Five Alternatives to Olaplex

colored hairFrequent color processing can leave your hair extremely dry, inelastic, and prone to breakage, but there are products that help to strengthen your hair and improve its shine while protecting it from damage.

They are called bond builders, and here’s how they play in chemical processing.

Hair color and bleach contain chemicals that lift up the cuticle to allow the dye to penetrate the hair. While necessary to the coloring process, these harsh chemicals break down the internal bonds that keep your strands strong.

Thanks to the latest revolutionary technology for hair protection, you can have your dream color and healthy, shiny, nourished hair.

Bond building products are designed to prevent damage and keep the integrity of your hair during chemical processing. Bond builders work to create new bonds and reconnect existing ones, making your hair even stronger than it was before coloring.

These products also repair and smooth the hair’s cuticle, giving your hair natural shine and softness. If you are concerned about chemical damage, talk to your colorist about upgrading to a higher level of protection by incorporating bond-multiplying products in your coloring service.

1.  B3 Brazilian Bond Builder

B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is one of the latest product innovations among bond-building color additives. This one-step professional product can be added to your bleach or color formula to prevent chemical damage during the coloring process. It also claims to increase shine and improve pigment retention.

Its possible advantages over competitors’ products are:

  • B3 Bond Builder claims to rebuild all three types of hair bonds: disulfide, hydrogen, and salt bonds, unlike competitors’ products that only repair disulfide bonds.
  • B3 is simpler and faster to use than Olaplex or colorpHlex because it’s a one-step product that you just mix into your color formula.
  • Unlike Olaplex, B3 doesn’t affect the processing time and you don’t need to adjust the level of the developer.

Some experts believe that b3 Bond Builder performs better in preventing damage, that repairing existing damage.

This bond builder/color strengthener comes with a home care kit including the b3 Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner duo and the b3 Instant Restore & Protect Reconstructor, as a weekly reconstructive treatment.

Brazilian Bond Builder Interview With Painted Hair

2. ONC Artofcare QUINOAPLEX R3 Rapid Hair Renewal Formula

ONC Artofcare QUINOAPLEX R3 is an organic bond builder and protein conditioner. It is developed to reduce damage by restoring protein lost during coloring, bleaching, shampooing, and sun exposure. This product claims to make hair stronger, smoother, and shinier.

QUINOAPLEX R3 uses Quinoa protein, which is virtually identical to human hair protein. Quinoa protein bond together with protein in human hair, reversing the damage and revitalizing hair. The effects are visible instantly.

When used prior to coloring or bleaching it helps reduce breakage, prolong color retention and enhance color vibrancy. It can also be added to color or bleach to protect hair from chemical damage without interfering with the color results.

When used between shampoo and conditioner QUINOAPLEX R3 restore missing protein making hair stronger, with more volume.

As a stand-alone treatment, it can be used once a week. For damaged hair, the treatment can be applied more than once a week.

The product has a pleasant, tropical smell.

3. Bond Angel Plex Effect, Bond Multiplier Treatment Kit for Bleaching and Coloring

Bond Angel is a three-step hair protecting system designed to restore damaged hair and prevent damage due to bleaching and coloring. It protects and helps multiply the hair bonds, eliminating the risk of hair breakage after chemical processing.

The product is meant primarily for blonde hair to help achieve desired blond color without serious damage to hair.

The Bond Angel Treatment Kit comes in three numbered bottles:

1 The Bond Builder in a bottle number 1 needs to be added to your color/bleach. It acts as a chemical protector, ensuring that your hair will undergo coloring/bleaching process without being damaged or broken.

2 The second bottle contains Bond Reconstructor which conditions and restore your hair, keeping it strong and healthy. The Bond Reconstructor has a light, delicious scent.

3 Bond Fortifier in the third bottle helps intensify the results you achieved during steps one and two and keeps your hair strong, healthy, and shiny. It can be used for home care regardless you have performed the previous two steps or not.

The application process: 

Step 1: Mix 0,5 teaspoon of Bond Maker to 1oz of bleach powder and apply to the hair as usual. When your hair is lightened enough, wash it out thoroughly using water only.

Step 2: Use 3-4 teaspoons of Bond Reconstructor to soak your hair. Use a fine-tooth comb to distribute the product throw the section of your hair. Leave the product on the hair for 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition. You can also use the Bond Reconstructor periodically, in a similar way as you use a deep conditioner, regardless you have performed the bleaching process or not.

Step 3: This is actually a home care treatment and can be used twice a week. Apply the Bond Fortifier to freshly shampooed hair and distribute it evenly. Let the product to sit on your hair for 5 minutes. Rinse and style as desired.

The Bond Angel as a Stand-Alone Treatment

Similar to Olaplex Bond Angel can be used as a stand-alone reconstructive treatment.

  1. Dilute the Bond Maker (Step 1) in drinking water at a ratio of 1:6.
  2. Apply the mixture all over your hair and leave it in for 20 minutes. Don’t rinse.
  3. Apply 4 teaspoons of Bond Reconstructor (Step 2). Use a comb to spread the product evenly. Let it sit on the hair for 20 minutes, then rinse.

4.  Redken pH-Bonder

The pH-Bonder bond-protecting system protects hair from damage and reduces breakage during and following bleaching and coloring services. pH-Bonder’s bond protective additive is added to your bleach/color formula.

After rinsing the color from your hair, your stylist uses pH-Bonder’s fiber-restorative pre-wash concentrate to repair damage and align hair cuticles for added shine and softness.

The PH Bonder service can also be performed as a stand-alone salon treatment to restore over-processed and damaged hair.

Salon applications are followed up with the Redken pH-Bonder Post-Service Perfecter, which should be applied at home once a week prior to shampooing.

5. Matrix BOND ULTIM8 Bond Protecting System

Bond Ultim8 claims to protect bonds during coloring and lightening processes and to make hair stronger, shinier, and more manageable.

The formula uses active ingredients that protect the hair by trapping damaging lightener residues.

Bond Ultim8 System includes 3 products:

Step 1- Amplifier—a liquid additive, which needs to be added to your lightener/color mixture to protect the bonds, preserve hair fibers and reduce breakage during chemical processing. The product doesn’t require any additional timing or reformulation.

Step 2 – Conditioning sealer treatment—supposed to lock in the benefits of Step 1, restore weakened bonds and prevent further breakage.

Step 3 – At Home Sealing Treatment—designed to provide ongoing nourishment. This treatment should be done on a weekly basis, to help maintain hair strength.

Bond Ultim8 can be incorporated in a hair glossing treatment or it can also be performed as a standalone rejuvenating hair bond treatment to improve the overall condition of the hair.

Schwarzkopf Fibreplex Bond Enforcing System

This Bond Enforcing System uses Magnesium Citrate in its formula to maintain the pH level and stabilize the inner structure of delicate lightened and colored hair.

The system includes the following three products:

  1. Bond Booster is added to the bleach or color mixture to protect the structural hair bonds from damage and reduce breakage.
  2. Bond Sealer is an intensive treatment that helps create new bonds, seals the cuticle, and provides softness and shine.
  3. Bond Maintainer is made to protect the hair from mechanical damage and keep it stronger at home.

Benefits of Using Bond Builders

  1. This category of products offers greater possibilities for stylists and their clients to create different shades without harming precious hair.
  2. Now it is possible to go from dark hair to blonde without sacrificing the hair’s integrity.
  3. You can change your color as often as you want without the worry of burning your hair.
  4. You will experience less breakage after drastic color changes.
  5. All these bond multipliers should prolong the vibrancy of your hair color.

Which Bond Builder is Right For You?

Olaplex is the preferred choice for most professional colorists, while some believe that competitors’ products provide a similar level of protection as Olaplex. Some stylists choose other products for ease of use or because they are more affordable for clients.

In any case, these products do work, so if you want to increase your level of protection during coloring/lightening, it is best to consult an experienced colorist and determine which product will work best for your hair.

All of these products, with the exception of home care kits, are supposed to be applied in the salon by a professional colorist.

If you do your own color at home, B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is the easiest product to use.

If you prefer using vegan products, try colorHplex.

If you want to stick to your regular brand of color, you might want to try an “upgraded color service,“ which includes the use of a bond builder from the same brand as your hair dye, such as Matrix BOND ULTIM8, Redken pH-Bonder, L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond, Schwarzkopf Fibreplex or Keune Bond Fusion.

1 thought on “Five Alternatives to Olaplex”

  1. This article is poorly written. I know for a fact that bonders do not guarantee your hair can be protected by “coloring your hair as often as you want without burning your hair”? That is pure nonsense. This is why I do not trust these new products and especially these cheap non trustworthy articles written by people that do not understand or just completely do not attempt to understand what they write about.

    Unfortunately with Olaplex and possibly most of these products you have to rely on your hair dresser actually reading the instructions and putting in the product EXACTLY as it is to be done but even with that I can’t trust that it is wise to EVER go up an entire level “as often as I want” and/or get color or bleach “as often as I want” simply because the label or folk’s that market this stuff say I can.

    If you read through the volumes of prior experiences with Olaplex as an example..I have already read folk’s getting bad results, BURNED, etc. Olaplex is quick to blame others – a) we never said it can be used on “already” damages hair? How do we define this? b) COLOR mixed with minerals in hard water causes the burn, not Olaplex (how do we know this for sure – and even if so, debunks what this article says about never burning)?? c) the hair dresser didnt apply it correctly, d) the hair dresser didnt allow enough time.

    Drawbacks are way too many for me – main one being that I have thin hair and see absolutely no benefit of this product other than me doing what I always do – take extremely good care of my hair inbetween bleach treatments – do not over bleach, wait months inbetween (not weeks).. Chemicals are chemicals and noone can just do what they want when they want without facing consequences. There are plenty of past testimonials on why this is so true.

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