Olaplex is world-famous for its almost magical abilities to repair extremely damaged hair caused by excessive colouring, bleaching and heat styling.
I use straighteners daily so I was on the lookout for something to prevent long-term damage.
The biggest objection I hear about Olaplex is that the price point may not be justifiable if you’re not sure it’s for you – many people just want a cheaper version of Olaplex, and I totally understand that.
I’ve compiled a list of the best Olaplex alternatives (also known as “dupes”, as in duplicates) on the market below.
There IS a way of trying the real thing for a cheaper price and I’ve written that up below too.
The Best Olaplex Equivalents in the UK
Knight & Wilson Pureplex Revolutionary Hair Repair System
(Check Superdrug’s Price)
This revolutionary hair repair system by Knight and Wilson is known for being one of the best dupes for Olaplex on the market, having gained tons of coverage in the press.
Similar to Olaplex, it’s packed full of bond repairing technology known as Aminofix, that repairs and reconstructs broken bonds in the hair caused by over-bleaching, excessive use of heat and styling.
Said to give results in just one use, Pureplex restores your hair’s natural structure and strength, giving it more elasticity and volume, as well reducing frizziness and breakage.
It also helps to prevent any future damage or breakage with continuous use.
Tip: You can also try just the shampoo and conditioner on their own as a daily maintenance option if you don’t want to go full-on with a treatment (these are both available on Amazon).
Pureplex is suitable for any hair type, even super curly, and is easy to mix and use. It also has a pleasant scent which is a bonus when it’s on your hair for an extended amount of time.
With shoulder-length hair like mine, you should get around 3 uses out of each box, so it’s good value for money too.
Many reviewers have commented that this treatment has quite literally saved their hair, noticing less breakage and split ends after only a few uses, despite having bleached their hair for years.
- Has press coverage commenting on how great a dupe this is
- Results in as little as one use
- Helps to prevent any future damage
- Suitable for all hair types
- Multiple uses out of each box
- Hundreds of positive reviews
- Has a shampoo and conditioner in the same range to help keep your hair healthy
- Pleasant smell
- If you have really long, thick hair you may only get one treatment out of each box
Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Treatment For Damaged Hair
This deep penetrating treatment for damaged hair by Joico is used as a treatment when you’re washing your hair.
After shampooing, apply the treatment and leave in for 5 minutes (or slightly longer if you wish), wash out, and condition your hair as normal.
The treatment adds protein to your hair that helps to repair the bonds and cuticles that are damaged through colouring and styling.
It’s often used in salons too after a stylist colours your hair so you know it’s good quality!
Reviewers who have bleached and severely damaged hair have said that after a few uses, this treatment has drastically improved the appearance of their hair.
People found that they could now brush through it when it’s wet, instead of it being tangled, and their hair has stopped breaking off and has started growing at a faster rate due to the healthy condition that it’s now in.
This product can be used every 2-4 weeks, depending on the condition your hair is in, rather than every week, so it should last you a long time too!
- Suitable for all hair types
- Adds protein to your hair so it can repair itself naturally
- Used in salons around the country
- Reviewers have said the product really works
- Makes hair more manageable, less frizzy and improves elasticity
- Contains methylisothiazolinone which may irritate sensitive scalps, best to do a patch test before use
Redken Extreme Cat Protein Treatment
Another salon favourite, this Extreme Treatment by Redken contains exclusive Interbond conditioning technology that delivers a unique 3D repair complex of proteins, Ceramides and Lipids that repairs and reinforces the hair cuticle, whilst protecting the hair from any future damage too.
Lots of products are designed for use after treatments but this one is used before, in order to protect your hair better.
It contains a fortifying complex of 18-mea amino acids and proteins that help to strengthen the hair, tame frizziness and breakage and prepares the hair before any chemical treatments such as hair dye.
It’s slightly different to the other treatments mentioned as it is not a wash out treatment. Instead, you apply to the lengths of slightly damp hair after washing and leave it in.
Tip: It’s best to use this treatment 2-3 times a week, as using too much protein can actually harm your hair if it doesn’t need it, so best to use it after every other wash (depending on how often you wash your hair).
I’ve used this treatment myself, and as someone with fine hair I often find that using heavy treatments or oils can weigh my hair down and leave it looking greasy – but not with this!
I apply sparingly just to the ends of my hair and it leaves it looking smooth, healthy and best of all – not greasy!
I’ve also found that it reduces the static in my hair when I wear a hat in the winter, as my hair no longer has any broken fly-aways and is a lot healthier, when I take off my wooly hat my hair is just as smooth as it was before I put the hat on!
- Salon recommended
- Suitable for all hair types, even fine hair
- Only need a small amount as it is a leave in treatment, should last a while
- Smells nice, scent isn’t too strong
- Lots of positive reviews
- Reduces frizz, repairs broken bonds and protects against future damage
- If your hair does not need extra protein then it may dry your hair out due to an excess
How To Get a Cheaper Version of Genuine Olaplex in the UK
Here’s a clever “hack” that my pro hairdresser friend told me and I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before!
Olaplex Gift, Travel, Or Sample Set
If you’re unsure about purchasing a dupe for Olaplex, but aren’t sure that you want to fork out for the real thing, purchasing a gift set can be a good way to try Olaplex and see if it’s suitable for you before committing to a full bottle.
Sometimes you’ll have to search other words like “trial set”, “gift set” or “holiday set”. This will get you the list of the really small bottles.
Doing it this way also helps you work out which treatment you prefer, as sets like this often have multiple products in them. This one has treatments 3, 4, 5 and 6.
This Olaplex Trial Kit contains:
- Pre-shampoo formula treatment to restore the broken bonds and keep your hair colour vibrant
- Shampoo and conditioner that also repair the bonds, moisturises the hair, reduces frizz and gives your hair a lustrous shine that Olaplex is famous for, and
- It also contains a bond smoother, which is an intensive leave-in reparative creme that reduces frizz, shortens the time it takes to blow dry your hair and reduces fly-aways for up to 72 hours
This kit is designed to take on holiday, but it’s also a great way to test the waters and see if your hair responds well to the treatment without spending too much on a full size treatment.
It goes without saying that this also makes a great gift if you know someone who would appreciate some genuine Olaplex, but when you’re on a tighter budget.
- Great way to test genuine Olaplex without spending a fortune and not liking the product
- Sets often contain multiple treatments so you can see which one you prefer
- Repairs bonds, reduces frizz, tames flyaways and much more!
- Olaplex has a renowned reputation amongst celebrity hair stylists for how well it works
- Suitable for all hair types
- Hundreds of positive reviews online
- Genuine Olaplex is pricier than the dupes mentioned above
After reading this article, I hope that you’ve found what you’re looking for and can make an informed decision on how to repair your hair.
If you’ve got your heart set on the real thing and don’t want to get ripped off, don’t forget to check out my list of the best places to buy genuine Olaplex online in the UK too!