Experimenting with new hair colors or styles is always a fun time, but do you know what isn’t? The hair damage and breakage that might follow. Thankfully, bond repair treatments can step in when your hair is feeling a bit more like hay than silk, which can happen due to overprocessing with bleach or constant heat styling.
So, how do bond repair hair products work? Cosmetic chemist Ginger King previously told Allure that each brand’s bond-building product relies on unique patented technologies, so each pick is chemically unique. With that being said, King says there is usually some form of amino acids infused into the formulas since they are “the building blocks of proteins.”
These amino acids allow bond repair products to work similarly to other frizz-smoothing and shine-inducing treatments, like keratin. The main difference is that the amino acids can repair broken bonds at a much deeper level, cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson previously told Allure. “Some ingredients can work on [the] hair’s surface, the cuticle, and other ingredients like the [amino acids] used in Olaplex may work deeper, in the cortex,” he said.
Up until recently, most bond repair treatments could only be found in salons and administered by licensed hairstylists. But in recent years lots of at-home formulas have popped up on the market, thanks to the success of Olaplex’s No. 3 Hair Perfector. Though at-home formulas aren’t as potent as professional treatments, Rachel Bodt, a New York City-based hair colorist for the likes of Beyoncé, Kate Hudson, and Barbie Ferreira, says that at-home treatments can help repair and maintain hair bonds. “When the bonds in the hair are intact, it’s able to hold on to moisture and protein as well as prevent color fading,” she says.
In short, bond-building hair treatments are a must for fans of hair dye, hot tools, and especially those who use both consistently. Need a few suggestions? Check out some of the best hair masks, shampoos, and deep conditioners that are infused with bond-building technology on the market right now.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $30
- Works Well With Other Products: Living Proof Triple Bond Complex, $45
- Allure E-Approved: Epres Bond Repair Treatment, $34
- Best for Breakage: Kerazon Hair Botox, $40
- Best In-Shower Treatment: Bumble and Bumble Bond-Building Repair Treatment, $37
- Best Leave-In Conditioner: Redken Acidic Perfecting Leave-In Conditioner, $32
- Colorists’ Pick: K18 Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask, $75
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.