Style Journal
wellaplex and olaplex bond builder ESHK hair salons

All you need to know about bond builders

One of the most important things for us at ESHK is keeping hair healthy. We all love experimenting with colours, looks and styles, but when it comes to lightening or colouring we want to make sure we get amazing results all whilst minimising damage to your hair.

This is where a bond builder such as Wellaplex (London, Berlin & Toronto) or Olaplex (Brooklyn) comes in and can be super beneficial. Some products within the range are for salon-use only and applied at your appointment. Both brands do also offer solutions to keep those locks in top shape post salon visit. We round up the most frequently asked questions about these essential products.

How does a bond builder work?

During colouring or lightening of the hair, bonds within the hair structure can damage or even break. Bond builders like Wellaplex and Olaplex work on targeting and repairing the bonds within the hair. The active ingredients in bond builders form cross-links with the protein structure of the hair, reinforcing and strengthening the bonds, which helps to prevent breakage and damage.

When should you consider using a bond builder like Wellaplex or Olaplex?

If you’re booked in for a hair colour, balayage, highlights, bleach,… we really recommend talking to your stylist about adding bond builder into the service. Our teams are all super experienced, can assess the current state of your hair health and advise on the best course of action. Depending on how much of a transformation you’re going for, the process can be lengthy and intense for your hair. A bond builder there can help prevent damage as well as help the colour development.

At what stages of lightening or colouring is a bond builder used?

The product range of both Olaplex and Wellaplex are separated in salon use and home use. The Wellaplex range for example consists of two stages done when you’re at the salon: an initial ‘Bond Maker’ which is mixed with the lightener or colour, and a ‘Bond Stabalizer’ applied once that first stage has been rinsed out. This further strengthens the bonds and hair structure, as well as rebalancing the hair’s pH.

Does a bond builder damage your hair?

When applied and used correctly bond builders are designed to repair and strengthen the hair bonds and help reduce the damage from the products used in lightening or colouring. As with everything, using it too much could potentially cause hair to dry out. Our salon teams are always happy to talk through what’s best and how/when to use the at-home products.

silver pearl hair color on long sleek hair with middle parting by Sophia ESHK Friseur Moabit Berlin
Blue hair color onelength bob haircut on asian hair by Yuka ESHK Moabit hairdresser Berlin

Does a bond builder actually help pre-existing damage to hair?

Yes, most salons will offer Olaplex or Wellaplex bond builders as a standalone treatment. This can help improve the condition of pre-existing damaged hair by repairing and strengthening the weakened bonds within the hair.

What is the active ingredient in bond builders?

This is where we’re getting a bit geeky! The (not so) secret ingredient in Olaplex is called Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. This technology works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross-linking them back together to form disulfide bonds.

Does a bond builder prevent damage?

Absolutely, yes, damage that can occur with heat styling, colouring and lightening can be reduced as the bond builders provide increased hair strength.

Are bond builder treatments done before or after bleaching hair?

Bond builder treatments are typically added during the bleaching process to minimize damage. They can also be used as a standalone treatment after bleaching to repair any damage caused.

Can I bleach my hair after the bond builder standalone treatment?

Yes, you can bleach your hair after using a bond builder standalone treatment. The treatment helps to strengthen the hair bonds, making it more resilient to subsequent chemical processes. Always speak to your stylist where they’ll discuss with you if you’ve had certain treatments or colours done before your appointment.

Can you use a bond builder every day?

Both Wellaplex and Olaplex offer products to get your hair post salon visit in top condition at home. It’s always best to ask your stylist for advice, they’ll be able to tell you if and how often you should use these hair stabilising products at home between hair salon appointments. Overdoing it can lead to dry and dull looking hair, so best to be careful and get advice.

long blonde bleach and toner asian hair at ESHK Hair Toronto
none pink summer hair colour by Lina at ESHK Shoreditch hairdresser London

Does a bond builder help with split ends?

Bond builders can help strengthen and repair split ends by reinforcing the hair structure and preventing further breakage.

Does a bond builder help with hair loss?

That would be amazing, but hair loss isn’t the primary focus of such products. Bond builders primarily are used for repairing and strengthening hair bonds rather than treating hair loss. They can, however, improve the overall condition of the hair and help reduce breakage.

How did you get your bleached hair looking healthy again?

If a bond protector wasn’t used in your lightening service, feel free to pop into our salons and have a chat with one of our stylists. It’s best we see what the damage is and provide a course of treatment, whether that’s Wellaplex / Olaplex as standalone service or other hair revitalising options.

So, to sum up what are the pros and cons of bond builder hair repair treatments?

Of course, we hear you, there is an additional cost to getting Olaplex or Wellaplex included in your service. But the pro’s of a bond builder treatment to keep in mind are:
– Strengthen and repair damaged hair bonds
– Help prevent and reduce split ends, breakage, dryness, tangles and frizz
– Can be integrated in the colour / lightening process

At our ESHK hair salons in London, Berlin, Brooklyn and Toronto we offer free consultations, where you can talk to our team and discuss what you’d like to achieve. We always aim for the best result that keeps your hair healthy and looking great. Pop in and we’ll take things from there.

Images in article: Sophia (Moabit), Yuka (Moabit), George (Toronto), Lina (Shoreditch)