5 Olaplex Affordable Dupes That Are Going Viral

Posted 22nd Jun 2023
Do we all remember quarantine disasters when we all decided that bleaching our head entirely was a good way to cope to be locked in our own houses? I really hope you do because that was a big lesson on what not to do when you are bored, and many people, including me, are still paying the price of going on a rainbow hair whim with breakage and chemical damage.

In the last few years, the only answer to damaged hair from pretty much every corner of the beauty industry has always been unanimous: use OLAPLEX products.
It would be a great reassurance as these products are loved pretty much by everybody - from bloggers to hair professionals... but the problem is that their price tag is not very friendly.

I know that if we are dealing with heavy radical hair damage we most likely cannot blame anybody but ourselves, but the idea of spending £100 for shampoo, conditioner and treatment never sounded particularly appealing to me, so I knew I needed to jump on the dupes bandwagon and find some cheaper alternatives. Scoured the internet for the cheapest ones and these are 5 affordable Olaplex dupes that are flying off the shelves and (according to me) worth a try:

1 . The INKEY List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment (£7.19 on Amazon) VS Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector (£28 on Lookfantastic)

The INKEY List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment went viral on every possible social media because of its amazing performance and tiny price. It is a straight dupe for the Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector and it costs about 4 times less than the "original" one for the same amount (100ml). They claim to do the same thing and as much as I wanted to love the INKEY list one, in this instance the Olaplex product wins hands down in terms of consistency and result. Also, the PCA Bond Repair is a spray and as per instruction you really need to saturate you hair for it to work. I have shoulder-length hair and I had to use A LOT of products for one application. The price difference is pretty substantial and if you are on a budget give the INKEY list a try but for me this battle has a clear winner.

2 . Primark Bond Pro Repair Oil (£4.50 in-store only) VS Olaplex N°7 Bonding Oil (
£26.60 on Sephora UK)

Sadly enough for me this was a bit of a meh situation (and I had really high hopes). The Olaplex Bonding oil for me has been unmatched for years. I tried loads of so-called dupes and no one came close to the effect that this oil has on my bleached-destroyed hair but as much as you don't need a big amount, the bottle still costs around £28. When I saw the Primark PS…Pro Bond Pro-Repair range (which includes three products) all over TikTok with people losing their minds about how good the entire range was, I sprinted to the store. I didn't find the other products but I did manage to find the oil. I then did a split test - on one half of my head, I used the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil and on the other half, I went with the Primark one. Performance-wise they are definitely not extremely different or miles apart as the Primark Oil does the job but one thing that really put me off it is the consistency. While the Olaplex is lightweight and not greasy at all, the Primark one is pretty heavy and definitely thicker. The bottom line is that Primark Oil is 33ml and costs £4.50 while the Olaplex comes slightly smaller at 30ml and costs around £28 - so price-wise Primark is a winner and I would give it a try but don't put your expectations too high on this one.

3 . Aldi Lacura Bonded Conditioner 250ml (
£3.99 on Aldi) VS Olaplex No 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner 250ml(£21.50 on Justmylook)

Very excited about this one as saying that people have gone mental for the Aldi's Bonded range is an understatement. Absolutely impossible to find in stores and sold out online in a matter of hours every time it was re-stocked. Me being me, I had to investigate and I finally were able to buy the products online on a random re-stock. The product that impressed me the most from this Aldi range is definitely the Lacura Bonded Conditioner. It claims to do exactly what the Olaplex No.5 promises: the product is designed to strengthen and repair damaged-looking hair helping to hydrate and replenish the scalp with weightless moisture while reducing frizz and increasing shine and manageability. I can tell you something very clearly: both products do exactly the same thing. I could not spot any relevant difference in terms of texture and performance and I would dare anybody to do otherwise. Considering the price difference, the Aldi's range is a no-brainer.

4. Revolution Haircare London, Plex 4 Bond Shampoo 250ml (£6.60 at Sainsbury's) VS Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo 250ml (£28 on Lookfantastic)

Olaplex No.4 shampoo is probably one of their most famous and best-selling products all over the world. It is considered good for frequent washes and ideal for hair that has been exposed to frequent colouring, bleaching, chemical treatments and heat styling. I heard a lot of chit-chats about the Plex 4 Bond Shampoo by Revolution so I decided to try it as my hair is exactly their main target. I can tell you in all honesty that it wasn't my favourite as it eft my hair feeling pretty brittle and dry after using it, while the olaplex one gives a pretty evident softness and shine to my hair every time I use it.

5. L'Oréal Paris Elvive Bond Repair Pre-Shampoo Treatment 200ml (£7.50 on Amazon) VS Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector (£28 on Lookfantastic)

Another dupe for the Olaplex Hair Perfector and a definitely different opinion. Like the Olaplex, the L'Oreal is an intensive rinse-off treatment and the first step of their new Bond Repair hair care routine to be used before shampooing. First, let's talk about price: the Elvive one comes in a 200ml bottle for £7.50, while the Olaplex No.3 comes in a 100ml for £28 (Big win for L'Oreal on this one!) Secondly, the outcome using these two products is pretty much identical so I would definitely advise to give it a try especially now that is on sale. One thing I would like to mention is that I used the Elvive treatment always following the 5 minutes instruction but on one occasion I left it for about 10-15 minutes, and I liked the end result a lot more - so my just keep it on a little longer if you can!

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  1. louiselouise's avatar
    I'm pretty sure the Inkey List range is in store at Home Bargains and B&M (though, I can't remember all of the items!). Will need to have a peek next time.

    I really like Olaplex (and I've tried a few dupes), just picked up the Aldi Lacura Bonded Shampoo and Conditioner (which is on their groceries site - assume it's a regular line now?). Weirdly the range (last year) was 1) Pre Wash 2) Shampoo 3) Conditioner, but the Pre Wash doesn't appear to be available at the moment - Aldi replied to me via Twitter DM yesterday.

    The most miraculous product I've ever used on my hair (though, it makes my scalp burn a bit, so I dilute it with 2:1 hair mask) is Salvatore Blue Gold Premium Conditioner. Costs a fortune but Amazon UK had it for around £6 last year! As it's a keratin treatment you've got to use SLS free products beforehand (which was a tall order not so long ago, but there's lots of cheaper SLS Free products nowadays). I have really thick hair that gets unruly easily (dyeing it doesn't help matters) and this makes my hair so much easier to manage.

    I march past the Primark beauty products in store (unless they're on sale), will have a look in Glasgow next week! (edited)
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    EHM...I need more info on this Salvatore Blue Gold Premium Conditioner!!! What is it? What good did it do to your hair? I have so many questions...
  2. louiselouise's avatar
    I used Aldi's Bonded (Shampoo and Conditioner - saw them in the High Street, Glasgow store yesterday too) and I'm really surprised!

    Thought the Olaplex No 3 step missing (the number 1 Pre Wash) might affect the outcome but my hair was so easy to detangle, nicely smoothed and soft! It's wowed me actually and I wasn't expecting much.

    Big thumbs up from me.
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    I know right? I absolutely love both shampoo and conditioner.... I sent so many friends to Aldi to grab it I have just never been able to find the pre-treatment and I don't seem to be in stock on-line at any point but I really really want to try it
  3. EndlessWaves's avatar
    Hair grows 10-15cm a year, so any sections of hair damaged from experiments in 2020 starts pretty close to the shoulders by now. If your hair is shoulder length then it'll be gone pretty soon.
  4. Zeeandco's avatar
    Thanks for this op, it will be interesting to hear other users opinions on the products. I myself have tried the Revolution shampoo and conditioner but really did not notice any difference.
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    I'd be really eager to know other people's opinion on the Primark range as loads of my friends were raving about it but the oil really wasn't anything special for me - so I'd be interested to understand if my hair hates it by principle or if anybody else had the same impression.
  5. CynicalNurse's avatar
    Shame MariR has removed all the critical comments. Difficult to evaluate a deal if you can't read positive and negative comments.
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    I didn't remove anything. I am an editor... I can't remove comments. I would also love to point out this is a discussion and not a deal. (edited)
  6. KellyHarrop's avatar
    I've been buying my daughter the revolution plex products for around 2 years and she loves them.
    She's 25 with bleached blonde hair that she is growing out and just has highlights every few months to blend in the colours until its eventually just her natural colour with highlights.. her hair is in great condition since she starting using these. She uses their shampoo, conditioner, bond treatment and the conditioning hair mask.. so no's 3 4 5 and 9.. she also tried 10 and 7 but didn't notice any difference when she added those to the other things.... (edited)
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    Uh ... what does she think specifically of the bond treatment?
  7. SoWantAnLGC1's avatar
    You liked the L'Oréal pre shampoo.

    I wonder did you compare their other products in this range?
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    I need to actually grab the other products and do a full cycle using only that range to see if it makes a bigger difference than using a full routine of Olaplex. I'll be out for a bit of sale shopping this weekend so I'll try and pick it up in Superdrug if I find it. But I also need to try and pick up the Aldi treatment ... which I can never freaking find
  8. motherwellmum's avatar
    Thanks for posting
  9. luke_sales's avatar
  10. VictoriaJS's avatar
    Olaplex did nothing for me expect leave me with patchy hair, gutted
    MariR's avatar
    MariR Author
    Ahhhh did you use it straight in your bleach mixture or as a separate hair routine?
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