I've tried the High Street's answer to Olaplex and it's just as good (2023)

IfOlaplexLaunched in 2014, it launched a new hair care category called “binding repair'. Buzzy Beauty technology not only works to blend broken strands together, it also helps long strands look and feel betterstronger,heller,healthierand more resilient. That is why the best hairdressers and colorists always recommend itbleachedÖof colorshair, or for those (like me) guilty of styling with excessive heat.

Photo courtesy of Lucy Partington.


In recent years, an army of household products have appeared under various brands that claim to work similarly to Olaplex. FromK18 Molecular Repair Leave-In HaarmaskeAComplejo Triple Bond von Living Proof, combine many elements of salon treatments to bring dull, damaged hair to life. But one thing that really effective bond repair hair products have in common is a high price tag. That's why everyone is crazy about this new street version.


L'Oréal Paris is new in the UK and says the range is offering its "deepest repair ever" to "instantly transform hair without a premium price tag" and it's promising. L'Oréal's Bond Repair Pack contains a collection of four productsBond Repair Shampoo, £ 11,99,Bond Repair Conditioner, £ 11,99,Leave-in-Serum, £ 14,99, and (possibly the hero)Pre-Shampoo Treatment, £14.99.

What are the benefits of Bond Repair hair products?

Let's check the science first. As a cosmetic biochemistNausheen Qureshitells R29 that "Bond Repair" is just a marketing term to describe treatments that restore the structure of the hair. This structure is made up of chemical bonds within keratin (what hair is made of). Qureshi points out that continuously coloring your hair as well as heat styling will affect your hair the most. As a result, hair loses lipids (moisturizing fats) and proteins (which are meant to strengthen hair), which are an integral part of its overall structure.

Most "regular" shampoos and conditioners work on a more superficial level, Qureshi says, while bond-repair products go deeper.

What is the difference between L'Oréal Bond Repair and Olaplex?

The biggest difference between L'Oréal's Bond Repair range and Olaplex is the price and the speed with which the products work. From experience I haven't noticed much of a difference in results between L'Oréal Bond Repair, Olaplex and K18, all of which I've swapped out regularly. However, I would like to emphasize that this highly depends on your hair type and the level of damage. For example, someone who bleaches their hair regularly is likely to have a different result than me, and L'Oréal Bond Repair may take longer to provide the same results as Olaplex. Likewise, some users have reported that K18 works faster than Olaplex.


Is L'Oréal Bond Repair like Olaplex?

Companies like L'Oréal and Olaplex use different ingredients to repair the keratin in hair. Olaplex uses proprietary bisaminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. Meanwhile, L'Oréal shines a light on citric acid, which improves hair's manageability and gives it a smoother, frizz-free look.

Another reason for comparison could be the pH value of the products. Olaplex is around 6 to 6.5, and while L'Oréal hasn't released the exact pH of its products, the main ingredient is citric acid, which has a pH of between 3 and 6. Why is that so important? "Shampoos are alkaline (meaning anything with a pH above 7)," explains Qureshi, "while the pH of the hair cuticle is much lower (about 4.5 to 5)." When you lower the pH of a product , Qureshi adds, you can increase shine and reduce damage. Citric acid can do it well.

@ulrikkelossiusShower routine with @L'Oréal Paris 🧖‍♀️💖 Here's how to have soft and shiny hair#elvital #bonusrepair #reparacionelvitalbond #It's worth it #Shower routine ♬ It's worth it - L'Oréal Paris

Does L'Oréal Bond Repair work?

So does this affordable range of high street hair stickers live up to the hype? I had to put it to the test. I would like to point out that I am already a fan of L'Oréal Elvive and have used a few different collections on my extremely heat damaged wavy hair. is my personal favoriteHyaluron Hydra, this showsShampoo,air conditioner,protective mask,TreatmentjSerum. I'm someone who goes back and forth between K18 and Olaplex, but I'd say the L'Oréal Bond Repair range is on par with the professional brands I've used.


Photo courtesy of Lucy Partington.


Photo courtesy of Lucy Partington.


I first encountered the products during a professional blow dry where my stylist used all four Bond Repair products. Since then I've been incorporating each into my at home hair care routine and my hair is softer, shinier and feels stronger too. First the pre-shampoo treatment. This is a product I like to use once a week and I love that it only takes five minutes to work. In theory, it's similarOlaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, £28, also a pre-shampoo treatment, although it lasts twice as long.

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How are L'Oréal Bond Repair products used?

I wet my hair, apply the pre-shampoo and then wash my face and brush my teeth before getting back in the shower. I rinse out the product and then follow with the shampoo. Considering that the shampoo issulfate free(ideal for those with colored hair who want to prolong their color), it actually has a satisfying lather.

Photo courtesy of Lucy Partington.

If you compare the ingredient list of this shampoo to the Olaplex version, you will see that they are very different apart from a few ingredients like moisturizer.Glycerinand antistatics. Once again, it contains 5% citric acid, which L'Oréal says helps repair broken hair bonds. I always squeeze out excess water before applying the conditioner (10% citric acid) to mid-lengths and ends for maximum benefit and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Like the Olaplex conditioner, this one contains antistatic agents and emollient glycerin.


@cristianomelucciThe new Bond Repair range from @@Superdrugis @L'Oréal Professionnel Paris is amazing. When your hair is dry##Hairstyle##cabello##haircare##Harttutorial##hairtransformation ♬ Funk Rave - Don´t Let Me Down 140 Bpm - Kirtap

Since following this four-step routine, my hair is easier to brush, has fewer knots and tangles, dries much smoother with no further effort, and definitely less frizz. I've found that just using the shampoo and conditioner doesn't make it as smooth. I've used the serum as well, but honestly, this is the go-or-go product in the line. Key ingredients are naturally smoothing citric acid, but also moisturizing glycerin and dimethicone, a type of silicone that helps hair look and feel supple. While I like that it's easy to leave on and helps control flyaways, I'm a bit wary of using too much as it contains the most active ingredient: 20% citric acid. HeFive Star RatingsThey speak for themselves, but I think this product would probably suit people with thicker, curly hair a lot better.

If you only use one product, make it the pre-shampoo treatment. In my opinion, this is the real star of the show. It works just as well with other shampoos and conditioners (not just Bond Repair), which is probably best if you'd rather spend less on your overall hair routine. After using this particular product I notice the biggest difference in my hair and for £14.99 you really can't go wrong.

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