaplex 7 part setThis Kit Includes:
Full size (155ml / 5.2oz) No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment
Full size (100ml / 3.3oz) No.3 Hair Perfector
Full size (250ml / 8.5oz) No.4 Hair Maintenance Shampoo
Full size ( 250ml / 8.5oz) No.5 Hair Maintenance Conditioner
Full size (100ml / 3.3oz) No.6 Bond Smoother
Full size (30ml / 1oz) No.7 Styling Oil
Gradient Olaplex Pouch (11″L x 7″W x 3″D)

A $183 Value

Since I already have part 3 and I just ordered some of the Shampoo and Conditioner (steps 4 and 5) on Poshmark, I probably just need 0, 6, and 7 which are $28 retail… again, I probably could find some sort of deals, but it’s still more than I want to spend. Here’s my plan on what to try before I manage to get them!

Less Expensive Olaplex Alternatives

Absolute Perfection by Ion Color Brilliance
Absolute Perfection by Ion Color Brilliance only $12.19!

In my previous post, I mentioned purchasing a similar product from Sally Beauty called Absolute Perfection, which mimics the 1st 2 steps that are usually used in a salon setting. And I picked up the 3rd step (Color Sealer, which is also Step 2?) on my last visit. Since I haven’t tried Olaplex, I can’t compare it, but I do think my hair felt nicer than after my original bleaching experiment with the boxed bleach and Punky Color 3 in 1 shampoo.

PUREPLEX Revolutionary Hair Repair System for stronger healthier hair after just one treatment.
PUREPLEX Revolutionary Hair Repair System for stronger healthier hair after just one treatment.


I discovered a product called PurePlex by Knight & Wilson (a UK based company) at Target, which is currently 30% off and retails for only $19.99 for the repair set and $14.99 for the bleach! Here’s a description of the Repair System from Knight & Wilson’s website:

PUREPLEX Revolutionary Hair Repair System for stronger healthier hair after just one treatment.

Features Aminofix repair and protect bond reconstructing technology to help repair damage from over bleaching, colouring, styling, chemicals and heat. PURPELEX Revolutionary Hair Repair System rebuilds the hair’s natural structure, restores strength, elasticity and volume and protects against future damage and breakage.

Simple 4 step luxury treatment to better healthier hair. Easy to follow instructions, easy to mix and apply and results are instant.

Most of the reviews on their products are from women in the UK, so it’s interesting to see most are saying it’s just as good as Olaplex at a much lower cost. Since the bleach is new, they don’t have a lot of reviews yet. I might contribute mine to Target, or post it here! Here’s a product description from Target’s website:

Knight and Wilson PurePlex Bond Reconstructing Cream Bleach is a unique powder-free lightener with a powerful lift action of up to 8 shades.
The professional ammonia-free formulation with synthetic beeswax and corn proteins protects the hair and scalp, nourishing and replenishing moisture during the lightening process. PROTECTS AGAINST DAMAGE & BREAKAGE
REPAIRS PREVIOUS DAMAGE To retain the quality of your hair after using PUREPLEX Cream Bleach, try maintaining your hair with the PurePlex Shampoo and Conditioner, as while your hair will now be stronger and healthier on the inside, the bond reconstructing shampoo and conditioner will ensure that your hair feels soft and silky to the touch.

Knight and Wilson PurePlex Bond Reconstructing Cream Bleach
Knight and Wilson PurePlex Bond Reconstructing Cream Bleach

Sally Beauty also has many options for anti-breakage and repair type shampoos, conditioners and serums on their website! However, if you’re lucky enough to afford salon care, then just go with Olaplex and tell me how great it is!


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