Both leave-in conditioner products and bonding oils are designed to improve the health and strength of dry, frizzy, and damaged hair. When it comes to Olaplex bonding oil specifically, how does it compare to leave-in conditioner products, and which is the best choice?
Upon thoroughly researching the hair products, we found that Olaplex bonding oil is better than standard leave-in conditioner products due to its “weightless” concentrated design. It’s also made for all hair types and is perfect for daily use.
To learn more about how these hair care products measure up against each other, keep reading.
We will be discussing the benefits and risks of both products, detailing how to use them, comparing costs, and more.
Olaplex Bonding Oil vs Leave-in Conditioner – Overview
While both Olaplex bonding oil and traditional leave-in conditioner products share similar purposes, there are some key differences.
Olaplex is a “weightless reparative styling oil” used daily, whereas leave-in conditioners are usually thicker, serum, or cream-like products that most people don’t advise using every day.
Both products are ideal for frizzy, dry, or damaged hair, providing essential moisture to leave hair shiny, healthy, and soft.
But whereas leave-in conditioners are better suited to protecting hair from damage, Olaplex bonding oil is designed to repair and strengthen damage after it has occurred.
Because leave-in conditioner is a much heavier substance than Olaplex bonding oil, many people prefer the latter.
Olaplex’s product is far more suited to continued use, without weighing down and adding too much oil to your hair.
Olaplex Bonding Oil
Olaplex bonding oil is a vegan, natural, cruelty-free reparative hair product from Olaplex.
It doesn’t make use of ingredients/surfactants that add further frizz and dryness to hair, such as:
The bonding oil is designed to minimize flyaways, restore healthy hair texture, improve hair color vibrancy, and add shine and softness.
Whether you have curly, straight, fine, or thick hair, this product is appropriate and even goes as far as to protect against heat damage.
Olaplex Bonding Oil Ingredients
Olaplex bonding oil is a blend of synthetic and plant-based ingredients. It’s a product free of nuts and gluten to protect individuals with associated allergies.
Its pH-balanced formula is comprised of the following ingredients:
- Zea Mays (Corn) Oil
- C13-14 Isoparaffin
- Phenyl Trimethicone
- Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate
- Moringa Oleifera (Drumstick Tree) Seed Oil
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
- Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Powder
- Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil
- Hexyl Cinnamal
- Eclipta Prostrata Extract
- Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
- Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract
- Pseudozyma Epicola
The bonding oil is free of allergens/irritants such as Aldehydes, DEA, and Formaldehyde, as well.
How to Use Olaplex Bonding Oil
Olaplex bonding oil can be used daily (or less often) on wet or dry hair.
You simply need about 2-3 drops of the oil to cover your whole head of hair because the formula is so concentrated and potent.
If you plan to style or use heat products on your hair, be sure to use the oil beforehand.
The company suggests also re-applying a light coating between washes if you intend to re-style dry hair.
Average Cost of Olaplex Bonding Oil
Olaplex bonding oil comes in just one brand variation – No. 7. It costs $28.00 for a 1 fl oz. bottle of the oil, which is costly when compared to pharmacy-bought leave-in conditioner products.
However, it’s higher in quality and comes with certified stamps that it is natural, vegan, cruelty-free, etc.
Benefits of Olaplex Bonding Oil on Hair
The main benefits of using this hair oil include daily maintenance of frizzy or dry hair.
It’s especially beneficial if you live in a hot/humid area or frequently use heat straighteners, curlers, or blow dryers on your hair.
It can also:
- Restore the “healthy appearance” and texture of hair
- Repair compromised hair
- Strengthen hair structure
- Protect hair structure
Risks of Olaplex Bonding Oil on Hair
Keep in mind that this bonding oil does contain synthetic additives, such as perfumes and pigments.
These ingredients may irritate your skin or hair, depending on the sensitivity of your skin and any allergies you might have.
How It Differs from Leave-In Conditioner
One of the main distinctions with Olaplex bonding oil is that it is an oil – not a thick conditioner product.
It won’t leave your hair greasy or stiff from product buildup like leave-in conditioners might.
You can count on Olaplex bonding oil to go beyond the mere protection of leave-in conditioner, as it repairs damage as well.
Leave in conditioner is in a world of its own, and it’s been around for much longer than Olaplex has.
Leave-in conditioner is just what its name suggests – a conditioner that you can put on after washing your hair that you don’t need to rinse out.
They’re more lightweight than traditional conditioners. However, they still promise to moisturize and leave your hair shiny and protected.
Leave-In Conditioner Ingredients
From higher-end products like Ouai, to drugstore purchases like Garnier Fructis and Shea Moisture, there’s no shortage of leave-in conditioner products.
Most leave-in conditioners are comprised of ingredients to boost hair moisture, soothe scalp irritation, and protect hair health, like:
- Dimethicone (a silicone)
- Plant-based extracts
- Natural oils from plants (like coconut or castor oil)
- Shea butter
How to Use Leave-In Conditioner
Leave in conditioner products ideally shouldn’t be used daily.
Every few days is an acceptable frequency. After showering or shampooing and rinsing your hair, pat the excess water off of your hair.
Then, apply a small amount of the product throughout your hair. Smooth it out by running a wide-toothed comb through your still-wet hair.
Then, style your hair or let it air-dry for more protection against heat damage.
Average Cost of Leave-In Conditioner
Costs vary for leave-in conditioners, but here are some examples:
|Leave-In Conditioner Product||Cost|
|Ouai||$28.00 for 4.7 fl oz.|
|Garnier Fructis||$2.99 for 10.2 fl oz.|
|Shea Moisture||$11.99 for 11 fl oz.|
Benefits of Leave-In Conditioner on Hair
Benefits of leave-in conditioner include:
- Provides moisture to heal dry, damaged, and broken hair
- Smooths hair
- Protects against hair frizziness
- Improves the health of curly and coarse textured hair
Risks of Leave-In Conditioner on Hair
There are some mild risks of leave-in conditioners – namely that they often contain perfumes, synthetic ingredients, and certain topical allergens that can irritate your skin.
They also are somewhat heavy by nature, so they can weigh your hair down if it’s already prone to greasiness.
How It Differs from Olaplex Bonding Oil
One way that leave-in conditioners do have a leg up on Olaplex bonding oil is in their ability to detangle hair.
The conditioning quality of these products makes it easier to avoid knots and brushing. It’s heavier, lower-quality, and more accessible (less expensive) than Olaplex bonding oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Olaplex bonding oil is a great reparative product for all kinds of curly hair and protects your hair between hair salon visits.
Olaplex repairs heat damage by reconnecting the broken disulfide sulfur hair bonds that get broken during heat straightening, curling, and chemical treatments.
Technically, you can rinse out your leave-in conditioner after applying it, but it won’t work as well. It’s designed specifically to be left in.
Some of the best and highly rated products include Pattern Beauty Leave-In, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In, It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In, and others.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she’s always happy to recommend you her favorites.