Rebonding is a hair treatment that peaked in popularity around the mid-2000s to early 2010s. It uses thermal straightening to tame even the frizziest and curliest of locks, creating permanent sleek and smooth hair (before it naturally grows out, of course). However, its most popular style a.k.a. ‘classic rebonding’ has the tendency to look extra flat, since the aim is to straighten even the most stubborn hair kinks without necessarily retaining body or volume. That’s where ‘soft rebonding’ comes in.
But first, how does rebonding work?
Rebonding uses chemicals and heat to ‘rebond’ or ‘restructure’ the keratin molecules in your hair to align them. Depending on the strength of the chemicals and the procedure itself, it usually results in straighter-than-naturally-straight hair (especially if it’s classic rebonding). The results of rebonding are permanent and you either have to get your hair re-treated (not advised, of course) or naturally grow it out to cancel it out.
What is soft rebonding?
Soft rebonding is a type of hair straightening procedure that has a similar effect to classic rebonding when it comes to taming any frizz or dealing with curls. However, instead of stick-straight results, this procedure ends with a softer, more natural-looking finish.
How is soft rebonding achieved?
This procedure is achieved using milder straightening lotions compared to classic rebonding. The processing time is also shorter than classic rebonding (still dependent on your hair length and thickness) to ensure that the chemicals used wouldn’t hold on to the strands too strongly and that the heat won’t restructure your keratin bonds completely.
Who is soft rebonding suited for?
People with naturally straight hair who would like to bring back their hair’s shine or get rid of too much frizz perfectly suit soft rebonding. Those with medium-wavy hair can also benefit from this procedure if they opt for straighter, tamer yet still voluminous-looking strands.
However, people with thick hair or naturally big curls better opt for classic rebonding. This is because the weaker chemicals used in soft rebonding wouldn’t have much effect on strands that have a more complex keratin bond structure.
It’s also not advised for people with significantly damaged hair that’s fried from colouring or other hair treatments because chemicals used in rebonding — classic or soft — are still strong enough to create further hair damage for brittle hair.
How to care for your hair after soft rebonding
1. Avoid washing your hair 72 hours after the treatment is done
The chemicals used to soft rebond your hair need time to ‘cook’ post-procedure, usually for 72 hours. Wetting your hair right after getting rebonded will affect how the chemicals ‘bite’ into your locks to keep them straight and might result in permanent-looking kinks or frizz. Should you wish to shower, secure a shower cap over your head before you proceed.
2. Avoid sweat-inducing activities
Just like showering, activities that might cause your hair and scalp to be exposed to sweat and oil should also be avoided. Again, this is to prevent any kind of excessive moisture to mess with how the chemicals are working their way into your strands to achieve the desired results.
3. Take a break from hair accessories
Just like other types of rebonding, people are not advised to tie their hair or put clips at least a month post-treatment (seek your hairdresser’s advice). Doing so just when your hair is freshly treated might add ‘dents’ to your newly straightened hair.
4. No swimming in pools or saltwater for at least two weeks post-rebonding
Chlorine and saltwater will also mess up the chemistry in your newly rebonded hair and might even cause damage that will impair the quality of your soft rebond. As much as possible, hold off on any urge to swim in pools or saltwater for at least two weeks to avoid any harsh results.
5. Level up your haircare routine
Even if your newly rebonded tresses look glossy and less frizzy, they still need some extra love to help maintain their shine. You can go for hair oils or anti-frizz products to keep the quality of your soft rebonding in its top shape.
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