Frequent coloring can leave your hair extremely dry, porous, and prone to breakage. Hair color and bleach contain chemicals that lift up the cuticle to allow the dye to penetrate the hair. While necessary to the coloring process, those harsh chemicals have some unwanted effects. They can damage the cuticle and weaken the internal bonds that keep your strands strong and healthy.
Fortunately, there are products that help to strengthen your over-processed hair and protect it from future damage. Thanks to the latest revolutionary technology for hair protection and innovative products called bond builders you can have both – your dream color and healthy, shiny hair.
Bond building products are designed to prevent damage and keep the integrity of your hair during chemical processing. Bond builders work to create new bonds or reconnect damaged ones, making your hair even stronger than it was before coloring.
Bond reinforcing products also repair and smooth the hair’s cuticle, giving your hair natural shine and softness. If you are concerned about chemical damage due to regular coloring, you should talk to your colorist about incorporating bond-multiplying products in your coloring service.
Bond Builder Brands
Pronexa Bond Repair Complex uses a patented combination of ingredients designed to reconnect the disulfide bonds that have been broken by constant coloring, chemical treatments, or excess heat. The product repairs structural damage inside your hair and forms stronger disulfide bonds.
The two-step process that is common for competitors’ products can be time-consuming. The good news is that the Pronexa is a multi-tier repair system in one bottle. Once the bonds are relinked, a blend that includes Castor Oil, silk proteins, Retinol, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E works to deeply condition hair and strengthen the new bonds. This two-step process in one bottle helps restore strength and healthy appearance of damaged, over-processed hair.
Individuals with damaged hair can notice a significant improvement in the condition of their hair after 2 or 3 applications. In some cases, hair appears healthier than it was before damage-inducing chemical treatment.
- Reverses the damage and strengthens the inner hair structure
- Improves elasticity and helps to reduce hair breakage
- Minimizes damage from heat styling
- Leaves hair strong, shiny, and healthy-looking
- Helps control frizz
- Improves the look of dry ends
- Leaves hair softer and silkier
- Keep pH levels balanced
How to Use
Pronexa Bond is easy to apply due to its creamy consistency and it’s also easy to wash out in the shower. Apply about 1/2 ounce (for medium length hair) to clean, damp hair and comb through. Wait at least 15 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual. If your hair is very damaged, the product can be used as an overnight mask. Use once a week for moderate damage or twice a week if your hair is severely damaged.
ONC Artofcare QUINOAPLEX R3 is an organic bond builder and protein conditioner. It is developed to restore protein lost during coloring, bleaching, shampooing, and exposure to sunlight. This product claims to make hair stronger, smoother, and shinier.
QUINOAPLEX R3 uses Quinoa protein, which is virtually identical to human hair protein. Quinoa protein bond together with protein in human hair to reverse the damage, and revitalize hair. The effects are visible instantly.
When used prior to coloring or bleaching it helps reduce breakage, improves color retention, and enhances color vibrancy. It can also be added to color or bleach to protect hair from chemical damage without interfering with the color results.
When used between shampoo and conditioner QUINOAPLEX R3 restores missing protein making hair stronger and fuller.
As a stand-alone treatment, it can be used once a week. For severely damaged hair, the treatment can be applied more than once a week.
B3 Brazilian Bond Builder is one of the latest innovations among bond-building color additives. This one-step professional product can be added to your bleach or color mixture to prevent chemical damage during the coloring process. It also claims to increase shine and improve pigment retention.
Advantages Over Competitors’ Products:
- B3 Bond Builder claims to rebuild all three types of hair bonds: disulfide, hydrogen, and salt bonds, unlike competitors’ products that only repair disulfide bonds.
- B3 is simpler and faster to use than Olaplex or colorpHlex because it’s a one-step product that you can simply mix into your color formula.
- Unlike Olaplex, B3 doesn’t affect the color processing time and you don’t need to adjust the level of the developer.
Some experts believe that b3 Bond Builder performs better in preventing damage than in repairing existing damage.
This bond builder/color strengthener comes with a home care kit that includes the b3 Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner duo and the b3 Instant Restore & Protect Reconstructor, as a weekly reconstructive treatment.
This at-home bond strengthening treatment repair internal bonds to restore the integrity of chemically treated hair.
This bond-regenerating mask helps to rebuild broken hair bonds and transform lifeless hair into silky soft and shiny locks. It replenishes the moisture, tames frizz, and makes hair easy to brush. This mask also seals the cuticle to help maintain color vibrancy. It prevents damage from the blow dryer and straightener, which results in less breakage and split ends.
The product is supposed to be applied to damp hair. Leave it in your hair for up to 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Apply once a week.
5. Redken pH-Bonder (also available at Walmart)
The three-part Redken process that protects your hair from chemical damage when you are using bleach include:
1. pH-Bonder’s bond protective additive is supposed to be added to your bleach/color formula. The pH-Bonder protects hair from damage and reduces breakage during and after bleaching and coloring services.
2. After rinsing the color from your hair, your stylist will use pH-Bonder’s fiber-restorative pre-wash concentrate to repair damage and align hair cuticles for added shine and softness.
The PH Bonder service can also be performed as a stand-alone salon treatment to restore over-processed and damaged hair.
3. The salon treatment is followed up with the Redken pH-Bonder Post-Service Perfecter– a take-home product, that should be applied once a week prior to shampooing.
Matrix BOND ULTIM8 Bond Protecting System
Also available at Walmart
Bond Ultim8 is formulated to protect bonds during coloring and lightening processes and to make hair stronger, shinier, and more manageable.
The formula uses active ingredients that protect the hair by trapping damaging lightener residues.
Bond Ultim8 System includes 3 products:
Step 1- Amplifier—a liquid additive, which needs to be added to your lightener/color mixture to protect the bonds, preserve hair fibers, and reduce breakage during chemical processing. The product doesn’t require any additional timing or reformulation.
Step 2 – Conditioning sealer treatment—supposed to lock in the benefits of Step 1, restore weakened bonds, and prevent further breakage.
Step 3 – At Home Sealing Treatment—designed to provide ongoing nourishment. This treatment should be done on a weekly basis, to help maintain hair strength.
Bond Ultim8 can be incorporated in a hair glossing treatment or it can also be performed as a standalone rejuvenating hair bond treatment to improve the overall condition of your hair.
Schwarzkopf Fibreplex Bond Enforcing System (Available at Walmart)
The Bond Enforcing System uses Magnesium Citrate in its formula to maintain the pH level and stabilize the inner structure of delicate lightened and colored hair.
The system includes the following three products:
- Bond Booster is added to the bleach or color mixture to protect the structural hair bonds from damage and reduce breakage.
- Bond Sealer is an intensive treatment that helps create new bonds, seals the cuticle, and provides softness and shine.
- Bond Maintainer is made for home use to protect the hair from mechanical damage and keep it strong.
Bond Angel is a three-step hair protecting system designed to restore damaged hair and prevent damage from bleaching and coloring. It helps multiply hair bonds, eliminating the risk of hair breakage after chemical processing.
The product is designed primarily for blonde hair and helps achieve the desired shade of blonde without serious damage to hair.
The Bond Angel Treatment Kit contains three bottles:
1. The Bond Builder in bottle number 1 needs to be added to your color/bleach. It acts as a chemical protector, ensuring that your hair will undergo the coloring/bleaching process without being damaged or broken.
2. The second bottle contains Bond Reconstructor which conditions and restores your hair, keeping it strong and healthy. The Bond Reconstructor has a light, delicious scent.
3. Bond Angel – Bond Fortifier in the third bottle helps intensify the results that you have achieved during steps one and two, keeping your hair strong, healthy, and shiny. It can be used for home care regardless you have performed the previous two steps or not.
The application process:
Step 1: Mix 0,5 teaspoon of Bond Maker to 1oz of bleach powder and apply it to the hair as usual. When your hair is lightened enough, wash it out thoroughly using water only.
Step 2: Use 3-4 teaspoons of Bond Reconstructor to soak your hair. Use a fine-tooth comb to distribute the product throw the section of your hair. Leave the product on the hair for 15 minutes, then shampoo and condition. You can also use the Bond Reconstructor periodically, in a similar way as you use a deep conditioner, regardless you have performed the bleaching process or not.
Step 3: This is actually a home care treatment and can be used twice a week. Apply the Bond Fortifier to freshly shampooed hair and distribute it evenly. Let the product sit on your hair for 5 minutes. Rinse and style as desired.
The Bond Angel as a Stand-Alone Treatment
Similar to Olaplex Bond Angel can be used as a stand-alone reconstructive treatment:
- Dilute the Bond Maker (Step 1) in drinking water at a ratio of 1:6.
- Apply the mixture all over your hair and leave it in for 20 minutes. Don’t rinse.
- Apply 4 teaspoons of Bond Reconstructor (Step 2). Use a comb to spread the product evenly. Let it sit on the hair for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Benefits of Using Bond Builders
- This group of products offers greater possibilities for stylists and their clients to create different shades without sacrificing the hair’s integrity.
- You can change your color more often without harming your hair. You will experience less breakage after drastic color changes.
- Bond multipliers also help prolong the vibrancy of your hair color.
Which Bond Building Product Works Best for You?
Olaplex is the preferred choice for most professional colorists, while others believe that competitors’ products can provide a similar level of protection as Olaplex. Stylists often use Olaplex alternatives because they are more affordable for their clients.
If you want to increase your level of protection during coloring/bleaching, it is best to consult an experienced colorist and determine which product to choose.
All bond reinforcing products, with the exception of home care kits, are supposed to be applied in the salon by a professional colorist.
If you do your own color at home, Pronexa Hair Bond Repairing Complex is the easiest to use.
If you prefer using vegan products, try colorHplex.
If you wish to stick to your favorite color brand, you might want to try an “upgraded color service,“ which includes the use of a bond reinforcing product from the same brand as your hair dye, such as Matrix BOND ULTIM8, Redken pH-Bonder, L’Oréal Professionnel Smartbond, Schwarzkopf Fibreplex or Keune Bond Fusion.