Olaplex Shampoo – Bond Maintenance

I have been getting my hair dyed (i.e. bleached) for a few years, which is evidently damaging to hair, as bleach is known to damage the bonds within our hair. As a result of this, our hair appears damaged, and strands fall out and split.

I have been using the “Olaplex” brand shampoo, as this shampoo is deemed to be “reparative” to the hair. The Olaplex company claims that this product encourages “bond maintenance”, as it re-connects the broken bonds within the hair in order to mitigate hair damage and breakage. Curious as to the specifics of this, I looked into the bio-chemical aspect. The main active ingredient in this shampoo is  bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate. This active ingredient is known to re-link broken disulfide bonds together, in order to “strengthen” the hair.

In class, we learned that keratin proteins are a component of our hair. While we know in general that proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, we learned that the keratin proteins have a high cysteine content (7-20%). Thus, Olaplex shampoo attempts to re-link the disulfide bonds between cysteine residues in order to prevent hair breakage. We typically use products on our skin and hair everyday without knowing what they actually do or how they work. It is interesting to learn more about the bio-chemical aspects behind these products, rather than simply reading a slogan on a label.

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3 Responses to Olaplex Shampoo – Bond Maintenance

  1. skigirl says:

    I also use this shampoo and conditioner and am interested in understanding the biochemistry behind the product. I looked at what causes the breakage of disulfide bonds, which include: strengthening and perms (as we discussed in class), but also repeated heat, exposure to sunlight, hair styling, and chemical treatments like hair coloring. Olaplex seems to work through making an artificial, extended disulfide bridge with Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate.

  2. ncakag24 says:

    As someone who has also used Olaplex, it is interesting to see its biochemistry. I wonder if other “reparative” shampoos also have the same active ingredient. This shows the importance of noting what ingredients are in products before use. The product wasn’t as effective on my hair type as it made it less moisturized but I am glad to see it works on other hair types.

  3. I really appreciate your look into the biochemistry behind the claims of Olaplex! I believe it is our responsibility as consumers to be informed on not just what a company claims to be able to accomplish, but also the technology and science they use to support these claims. As someone who has also used Olaplex, I think it is very interesting to know how the strengthening claims behind Olaplex are actually functioning as we use it. In the future I would be very interested to see studies and data on whether or not these claims can actually be supported. Personally, I feel that their products are effective in my hair, but I would love to see evidence of efficacy on different hair types.

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