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The hair care industry has formulated an overload of products to alter hair traits, with hair straightening as one of its most well-known aims.
Unfortunately, most of such products contain harmful or dangerous chemicals such as thioglycolates, sodium or lithium hydroxide, and even formaldehyde, which have adverse impacts on human and hair health.
Other common treatments such as hair straightening, coloring, and bleaching processes also damage the hair, because of which your hair may need strengthening treatments. So, it is important to know which treatment to choose for your hair goals that causes minimal to no damage to your hair health.
Dive a little deeper into the world of professional hair treatments such as Olaplex and cysteine to understand what they are so that you can make an informed decision.
Cysteine Versus Olaplex: Which Should I Choose?
Experts explain that Olaplex is designed to repair damaged hair bonds, including disulfide bonds, without changing the hair structure. Cysteine is a protein treatment that also affects the hair’s structure as it causes straightening.
To choose which hair treatment will work out best for you, consider these factors:
Based on the purpose of treatment
- Cysteine treatment: Cysteine treatment is primarily focused on reducing frizz, smoothing the hair, and providing long-lasting straightening effects.
- Olaplex treatment: Olaplex treatment aims to repair and strengthen damaged hair by restoring broken disulfide bonds. It is not a straightening treatment but rather a treatment to improve the overall health and integrity of the hair.
Based on your hairstyling practices
- Cysteine treatment: A protein treatment such as cysteine will work just fine for you if you do not frequently use hair dyes.
- Olaplex treatment: Experts suggest that if you get color or other chemical treatments frequently, you should use a treatment such as Olaplex since it can be mixed with dyes. (1)
Based on maintenance after the procedure
- Cysteine treatment: Cysteine treatments typically require some post-treatment care, such as using sulfate-free shampoos and limiting heat styling. Regular touch-ups may also be necessary as new hair growth occurs.
- Olaplex treatment: Olaplex treatments do not require extensive maintenance. The use of Olaplex No. 3 at home once a week can help prolong the treatment’s effects.
Based on your hair type
- Cysteine treatment: Cysteine treatments are generally suitable for most hair types, including frizzy, curly, or wavy hair.
- Olaplex treatment: Olaplex treatments are beneficial for damaged and chemically treated hair. They can be used on various hair types and textures without altering the hair’s natural curl or wave pattern.
What Is Cysteine Hair Treatment?
Cysteine treatment is a semipermanent treatment that has acquired a lot of fame in the past few years because of its amazing benefits.
Experts claim that cysteine eliminates your hair’s waves and curls to make it straight and soft. It also guarantees that your hair will not be easily damaged as it creates a shield around your locks.
Cysteine is inherently absorbed easily, allowing it to move into the hair efficiently, thereby providing deep conditioning and nourishment.
Cysteine treatment is a new name in the world of treatments for softening and straightening hair. The process utilizes a non-essential amino acid called cysteine to straighten out your curls.
L-cysteine is a building block needed for the production of proteins. It comprises sulfur in the form of a thiol group, which is accountable for the elevated reactivity of this amino acid. It is, thus, reliable for numerous biological functions in humans.
Studies have outlined the significant biological functions of cysteine in humans and its potential applications in fields related to pharmaceuticals, medicines, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics, where cysteine is used as part of skin or hair care formulas.
What Does Cysteine Do for Your Hair?
Professionals have deemed cysteine treatment to be safe, and its benefits are: (4)
- It makes your hair straight.
- It does not alter the hair structure permanently.
- It is safer and gentler than other straightening treatments such as keratin treatment.
- The formula does not contain formaldehyde or harmful chemicals.
- It makes hair manageable and frizz-free.
How is cysteine treatment done?
If you want a self-love day, going for a cysteine hair treatment is a good option. The process includes the following steps:
- The type, texture, and degree of frizziness of your hair are analyzed to determine a suitable cysteine treatment for you.
- Your hair is then rinsed to dispose of any dirt, impurities, and excess sebum.
- The complex cysteine formula is then applied to damp hair.
- The hair is then dried and cysteine is applied throughout the lengths of your strands. The product is left on the hair for around an hour.
- The hair is washed with shampoo and conditioner to achieve the final look of straight, smooth, and shiny locks.
What Is Olaplex?
Olaplex is a hair treatment that repairs damaged disulfide bonds in your hair caused by chemical processes such as bleaching and coloring. It helps restore the strength, structure, and integrity of your hair.
Olaplex works by penetrating the hair’s cortex, which is responsible for its strength and texture. It targets and repairs single sulfur hydrogen bonds, forming healthy disulfide bonds.
The treatment can be used alongside coloring agents and other chemicals, reducing breakage and promoting faster bond formation.
Olaplex is a multistep process that includes at-home products and in-salon treatments performed by professionals.
What Does Olaplex Do for Your Hair?
The benefits of Olaplex treatment are:
- Protect the hair from chemical damage
- Protects the hair from the harmful coloring process
- Prevents damage and makes hair stronger, healthier, and shinier
- Makes the bleaching process much safer
- Prevents damage from heat-styling processes
How is Olaplex treatment done?
Olaplex treatment is a three-step process designed to repair and strengthen damaged hair:
- Olaplex No. 1, also known as the Bond Multiplier, is applied to the hair. It is left to process for a certain period and then rinsed off.
- Olaplex No. 2, known as the Bond Perfector, is applied.
- Once the in-salon treatment is complete, the client is typically advised to continue the Olaplex treatment at home using Olaplex No. 3, the Hair Perfector. This is a take-home treatment meant to be used once a week or as recommended by the stylist.
Most-Asked Questions About Cysteine and Olaplex Hair Treatments
Who should get cysteine?
Cysteine hair treatment is an option for all hair types, especially those who have dry or damaged hair.
Why is cysteine better than keratin?
There are a few factors, according to hair professionals, that make cysteine hair straightening treatment better than others such as keratin treatment: (5)
- It does not use any harmful chemicals such as the formaldehyde used in keratin.
- It is gentler in the treatment process when compared to other procedures.
- It does not have any serious side effects.
How long does cysteine treatment last?
If you are trying to go for a more permanent option for becoming free from frizziness or curly hair, cysteine treatment is not advised by professionals because the results from cysteine start to fade within 3-4 months.
Can I use Olaplex on hair treated with cysteine?
Yes, Olaplex can be used on cysteine-treated hair.
Can I use Olaplex treatment at home, or should I opt for professional treatment?
While Olaplex offers at-home products for maintenance and ongoing treatment, it is generally recommended to have the initial Olaplex treatment performed by a professional hairstylist.
What are the different types of Olaplex treatment?
Here are the main types of Olaplex treatments:
- Olaplex No. 1: This is the first step of the in-salon Olaplex treatment.
- Olaplex No. 2: Following the application of Olaplex No. 1, Olaplex No. 2 is applied to further enhance the bond-rebuilding process.
- Olaplex No. 3: This is an at-home treatment product that is used for maintenance.
- Olaplex Nos. 4 and No. 5: These are part of Olaplex’s shampoo and conditioner range.
- Olaplex Nos. 6 and No. 7: These are styling products that offer additional benefits while providing heat protection.
Professional hair treatments such as Olaplex and cysteine offer many benefits for those who have dry or damaged hair. These procedures improve your hair’s texture, quality, and strength.
They make the hair more manageable by straightening it and eliminating curls. However, it’s important to reflect upon the pros and cons to know and decide which procedure is right for you. Talk to your hairstylist to learn more.