Redken pH Bonder vs. Olaplex: after a lot of research, these are their differences

three steps treatment vs eight steps

The three most important differences between Redken PH Bonder and Olaplex are:

  • Difference 1: Olaplex is a repairing treatment with eight steps, while Redken PH Bonder has three.
  • Difference 2: Olaplex restructures the hair’s DNA. So, it repairs the hair from the core to the cuticles while Redken pH Bonder protects the outer layers from coloring or bleaching chemicals.
  • Difference 3: Olaplex is a more expensive treatment than Redken pH Bonder.


(If you don’t want to read all the differences and want to know which product is better for your hair, CLICK HERE)


Do you want to know what the topic of my last stylist friend’s meeting was?

No. It wasn’t the latest Netflix releases, our kids’ school exploits, or our love adventures and misadventures.


Our topic of conversation was the famous hair bond rebuilders, better known by their first and last names than their functions.

I bet you five hair strands that you’ve heard of Olaplex and Redken pH Bonder. I knew it!


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Anyway, you can’t imagine how excited we all were.

 Some defended Olaplex, others Redken pH Bonder and others agreed with both. 


So, after calming the waters, we decided to establish a list of the differences between Olaplex and Redken pH Bonder.

And while we didn’t find many, if you’re about to color or bleach your hair, you might find them useful.


First, and before we dive into the differences, let’s agree on something.

Both Olaplex and Redken are the most used brands in beauty salons worldwide because they leave hair completely healthy after any chemical process such as bleaching or balayage.

Also, both are applied in different stages. Some of them are for professional use, and others for home use, which makes users quite happy.

Which one should you choose?


Knowing the differences, you can make the best decision for your hair.

Tabla de Contenidos


Difference 1: Olaplex is an eight-step treatment, three of which are applied in the salon. In turn, Redken pH Bonder has two steps for professional use.

PH Bonder helps protect the hair structure as a whole while Olaplex restructures the DNA of the hair by repairing the bridges broken during bleaching or coloring process.


 Both Olaplex and Redken pH Bonder will be of great help during the coloring processes you want to apply, whether it’s hair dyes, bleaching, highlights, or balayage. 

Now, as for the application, you should take some differences into account.


Olaplex and Redken pH Bonder have several stages. Their first ones are exclusive for professional use.

That is, you should ask your stylist for them, or most likely, she’ll recommend them to you if you bleach or color your hair.


What are these steps at Olaplex?

apply during bleaching

  • Olaplex 0: it is applied on the hair 20 minutes before starting the proces to begin protecting the hair.
  • Olaplex 1: is the first step added to the bleaching mixture to give elasticity to the hair bonds and keep the cuticles protected.
  • Olaplex 2: is applied after the coloring process and repairs the DNA of your hair core that was damaged during the process. It is left on the hair for 20 minutes and then rinsed out.


What are the stages of Redken pH Bonder?

complete three steps treatment

  • The first stage is added to the products used in coloring or bleaching. The second stage is applied during rinsing to restore the pH and hair bridges.

These stages of both Olaplex or Redken pH Bonder are applied in the salon. They’re hard to find because they’re exclusively for professionals.


Once you apply either treatment in the salon, both brands offer products to extend the results.

In the case of Olaplex it has 5 subsequent stages of home use for treatment maintenance:

  • Olaplex 4: maintenance shampoo.
  • Olaplex 5: reinforcing conditioner.
  • Olaplex 6: intensive leave-in treatment.
  • Olaplex 7: leave-in repairing oil.


post treatment

Alternatively, pH Bonder has a post-Service stage. It’s easy to apply and you only have to use it once a week.

  • Wet your hair, towel dry, and apply pH Bonder Post-Service Perfector before shampooing.
  • Massage your hair from roots to ends to keep the product warm and even. Leave it on for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse and use your regular shampoo and conditioner.


Yes, Olaplex has a more complete treatment maintenance line, but it also involves more money. We’ll talk about that later.

There’s another difference that you should also take into account when deciding: how both Olaplex and Redken pH Bonder act on the hair.


Difference 2: Olaplex works all the way to the core of the hair by regenerating it completely, while Redken pH Bonder works on the cuticles and cortexes without reaching the core.

dry hair

Another difference between these two excellent products is their mode of action.  Redken pH Bonder is focused on the entire hair structure, while Olaplex is designed to act on the hair core.

While both act on key parts of the hair, Olaplex gives you deep repair from the core to the cuticles.


  • Redken forms a shield to protect the molecular bonds between the cuticles and the hair cortex. That way, hair stays protected during the bleaching or coloring process.


  • Olaplex works internally. Step 0 breaks the cuticles, goes through the cortex, and penetrates the hair core. As soon as step 1 is applied, it begins to repair and restructure the DNA strands of your hair by strengthening them.


This happens from the inside out. It repairs all the molecular bonds, cortex, and cuticles.

As you can see,  both products work completely differently: one protects the outside to prevent damage in the inner layers, while the other works from the inside to repair the outer layers. 

And now, the last difference: their prices.


Difference 3: Olaplex is a more expensive repair treatment than Redken pH Bonder.


For us stylists, getting either product is easy because we’re professionally licensed.

However, if you’re not a professional and don’t have a license, things get complicated. Redken pH Bonder is available through its official website or in a specialized store. The same happens with Olaplex 0, 1, and 2.


Now,  treatment maintenance products to be used at home are easy to purchase on online sales sites such as Amazon, for example. 


As for the cost, Redken pH Bonder is much cheaper than Olaplex. And the reasons, I think, are obvious.

Olaplex consists of 8 stages. The first 3 for professional use only cost $400, and the price of the remaining stages ranges between $25 and $60.

On the other hand, Redken pH Bonder’s three steps cost 300 dollars.

Yes, the difference is substantial, and you should decide according to your economy. Still, rest assured that both products provide excellent results.



After discussing, my stylist friends and I came to a conclusion:

  • In the case of a drastic change of look such as bleaching your hair from black to platinum blonde, we recommend Olaplex.
  • Now, if a client comes to our salons with seriously damaged hair due to the use of heat tools, hair dyes, or lack of care, and wants to color her hair, we would recommend Redken pH Bonder. It’s cheaper and protects the hair while repairing the cuticles.

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