Rebonding vs straightening: Do you know the difference?

Hair straightening and rebonding are popular amongst people with unmanageable, frizzy or curly hair and uses a number of techniques to get the hair straight. Finding out which technique is better, lasts longer and has minimal side effects is an important first step.

Difference between rebonding and straightening? Hair Rebonding involves using chemicals to treat frizzy and curly hair to make the hair relax and become straight. Hair straightening involves using hair stylers to heat the hair to force it to relax and become straight. Hair remains straightened longer with hair rebonding compared to hair straightening.

Hair rebonding uses chemicals to straighten the hair and these chemicals alter the structure of the hair, causing the bonds in the hair to become rearranged. The chemicals used are a softener (also known as a relaxer) and a neutralizer, with the softener breaking the hair bonds and the neutralizer putting these broken bonds back to form straight hair, thereby rebonding them.

Hair straightening uses heat from hair styling tools to temporarily alter the hair to become straighter. Hair styling tools like hair straighteners, specialized hair dryers, hairbrushes to hair combs, all work the same way in heating the hair to straighten the curls and frizz.

girl straightening her hair using hair straighteners
Hair straighteners

What is rebonding?

Hair rebonding uses strong chemicals like sodium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide or ammonium thioglycolate (thio) to break the chemical bonds in the hair. Once the chemicals have broken the hair bonds the hair is washed and the hair reset using a flat iron.

This procedure is a great way to get straight, sleek and smooth hair. Your hair is chemically treated to achieve the relaxed look.

Rebonding is not only a very time consuming way to straighten hair but, it can cause damage to the hair too, unless it is carried out by a trained hair stylist. Rebonding uses very strong chemicals which basically breaks the natural bond. The chemicals used are either a softener or a relaxer followed by a neutralizer to re-bond your hair.

Rebonding lasts for how long? Depending on the type of your hair and your regrowth timescale, rebonding could last for as long as a year, but generally 6 – 9 months is considered the average. Humidity and rain have less affect on rebonded hair than alternative treatments, allowing hair to remain straighter for longer.

What is straightening?

Hair straightening uses products called hair straighteners, flat irons or chemical solutions to make the hair straight. Either by using heat as with hair straighteners and flat irons or by using chemicals to relax the hair and remove the frizz and curls.

Hair straightening can quite easily be achieved by anyone, without any professional training. Straightening products and instruments are readily available. Hair straighteners, flat irons to hair solutions to make the hair straight are popular choices although the humidity and rain could affect how long the straightening lasts.

The straightening of hair is a temporary measure, it is important to remember as you are using a heating mechanism, using excessive heat will, over time, damage your hair. Heat can damage the structure of your hair and the only way to resolve heat damage is to either cut off the damage to your hair or grow your hair out. You should always protect your hair from heat damage by using heat protecting products.

Difference between rebonding and straightening

The main difference between rebonding and straightening is how long the effect of the treatment lasts, with rebonding lasting up to a year and straightening lasting a few weeks to a few months. Rebonding uses harsh chemicals whilst straightening can be done using heating instruments like straighteners.

Rebonding is also more expensive as it has to be done by a trained stylist whilst hair straightening can be done by anyone, even at home, without any professional training, but it is only a temporary measure. Hair straightening products are easily available to purchase and can very in prices to suit any budget.

Rebonding can damage the hair more than straightening as it used strong chemicals but, is not affected by the environment conditions such as, humidity or rain whilst hair straightening is less damaging to hair, it will get affected by rain and humidity and sometimes this could even result in frizzy hair.

Is rebonding good for hair? Side affects

Rebonding hair might not be a good idea as the main things to consider is that although you might achieve the straight hair you desire, it could also have a very negative affect on your hair. In some circumstances it has been known to be harmful and causes damage to the hair by causing the hair to fallout in clumps as hair has become dry and brittle and could even lead to baldness.

It is strongly advised if there are any adverse effects to rebonding, the process needs to be stopped and it is advisable further rebonding treatments are not undertaken. Otherwise, the hair will become more and more damaged and it is better to have unstraight hair than no hair at all. Rebonding is a great treatment to relax curly or wavy hair using a chemical treatment to get straight and frizz free hair.

The chemicals used, change the natural bond of your hair as it turns curls or wavy hair to straight sleek mane by working on the bonds the protein molecules gives hair characteristics.

Rebonding re-arranges the natural bond of your hair by chemically breaking down your natural hair bond to form straight hair. This procedure basically breaks your natural cell structure and re-structures it permanently. To give you the desired texture and shape and to rebond the structure of hair, a neutralizer is used.

What is the process of rebonding?

The process of rebonding to achieve straight and sleek hair requires two chemicals, a cream relaxant and a neutralizer. The relaxant breaks the bonds in the hair and the neutralizer causes those bonds to set albeit temporarily for at least 6 – 9 months.

Rebonding is a great treatment to relax curly or wavy hair using a chemical treatment to get straight and frizz free hair. The chemicals used, change the natural bond of your hair as it turns curls or wavy hair to straight sleek mane by working on the bonds the protein molecules gives hair characteristics.

Rebonding re-arranges the natural bond of your hair by chemically breaking down your natural hair bond to form straight hair. This procedure basically breaks your natural cell structure and re-structures it permanently. To give you the desired texture and shape and to rebond the structure of hair, a neutralizer is used.

The following steps are used for rebonding hair:

  • Firstly, your hair is washed using a mild shampoo which is followed by a medium setting, to low dry your hair.
  • Several sections are made throughout your head and combed through, with the number of sections depends on your hair type
  • Each section is first covered with either a softener or a cream relaxant, with each section kept separate and held straight to ensure the natural bond of your hair breaks down.
  • Depending on your hair type, the cream is left ideally for 30 minutes, (for normal to wavy hair), or for dry, very curly and frizzy hair, it may be left for longer but, if kept for too long this could result in damaging your hair quite considerably. To ensure that the cream is applied to each and every strand, thin plastic boards are used
  • Depending on the condition and type of your hair, you will need to steam your hair for 30-40 minutes. After which, you need to ensure your hair is thoroughly rinsed and blow dried completely.
  • To ensure any curls still left, a keratin lotion is applied. Once all curls are smooth your hair is parted once more.
  • To give you that sleek, straight hair, a neutralizer is applied to ensure the re-structure stabilizes the bonds on your hair
  • Before the hair is rinsed and blow dried, the neutralizer is left on the hair for an additional 30 minutes.
  • A serum can now be applied to restore and nourish the hair
  • Lastly, use straightening irons to straighten your hair. To achieve best results, do not wash your hair for the first three days after the rebonding procedure is completed.

Side effects of rebonding:

  • To avoid your hair becoming fragile after rebonding, ensure upmost care and maintenance is carried out. You can not tie your hair or even tuck it behind your ears for the first three months as this may cause more damage
  • Rebonding can also cause damage to your scalp and even burn it. The metal plates should not be used at a higher temperature then required or for any longer period of time stated as this could cause long-lasting damage.
  • To maintain quality and texture of hair, regular touch-ups are required
  • After every touch-up the chemicals used can make your hair weaker and could result in hair loss due to the toxic chemicals being used
  • Once your hair has gone through this procedure, there is not turning back as this is a permanent process and the affects are long lasting.

What should you not do after rebonding? Precautions and care to be taken

After rebonding your hair, you should not do anything to adversely affect the rebonding and maintain your hair by following the precautions below:

  • Use conditioner after each wash and ensure your shampoo is specifically recommended for straight hair
  • To ensure your hair does not get frizzy and stays shiny, use a serum after towel drying your hair
  • For natural nourishment ensure regular oiling of your hair is carried out as well as hair masques are used once a week. Examples of hair masks, aloe vera gel or olive oil with an egg.
  • Wrap your hair with a warm towel for deep conditioning and steam your hair once a fortnight to maintain the health of your hair
  • Nuts and sprouts are a good source of nutrition and maintain a balance diet
  • For the first week, ensure no hair accessories are used or tie your hair immediately after the rebonding procedure has been carried out
  • Make sure when bathing a shower cap is always worn for the first week after this treatment has been carried out, thus ensuring no water falls on your hair.

Hair rebonding tips

  • After the rebonding procedure, for the first 3 days stay away from all hair products and do not get your hair wet at all.
  • Ensure regular oiling of your hair to main nourishment, you can use oil such as olive or coconut oil
  • Only wash you hair after the first 3 days of your procedure, use conditioner after every wash and leave it on for a while longer than normal, always make sure your shampoo is specifically recommended for straight hair.
  • Rebonding can last up to 6-7 months, if the procedure has been carried out by a reputable salon. Regular touch-ups are required every 3 months, 6 months or year, depending on your hair growth. The touch-ups are designed for any new growth.

Final thoughts

Rebonding is a permanent method of getting straight hair for people who don't want wavy or curly hair. The use of chemicals although, can be damaging to your hair, can give you straight and sleek hair which could last as much as 6-7 months. Your hair does need to be treated and cared for on a regular basis. Can be an expensive treatment to have and to maintain.

Hair straightening, although a temporary measure, can still achieve the same results as rebonding, and is less damaging to your hair. There is no additional expense to maintain or care for your hair. The initial cost is for your appliance only, which can vary in priceq but if treated properly can last years. You can vary your look from straight, to curly and wavy hair. There are no regular maintenance costs to main your look.

  

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