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If You’re Dealing With Damage, a Hair Bonding Treatment Might Be Just What You Need

Kick damage to the curb.
  • Naydeline Mejia
March 18, 2024

There’s no denying that your hair looks amazing with a fresh color or a perfect blowout. But there’s also no denying that heat styling and coloring can damage your strands over time. You might love that pretty new platinum hue, but if you’re not taking proper care of your tresses between salon visits, your hair isn’t going to look (or feel) as healthy as it could. While some damage is unavoidable, hair bonding treatments can help strengthen your brittle, over-processed hair. And with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair system, it can even be done at home.

Here, we’ll explain what hair bonds are and how chemical and heat processing can affect them. Then, we’ll introduce you to L’Oréal Paris’ bond repair system and teach you how to add it to your haircare routine to show your tresses the love they need.

What Are Hair Bonds?

Let’s start with a quick refresher on what hair bonds are. Hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin (which is also the main component of nails and the top layer of your skin). This strong, fibrous protein is responsible for giving your hair its structure, and keratin molecules are linked together by chemical bonds. There are three: hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, and disulfide bonds. Here's a quick breakdown of what each do:

  • Hydrogen Bonds: These temporary bonds give your hair elasticity and flexibility, which allows your strands to be shaped into different styles.
  • Ionic Bonds: Like hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds are temporary bonds that contribute to the strength and elasticity of hair. They’re sometimes referred to as salt bonds.
  • Disulfide Bonds: These are strong permanent bonds that help determine the shape and structure of your strands.

Still with us? Now let’s dive a little deeper…

How Do Hair Bonds Become Damaged?

Exposure to certain stressors can disrupt hair bonds, which in turn impacts the strength, elasticity, and overall health of our hair. Some common culprits include heat styling, environmental factors (sun exposure, chlorine, and saltwater), mechanical stress (rough brushing and tight hairstyles), and chemical processes (coloring, relaxing, and straightening).

Bleaching, in particular, can significantly damage disulfide bonds, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science. So can chemical straightening and perms, per the International Journal of Trichology. These treatments rupture your hair’s disulfide bonds, which in turn alters your hair texture. (For our curly-haired friends, this is how your hair can go from 4C curls to 3A wavy strands after a keratin treatment.) The rupturing of these bonds also explains why these types of chemical hair treatments can be extremely damaging to your hair—they literally change the makeup and structure of your tresses.

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How Do You Repair Broken Hair Bonds?

The best way to repair broken hair bonds is by using a hair bonding treatment that can address damage from the inside out. Typically, damaged hair bonds manifest as dry, brittle hair with split ends and breakage. If you’re noticing these concerns (particularly after a heat or chemical treatment), you might want to consider updating your haircare routine. First, it’s a good idea to take a break from bleach, hair dye, chemical treatments, and hot tools, which can exacerbate existing damage.

Then, we highly suggest you pick up a hair repair treatment. Ahead, we walk you through all you need to know about how they work and which ones to add to your cart.

What Are Hair Bonding Treatments and How Do They Work?

Hair bonding treatments are a type of hair care product designed to repair and strengthen damaged hair by rebuilding broken bonds within the hair strands. We love L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair system for a few reasons. This trio of hair bonding products (the line includes a pre-shampoo treatment, bonding shampoo, and a bond-repairing conditioner) smooths damaged hair in a single use for strands that instantly look less damaged. Plus, the completely sulfate-free regimen gently cleanses and conditions as it works to reinforce your hair from the inside out.

All three products contain citric acid, a good-for-your-hair ingredient that can help clear excess sebum and debris on the scalp and balance your hair’s pH. Citric acid helps to neutralize the pH of haircare products, according to an article published by the Indian Journal of Dermatology. This is important because an alkaline pH of 7 or higher can cause more friction between the hair fibers, which can lead to breakage and damage to the hair cuticle, according to a study by the International Journal of Trichology.

Signs You May Need a Bond Repair Treatment

Damaged hair is hard to miss—any time your hair begins to feel or look different than usual, that’s a tell-tale sign something’s up. A few key signs that your hair may be damaged and can benefit from a hair bonding treatment include: hair breakage, a dry and brittle texture, split ends, frizzy, unmanageable tresses, and even a change in your curl pattern.

As mentioned, chemical treatments—like bleaching, coloring, and perming—can damage the hair structure. Regular use of heat styling tools and excessive hair brushing can also cause noticeable damage to your mane. Be as gentle as possible when you brush or comb your hair, and if you’re going to use a heat styling tool, consider using it on the lowest heat setting. You can also spray your tresses with a heat protectant before styling to help shield your hair from the heat.

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How to Use Hair Bonding Treatments in Your Haircare Routine

If you’ve been struggling to get your damaged hair back into a healthy condition, keep reading. Ahead, we’ll explain how to use the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair system and restore your strands’ healthy appearance.

1. Add a pre-poo treatment to your prep

Before you reach for your shampoo, prep your hair with a pre-shampoo concentrate. Depending on the formula, a pre-poo treatment can help address hair concerns such as split ends, tangles, and dullness while preparing your strands for shampoo and conditioner.

Start your bond-building routine with L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Strengthening Pre-Shampoo Treatment. The powerful formula contains a 15% Bonding Repair Complex with Citric Acid and penetrates deep into the hair cortex to help rebuild weak hair bonds. We recommend applying it to damp hair and leaving it on for five to 10 minutes before shampooing and conditioning.

2. Switch to a bond repair shampoo

If your regular shampoo isn’t rebuilding your hair and protecting your color, it’s time to swap it for a hair bonding shampoo that can do both. Our recommendation is the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid.

This shampoo gently cleanses while helping to strengthen all types of weak, brittle hair. In other words, it’s exactly what you need to bring your dull, over-processed strands back to life.

Apply to wet hair and gently massage the product into a thick lather. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and then proceed to your conditioner as usual.

3. Condition the right way

After shampooing, you’ll want to follow up with a hair bonding conditioner, which can reinforce the hair and protect it against damage caused by color, heat, and bleaching. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid. Like the other products in this collection, it helps rebuild weak hair bonds—and when used alongside the pre-shampoo and shampoo, leaves hair smoother, stronger, and easier to detangle.

Apply it to wet hair an inch down from the roots, massage gently into the hair from the lengths to the tips, and rinse.

4. Style with confidence

Once you’ve finished your complete bonding regimen, move on to styling as usual. The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair system helps protect your tresses from future damage so that you can color and style your hair without worry.

When reaching for your hot tools, however, you always want to protect your mane by spritzing it with heat protectant first. We suggest the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant as it can smooth your hair while shielding it against heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maintenance Tips After Using Hair Bonding Treatments

Congrats! You’re one step closer to healthier-looking hair. To keep your mane looking and feeling its best, consider implementing these maintenance tips into your routine:

1. Limit heat styling and chemical services

When trying to maintain healthy-looking hair after a hair bonding treatment, it’s a good idea to limit your use of hot tools. Applying high heat directly to your strands can contribute to damage, which is not ideal when trying to strengthen weakened hair bonds. The same goes for chemical treatments such as bleaching, coloring, and perming—you’ll want to save these services for when your hair is in better condition.

2. Get regular trims

Regular trims can help prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and causing brittleness and breakage. As we’ve said before, it’s generally recommended that you get a haircut every six to eight weeks. However, this is not a one-size-fits-all rule and depends on your hair’s condition and how quickly it grows.

3. Protect your hair from the environment

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause a decrease in fatty acid on the hair cuticle, which may manifest as brittle hair and loss of shine or color fade. And air pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can penetrate hair fibers, causing chemical damage to the cuticle and structural proteins, according to the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

To protect the hair and scalp from these environmental factors, use detoxing haircare products regularly and cover your strands with a hat or scarf whenever possible.

Next Up: How Often Should You Wash Damaged Hair?

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