Hair Rebonding Treatment: Process, Care, and Side Effects

Many love the effect textured hair gives as it spices up the whole look but it is undeniable that it takes effort and time to maintain it and not a lot of people have the time for that. This is why a good number of girls choose hair rebonding. 

What is Hair Rebonding?

Hair rebonding involves a chemical process that changes the hair’s natural texture. The result of this process is a smooth, straight style. It is also known as chemical straightening. 

What hair rebonding does is it breaks the natural bonds in your hair follicle and rebuilds these bonds into a different shape, ultimately changing the way your hair looks. The process will start with a relaxant, a substance that breaks down the protein bonds then the hair will be straightened. After these, a neutralizer will be applied and this will rebuild the bonds with a different structure. 

This is usually performed by a licensed cosmetologist at your local hair salon and will cost from $250 to over $1,000, depending on which salon, if you prefer non-toxic ingredients, and how long your hair is. 

The Hair Rebonding Process

Hair rebonding is a long process and the standard duration for this procedure is around 3 hours, even more depending on how long your hair is. Here is a breakdown of what your cosmetologist will do to help you get that smooth, straight hair. 

  1. Your stylist will wash your hair and let it air-dry into its natural texture. This step removes dirt and oils, giving your stylist the idea of your natural hair texture. 
  2. The stylist will section the hair and every strand is coated in a cream called a “relaxant.” 
  3. The relaxant will stay on the hair for 30 minutes or more. This is will break down the hair cuticles on a cellular level. However, this step needs to be closely monitored so that the scalp and hair aren’t damaged. 
  4. The stylist will then steam the hair using a special hair steaming tool. This is will result in extremely straight hair but this is not the end of the process just yet. 
  5. Your hair will be rinsed and blow-dried as a part of the next step. 
  6. Keratin lotion is applied and is meant to help set the new hair bonds. A neutralizer is layered on top that will help stabilize the newly formed bonds. These will stay on your hair for 30 minutes. 
  7. The hair will be rinsed for the last time to remove the keratin and neutralizer and will be blow-dried. The finished product is extremely straight and smooth hair. 

How to Take Care of Rebonded Hair

After hours at the salon and shelling out a small fortune, you don’t want all of that to go to waste. After you get your hair rebonded, maintenance follows. 

Here are some useful tips on how to take care of your rebonded hair. 

Wait for 3 days before washing. Wait for at least 3 days for your hair to settle into its new structure. For best results, keep your hair dry for 3 days after the procedure as water can ruin the treatment. The 3-day no-wash rule of hair rebonding allows the rebonding cream to deeply penetrate the roots. 

Avoid hot water. When it’s time to wash, one of the most important things you need to remember is to avoid hot water as much as possible. Even lukewarm water is not recommended as this destroys or damages the hair completely.

Use a conditioner. For maintenance, always use a conditioner with rebonded hair. This will help keep your hair moisturized, hydrated, and frizz-free. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to the hair, gently massage, and rinse off with cold water. 

Don’t tie your hair. Not forever, of course! For a couple of days or up to a month after the hair rebonding procedure, stay away from hair ties, pins, and clips. The hair remains fragile even after it settles into its new structure so don’t immediately tie it up and give your strands a chance to recover. 

Avoid chemical treatments. The hair rebonding process is sure to take a toll on your hair. Don’t damage it further by using any chemical hair treatments for at least 6 months. This means no highlights, streaks, global hair color, and other treatments that’ll require chemicals. 

Use sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfate-free shampoos help the hair retain moisture and softness. Take note that a lot of shampoos contain sulfates and while they are good cleaning agents that remove dirt, they can also dry the hair and strip off natural oils. 

Potential Side Effects of Hair Rebonding

The hair rebonding treatment uses powerful chemicals which might lead to side effects. For one, the common risks of having your hair rebonded are hair breakage, damage, and dryness. Hair treatments for damaged hair can surely help but take this risk into consideration.

Your stylist should also make sure that the chemical relaxers are not applied on the scalp as they can cause skin burning. Before the procedure, apply petroleum jelly along the hairline and on the ears to prevent alkaline burns. 

A 2019 study also suggests that having the hair chemically straightened every 5 to 8 weeks might result in breast cancer. This is due to the chemicals used being linked to disrupting your hormones. If you or your family has a history of cancer, you need to consider this factor before having your hair regularly rebonded.