Luxurious Hair on a Budget: Discover 5 Shampoos Like Olaplex In 2023!

by Zoe Scott
Luxurious Hair

In this post, we’ll do the heavy lifting for you – unraveling the mystique of haircare products, decoding ingredients, and revealing some of the best secrets in the beauty world that promise to transform your tresses from drab to fab. From bond-building formulas to fortifying conditioners and rejuvenating serums, we’ll uncover an array of wallet-friendly alternatives that harness the power of science and nature to give you that salon-fresh feel and look right in the comfort of your home.

Please fasten your seat belts, dear readers, because we are about to embark on a journey that is as much about haircare science as it is about finding your ultimate beauty steals. Get ready to explore the world of accessible hair luxury and discover that you CAN have Olaplex-quality hair without an Olaplex-size hole in your pocket!

It’s time to shake out those tresses and delve into this post. Remember, beauty isn’t a splurge, and it’s a right. So, grab your notepads; it’s time to redefine your hair care regimen!

Olaplex: What’s All the Hype About?

Luxurious Hairs
Photo by Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash

So, what’s the secret potion that has transformed the hair of millions worldwide? It’s not a mere shine-inducing conditioner or a smoothening serum. It’s a molecular magician that rebuilds the damaged disulfide bonds in your hair.

It’s like a ‘Ctrl+Z’ button for your hair. Years of heat styling, chemical treatments, and hair color fiascos all reversed! Olaplex works its charm by rejuvenating your hair strands’ strength, structure, and integrity, almost like a complete hair reset.

Picture this: I’m a self-proclaimed hair color enthusiast. I’ve hopped from platinum blonde to fiery red, flirted with pastel pink, and recently ventured into a deep brunette. Each transition was exciting, but it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. My hair faced the brunt of it. Then, Olaplex strolled into my life – a game-changer for me and colorists alike. It allowed me to dance between light and dark shades without compromising the health and thickness of my hair.

The key, my friends, is in its application. Olaplex works wonders when used during the color treatment. While it can’t wave a wand to cure post-dyed dry hair, it helps fortify the bonds usually fractured during dyeing, preventing breakage and that dreaded candyfloss texture.

However, let’s be honest. Olaplex color treatments are limited to salons, and not all offer them. Plus, beware of those so-called “salon-only” Olaplex products online – they could be misleading.

But don’t lose heart! I’m here to guide you to the affordable Olaplex alternatives that can help you achieve that salon-fresh look even if you’re dyeing your hair at home. So, without further suspense, let’s unravel the top 9 Olaplex alternatives in the market. Are you ready?

Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster: The Pocket-Friendly Powerhouse

Ion Color Brilliance

Considered one of the top alternatives to Olaplex, Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster has a reputation that precedes it. And you know what? It lives up to the hype. A quick Youtube search and you’ll see beauty gurus across the globe singing its praises.

The best part? This little magic potion costs less than your favorite frappe and is available on eBay. Plus, the small vial carries two doses. Can you say ‘bargain’?

Don’t let its size fool you, though. This may not be a professional bonding agent, but it packs a punch! I’ve given this gem a go; it’s worth every cent. Perfect for those dipping their toes into the world of Olaplex alternatives, this is your go-to starter.

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Redken PH-Bonder: The Science-Backed Savior

Redken Ph Bonder Post Perfector 150 ml

With a century’s scientific know-how, Redken’s PH-Bonder presents a strong case for itself. This Olaplex alternative is uniquely crafted to protect your hair during and after dyeing or lightening.

Here’s a fun fact from my hairstylist’s corner: Redken’s formulation was developed with the help of hairdressers! It smooths hair cuticles, resulting in stronger strands that shine brighter and feel softer. Ah, the best of all worlds!

The PH-Bonder kit also includes an at-home treatment that balances your hair’s PH level after the salon treatment. Pair it with Redken’s hair care products, and your weekly haircare ritual is sorted.

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Schwarzkopf Fibreplex Bond Enforcing System: The Triple Threat

Schwarzkopf Fibreplex Bond Enforcing System

Schwarzkopf, a household name in the beauty industry, brings its own Olaplex alternative to the table. Their Fibreplex system promises up to 94% prevention of hair breakage and leaves your hair fibers in tip-top condition.

Echoing the Olaplex regime, Schwarzkopf’s system has three steps: the Bond Booster, the Bond Sealer, and the Bond Maintainer.

The Bond Booster mingles with hair fibers during coloring, creating a powerful bond that reduces breakage. The Bond Sealer protects the hair’s outer surface and keeps it glossy. Finally, the Bond Maintainer, an at-home option, continues the protection twice weekly.

Especially remarkable for Schwarzkopf colorant users, this Olaplex alternative is designed to maintain the PH level of hair colored with their products.

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Brae Bond Angel Plex Effect Bond Multiplier: The Savior for Blondes

Brae Bond Angel Plex Effect Bond Multiplier

Brae’s Bond Angel is the guardian angel for all you blondes. Developed to protect and prevent damage, especially for already damaged hair, this is a game-changer for those who dream of that perfect blonde without the damage.

The Bond Angel Multiplier from Brazil can be used during heat, coloring, and mechanical applications. This product doesn’t just protect your hair bonds; it ensures your blonde color remains bold and vibrant while keeping your hair robust and healthy.

This Olaplex alternative can be used alongside bleaching, coloring, straightening, and keratin treatments. It’s chemical protector and post-chemical rebuilder can be your new hair mask, even if you haven’t bleached your hair.

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L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond: The Smart Choice

L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond

L’Oréal’s Professionnel Smartbond, a two-step solution, works beautifully with L’Oreal’s dyes and shields your hair from damage. The kit includes an additive for the color or bleaching mix, protecting and strengthening the hair during coloring. It also doubles as a pre-shampoo, post-color, or bleach rinse.

Now, how does this differ from Olaplex? The Smartbond system uses malic acid that absorbs into the hair during the chemical process, acting as a lubricant between protein chains. This gives the hair more elasticity, whereas Olaplex’s formula reacts directly with broken bonds. Now that’s some science-backed hair care!

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ONC QUINOAPLEX R3 Rapid Hair Renewal Formula: The Natural Powerhouse

ONC QUINOAPLEX R3 Rapid Hair Renewal Formula

ONC’s Quinoaplex R3 is like a grain bowl for your hair. And, just as you feel good after that delicious, nutritious meal, your hair will thank you after this treatment. Quinoa, the high-protein mother of all grains, is similar to hair protein. Add this between your shampoo and conditioner, and you will have a rejuvenating spa day for your hair.

This Olaplex alternative can reduce damage by up to 32% and give your hair a 51% shinier and smoother appearance. This is not just a promise; it’s a guarantee. And let’s not even start on the tropical scent; it’s like a mini vacation in your shower!

Do you want to go the extra mile to protect your hair before coloring or bleaching? This is your go-to product. Plus, it’s made from certified organic ingredients and is gluten-free, toxin-free, not tested on animals, and hypoallergenic. Who said beauty couldn’t be responsible?

B3 Brazilian Bond Builder: The Creative Gamechanger

Brazilian Blowout Brazilian B3 Bond

If you love experimenting with color but worry about damage, the B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is the perfect Olaplex alternative. The aim is to let you break color boundaries while improving the structural integrity of your hair’s cells. It sounds like a win-win.

Its advanced technology improves the hair’s overall look, reduces breakage, and helps your hair retain its color. Even my perm-loving friends can use it! Available in salons and at-home use in Brazil, it might be harder to find in other countries. But don’t fret; you can always get it from Amazon. It’s so easy to use; even I can easily handle it with my two left hands!

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Coconut Oil: The All-Natural Hero

Coconut Oil
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Who would have thought the solution could be sitting right in your kitchen? I’m talking about coconut oil, the humble and versatile star. A Google search will show many hair forums praising its effects against bleach and hair dye.

Remember that coconut oil penetrates the hair deeply, so it helps the color be vibrant. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Preparation: Leave the coconut oil in your hair for at least 2 hours before coloring. For maximum benefits, leave it overnight. Make sure your strands are completely covered from root to tip.
  2.  Coloring/Bleaching: Don’t rinse the oil off. Go ahead with the process.
  3.  Post-Treatment: Rinse your hair with water and plenty of shampoo. If your hair feels greasy, rewash it to remove excess oil.

You’ll feel the difference once your hair dries; it should be noticeably softer, and your scalp should be less itchy and irritated. Don’t just take my word for it; try it for yourself! Remember, good things come to those who wait, and in this case, to those who plunge into the world of coconut oil!


And there you have it, my lovely readers! A whole buffet of budget-friendly, hair-loving alternatives to Olaplex. From the Matrix BOND ULTIM8’s long-lasting protection, ONC QUINOAPLEX R3’s natural goodness, and B3 Brazilia n Bond Builder’s creative freedom to the surprising yet effective Coconut Oil, there’s something for everyone. Remember, beauty comes from confidence and the freedom to express yourself – including the freedom to experiment with your hair. But like any good experiment, it’s essential to be informed and take necessary precautions. Always patch-test these products to ensure they’re compatible with your hair and skin.

And most importantly, enjoy the process. Transforming your hair can be an exciting journey of self-expression, so embrace it and let your hair shine, just like you. Happy experimenting, beauties!

Feature image by averie woodard on Unsplash

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