Hair Smoothening Vs. Hair Rebonding, Know the Difference

When it comes to hair treatments, hair smoothening and hair rebonding are two of the most popular ones.

Hair Smoothening Vs. Hair Rebonding

But do you have any idea the difference between hair smoothening & hair rebonding?

Lets find out more.

Check: Hair Rebonding Side Effects

Difference Between Hair Smoothening and Hair Rebonding

Difference Between Hair Smoothening and Hair Rebonding

First of all, lets get to know alittle about these two treatments to get a basic idea of the difference Between Hair Smoothening and Hair Rebonding  .

What is Hair Rebonding

Hair rebonding is a hair smoothening treatment that gives the appearance of natural, healthy and shiny hair.

It is done by combining a hair smoothening solution with heat to alter the protein structure of the hair.

The most common chemicals used for this process are sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate, or a combination of these three chemicals.

(also known as lye-relaxer).

These are strong alkaline solutions that react with the proteins in your hair once they have been heated to 230 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) or higher.

The High pH helps to open the cuticle to the hair fibres reacting with keratin and breaking it when it touches the cortex.

The process results in rearrangement of disfulfide bridges.

The result is a smooth and silky texture that lasts until your next shampoo.* However, you will experience some side effects such as dryness and brittleness.

  • Hair rebonding is the process of making your hair straight by altering the primary texture and shape of your hair
  • Hair remains straight longer.
  • The straightening is done by breaking the keratin bonds [1] in your hair shaft.
  • Usually, chemical relaxers are used to break the bonds because there is alkaline [2] agent that these relaxers contain.
  • These relaxers are comparatively stronger.
  • During the restructuring of the hair shape, heat is applied to your hair.
  • After restructuring, more relaxers are used to seal the new shape permanently.
  • Hair rebonding causes more damage than hair smoothening.
  • Cannot be applied on bleached hair.
  • It makes hair less shiny.

Here’s a video tutorial on how hair rebonding is done

What is Hair Smoothening

Hair Smoothening (also known as Brazilian Keratin treatment [4])is a chemical process that changes the structure of hair.

The structure of hair is made up of a protein called keratin.

Hair smoothening uses an alkaline solution (formaldehyde solution) [3] to break down the bonds between the keratin in the hair.

Water from the formaldehyde solution breaks the hydrogen bonds of keratin

After breaking the bonds in keratin, it is straightened with the help of a blow dryer or a flat iron.

The keratin filaments are cross-linked by the solution in perfect arrangement.

As a result, the restructured hair remains straight longer and also makes the hair comparatively shiny.

The treatment duration varies depending on your hair type and desired result, but typically ranges from 20 – 90 minutes.

Afterward, you can wash and style it as you usually would.

The main difference between hair smoothing and hair rebonding is the amount of damage your hair will sustain in both processes.

  • It is a temporary treatment.
  • Some hair experts do hair smoothing before hair rebonding.
  • In this process, your hair is first dried and then straightened by a flat iron.
  • The chemical used in this process is not as strong as the relaxers used in hair rebonding.

Here is a detailed video tutorial on hair smoothening

Note: Both in hair rebonding and hair smoothing, keratin bonds of the hair are broken and rebuilt.

During the restructuring process, some hair gets damaged.

On the positive side is, damaged hair can be repaired by proper care.

Using hair mask for rebonded hair, regular trims, and touch-ups the natural hair grows out again.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Any Method

You really cannot choose any of these treatments without considering any fact. You literally cannot, and you should not as well.

Readout the following points and then decide which will be suitable for you.


Age is a very important factor to consider before choosing any method. Our skin tends to lose collagen and elastin when we age.

The same applies to our hair.

When we choose to rebond or perm or relax our hair, the effect of the procedure will be reduced when we reach a certain age.

Type Of Hair

If you have curly, kinky or very dry hair, this will affect your choice of method.

If you do not take care of your hair before you decide to rebond or perm them, then there will be an adverse effect on your locks after the process.


Most of us do not consider our health as part of the process in deciding which method to choose for permanent wave and straightening.

Yet it is something that should be considered because some medical conditions could prevent you from choosing any method for permanent wave and straightening.

Personal Preference

Depending on your prefeence and liking you may be more inclined to one method.

If you dont want to be straightening your hair every other day then hair bonding will be the method for you.

Note: The longevity varies depending on the quality of chemicals used during the procedure and on aftercare.

Check: How to Maintain a Rebonded Hair

Disadvantages of Smoothening and Rebonding

Smoothening and rebonding are very similar processes. Both have the same purpose – to make your hair straight and soft, without damaging it.

But both have some extreme drawbacks:

Hair Rebonding Drawbacks

  • Chemical relaxers [5] are harmful to your scalp, and can literally burn your scalp
  • As it is very tough to apply the chemicals on your hair but the scalp, hair experts suggest to use some petrolatum on the ears and through the hairlines to save them from possible alkaline burns
  • Hair rebonding should only be done with hair experts as wrong techniques can cause severe damage to your scalp and hair
  • In this process, cuticle scales get opened, and for that, they become susceptible to friction
  • As a result, hair loses its overall strength and resistances
  • Some of the most common damages that occur from hair rebonding are: hair thinning, dandruff, split ends, hair breakage, hair graying, frizzy hair

Hair Smoothing Drawbacks

  • If any stylist use solutions that are glutaraldehyde- or formaldehyde-based, sometimes it can cause side effects like burning mouth, nose, eyes, and strong smell.
  • The solution used in hair smoothing can cause asthma or increase the intensity of it
  • Formaldehyde solution can cause: rashes, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems, nervous system problems like dizziness, headaches
  • Heat damage from the hot tools

Advantages of Hair Smoothening and Hair ReBonding

The reason why these two processes are quite popular is because of their amazing results on hair.

Hair Rebonding Pros

  • Hair smoothing reduces frizz.
  • Can straighten the curliest of hairs. People who have extremely curly hair, thick or kinky hair can easily have straight hair, through hair rebonding.
  • Hair rebonding results in straighter hair for a longer period of time.

Hair Smoothing Pros 

  • It gives  a natural straight finish
  • If your hair is thin or prone to damage, you can save your hair from further breakage by hair smoothing
  • Hair smoothing increases hair shine and silkiness
  • Can be done on bleached hair


Both hair rebonding and hair smoothing have pros and cons. Before choosing any of the treatments, check for any hair loss problems or chemical allergies.

With this detailed guide, im sure that you now know the difference between hair smoothening and hair rebonding. You can now choose which treatment best suits you!



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  1. Hello there,

    I am a big fan of your writing. I wonder how you guys come up with so many versatile ideas to write about and educate your readers even with the least important aspects of any hair related topic. I think this is the beauty of your blog.

    This piece of writing is also no different. You have explained every little difference between hair smoothing and hair rebonding so elaborately that it is very easy to understand. Girls who are confused about these permanent hair treatments will find it especially helpful because this piece of writing will help them to decide which treatment will be the right one for their manes.

    I can’t thank you enough for coming up with such interesting and informative articles.

    Keep up the good work.

    I wish you all the best for your future.

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      Thank you very much for your kind praising word. We are overwhelmed with your response. Our readers’ feedback helps us to think and write better.

      Please keep coming back for more informative articles in the future.

  2. Hello peeps,

    First thing first, I have been one of the most regular visitors to your blog since I don’t know when. It is my number one go-to place whenever I need to know something about hair care or hair treatments. Your articles are just amazing with authentic information. You put out every little detail so nicely that it’s super easy for your readers to understand the concept and take steps accordingly.

    Now I want to know something, I hope you would answer. I have fine, frizzy manes. I want to make them silky, smooth, and super straight. Which of these (hair rebonding and hair smoothing) process would be most suitable and less damaging?

    I would be waiting for your answer because I trust you guys.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Dear Margaret,

      First of all, thank you very much for your sweet words. We appreciate our readers’ feedback.

      Secondly, both these permanent hair straightening treatments are damaging to hair. If you still want to try them, we would suggest you go for the hair smoothing treatment because it is less harmful and might not result in any adverse effects if you use a formaldehyde-free solution.

      We hope this would help you.

      • Thank you very much for taking the time and replying to me. Also, thank you for your suggestion. I have decided not to try any of these.

  3. Hi,

    I have rebonded hair and I can say that every aspect you have mentioned here is authentic. Even though for the first few months it will ensure lustrously, straightened manes, the side effects don’t take time to appear. I wish I had read this piece of writing before and tried hair smoothing instead.

    Thank you for such a descriptive comparison. I think it will help a lot of girls out there.

    • Dear Judy,

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. We are sure that it would help our readers a lot.

      Please keep coming back for more informative articles in the future.


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