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Today we're comparing the Revolution Plex haircare line to the original Olaplex bond repair technology (which I reviewed in depth here). I know Revolution have got into a spot of bother before for their fondness of deliberate dupes and there will always be people who only want to follow the science when it comes to deciding what will work for them. But, equally there will always be those who can’t afford patented formulas and are happy to take a punt based on anecdotal evidence. This post is for those people who can't get on board with Olaplex's price-point in the first place or just need to cut back on some things and hair products are a pretty obvious place to start! With all that in mind, let's take a look at the products...
The concept behind the Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector | £26 (100ml) | is that you have your hair treated in-salon with Olaplex's professional line and this is like your take-home product. The technology in this formula is designed to actually repair and strengthen broken hair bonds, which is why it's often used on coloured hair. It should be applied to hair that's been wetted before you do your wash, for 15-20 minutes or as long as you can leave it on, really! It has this incredible way of softening and smoothing the skin so it looks and feels nice and silky without that coming from oils or nourishment; this is a really light lotion suitable for most hair types that works in a really unique way.
Of course the Revolution Plex 3 Bond Restore Treatment | £10 (100ml) | doesn't contain Olaplex's patented Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, instead it's formulated with plant proteins to help strengthen the hair. From what I've been able to glean; protein treatments are more about strengthening and reinforcing hair strands, as well as preventing further damage, by kind of patching over breakage, whereas something like Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate has the power to actually repair damage that's already occurred. Plex 3 comes out as a slightly richer cream but should be used on slightly damp hair like the Olaplex 3. I definitely feel a softness, silkiness and smoothness with my hair and I can see that difference in terms of things looking sleeker and shinier. I do find this more of a nourishing formula, so it's probably not going to be as good for fine hair, but I liked using this product a lot. My only negative is really the intrusive scent; think Vo5 circa 2008...
I use the Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo | £26 (250ml) | and the Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner | £26 (250ml) | as a pairing, so that's how I'll discuss them and compare them to the Revolution Plex 4 Bond Shampoo | £10 (250ml) | and the Revolution Plex 5 Bond Conditioner | £10 (250ml). I really enjoy this Olaplex duo as an everyday option for getting the bond repair technology into my routine. There's no faffing around or waiting for treatments to sink in, and the conditioner definitely has some weight to it without feeling heavy. I still feel I get similar results as I do with the 3 without the fuss. The Plex take on this duo is still pretty good, but I think they don't really go beyond being moisturising formulas that don't weigh down the hair. They're really nice but it's not something next-level like the Olaplex. Oddly, the scent of the shampoo is sweet but the conditioner still has that Vo5 vibe.
I've actually really grown to love and appreciate the Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother | £26 (100ml). I don't find it as game-changing as their No.8 hair mask (not included here as there's no 'dupe' of it currently) or their No.3, or even the shampoo and conditioner - I assume it contains less of the active ingredient. However, that doesn't stop it just being a really great styling product. I apply it to damp hair before blow-drying it and to refresh, moisturise, smooth and sleek out my hair between washes. It's a slightly richer cream so I don't recommend it for fine hair that's easily weighed down, but for me: it's brilliant (and smells yummy). I would actually say that the Plex 6 Bond Restore Styling Cream | £10 (100ml) | is the closest like-for-like Olaplex dupe from the line. It's also a creamy product that moisturises, smooths the appearance of the hair and provides that very light bit of styling grip.
Last, but not least, let's talk about the last set of finishing products. They're not the same product type - obviously - the Olaplex No.7 Bond Repair Oil | £26 (30ml) | is an oil and the Plex 7 Bond Restore Styling Spray* | £8 (100 ml) | is a mist, but they're both intended to style the hair and also provide some heat protection. I feel similarly about the Olaplex No.7 as I did with 6: the long-lasting changes to my hair weren't as noticeable as some of the more treatment-focused products in their line but it's still a great oil. It softens, smooths and moisturises my ends without ever weighing my hair down. I think for the price, I probably won't repurchase this over the 6 or the 8, but I'll enjoy it while I can! I personally really enjoyed the Plex mist: it's not a spray oil but it does still leave my hair looking and feeling sleek and gives it a bit of hold before heat styling. Two different products, but I personally thought the Plex mist was great!
All in all: is the Plex range worth checking out? Yes, definitely! I'm the sort of person who - within reason - am willing and able to try something a little more pricey once. For me, it's really about what's repurchase-worthy. For my own haircare routine, I tend to invest in a few key items and save where I can if the product works: I could easily use the 6 and the 7 from Revolution and not feel a deep need to repurchase the Olaplex. I also find their shampoo and conditioner very good. I think personally, the fact that Olaplex can actually repair broken bonds makes it worth having in my routine as someone with dry, coloured hair, but my point is: even if you really want to benefit from this technology and you don't think anything can replace it - you probably don't need it in every step of your routine. When I use these up I'll probably just buy their 3 or 8 going forwards, as they give me the most bang for my buck. If you don't have damaged hair and you just want that smoothness, or you don't have the budget for Olaplex either way: definitely check out the Revolution line. Whilst it hasn't totally replaced Olaplex for me, there are definitely a few products from that range that I don't think I'll need to buy again, which is great!
Have you tried either of these lines?