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Hair Relaxing Vs. Rebonding: Which One Is Better?

Relaxed hair or rebonded hair – not sure which one is right for you? A common doubt many women face when they decide to go for hair treatment. Getting a hair relaxer or a rebonding treatment each has both benefits and risks associated with their procedures. Both will result in rich locks, but you should be aware of how each process will affect your hair.

Due to the chemicals used, each treatment is better suited toward a particular hair type to ensure optimal results.

If you’re having a hard time deciding which one you should get, it’s good to inform yourself of the differences between the two, what look you’re going for, and the pros and cons of each salon service. And most importantly, know your hair!

Difference Between Hair Relaxation And Hair Rebonding

There’s more to hair than just styling, coloring, and cutting it. It is also important for you to learn other techniques and processes such as hair bonding, hair relaxation, and more. Even though both hair rebonding and hair relaxation use chemicals to straighten hair, the results happen to be different.

The main differences between hair relaxing and hair rebonding are one, the process of straightening the hair, and two, that hair relaxers are used on naturally curly hair types, thus making them easier to straighten

Hair Rebonding

Hair Rebonding

Hair rebonding works by breaking down keratin molecules in the hair. This form of hair straightening gets achieved by using water to break down the hair’s hydrogen bonds. Then a strong chemical, usually formaldehyde, rebonds the new design of the hair structure into a straighter formation.

There are other terms such as Japanese hair straightening and thermal reconditioning used to describe this hair straightening method. The technique originated in Japan and then spread throughout many Asian communities and countries. In this technique, you apply chemicals during the rebonding process, and to straighten the hair, you get it flat ironed.

Typically, the perm solution gets mixed with strong chemicals like sodium hydroxide, ammonium thioglycolate, or guanidine hydroxide. The rebonding process breaks the hair bonds, and then a hot flat iron is used to rest the bonds, which makes the hair straight.

Surprisingly the rebonding process can last up to 7 months. That results in luxurious hair, leaving it with a rich and natural texture. You should be aware that rebonding your hair is permanent and irreversible and damage to your hair is quite possible if the procedure gets done incorrectly.

Consequently, people who have rebonded must take care of their hair after the process is complete.

People take advantage of this procedure because once you finish, there’s no need for additional styling. However, everyone has a different hair type, and therefore, a hairstylist should get consulted before doing the treatment.

Related: Relaxed Hair Vs. Natural Hair: What’s The Difference?

Hair Relaxation

Hair Relaxation

What’s the difference between relaxing and straightening hair? Hair relaxation is a process used to straighten hair, but they use different chemicals than those involved in rebonding.

Hair relaxation is a lotion or cream that makes it easier to straighten curly hair, whether tight curls or loose curls. A hair relaxer achieves this by chemically relaxing the hair, usually using a strong alkali as the active ingredient.

The chief difference between the two is that hair relaxing does not straighten the hair completely; more accurately, it softens very tight curls.

As a result, after relaxing their hair, women will straighten it again after the fact to get it bone straight.

The chemicals used to relax hair happen to be lye-based such as sodium hydroxide. Moreover, lye is a strong alkaline and has a very high pH level. If this concoction gets left on your hair for too long, the scalp can become irritated.

However, it will straighten your hair very quickly. There are non-lye relaxers such as guanidine hydroxide that individuals will use to straighten their hair as well.

Relaxing your hair doesn’t take a long time to perform and is very cost-effective to boot. Since the hair is not thoroughly straightened, styling your hair continuously after the procedure is required.

If a hair relaxation procedure gets done incorrectly, one could suffer severe side effects such as scalp irritation, dry hair, and hair loss.

That is why it is essential that people who relax their hair seek out a professional. The treatment requires someone skilled and licensed to perform the procedure. Thanks to their skills and expertise, they can minimize any risk of hair damage.

Key Takeaways

These are the most important factors to remember when you’re trying to decide between getting your hair relaxed or rebonded.

Hair Relaxing

relaxed hair

Relaxing textured hair is a popular choice amongst those who don’t want to spend a ton on straightening their hair. The active chemicals in a relaxer don’t cost much, and therefore, the service is fairly affordable.

The side effects of getting a relaxer can be mild to severe, depending on how often you get the treatment and how you take care of your hair in between touch-ups. There have been complaints of hair loss, dry hair, scalp burns, an irritated scalp, excessive shedding, and more.

Be sure to always go to a licensed professional when you want to chemically straighten your hair. It requires expert knowledge to apply relaxer chemicals. If the application isn’t correct, or the rinsing is delayed, it could result in extreme hair damage.


  • The service is affordable.
  • It doesn’t take much time to apply a relaxer.


  • Your hair will not be permanently straightened because this hair treatment doesn’t fully alter your hair texture.
  • You will have to maintain the relaxer every month and a half to two months.
  • If this service is not done correctly, it can cause burns on the scalp and irritation.
  • Your hair may end up more coarse or brittle after getting it relaxed.

Hair Rebonding

Rebonded Hair

Remember that you should be sure that you want to get your hair rebonded because the procedure is irreversible. Similar to a relaxer, you can incur serious hair damage if the stylist is not knowledgeable and skilled with rebonding techniques. You also have to ensure that you take care of your hair correctly once the treatment is done.

It takes a long time to perform a rebonding procedure. If you have short hair you can expect to be in the chair for at least four hours. Expect around seven hours or more if your hair is long and thick.

Rebonding might be more expensive than just getting your hair straightened. Nonetheless, people are typically happy once the process is over and they don’t have to style their hair any longer.

Always check with the stylist first to ask what he or she expects the results to look like based on your specific hair type and texture.


  • This treatment lasts six to seven months.
  • The hair will look rich and beautiful afterward.


  • It costs anywhere from $400–$950 to do a rebonding procedure.
  • It might take close to seven hours to finish.

You’ll be limited to just straight hair for at least the first few months because heat styling for curls or waves may ruin your hair immediately after the treatment.

This treatment is not recommended for those that have already undergone harsh chemical processes like bleaching or coloring their hair. More than likely your hair won’t be able to handle the overload of chemicals that you have to use for a rebonding service.

Individuals of African ancestry shouldn’t try rebonding because it is too aggressive and will be worse for this hair type than relaxing. It’s better suited to straighten medium, bulky, or loose curls as opposed to kinkier, tighter curl textures.

Relaxer or Rebonding: Choose Based on Your Hair Type

You must select the best procedure for your hair type should you decide that you do want your hair chemically straightened.

Be advised that you’ll have to keep your hair moisturized and well taken care of in the aftermath of the treatment due to the harsh chemicals used to achieve straightened hair. Failure to do so can result in dryness, shedding, breakage, hair loss, and brittle locks.

Nonetheless, your hair will look beautiful once the process is over, whichever you choose.