Aldi’s £3.49 Olaplex dupe vs the £28 original – a review from an Olaplex fan

Luxury haircare brand Olaplex has taken the world by storm with its pricey products said to ‘repair bonds’ in damaged hair.

I regularly dye my hair blonde and have been using Olaplex for a good few years now. As much as I hate to admit it, the products have really worked wonders on my hair.

I went from having severe gaps on the left side of my hair due to extensive bleaching to reasonably healthy thick hair. With that being said, I was, like everyone, originally very dubious to splash out on the three, four, five, six and seven Olaplex products – considering the whole bunch costs a whopping £140 a bundle.

Long story short, I’d rather not be spending ridiculous money on haircare, which is why I was so chuffed to see that Aldi has launched its own Olaplex No.3 dupe. There are four products in the new Olaplex dupe range including the Lacura Bonded shampoo and conditioner, Lacura Bonded pre-wash hair treatment and the Lacura perfect proof extreme clean dry shampoo.

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Aldi’s bonded treatments are cruelty-free with ‘premium ingredients’ including vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and hydrogenated castor oil. A bundle of the shampoo and conditioner will cost £3.49 as opposed to £56 and the Bonded-pre wash hair treatment costs £3.49 instead of £28.

First impressions

Aesthetically, these bottles look virtually the same. If anything, the Aldi version looks bigger despite being the same 100ml amount. In true Aldi fashion, the general design of the product has its clear similarities to the original Olaplex – Aldi is cheeky, and I love it.

The Lacura Bonded-pre wash hair treatment actually smelt way nicer than Olaplex, which I didn’t think I’d end up saying. Don’t get me wrong, Olaplex doesn’t smell unpleasant, but it’s quite faint in scent and the Aldi dupe is highly perfumed.

In terms of consistency, the Lacura Bonded treatment is thick, but it’s not as thick as Olaplex. With Olaplex, a little goes a long way with the product, which is what makes it last so long. With the Aldi Lacura-Bonded, you do need slightly more to really coat the ends of your hair. This is something I’d be way more willing to do with a product that cost me less than £5 as opposed to £28, though.

Did it work?

I’ve applied a lot of Olaplex No.3 to my hair throughout the years, and I can honestly say that the Aldi Lacura Bonded-pre wash hair treatment felt exactly the same. The thick product coated my hair evenly, and left that slightly tingling/menthol feeling that Olaplex leaves on your hair when first applied.

Perhaps this is something I’ve completely made up in my head, but whenever I apply Olaplex, it’s almost like I can feel it working, and that’s exactly how the Aldi product felt. Both products are advised to be left on for around ten minutes or longer, but I ended up leaving mine on all night for a real pamper like I usually do with No.3.

My hair looked soft and shiny the day afterwards
My hair looked soft and shiny the day afterwards
(Image: Emily Sleight/ Liverpool ECHO)

When I tied my hair up in a scrunchie for the evening, it felt more like my hair was wet as opposed to having actual product on it. With Olaplex, your hair feels quite slimey, but the Aldi product didn’t give the same effect, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I washed it off in the morning and used the Bonded Shampoo and conditioner to follow. Again, these products were very much like Olaplex in terms of consistency, but just weren’t quite as thick.

They also smelt way better than the original Olaplex shampoo and conditioner (I’m definitely spotting a common theme here!) Once I’d washed and dried my hair it was time for the grand reveal, and the results were soft and shiny.

One thing I will say is that there were a few knotty sections present after applying all three products, but it was once I’d dried and styled my hair that I could really see the difference. My hair felt like silk and looked generally more vibrant in colour after applying the product.

The verdict

Would I say that this product is better than Olaplex No.3? It’s a difficult one. The Lacura-Bonded treatment was way better than I thought it would be, but there were some aspects that it missed.

When washing Olaplex out of my hair in the shower it almost feels instantly soft and silky, but the Aldi product took some time. I will say that I’m definitely going to continue using this product for when I can’t afford the real deal, but I’m still an Olaplex No.3 lover through and through.

Generally, the whole range felt absolutely amazing once applied and made my hair feel soft and silky. So, if you’re after an affordable dupe that has almost the same (but not quite) effects as Olaplex – pop down to your local Aldi.

Although the products are currently sold out online, you can keep your eye out for the Bonded-treatment here and the shampoo and conditioner bundle here.

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