Price: $17.00 for 8.5 fl oz

Purchased At: Ulta / also available on Amazon

Promises: Contains the highest level of ceramide in the range to provide intense repair, conditioning and strength to the core of highly distressed hair. Provide intense fortifying care to the core of highly distressed hair. Extreme Strength Builder Plus with Interlock Protein Network and Fortifying Complex delivers protein and ceramide to help fortify weakened areas, protect internal strength and reinforce surface protection and shine. Hair is healthy-looking and resilient.

Directions: After shampooing, apply to towel-dried hair. Leave on 5-15 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Use daily or weekly.

Ingredients: Water, Behentrimonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Elaeis Guineensis Oil/Palm Oil, Isopropyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Octyldodecanol, Methylparaben, Citric Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Arginine, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Quaternium-33, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Ci 42090/Blue 1, Ci 17200/Red 33

My Assessment: I was first introduced to the this product by Kim Fancy of Fancy Flair Lady. I remember reading her post, seeing the words “protein” and “ceramides,” and immediately saying: “need!” If you’re no stranger to JGA, you know ceramides and my hair were made for each other. Okay, I’m exaggerating but you get my point. I love ceramides. So naturally, my interests were peaked by a product that claims that it contains high levels of ceramides, repairs, conditions and strengthens hair all in one go. I’ve used this both as my mid-relaxer protein treatments (where I do a protein treatment after rinsing out the relaxer but before neutralizing) and during my relaxer stretch to strengthen my hair. The most noticeable thing about this conditioner is that after rinsing it out, it doesn’t feel as though I’ve actually done a protein treatment – my hair is strengthened but it’s still soft. The first time I used it, I was very nervous because it’s marketed for “highly distressed hair,” and well, my hair just isn’t highly distressed. I was so sure I was going to throw my hair into protein overload but that wasn’t the case at all. After rinsing it out, my hair was still soft, not a hardened hair strand in sight… whoop, whoop right? And I kid you not, I did a happy dance in the shower. This isn’t to say this product doesn’t have the potential to cause protein overload, I absolutely believe it does. If I used it weekly, I’m sure I would experience protein overload. *For more on how to identify protein overload and fix it, check out this post.

I really, really like using this for my mid-relaxer protein treatment though. I used it last relaxer, leaving it in for 10 minutes before rinsing it out and neutralizing my hair and my hair was noticeably stronger in the end. The weeks following my relaxer I experienced a noticeable decrease in everyday breakage, and because I don’t use combs on my hair during the week, I watch for and notice any breakage like a hawk. I think this works well for mid-relaxer protein treatment because the cuticles of the hair shaft are lifted by the relaxer and as a result, this conditioner is able to really penetrate into the hair and work its repairing, conditioning, and strengthening magic – just what freshly relaxed hair needs.

Its consistency isn’t very thick at all and it doesn’t have much of a scent to me, to the point where I can’t even remember what it smells like as I draft this post and y’all know I’m anal about product fragrances. This may be weird, but I like that it’s a creamy, pastel blue color. Opaque white shampoos and conditioners are a dime a dozen so I like that this conditioner is different and stands out. It seems like a “happy” conditioner, and I being the nut that I am, I value that haha.

Have you tried this conditioner? Do you like it? Hate it?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Items in this post were purchased with my own funds. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I know this is old but I just found your blog a month ago. I did my first texlax on August 7 and today is my first wash day. I sit here typing with this product in my hair. My hair feels so good I was wondering why you would do another deep conditioner afterwards? Also after couching my hair with As I Am ( I pre poked with vatika oil) I then used roux and then I plopped in a t-shirt and applied this product. Should I have used the roux at the end??

    1. I was actually really unhappy with this product. I have bleached blonde hair thats probably been bleached about 5 times in total so my hair is ‘highly distressed’ and i noticed no difference at all, in fact my hair actually felt drier and frizzier. not impressed for the amount spent on it. Natural conditions are way better, the ingredients list is mainly unrecognisable chemicals.

  2. Hi Jen, you're blog is great and I am learning so much about taking care of my relaxed hair without visiting a salon on a frequent basis. Question, would you recommend this product as a once a month protein treatment? My regimen contains a lot of moisture based products because I'm not completely heat free yet, I wash once a week and flat iron my hair once on my wash day for the entire week.

  3. Do you use a moisturizing conditioner after you use Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus ?

    1. Author

      Yes I do. I follow up any type of protein treatment with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

  4. I tried the Redken Extreme Strength Builder (NOT Plus) in my hair last week, and was simply blown away, I have NEVER in the history of ever washing my hair, had only a few strands come out when de-tangling…and I literally mean a few…like 5-6 strands. The product is simply outstanding. I am wondering though If I could use it weekly or if I should try alternating with moisture conditioning.

  5. Thanks for the post Jen!

    Quick Q…you used this between your relaxer and neutralizing shampoo? you said:

    "I used it last relaxer, leaving it in for 10 minutes before rinsing it out and neutralizing my hair"

    Thx, – S.

  6. I was a little nervous about using the Shielo Leave In Protector at first (im VERY careful about what I put on my hair), but my fears were instantly erased the moment I first sprayed it in my hair. My hair felt STRONG! I didn't have any breakage, no tangles, and it was SHINY.

    I put the shielo oil in afterwards, left it in overnight. I didn't shampoo my hair until the day after that.

    Two days later I had blonde highlights put into my hair which would normally turn my hair into straw for a few days, but this didn't happen. Give it a shot it will definitely help you.

  7. Have you tried any Lush products? I use H'Suan Wen Hua as a protein treatment. It contains Fresh Bay Infusion, Fresh Watercress Infusion, Fresh Free Range Eggs , Fresh Bananas , Fresh Avocado, Balsamic Vinegar , Olive Oil and some other really good stuff. The only problem is the expiration date but it moisturizes well and makes my hair feel stronger.

    1. Author

      Hi there, no I haven't tried Lush products but that I've read good reviews about their products.

  8. Thanks for the heads-up. i was going to try the RR Line, but I will try this next instead.

  9. I know what I'll be getting the next time I go to Ulta lol! Like Kim I am waiting for one of their sales on Redken products so I can also get the cleansing cream which is my go to Clarifying shampoo now.

  10. This sounds great Jen and similar to Affirm's Fiberguard Sustenance Fortifying Conditioner, it contains ceramides and is blue. I was gifted a large 32 oz bottle of this stuff and had no clue how to use it, but I remembered how much you love "ceramides" so i said this stuff maybe some Well I used it after my relaxer last week and completely fell in love..this will be my go to mid-relaxer protein treatment going forward.

    1. Author

      Even better that it was gifted to you and turned out to be a staple!

    2. freebies!

  11. I'm with you, Jeni. As soon as I used it for the first time, I knew that it would be my go-to protein treatment. I use it for my midstep protein treatment during my relaxers and for my "once in a while" protein treatment. I absolutely love it. I'm just waiting for Ulta's Buy One Get One 50% off (or Buy 2 Get 1 Free) sale to stock up on it. Also, I kind of want to try the regular regular strength builder conditioner too. …and thanks for the shout out!

    1. Author

      Same here, I cannot wait for a Redken sale and have been eyeing the regular strength builder conditioner too – I wonder if I would like the regular one more for my once in while protein treatments and save this one for relaxers. My pleasure, I wouldn't have this condition in my life if I hadn't read your post!

  12. I'm definitely putting this on my wish list! Thanks for the awesome review Jeni!

  13. Ever thought of just buying raw/pure ceramide powder and adding it your self to ur products?

    I do that to my DC….amazing results i tell ya

    1. How do you buy pure ceramide? And how do you use them?

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