If you’re on the hunt for a bond builder product to save your damaged hair, chances are you’re very familiar with Olaplex. But just because it’s the most widely recognized product doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other similarly effective and more affordable options on the market. Before shopping, however, it’s important to understand what Olaplex and other bond repairing treatments actually do to your hair when repairing it, starting with why your bonds are broken. That way you can choose a product more suitable to your hair and its needs.
As trichologist and Colour Collective founder Kerry Yates told Bustle, “These bonds are broken during chemical processes like hair coloring and bleaching, which includes highlights and balayage techniques.” They can also be broken by heat styling, ageing, and more. Yates explained, “When these bonds are destroyed, they can cause the hair to lose overall elasticity and strength, and in turn that leads to broken strands.”
Check out these bond building products that are just as effective as Olaplex
While Olaplex may be the trending bond repairing treatment right now, L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond is just as effective. “Smartbond really helps me achieve any color correction without drying or damaging the hair in any way, shape, or form,” color expert Johnny Ramirez told Allure. “It makes the hair soft, strengthens the hair, and doesn’t slow the [coloring] process down at all,” he continued. Adding, “A lot of the time, you have all these other products that you mix with your bleach or glosses, and they move the color sometimes,” but “[s]martbond doesn’t move the color at all.”
Other products that are often recommended by the pros are OGX Restoring + Bonding Plex Bonding Cream Leave-in Treatment, pH Plex Protect & Repair Set, and Ion Absolute Perfection Color Sealer (via StyleCaster). The list goes on, but as the experts urge, do your research, keeping in mind your hair type, and the cause of the damage. Before you know it, strong and silky hair will soon be yours.
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