Bond Repair: Best Bonding Treatments for Healthier Hair

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Bond Repair: Best Bonding Treatments for Healthier Hair featured image
Mariia Siurtukova / Getty Images

When you want healthy, strong hair that can stand up to chemical processes and heat styling, you need bond repair. Bonding treatments help reinforce the structure of our hair, creating damage-resistant strands that promote a smooth shine and deter split ends and breakage.

What Breaks Bonds?

It feels like pretty much everything can cause damage to our hair, and that’s because pretty much everything does. Because hair doesn’t have any reparative properties of its own (unlike our skin), it takes damage from a lot and needs bonding treatments to restore it. Things like pollution and humidity can cause damage to hair bonds, not to mention what we do to style it.

According to New York trichologist and founder of hair care platform Leona.co, Shab Caspara, even heat styling works by breaking bonds that later reform when exposed to moisture. “Heat straightens hair by temporarily breaking the hydrogen bonds found in the structure of hair,” Caspara explains. “You can lessen damage through tools and technique. It’s less damaging on the hair to pass a thermal tool through your hair slowly to get it right the first pass then to pass it quickly several times and risk burning your hair.”

Bleach and chemical straightening break bonds, which results in unhealthy hair, according to master stylist and colorist Paul Labrecque of Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa. “Straightening with chemicals changes the cortex of the hair, so it becomes much more difficult to hold volume and body, and also makes it tougher to blow out,” Labrecque explains. “Chemically straightened hair is typically far more damaged than hair treated with keratin or amino acid treatments to remove frizz and lessen curls.”

The good news is, all that damage to our bonds can be repaired. Bonding treatments range from in-salon services that can (and should!) accompany a chemical process like a bleach job, to in-home ranges of treatments, shampoos and conditioners. All bonding treatments are geared towards repairing the bonds that hold our hair together, particularly the peptide bonds that make hair strong.

Bonding Treatments for Hair in Need

The best of at-home bonding treatments are focused on getting to the center of the hair cortex and repairing peptide and disulfide bonds. These are essential for hair strength and repairing them helps deter breakage. Many bond repair products will also offer benefits like hydration and even heat protection.

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Olaplex No7. Bonding Oil ($30)

Did you know one of these bonding oils is sold every seven seconds? This wildly popular bonding treatment will tame flyaways and leave your hair silky smooth, while the formula repairs dry and brittle hair for maximum strength.

“Our patented ingredient, bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, works on a molecular level to repair broken disulfide bonds and restore damaged hair from the inside out,” says Lavinia Popescu, chief scientist of R&D for Olaplex.

BUY NOW – $30

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K18 leave-in molecular repair hair mask ($75)

This 4-miniute repair mask is the perfect quick solution to seriously damaged hair, showing immediate improvement to bleached and chemically straightened hair. The formula reconnects polypeptide chains to restore hair all along the length and width of the strand.

There’s no need to rinse out this hair mask either, as the replenishing formula penetrates deep into the hair strand and stays there to repair damage at the molecular level.

BUY NOW – $75

Award Photo: Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask
Award Photo: Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask
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L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Pre Shampoo Treatment ($11)

If your hair is color-treated, a bonding treatment pre-shampoo for daily use might be your new best friend. Sulfate-free and suitable for any hair type, this system can be compared to premium salon treatments, repairing chemical damage for sleek, smooth hair.

Soft scents of white rose and lemon zest provide a soothing experience while citric acid penetrates the hair cortex to repair broken bonds.

BUY NOW – $11

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Living Proof Triple Bond Complex ($45)

A stylist favorite, Living Proof offers bond repair with heat protection built-in, providing you with a lasting shield to protect from future damage.

“This weekly treatment uses patent-pending technology to create a 3-D network in the hair fiber resulting in hair that’s eight times stronger,” explains Melissa Sullivan, director of marketing for Living Proof. “It reduces visible signs of damage and also protects against future damage. It provides heat protection up to 450 degrees, too.”

BUY NOW – $45

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