Olaplex or Epres: Which Brand Is Best? - AMR Hair & Beauty

Olaplex or Epres: Which Brand Is Best?

Nov 10, 2022Scott Peers

Although choosing new hair care is a major decision, bond-builders are even more challenging. There are an overwhelming number of brands available, and picking the wrong one could cost hundreds of dollars. Rather than scouring countless online reviews, let us make the decision easier. We have narrowed down the search to Olaplex vs Epres.

At first glance, these options seem like polar opposites. Olaplex is an internationally successful company with countless products and millions of fans. Alternatively, Epres is an up-and-comer with only two products available. Yet, these brands share one striking similarity: the same inventor.

World-renowned material scientist Eric Pressly helped to invent the bond-building category through his work on Olaplex. Now, he claims to have developed the best hair repair formula on the market. Epres is already making waves in salons across the world, but we want to uncover which bond-builder is truly worth your time.

Let's explore the Olaplex Vs Epres battle in more detail below.


What Is Bond-Building Hair Care?

Bond-builders are celebrated in the world of hair care. Nonetheless, although most people recognise the name, few will understand what the bond-builders actually are. A Google search only adds more confusion. The scientific jargon and advertisements are exhausting, so we're here to make understanding bond-builders easy.

You might be surprised to learn that bonds are the cornerstone of hair health. It's when these bonds are broken that damage occurs, and symptoms include weakness, dryness, tangles, frizz and more.

Although regular shampoos and conditioners can mask the effects of damage, they cannot repair the bonds. That is where bond-builders come in. These types of products work from the inside by restoring the internal structure of each strand. You can once again enjoy healthy, strong and sophisticated-looking hair. The only difficulty is choosing the correct bond-building brand.  


The Background of Olaplex Hair Care

Olaplex revolutionised hair care by creating the original bond-builder, and they continue to dominate the market. Remarkably, they believe they are the only true bond builder.

With such lofty claims, you might be surprised to learn that the company began in a Californian garage in 2014. The founders of Olaplex knew there was a better way to approach hair care. Rather than creating superficial effects that washed away in the shower, their team sought long-lasting hair repair using science. Their search finally led to the miracle ingredient Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate.

The discovery meant all types of hair damage could be repaired, including thermal, chemical, mechanical, environmental and pollution. Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate is even suitable for all hair textures.

Once the Olaplex formula launched, excitement grew. The brand is now a staple in the world of hair care, and each of its products contains its signature ingredient. Let's see how this brand compares in the Epres Vs Olaplex battle.


The Benefits of Olaplex Treatment

  • Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment: Prime the hair for repair with this intensive treatment. Made with a narrow nozzle, you can enjoy the highest concentration of bond-building technology out of any Olaplex at-home product. After using this system, hair is scientifically proven to experience 68% more repair and 3x strength. Use this treatment as the first step in a two-part at-home system.
  • No.1 Bond Multiplier: Mix this product with lightener, colour or chemical services to prevent damage to the hair.
  • No.2 Bond Perfector: Apply this product after shampooing away the lightener or rinsing away colour from the hair.
  • No.3 Hair Perfector Treatment: This product is a weekly at-home treatment that reduces breakage and strengthens hair. You can pair with Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment for even greater results.
  • No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo: Repair and protect the hair by relinking broken bonds. Every use will leave your strands more manageable, shiny and healthy. This formula is suitable for all hair types, including colour-treated hair.
  • No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo: Cleanse, repair, hydrate and tone blonde hair at the same time with this multi-action shampoo. This product even increases brightness up to 3x.
  • No.6 Bond Smoother Leave-In Styling Creme: This lightweight product smooths, conditions and strengthens. You can also speed up blowdrying, define curls and reduce frizz for up to 72 hours. All hair types will enjoy the formula, including dry, grey, coloured, chemically treated, coily and fine hair.
  • No.7 Bonding Oil: Use this product to increase shine, softness and colour vibrancy. You can also minimise flyaways and frizz. However, the most powerful benefits include restoration and strengthening properties.
  • No.9 Bond Protector Hair Serum: Shield the hair from harm with this nifty product. Pollution is averted for up to 48 hours, and temperatures up to 232 degrees will not cause harm.

To confirm the benefits of these Olaplex products, you can visit the review page on their website or their Instagram. 


How Do I Use Olaplex Hair Care?

The numbered Olaplex products can be confusing, but let's make navigating this brand easier. The first misconception to clear away is about the order of Olaplex.

You do not need to use the products in chronological order. In fact, only some products are recommended for use consecutively. One famous pairing is Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment and Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector Treatment, which should be used to repair and strengthen the hair at home.

Another pairing is Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner to cleanse, smooth, repair and strengthen the hair. 


Who Can Use Olaplex Hair Care?

Olaplex has developed products for both professional and home use. Whether you are a salon owner wanting to transform clients or you are wanting to rejuvenate your own hair, there are products for everyone. To make the process easier, each Olaplex product is designed for all hair types, such as colour-treated, texture treated and virgin. No one will miss out on this revolutionary brand.

Is Olaplex Sustainable?

Like any worthwhile brand, Olaplex prioritises sustainability. Not only do they reduce secondary packaging, but they aim to minimise their carbon footprint. Thanks to their efforts from 2015 to 2021, Olaplex has saved 57mm gallons of water, eliminated 35MM pounds of greenhouse gases and protected 44K trees.

That means there's one more reason to smile when using Olaplex.


Is Olaplex Vegan & Cruelty-Free?

Many people are unaware that Olaplex is 100% cruelty-free. Olaplex do not test products on animals, and their suppliers do not test on animals either. Olaplex even ensures its products are not sold in stores in mainland China or other countries that may require animal testing.

As if that wasn't ethical enough, Olaplex is vegan.

How Much Does Olaplex Cost?

Singular Olaplex products include: Olaplex packs include:


The Background of Epres

You will be happy to hear Epres was founded by a world-renowned scientist: Eric Pressly.

Pressly worked on life-saving pharmaceuticals. He invented the bond-building category for the brand Olaplex, and he even holds more than 100 patents for the technology. However, this hard-working scientist was enraptured by one idea... what if bond-builders could repair hair using a single step?

Instead of multi-system treatments, Pressly designed the one-step formula Epres. Users could repair disulfide bonds, which form the internal structure of the hair. The result was softer and stronger strands with less breakage and frizz.

Epres is currently patent-pending, and the success of the brand looks promising. Except, can they win the Epres Vs Olaplex battle?


The Benefits of Epres

In an interview with Elle, the founder of Epres said: "We make claims about being the best in the space, and you can back it up with the performance of the product."

Is Epres truly that good?

The 5-star reviews on the Epres site show their home-use product is a winner. Epres Bond Repair Treatment enhances softness and strength, especially for anyone struggling with intense damage. The treatment even includes unique Biodiffusion technology.

Rather than solid molecules, superior liquid molecules in this technology repair hair for hours whether wet or dry. This means you can sleep in Epres Bond Repair Treatment for even better results.

Unlike other bond-builders, there is no water to minimise the effects. There are also no harmful ingredients, such as acid, quat, phosphate, gluten, phthalate, preservative, silicone, formaldehyde, sulphate, thiol, pegs, nuts and parabens. In fact, there are only four ingredients inside:

  1. Diethylhexyl maleate
  2. Oleyl alcohol
  3. Alcohol denat
  4. Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine


For professionals, a different product is available. Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional is designed for salon use. You can mix the product directly with all major professional services, including colour, bleach, straighteners, blowouts, perms, detanglers, relaxers and in-salon treatments. You can also apply to virgin hair.

Each use of Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional means intensely repairing and strengthening the hair. You will not affect pH levels, development time or colour effect. You can even enjoy more diffusion since hair is more swollen at a pH of 8.

How Do I Use Epres Bond Repair Treatment?

Epres Bond Repair Treatment:
  1. Spray Epres Bond Repair Treatment generously onto dry hair.
  2. Leave the product in for 10 minutes or longer. You can leave Epres Bond Repair Treatment in while you sleep for continuous restorative effects.
  3. Once you cleanse and style the hair as usual, you can revel in a healthier feel.

Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional:

With Colour:

For every ounce of colour, add two pumps of Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional directly into the mixing bowl following the developer step. Mix thoroughly.

With Perms & Japanese Straightening:

For every ounce of neutralizer, add two pumps of Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional and shake thoroughly. Continue to process as usual.

With Bleach & Lightener:

For every ounce of bleach or lightener, add two pumps of Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional directly into the mixing bowl following the developer step. Mix thoroughly.

With Hydroxide Relaxer:

For every ounce of relaxer, add two pumps of Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional into the cream/paste and mix thoroughly. Continue to process as usual.

Do I Wash My Hair After Using Epres Bond Repair Treatment?

You should go ahead with your normal cleansing routine after using Epres Bond Repair Treatment.

How Often Do I Use Epres Bond Repair Treatment?

Depending on the condition of the hair, apply Epres Bond Repair Treatment 1-2 times a week to restore your strands to a healthier state. Once the desired results are achieved, use the product once a week to maintain your look.

Who Can Use Epres?

Epres offers an in-salon treatment called Epres Professional Bond Repair and an at-home treatment called Epres Bond Repair Treatment. The in-salon treatment is designed to be mixed with chemical services, such as colour, perms, relaxers and keratin. The combination will prevent weakness and damage to the hair. Meanwhile, the at-home treatment is a pre-cleansing formula. Use this product before shampoo or conditioner to repair damage and reverse weakness.


Is Epres Sustainable?

Nowadays, one of the most important questions about brands is their commitment to sustainability. Epres recognises the importance of protecting the planet, which is why they have started several initiatives. Biodegradable ingredients are one way this brand minimises their impact. By avoiding heavy chemicals and microbeads, damage to waterways and marine life can be prevented. Epres also uses a combination of glass and refills to prevent unnecessary waste.

Is Epres Vegan & Cruelty-Free?

we're happy to report that Epres is 100% cruelty-free and vegan. No animals were harmed during the creation of the product, which means you can repair your hair without guilt.

Why Is Epres Acid-Free & Quat-Free?

A major drawcard of Epres is the lack of acid or quat. Except, what does this really mean?

We recommend avoiding acid in hair care because acidic molecules lower the pH of a solution. This can negatively affect professional salon services that operate best at a high pH level. For example, acid in bleach can lower the level and speed of lift. In colour, the ingredient can decrease the depth and amount of deposit. In relaxers, it can reduce the ability to straighten and so on.

With Epres, you can ensure faster and more effective repair of disulfide bonds than competitive technologies.Another ingredient that should be avoided is quats. These are chemical preservatives often used in shampoos and conditioners to give them a smooth texture. However, these can get stuck in waterways and affect precious marine life.

At Epres, the quat-free formula is part of a continued effort to create technology with less impact on the environment.

Why Does Epres Contain Alcohol?

Although Epres does contain alcohol, the ingredient is designed to optimise performance rather than hinder it.


Can I Use Epres With Other Bond-Builders?

We're happy to report Epres can be used alongside other bond-builders. Testing even shows you can use Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional with a colour that already has a bond-builder inside.

Can I Use Epres On Wigs, Extensions & Henna-Treated Hair?

The short answer is yes. The products will even help extend the lifespan of human hair extensions and wigs. Simply avoid areas with glue and tape to prevent loosening the adhesive.

Can I Use These Products While Pregnant & Nursing?

Always consult with your doctor before adding new hair care products to your routine, including Epres.

Can I Use These Products To Combat Hair Loss?

Although the treatments are not intended for hair loss, you can certainly strengthen and repair the hair with ease.

Will These Products Affect Natural Curl Patterns?

This brand is designed for all hair types, including curl patterns. You can use these products to reduce the typical breakage in curly hair and even add definitions.

How Much Does Epres Cost?

  • The Epres Starter Kit contains one 150ml spray bottle and two 15ml Bond Repair Concentrates. This is a one-time purchase that will cost approximately $98.
  • Epres Refills contains two 15ml Bond Repair Concentrates. These are used to refill the spray bottle and will cost approximately $70.
  • Epres Bond Repair Treatment Professional 325ml: $162. The professional treatment costs less than $1 per application, compared to $1.41 - $2.24 for other bond-builders. Some stylists add this treatment as a complementary service and others raise their prices between 15% and 20%. There is no wrong answer.

Follow the AMR Hair & Beauty Facebook or Instagram pages for updates on Epres and special offers.


The Future of Olaplex After Lawsuits & Falling Sales: Should You Switch to Epres?

All brands experience peaks and lows throughout their lifespan. Unfortunately, Olaplex is battling through an intense low point. With falling salon sales and two lawsuits, many customers are wondering whether to switch to another bond-builder. There is no right decision. 

Epres are simple and inexpensive with incredible results but we don't expect Olaplex will be collapsing anytime soon. 


The Verdict: Epres Vs Olaplex

Although Olaplex is more well-known than Epres, comparing the two brands was challenging. Both options offered powerful technology that repairs damage from chemical, thermal or mechanical trauma.

Olaplex and Epres are vegan and cruelty-free, which means a guilt-free experience during use. The two brands even share a key inventor, but there are still plenty of differences that may decide the Epres Vs Olaplex battle.

Unlike Epres, Olaplex offers plenty of products to choose from, including Olaplex No.0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment, No.1 Bond Multiplier, No.2 Bond Perfector, No.3 Hair Perfector Treatment, No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo, No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner and more.

Alternatively, Epres offers only two products: Epres Bond Repair Treatment and Epres Professional Bond Repair. There is only one core instruction when using the products, and the ingredient list is minimal. The final unique addition is Biodiffusion technology, which restores continuously for hours after application.


For many of us, the products we use take a bit of trial and error. Epres and Olaplex both consistently receive excellent reviews but the results one person claims will differ from the next.

Hopefully, this article has helped you make an informed decision but the only way to guarantee the results is to try Olaplex and Epres for yourself and see the results you get.

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