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 a 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

Brazilian Blowout Brazilian B3 Bond Builder For All Color Services (Product from Amazon)

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: disulphide, 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.  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.

3. 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.

4.  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.

5.   ColorpHlex Reparative System

ColorpHlex bond multiplier uses vegetable-based active ingredients to preserve the integrity of the hair during and after chemical services. Click here to read more about it.

Shared Benefits of 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 bond builders from the same brand as your color, such as Matrix BOND ULTIM8, Redken pH-Bonder, L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond, Schwarzkopf Fibreplex or Keune Bond Fusion.


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