Can I Rebond My Hair?

Rebonding reshapes your hair to a perfectly straight line.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Think straight, sleek hair like the movie stars have is not attainable for the average woman? Chemical stylers have come to the rescue to transform wavy or even previously permed hair into that sexy, sleek look that is ready for the red carpet. But before you rush out to your stylist for rebonding, or, as it's known in the U.S., thermal reconditioning, make sure your hair is ready for the process.

Rebonding Process

Rebonding is a chemical straightener, but don’t confuse it with a relaxer. Rebonding uses milder chemicals and a slightly different process than the average chemical straightener. The hair is first conditioned with a softening cream to prepare it for rebonding, or remolding the shape of the shaft. Then the hair is ironed in tandem with a protein formula to protect the hair. Finally, the hair is neutralized to bring the pH level back to neutral, which rehardens the hair into its new, sleek form.

Suitable Hair Types

Virgin hair is the best for rebonding because it has no prior chemical damage to interfere with the process. Hair that is naturally curly, frizzy or even coarse can be rebonded with little to no damage, as long as it has not been chemically treated. Another benefit? Women of most ethnicities can utilize hair rebonding without worrying about damage.

Unsuitable Hair Types

Some hair types – even virgin hair – are not good candidates for rebonding. Women with fine hair will get straight hair, but the results can be dull, lifeless and limp. African-American hair or very kinky hair that is coarse or brittle is not suitable for rebonding. Though rebonding is safer than traditional chemical relaxers, it can still damage fragile hair. Women with chemically treated hair can use rebonding, but should perform a strand test first to make sure the treated hair will survive the process. If your hair has been chemically treated, visit a stylist rather than attempting rebonding at home to make sure that brittle hair is treated properly.

Color-Treated Hair

Just dyed your hair? You can still use a rebonding treatment on color-treated hair since it is not as harsh as a traditional chemical straightener. But, before you start rebonding, do a strand test to make sure your colored hair is strong enough for the process, especially if you have bleached or dyed within the past six months.

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