The key difference between hair relaxing and rebonding is that relaxed hair is less long-lasting than rebounded hair.
Both relaxing and rebonding are hair styling methods popular in current fashion trends. But these methods use chemicals that may cause allergies and hair loss if not done or maintained properly. Also, frequent repetition too can damage the hair. Besides, both these may not be suitable for some hair types, especially kinky African curls, since straightening those curls may damage the hair. Therefore, these should be done under professional guidance.
What is Hair Relaxing?
Hair relaxing refers to using chemicals to straighten the hair. This is done by breaking down and reforming the hair’s components. But, this method does not straighten the hair completely. It only softens very tight curls. Therefore, most women who relax their hair find it necessary to straighten it after this procedure to get it completely straight. Generally, the chemicals used for relaxing are lye-based, like sodium hydroxide. It is a strong alkaline with a high pH level. This chemical helps to straighten the hair quickly. But during the relaxing procedure, if it is left too long in the hair, it can cause scalp irritation. However, the clients can also use non-lye relaxers like guanidine hydroxide instead of Iye-based chemicals.
If this process is not successfully conducted by a professional, this can cause side effects like scalp irritation, scalp burns, dry hair or permanent hair loss. Applying the chemical properly and rinsing on time should be done to prevent these severe side effects. However, constantly relaxed hair, delicate or bleached hair may lead to such side effects as well as severe hair damages due to the strong chemicals and the heat used while relaxing. Therefore, it is very important to have the hair in good condition before this method. Hair relaxing is affordable because the chemicals used are cheap. This is also not time-consuming as it takes only about 2 hours. The hair after this procedure lasts up to 2 to 3 months and needs touch-ups every 6 to 8 weeks with the growth of new hair. Yet, relaxing hair more than once every 3 to 4 months is not recommended since overlapping the already relaxed hair with chemicals leads to hair breakage. Hair relaxing is best for frizzy hair since it smoothens the hair and makes it make manageable and straight. It also does not look too unnatural, but it may have a brittle or coarse texture.
What is Hair Rebonding?
Hair rebonding is a chemical process that changes the hair’s natural texture and creates a smooth, straight style. It’s also called chemical straightening and Japanese straightening since this was first developed in Japan. The chemicals used in this process are usually a mixture of perming solution with strong chemicals such as ammonium thioglycolate, guanidine hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. This is designed to break the hair bonds that exist in the hair follicle, and a heated flat iron is used to reset the bonds to make the hair straight. If this is not done or taken care of properly, this can lead to permanent hair damage.
Moreover, people who have bleached, straightened or coloured hair should avoid this since it may cause severe damages to the hair. People with kinky curls should also avoid this as it may damage the hair. This is suitable for only medium, smooth, or bulky hair. Rebonding is expensive and time-consuming. Since hair looks beautiful after this process with a rich natural texture that requires no additional styling, people are always happy with the results. This lasts up to 6 to 7 months. However, after rebonding the hair, other styles such as curling cannot be done since it damages the straightened hair. Doing touch-ups every 3 to 6 months and high maintenance too is necessary after rebonding, and on some occasions, this weakens the hair.
What is the Difference Between Hair Relaxing and Rebonding?
Hair relaxing is using chemicals to straighten the hair, while hair rebonding is a chemical process that changes the hair’s natural texture and creates a smooth, straight style. The key difference between hair relaxing and rebonding is that relaxed hair is not long-lasting. Moreover, hair relaxing treatments are usually less expensive than rebonding.
The below infographic lists the differences between hair relaxing and rebonding in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Hair Relaxing vs Rebonding
Hair relaxing involves using chemicals to straighten the hair. This process is less time consuming and less costly. But the results last only up to 2-3 months, and touch-ups are necessary during it. Hair rebonding is a chemical process that changes the hair’s natural texture and creates a smooth, straight style. This process is time-consuming and is expensive. It lasts up to 6-7 months. This requires touch-ups and high maintenance. This does not need styling after the process, as rebonded hair usually looks beautiful with a smooth texture. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between hair relaxing and rebonding.
1. “Permanent Hair STRAIGHTENING & Chemical Relaxing Q&A.” Philip Kingsley.
2. “What Is Hair Rebonding? Benefits, Side Effects & Tips.” SkinKraft, 31 Mar. 2020.