Do Bond-Building Haircare Products Live Up To The Hype?

Expert Advice

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You fuel your body with nutritious foods and apply skincare products that lend to a hydrated, glowing complexion. In fact, there’s a good chance you carefully curate what goes into your body and onto your skin since both are technically investments in your well-being. 

But what about your hair? Is your shower and vanity stocked with bottles and tubs of hair care products that help your strands look and feel strong, shiny, and healthy? Ahead, we’re exploring the topic of bond-building haircare products, a new-ish beauty category that’s all about creating healthier hair from the inside out. 

What Are Bond-Building Haircare Products? 

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This category of hair care products come in a variety of formulations, including shampoos, deep conditioners, and leave-in treatments activated by heat styling. “Bond-building products are building blocks that help strengthen the hair from the inside out, preventing the hair from becoming more damaged,” explains Gina Rivera, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites

She adds, “Protein is so important when it comes to strengthening the hair. In this case, bond builders help the strengthening process, especially when the hair is broken or weak from chemical treatments.”

Olaplex’s Role in Bond-Building Haircare 

Olaplex was a serious pioneer in this space and single-handedly created the bond-building category, notes celebrity hair colorist Bianca Hillier. To this day, the brand’s entire line is centered around strengthening and rebuilding weak or broken bonds in the hair shaft. 

“Their exclusive patented technology, which is the main ingredient in their products, relinks the disulfide bonds in the hair, which are the most important hair bonds to repair for the strength and health of the hair,” explains Hillier. “When you have a broken hair bond, this creates a lactic acid that literally eats away at the protein of the hair so hair is left dry, brittle, and lifeless.” 

Hair bonds can break from a variety of causes, including thermal styling, especially a flat iron, coloring services, brushing hair, and pool water. Olaplex’s innovative technology truly revolutionized the hair care industry. To that end, in recent years, numerous hair care brands have developed their own bond-building formulas. 

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Do Bond-Building Hair Products Work?

Yes, bond builders are extremely effective. Rivera says, “This is especially true when it comes to preventing more damage that can occur when lightening or undergoing a chemical process of the hair. Bond builders are also very effective if you use excessive heat on the hair such as flat ironing or curling the hair.” 

Best of all, the results are instant. You’ll notice an obvious difference in the feel and look of your strands when it comes to softness and shininess. You’ll probably also notice less frizz since hair lays more smoothly. This is because damaged hair loses its vibrancy and luster. Once the bond has been repaired, though, it looks much healthier. 

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In cases where damage is severe, you may need more time for the bond-repairing products to work. However, note that it’s possible to over-use these products, which can over-proteinize the hair shaft and actually cause brittleness. Always follow on-label usage instructions and consult with a professional stylist for their recommendations, Rivera advises. 

Bond-Building Products Worth Your $$$

Now that you know that bond-building haircare products truly work, let’s make sure you’ve got some key products added to your shower lineup. These hairstylist-recommended picks are straight-fire. 

1. For At-Home Processing: pH Plex Full Service Kit, $14

If you do at-home dye or bleaching, equip yourself with this affordable bond-building system. It’s a professional, three-part system designed for at-home use. The products are pre-measured and meant to be incorporated into the processing stage, post-processing, and over the long-term. It prevents damage, restores vibrancy post-color/bleach, and maintains healthy hair. Rivera says, “pH Plex is my favorite because it’s easy to use and extremely effective.” 

2. For Bi-Monthly Treatments: Gussi At-Home Keratin Treatment Kit, $65

This advanced, at-home hair care system delivers up to six weeks of glorious hair days all with one usage. Suitable for all hair types, it infuses your strands with keratin (an important protein found in hair), creating soft and sleek strands and gloriously shiny and bouncy curls. 

3. For Daily Maintenance: Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil, $30, & No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum, $30

For the ultimate bond-building haircare routine that you can use daily to strengthen your strands, use both Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, $30, and Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Serum, $30. “Mix a few drops of No.7 with one to two pumps of No.9 and apply to ends while working your way up the hair,” says Hillier. “These products repair bonds and protect the hair from heat and pollutants while reducing frizz, adding shine, and softening the hair.”

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