We all have unique hair needs, but largely we share a lot of the same concerns: we do not want dry, weakened strands, or to have the dullness that comes with loss of moisture. We want to make sure our color treated tresses maintain their color for as long as possible, too.
Finding the solution to correct these issues is not always a one-stop shop. Hair care often goes overlooked. However, two industry staple brands, Redken and Olaplex, aim to address our concerns and maintain our hair health.
Over the past few years, we have seen many different treatments targeted to fix our hair’s main concerns, especially from the damage that comes from everyday life. Redken and Olaplex have been all over the market for their innovative formulas to restore hair to its natural and healthy state, while adding shine and moisture.
The only question is: how do you decide which one is the system for you?
What are the differences between Redken vs. Olaplex? Both Redken and Olaplex promise to restore hair health, by achieving it through different approaches. Redken targets the outer layers of the hair, while Olaplex works to restore the inner layers.
Below we explore each of these bond-repairing, hair-restoring treatments to help guide you to deciding which one is the best solution for you.
Redken Brand Overview
The Redken brand was created in 1960 by actress Paula Kent alongside chemist Jehri Redding. Together, they developed a scientific, low-level pH balanced approach to haircare products, based on the sensitivity of Kent’s own tresses.
As the brand continued to develop, it continued to be an innovator in the industry through its scientific approach to hair care, collaborations with industry professionals, trainings, and hair symposiums and exhibits over the years.
Redken was purchased by L’Oreal in 1993 and continued to be a leader in the hair industry, launching hair teams backstage at Fashion Weeks worldwide.
Over the decades, Paula Kent won many awards and accolades as a woman entrepreneur in the industry. Today Redken continues to be a leading prestige hair care company that is available in 43 countries worldwide.
Redken Hair Treatment Systems
With its science-based approach, Redken offers many lines for various types of hair needs ranging from frizz control, color protection, and moisture restoration.
However, the Acidic Bonding Concentrate is a system that targets weakened strands, lack of hydration, split ends, and more. Bonding treatments are popular in the current hair care market, largely due to the hair repair success stories we’ve seen from brands like Redken and Olaplex.
The Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate is a four-step system consisting of a pre-shampoo treatment, shampoo, conditioner, and a conditioning leave-in treatment. The system promises to be an all-in-one system that targets the biggest hair concerns and works for any hair type or texture.
Our hair can be damaged from many everyday factors such as: hair coloring, heat styling tools, and weather. By formulating a hair care system that works to actively strengthen, smooth, and intensely hydrate, the Acidic Bonding Concentrate helps to reverse the damage while also offering protection for color treated hair.
Here’s a review on Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate from Everything Hair.
One of the main ingredients in the Acidic Bonding Concentrate system is citric acid. Combined with the alpha hydroxy acid that is the main source of the brand’s Bonding Care Complex, the treatments work to balance the pH levels of the hair.
Through balancing the pH levels, the weakened bonds of the hair are strengthened from the root and are given the necessary hydration to appear lustrous and healthy. The Bonding Care Complex actively works to treat hair against harmful factors, while also promising to protect color treated tresses.
The Acidic Bonding Concentrate is also a sulfate-free formula, which offers a gentle clean and helps to retain hair’s moisture as well as protect against color fade.
The Acidic Bonding Concentrate works best as the whole four part system, however the individual products range from $24 to $30. All of the products are formulated with citric acid and the Bonding Care Concentrate and are reported to have seen the most improvement when used together immediately and overtime.
The Acidic Bonding Leave-In Treatment works to restore hair from the inside out, while also offering heat protection up to 450 degrees. It also helps to control frizz and maintain shine and should be used on damp hair after using the Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner.
Another unique product in the four step system is the Pre-Shampoo Treatment, which offers results within five to ten minutes, when used as part of the system.
The Pre-Shampoo Treatment has the most concentration of the Bonding Care Concentrate and allows the Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner to penetrate deeper to achieve the full benefits.
The Pre-Shampoo Treatment should be applied to wet hair, left on for five to ten minutes, and then rinsed and followed with the shampoo and conditioner.
Olaplex Brand Overview
Olaplex was founded in California in 2014 by Dean Christal alongside Dr. Eric Pressly, and completely opened a new avenue for hair care through their scientific, bond-building, damage-repairing products. Olaplex paved the way for the bond building hair care products that are loved by both consumers and professionals alike.
Championed by many hair industry professionals, the Olaplex brand wanted to create a system of hair products that could provide everyone with their solution to strong, healthy, shiny hair.
Olaplex was the first brand to concentrate on rebuilding weakened hair bonds from the inside. It continues to be a leading brand in the industry with over 100 worldwide patents and its unique formulas to protect hair’s health.
Olaplex Hair Treatment Systems
Olaplex has a wide range of products to choose from, but all center around bond building to rebuild the hair protein from the inside out. The categories for each of the products are divided into treatment, maintenance, and protection.
Treatment products are suggested to be applied weekly and are going to do the work of making hair feel softer, smoother, and healthier.
Maintenance products are going to be the Olaplex Shampoo and Conditioner, to ensure all the healthy bond building from the treatments are preserved.
Lastly, protection products are to guard hair from any damages that could come from heat styling or UV rays, leaving hair shiny all day long.
Below is a review of Olaplex products from Audrey Victoria so you can see the difference for yourself.
The hero ingredient found in all Olaplex products is the Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, which works to repair damaged and broken disulfied hair bonds.
These bonds are what create and shape the hair’s strength and overall appearance. By rebuilding these bonds from the inside out, hair looks and feels its healthiest.
Olaplex is sulfate-free and pH balanced and is the only bond building product on the market.
With its wide array, Olaplex products range about $28 throughout the line. The stand-out product that launched the brand to the top of the hair care industry is the No. 3 Hair Perfector.
The transformative product provides salon-worthy results at home, by working internally to link the broken hair bonds back together to restore hair back to a healthy state from damage done by heat styling, environmental aggressors, and other damaging effects.
No. 3 Hair Perfector was originally created alongside steps No. 1 and No. 2, which are treatment products available only in salons and for hair care professionals. No. 3 served as the “in-home” version for consumers to help regain healthy hair, and after a single use hair can appear shinier, smoother, and silkier.
As Olaplex categorizes products to treat, maintain, and protect, there comes the opportunity to find which combination of products works best for your specific hair type.
No. 4 and No. 5 are the shampoo and conditioner, respectively, and both are formulated with the signature Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate to maintain the restorative powers created by the No. 3 Hair Perfector.
The shampoo and conditioner are suitable for all hair types and help hair in feeling intensely hydrated and free of frizz with each wash.
To continue to protect your hair through the bond rebuilding process, the No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask helps to provide additional hydration to damaged hair. The result is hair that is full of body, shine, and moisture.
The mask can be applied to damp hair after using the No. 4 Shampoo and No. 5 Conditioner, and rinsed after ten minutes to see immediate results.
Both Redken and Olaplex are two brands with cult-followings in the hair care industry. They are loved and lauded by industry professionals, celebrity stylists, and consumers globally.
Both the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate and the Olaplex Bonding system promise to repair damaged hair and protect against harmful aggressors that can cause future damage.
Depending on your hair needs, either system can provide your desired results. The Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate promises to provide pH-balanced treatment with a four-product range, while Olaplex is a bond rebuilding treatment system consisting of up to 8 products.
Olaplex penetrates the hair to rebuild broken hair bonds from the inside, while Redken works on the outer layers of the hair overall.