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People have varying hair types, including straight, wavy, curly, and coily. These hair types differ in their structure, which is determined by the disulfide bridges that bond hair proteins.
While all types of hair can be easily managed with proper, suitable care, it is generally thought that straight, smooth hair is the easiest to carry and can also be styled in various ways. This is why many people often seek hair rebounding treatments at salons.
Hair rebonding works by relaxing the disulfide bonds and thus altering the hair structure quite permanently. (1) As a result, the hair becomes straighter, frizz-free, smoother, and more manageable. (2)
Hair rebonding is a popular and the most efficient method for straightening hair, but you must be aware of the steps involved in the procedure, its outcome, the post-treatment hair care, and its possible side effects to reap the most benefit from the treatment.
The Hair Rebonding Process
Hair rebonding is a chemical method that uses a relaxant, neutralizer, blow-dryer, flat iron, and shampoo. All of these products are used with proper techniques to achieve smooth, shiny, and straight hair.
With proper care, your hair will remain straight for a long period, and you may only need to get your roots treated every once in a while.
Hair rebonding procedures at salons generally involve the following steps:
- Washing the hair with a mild shampoo
- Blow-drying the hair and combing or detangling it
- Dividing the hair into multiple thin sections
- Applying a cream softener or relaxant on each section of the hair
- Placing plastic boards and allowing the relaxant to break the hair bonds, generally for 30 minutes, while keeping the hair sections straight. The duration of this step depends on the texture of your hair. Leaving the cream on for too long can damage the hair. (3)
- Steaming the hair for 30–40 minutes, depending on the hair texture and condition
- Rinsing the hair and blow-drying it
- Applying a keratin lotion to smoothen the hair
- Sectioning the hair and applying the neutralizer, leaving it on for 30 minutes, to restructure the bonds and stabilize them for straight hair
- Rinsing the neutralizer and blow-drying the hair
- Applying a serum to nourish the hair
- Straightening the hair using a flat iron
DIY Hair Rebonding at Home
While it is suggested to visit a professional for hair rebonding treatments as the chemicals used in the process can damage your hair when used inappropriately, there are multiple at-home hair rebonding kits available as well.
If you choose to perform the rebonding process at home, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. The procedure is highly similar to the one performed at salons.
Just keep the following points in mind:
- Wear gloves, especially when handling the chemicals.
- Detangle your hair gently using a wide-toothed comb before, during, and after the treatment.
- You can use a towel dipped in hot water if you do not have a steamer at home. Simply dip a clean towel in hot water, wring out the excess carefully, and wrap it around your hair until it cools down.
- Make sure to use the chemicals for the suggested time.
- Do not rush the procedure and be patient with every step.
Benefits of Hair Rebonding
Hair rebonding treatments are primarily used to straighten the hair and make it smoother. Straight hair can be easily managed in different weather conditions, while curly hair tends to get difficult in high-moisture environments.
Drawbacks of Hair Rebonding
Hair rebonding is highly efficient in straightening your hair, but it also has the following disadvantages:
- Increased hair fall. You may experience higher hair fall after 3–4 months of treatment, especially if you do not take proper care of your hair after the treatment.
- Unsuitability. Hair rebonding is not suitable for all hair types and textures. Therefore, it is vital to consult your hairstylist to check whether your hair can withstand the treatment.
- Burns. The chemicals used in hair rebonding release heat, which can damage the scalp and even burn it. (4) There is also a risk of heat damaging your hair if the metal plates of the flat iron are used at a very high temperature or if the chemicals are left on for too long.
- Increased risk of hair damage. Since hair rebonding treatments make your hair more fragile, you need to take extra care of your hair after the treatment. Simply tying the hair or even tucking it behind the ears can damage your hair.
- Repetitive treatment. While hair rebonding straightens your current hair quite permanently, the section of the hair that grows from the root after the treatment has your original hair texture, making the rebonding look not uniform. Hair masks and spa can help, but you will generally need to get your roots treated every 3–4 months. Moreover, it is vital to get regular touch-ups to maintain the texture and quality of your hair for longer.
- Irreversible. This treatment is very long lasting, and it can be difficult to get back your original hair texture.
- Limited hairstyling options for a few months. Since hair rebonding makes your hair fragile, you cannot heat style or dye your hair up to 6 months after treatment.
Post-Treatment Hair Care
Hair rebonding can make your hair strands fragile and prone to damage. Thus, it is crucial to take special care of your hair after the treatment.
Here are some precautionary and self-care measures that may come in handy:
- Refrain from getting your hair wet for at least 3 days after the treatment. This includes avoiding sweating, since the moisture can alter the texture of your hair before the bonds have stabilized, which generally takes up to 3 days. It is best to wear a shower cap for up to one week after the treatment to prevent wetting your hair.
- Avoid putting hairpins in your hair or tying it with hair bands, at least for a week after the procedure. Sleep in a position that helps keep your hair straight for around a week after the treatment.
- Consult your stylist on the type of hair shampoos and conditioners that you can use. Make sure to select hair products that are mild and gentle on your hair.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle your hair.
- Always apply a serum on your hair after washing it to prevent frizziness and to give it an added shine.
- Pat your hair dry with a towel and allow it to air-dry. Strictly avoid the use of hair dryers.
- Oil your hair after 3 days of the procedure and regularly thereafter to help improve hair strength and provide optimum nourishment. You can use hot oil treatments weekly using castor oil, argan oil, or coconut oil.
- Get a hair spa once a month to keep your hair straight for longer. You can also use homemade hair masks, such as aloe vera gel, curd, or olive oil and egg, to nourish your hair.
- Do not use hot water to wash your hair.
- Protect your hair from environmental pollution and sun rays by using hats, scarfs, and umbrellas. Moreover, make sure to wash your hair as soon as you can if it gets wet with rainwater.
- Steam your hair twice a month or wrap it with a warm, wet towel to condition your hair.
- Include anti-inflammatory foods such as nuts, pumpkin seeds, fish, and sprouts in your diet.
Most-Asked Questions About Hair Rebonding
Can hair rebonding improve the health of already straight hair?
Hair rebonding, or other cosmetic hair treatments, acts on the hair cuticle, the outermost layer of the hair fiber, to change the hair texture and appearance. (5) The structure of the hair cuticle determines the beauty of the hair.
As a result, your hair appears to be healthier after hair rebonding treatments. However, the chemicals and heat involved in the procedure can actually damage your hair to a great extent.
How is hair rebonding different from hair smoothening?
Hair rebonding treatments result in straight hair and are generally used by those who have wavy or curly hair. The results of this treatment often last for 6–7 months.
Hair smoothening, on the other hand, is only used to make the hair softer, silkier, and smoother, thus making it more manageable. It may not make your hair completely straight, and the results only last for about 3 months. Moreover, the chemicals used in both procedures are different.
Is hair rebonding a permanent treatment?
Hair rebonding is considered to be a semipermanent treatment, which can last up to a year, depending on your original hair texture and post-treatment hair care. The structure of your hair depends on your hair follicle, while hair rebonding acts on the hair cuticle; thus, the effect of the treatment lasts only for a few months.
Getting regular touch-ups, depending on the speed of your hair growth, can prolong the effects of the treatment.
What hair products can be used after the hair rebonding treatment?
As mentioned above, you must use the shampoos and conditioners that are recommended by your hairstylist. Moreover, consult them for serums and hair masks that can improve your hair health. Strictly avoid using other products, such as hair dyes, after the treatment.
It is normal to see people with curly or wavy hair using hair straighteners daily to make their hair more manageable. If you do the same, you can seek hair rebonding treatments for a more permanent solution and to avoid the hassle of styling your hair each day.
Hair rebonding treatments help straighten, smoothen, and soften your hair, making it stay the same way for up to a year. Moreover, this treatment helps prevent frizziness and adds a shine to your hair.
Consult your hairstylist on the procedure and make sure to discuss the pro and cons of the treatment on your hair type and texture. Moreover, take into consideration, the cost of the treatment and post-treatment care.