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Difference between rebonding and smoothening: Facts & figures

Women want gorgeous hair. There’s no question about that. But unfortunately, not all are blessed with naturally great-looking hair. Many of us deal with unstoppably unruly and frizzy hair that serums and creams – no matter how expensive they are – cannot solve.

Styling unmanageable hair is daunting and time-consuming(even with the right product). So an accessible and lasting fix is a welcome solution.

Indeed, chemical hair smoothening or straightening treatments can offer women a fast and long-lasting result. With a few hundred bucks worth of investment you get shiny, straight locks for months or even longer.

However, chemical straightening has become such an instant hit that the market has become saturated as well. You’ll be searching online for hours and still wondering which hair straightening or smoothening treatment is best for your hair.

Which one is better rebonding or smoothening?

Whether it’s called rebonding or hair smoothening, the result is the same: gorgeous looking hair. Both fight frizz and can give you a straight and glossy finish. The difference lies in the application process and the formula your hairdresser will use.

Because hair straightening is such a saturated market, a chemical hair-straightening [1] or smoothing treatment can come in several names.

Head over to Google, look up hair straightening, and you will get terms like rebondingrelaxingkeratin treatmentBrazilian blowoutJapanese straightening, and so on. All of those names essentially mean the same thing and yield practically similar results. They are like Kool-Aid and Tang.

To help you decide which one is best for your hair, let’s dive into the two main straightening or smoothing treatments available in salons today, namely hair rebonding and hair smoothening.

Hair Smoothing Treatment

woman with a brown silky smooth hair

There are two types of hair smoothing service: Brazilian blowout and Keratin treatment. Both treatments coat the hair cuticles or outermost layer of your hair shafts to eliminate frizz and boost shine.

Other than the smoothing formula (or the brand) your stylist will use and the name, they’re pretty much the same.

With Brazilian treatment, you will keep your natural hair texture. It can be “personalized” depending on how straight or wavy you want the results will be. You can keep your waves or curls while making your hair much more tamed, healthy-looking, and manageable. So if you don’t want that flat straight finish, then this treatment is for you.

One good thing to note is the possibility to wash your hair on the same day after a Brazilian blowout. You don’t have to worry about a waiting period or a no-wash period.

keratin treatment, on the other hand, is more intense compared to a Brazilian. It aims to calm or straighten out your curls and, at the same time, give hair a glossy appearance. One upside of this treatment is that it’s less damaging and offers a better conditioning effect on our hair than a Brazilian treatment.

Unlike the Brazilian blowout, you cannot wash your hair on the same day. You need to wait 3 days to ensure the success of your treatment. Tying or styling your hair should also be avoided.

In terms of chemical formulation, both products may contain formaldehyde- a substance that is considered to be dangerous. To be safe, go to a reputable salon. How stylists handle your treatment makes a difference in keeping hair from damage. That’s why it is crucial to have it done by a hair-styling expert or a trained salon professional.

Also, ask what brand they use. Some salons can use brands that aren’t as good or effective. Different brands can give you different results.

How hair smoothening works

Procedure – It starts with prepping up your hair for the actual keratin product application. Your stylist will wash your hair and remove build-up so that the treatment will absorb into your hair strands. After that, hair ironing will follow to seal in the keratin layers.

Duration of procedure – A salon hair smoothing procedure usually takes between 2-4 hours to complete, depending on hair length and thickness.

How long it lasts – A hair smoothing treatment typically lasts for up to 3 months or even more, depending on how you maintain your hair.

How to maintain your hair: If possible, use keratin shampoo or any sulfate-free shampoo to help prolong your salon treatment life.

Is smoothening harmful to hair?

A hair smoothening treatment per se won’t do damage to your hair. But excessive heat application can. Therefore, your stylist plays a crucial role in the entire process. If they overdo it or use a low-quality hot tool, then your hair may be at risk of breakage and damage.

On the contrary, a keratin treatment aims to restore damaged hair. It helps strengthen our hair strands, making them more resistant to damage or breakage.

Which smoothening is best?

It depends on your styling needs or the look that you want to achieve. To get a frizz-free appearance while keeping your sexy waves, then get a Brazilian blowout. For a perfectly smooth straight look, go for a keratin treatment.

Hair Rebonding

Hair rebonding, sometimes called hair relaxing or Japanese straightening, is a more permanent route to straight hair. Again, they differ in the type or brand of chemicals your hairstylist will use during the straightening process.

Portrait of woman with a straight hair

How rebonding works

Our hair is structurally composed of a protein called keratin. These proteins are made of chemical chains of amino acids (mostly cysteine) bound together by peptide bonds.

Now, if you want to straighten naturally curly hair, breaking these bonds will do the trick. That’s where hair relaxers or chemical straightening methods like hair rebonding comes in.


  • Your stylist will cleanse hair to prepare it for the actual rebonding treatment.
  • Once your hair is dry, they will apply a hair-rebonding cream in hair sections until no hair strand is left out. Leave it on your hair for at least 30 minutes. If your hair is thick and curly, then you will need about an hour.
  • Steaming is next. This process lasts about 30 minutes or so, depending on your hair texture.
  • Next is rinsing and blow-drying your hair.
  • Then, your hairstylist will apply a keratin lotion and neutralizer to your hair. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  • After that, it will be rinsed off, blow-dried, and treated with a serum to prep hair for heat application.
  • Follow the 3-day no-wash rule if you want to make the most of your rebound hair.

Duration of procedure – Hair rebonding typically 4-8 hours, depending on hair thickness and length

How long it lasts – Rebonding is permanent. Until you grow out new hair strands, no need to redo it; it depends on how fast your hair grows. Some after six months, others may take longer. Until then, you should enjoy smooth, frizz-free locks.

How to maintain your hair: If possible, use natural or sulfate-free shampoo. Make sure to condition your hair and treat it with nourishing oils at least once a week.

The bottom line

There’s not much of a difference between rebonding and hair smoothing in terms of results. Other than the fact that rebonding alters your hair structure (break protein bonds), both rebonding and smoothening are chemical salon treatments that will help us get rid of our hair troubles and achieve beautiful hair.

If you have any questions, please let us know. 


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