Hair Smoothening Vs. Hair Rebonding, Know the Difference

Hair fashionistas always experiment with their hair by making new styles. Even if you have wavy, curly, thick, or kinky hair, straightening them, making them shiny has always been trendy.

Featured Image of Hair Smoothening Versus Hair Rebonding

It does not matter whether you straighten them temporarily or permanently, straightened hair makes your look classy, no doubt. There are various ways to make your hair straight, smooth, and more manageable. Hair rebonding and hair smoothing are two of the most effective ways. Let’s know about these two treatments, their differences, functions, side effects, and everything.

Check: Hair Rebonding Side Effects

Two Methods at a Glance

First of all, take a glance at the following table to get a basic idea of hair rebonding and smoothing.

Hair Rebonding

  • Hair rebonding is a process to make your hair straight by altering the primary texture, the shape of your hair
  • Hair remains straight longer
  • The straightening is done by breaking the keratin bonds in your hair shaft
  • Usually, chemical relaxers are used to break the bonds because there is an agent name alkaline that these relaxers contain
  • These relaxers are stronger comparatively
  • During restructuring the 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 smoothing
  • Cannot be applied in bleached hair
  • It makes hair less shiny

Hair Smoothing

  • It is a temporary treatment
  • Some hair experts do hair smoothing as a step before hair rebonding
  • In this process, your hair is dried at first and then straightened by a flat iron
  • After straightening, hair is saturated with a formaldehyde solution
  • The chemical used in this process is not as strong as the relaxers used in hair rebonding
  • Hair smoothing is less damaging
  • Brazilian Keratin treatment is one of the most popular hair smoothing processes
  • It is compatible with bleached hair
  • It makes hair smooth and shiny

Circumstances 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.

Hair Rebonding

  • Hair rebonding works on all type and length of hair, from fine to kinky hair
  • Rebonded hair stay straightened for 6-7 months
  • People with bleached hair cannot do hair rebonding as thioglycolate or hydroxides are not compatible with this type of hair

Hair Smoothing

  • Hair smoothing is suitable for fine, wavy or natural/thin curly hair
  • It is not so useful in extremely thick or kinky hair as this process cannot alter hair structure massively
  • After hair smoothing, the hair remains straight for 2-5 months

Note: We already mentioned the average longevity of both of the treatments. The longevity varies depending on the quality of chemicals used during the procedure and on aftercare.

Check: How to Maintain a Rebonded Hair

The Functions

This section is especially for those people who are the “Real Hair Conscious” people because these people always need to know the function of any tool or treatment that is going to be applied to their hair. We admire their curiosity and also believe that they also have the right to know about the functions, not just the hairdressers or experts at the salons.

Hair Rebonding

  • The most common chemicals that are used in this process are calcium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide (also known as lye-relaxer) or combination of any of these chemicals
  • The main working factor of these chemicals is their “high pH.”
  • High pH helps to open the cuticle
  • It enters into the fibers of the hair
  • It starts to react with keratin and breaks it when it touches the cortex
  • Disulfide bridges get rearranged through the process
  • Finally, it gives you a straightened hair

Hair Smoothing

  • For hair smoothing, hair experts apply a formaldehyde solution to the hair
  • This solution reacts with keratin
  • 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
  • After finishing the process, 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

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, which cannot be avoided altogether. But the positive side is, damaged hair can be repaired by proper care, using hair mask for rebonded hair, regular trims, and touch-ups when the natural hair grows out again.


From the above sections, now, you know that hair rebonding and hair smoothing can make incredible transformations in your hair within few hours. But maybe there is no amazing thing in the world that does not have any adverse effect. These two treatments are no exception.

Hair Rebonding

  • Chemical relaxers are very bad for your scalp, and it 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
  • Without experts, hair rebonding should not be done as wrong techniques can cause severe damage in your scalp as well as in your hair
  • In this process, cuticle scales get opened, and for that, it becomes susceptible to friction
  • Swelling of the hair fibers during the process also does the same thing
  • 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

  • If any stylist use solutions that are glutaraldehyde- or formaldehyde-based, sometimes it can cause problems like burning mouth, nose, eyes, and strong smell.
  • Though these effects can be lowered by using formaldehyde-releasers like glyoxylic acid, glycol, methylene
  • The solution used in hair smoothing can develop asthma or increase the intensity of it of the people who are already asthma patients
  • The possible problems that can be created by formaldehyde solution are: rashes, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, respiratory problems, nervous system problems like dizziness, headaches
  • The excessive temperature of heat tools can damage hair as well

Reasons to Choose One Over Another

We always try to make our article commodious for the readers, and following that goal, this section is created so that they can use the knowledge gathered from above, kick out their confusions, and select the right treatment for them.

Hair Rebonding Over Hair Smoothing

  • Frizzes in hair can be decreased by hair smoothing, but it cannot straighten a real curly hair
  • It can rectify the curliest hair; People who have extremely curly hair, thick or kinky hair can easily have straight hair, which can only be done with hair rebonding. Your straightened hair remains in shape until your new hair grows out. Hair rebonding is also known as “Japanese Straightening.”
  • Hair rebonding can make your hair straighter for a really long time where hair smoothing does not even straighten your hair perfectly but transforming your hair to less frizzy waves from curls

Hair Smoothing Over Hair Rebonding

  • People who do not want a pin-straight look in their hair but a natural straight finish look should go for hair smoothing
  • If your hair is very thin or very prone to damage, you can save your hair from further breakage by hair smoothing
  • Shine and smoothness of the hair can be significantly increased by hair smoothing
  • People who have relaxed, permanently dyed or bleached hair can go for this treatment


Both hair rebonding and hair smoothing have some similarities and some dissimilarities as well as some benefits and disadvantages. Before going for any of these hair treatments, professional hair experts suggest testing their hair to check if they have any hair loss problems, chemical allergies, or any other serious issues. You are not recommending any particular hair treatment among these two without enlightening you. We have included each and every detail of these treatments, their differences and in the end, we also have mentioned some points to choose one over another for your convenience. So, which one are you going for?


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Reader Interactions


  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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