Wellaplex vs. Olaplex: a hairdresser tells you 3 key differences

bond maker hair

Wellaplex and Olaplex have 3 key differences:

  • Difference 1: Olaplex is a deep repair treatment than Wellaplex because it works all the way to the hair core.
  • Difference 2: Olaplex is an 8-step treatment, while Wellaplex has only 3 steps.
  • Difference 3: Olaplex is more expensive than Wellaplex.


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apply during bleaching

The “Plex” has become trendy. Although the name ending is the same, the products have differences that you should know if you want the best for your hair.


For example, I recommend Olaplex to my clients when their hair is ruined by home bleaching. In my opinion, it’s the best repairing treatment.


In turn, I recommend Wellaplex to clients who only color their hair or do regular highlights touch-ups. It’s a good hair repair treatment but more affordable.

Why spend more money when you can improve your hair for less?


Do you see?  To select one treatment, you should consider the history of your hair and the damage. Also, the cost because the truth is they are expensive treatments. 

Both Olaplex and Wellaplex have professional-use stages and others you can do at home.

Do you want to know if your hair needs the repairing power of Olaplex or Wellaplex?


Read on, and let’s find out together.

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Difference 1: While Olaplex works on all three parts of the hair (cuticles, cortex, and core), Wellaplex’s action is limited to the cuticles and core.

blonde dyed hair

This means that Wellaplex focuses on the structural part of the hair while Olaplex reaches the deepest part of the hair.

 Therefore, Olaplex’s repair is more complete. 


To help you understand this difference, I’ll tell you how each of your hair strands is structured.

A strand of hair is made up of 3 main parts:

  • Cuticle: it’s a mesh of scales that cover the cortex of the hair. They open to expel color or to nourish the hair. When they break, the hair feels rough and looks dull.
  • Cortex: it’s the second layer that covers the core where pigments and nutrients are found.
  • Hair core: this is where the DNA is found. It forms the memory of your hair, the color, proteins, and nutrients.

How do the two treatments work on each part of the hair?


 Wellaplex acts structurally on the cuticles and cortex.  It reinforces the bonds to prevent breakage of the outer layers. It strengthens the bridges between cuticles and cortex to form a protective shield on the hair.


 Olaplex, in turn, works on the innermost part of the hair.  It goes through the cuticles and cortex to reach the hair core.

The following stages repair and restructure the DNA strands of your hair to strengthen them.

It’s a makeover for your hair.

blonde highlights


  • If your hair is seriously damaged, dry, and dehydrated and you plan to bleach it in the salon, I recommend investing a little more money and choosing Olaplex.

The molecular bonds of the hair are broken during bleaching to expel the color. Also, the internal bridges of the hair structure break and leave your hair dry, dull, and frizzy.


In that case, Olaplex will repair your hair during the chemical bleaching process.

Think of Olaplex as spiders that repair the hair structure when the bleach is working.

Olaplex repairs what the bleach destroys. Therefore, your hair won’t look or feel damaged after repair. That repair work is done from the core to the cuticles.


  • If you’re going to color your hair, you can use Wellaplex because the coloring process is less aggressive than bleaching.

Wellaplex is also an excellent repairing treatment if you never perform a moisturizing or nourishing hair routine. For example, if you swim daily or expose your hair to the sun’s rays without protection every day.

External agents damage the health of the outermost layers of the hair, and Wellaplex is ideal for healing them.


Difference 2: While Wellaplex is a three-step treatment, Olaplex has eight steps. Three to do in the salon and five to do at home.

Both Olaplex and Wellaplex have several application stages.

In both cases, the first two steps are for professional use at the salon during coloring or bleaching.


What are the professional stages of Wellaplex?

alternative to olaplex

  • Wellaplex 1 Bond Maker: the first step of Wellaplex is the Bond Maker. It’s mixed with bleach (bleach powder and hydrogen peroxide) or permanent hair dye. When applied during bleaching, it protects the hair from damage while reconstructing and strengthening it.
  • Wellaplex 2 Bond Stabilizer: the second step is applied after rinsing bleach or a permanent hair dye. It is like a repair ampoule that will stabilize the pH of your hair and finish sealing your cuticles. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse, and wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.


What are the professional stages of Olaplex?

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


These stages of Olaplex and Wellaplex are to be used at the salon and hard to find if you’re not a professional.

However, due to their success, both brands launched products to use at home.


Wellaplex to use at home

  • Wellaplex 3 Hair Stabilizer: the third step is to maintain the treatment at home. It helps you maintain the treatment until your next salon visit. You should apply it once a week for up to 20 minutes. You can also apply it to your unwashed hair before going to bed and leave it on overnight. The next day, rinse it out using your usual shampoo and conditioners.


Olaplex to use at home

On the other hand, Olaplex has 5 subsequent stages for home use to maintain the treatment:

  • Olaplex 3: this is the most important step for home use. You must apply it if you used Olaplex 1 and Olaplex 2. Like Wellaplex 3, it is applied once a week. However, you can leave Olaplex 3 on for up to 120 minutes. Then, use Olaplex shampoo and conditioner to complement it.
  • Olaplex 4: maintenance shampoo
  • Olaplex 5: reinforcing conditioner
  • Olaplex 6: intensive leave-in treatment
  • Olaplex 7: leave-in repairing oil


Who’s the winner?

Obviously,  Olaplex is a much more complete hair repair line, but stages 4, 5, 6, and 7 complement the success of the first three stages. 

So, if you don’t use Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, steps 1,2, and 3 will be equally effective.


Those steps are for maintenance, but your hair will be repaired with the first three steps. Either way, if you want to invest in top-quality products to care for your hair, obviously the four Olaplex at-home steps are excellent.

And speaking of investment, tell me what you need for your hair, and I’ll tell you how much you’ll have to pay. As usual, money rules.


Difference 3: Olaplex is definitely more expensive than Wellaplex.


The Wellaplex treatment is very easy to find on sites like Amazon or specialty stores. However, the first stages of Olaplex are not, especially if you don’t have a hairdresser professional license.

As for the price, the difference is huge.

  • The first three stages of Olaplex cost $400.
  • The complete Wellaplex treatment costs $270.


If you add the home treatment products to Olaplex, you’ll need between $25 and $60 for each product.

The numbers speak for themselves.



The final decision in terms of price is always yours. If you want my advice, invest in Olaplex when you want to bleach your hair. As bleaching is a highly aggressive process, this treatment will help you care for your hair.

If you only color your hair, Wellaplex will work perfectly to repair your hair so you can show a perfect color.

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