Bond builders for hair have quickly become one of the most renowned reparative treatments for damaged tresses. Olaplex being the cult-fave, these intensive treatments are able to restore weakened strands and repair dullness and frizziness caused by over-processing, bleaching, and heated styling tools.

So, what makes bond builders better than your usual overnight mask? To best appreciate the damage control that goes into these, we’ll be going through how these can chemically repair the hair cuticle and why that little bit of science is the game changer.

Read Next: How To Protect Your Hair While You Sleep

What are Bond Builders For Hair?

In short, bond builders are haircare products available in various forms (from shampoo to overnight masks) that chemically repair hair’s damaged and broken protein bonds after excessive heat styling, dye jobs, and anything that’s made hair devastatingly dry.

What makes them better than any deep conditioning mask you’re using is the chemical repairing aspect: patented ingredients in these products are able to imitate a similar chemistry to your own hair and give those broken proteins the nourishment a surface-level treatment can’t.

Anyone can use a bond builder for a boost of repair and damage prevention, but if you have hair that feels like it's been through the wringer, a bond building product is crucial in your routine!

This is especially true for hair after bleaching, highlighting, or any sort of dye-processing as these affect your hair’s chemistry most negatively. This goes for those who love to heat style as hair simply isn’t built to withstand a 300+ degrees (although a heat protectant really helps!)

What your hair will benefit from is:

  • Less frizz
  • Increased shine
  • Super smoothness
  • Decreased dye fading
  • Damage-prevention
  • Restored colour
  • Detangling for days to come
  • Conditioned hydration

What is Olaplex?

Honestly, it’s hard to find a hair stylist who doesn’t recommend Olaplex. Found in almost every salon and just about everyone’s haircare arsenal, Olaplex is the gold standard of bond maintenance and repair products; but that doesn’t mean they’re the only bond builder out there!

What makes this brand so popular isn’t only their results, they also invented bond builders for hair and made them accessible outside a salon. Their signature bond building ingredient carries across the whole line including shampoo, conditioner, oils, and of course the No. 3 Hair Perfector. Repairing from the cortex to the cuticle, one treatment can give you shinier, smoother, and seriously healthier hair in the long run.

Read Next: How to Use Leave-In Conditioner

How Do Bond Builders Repair Hair

You could narrow just about any of your hair’s troubles down to its bonds and proteins. While the human eye can’t see them, they make up the entirety of your hair’s habits.

Disulfide Bonds: Your hair’s strongest bond, these contribute to hair’s elasticity and overall health. They won’t break down from heat or water, but chemical relaxers or perms will chemically alter hair’s disulfide bonds.

Hydrogen Bonds: These bonds are easier to break down and can be done so with water or heat exposure. They look after your hair’s texture and shape (like flatness and frizziness).

Salt Bonds: The final third of your hair’s bond makeup is salt bonds. The weakest of the bonds, these can be altered with any change in pH from harsh ingredients in haircare products to a dye touch-up.

When the deeper levels of protein are rebuilt, you’ll see tons of benefits that go beyond the immediate after-effects. Bond builders actually repair hair in the long run and prevent further damage to the bonds (crucial for those of you who bleach!)

Read Next: 8 Products to Protect Hair From Sun Damage (And Other Summer Stress)

The Best Bond Building Treatments and Hair Masks

We wouldn’t leave you without a roundup! Aside from Olaplex which is a perfect first foray into repairing your hair’s bonds, these are some other amazing products that work to restore hair in the same way.

Schwarzkopf, Blonde Me Keratin Restore Bonding Mask sold HERE; K18, Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask sold HERE; Bumble and Bumble, Bond-Building Repair Treatment sold HERE; Davines, Nourishing Hair Building Pak sold HERE.

bond builder hair treatments from olaplex to inexpensive brands

Love haircare? Read these next:

  1. Is Dry Shampoo Bad For Your Hair?
  2. The Best Shampoo Bars For Every Hair Concern