Hair colour and bonders go hand in hand (or, in this case, “strand in strand”), as they provide clients with the colour they want without the damage. Bonding systems use chemical compounds that target disulfide bonds, which break and reform during the colouring process as well as prevent damage during chemical treatments.
Bonders have become a relatively new phenomenon in the industry, so what’s the craze all about? From the “original” to the latest systems on the market, we take a closer look at their chemistry and speak with industry experts to find out why it’s important now more than ever for all stylists to get on board with bonders.
Insuring Results: Olaplex
Dubbed as “the original bond builder” and “insurance for your client’s hair,” Olaplex has become an industry favourite throughout Canada and the world, receiving rave reviews from celebrity stylists like Guy Tang. Olaplex includes No.1 Bond Multiplier, which is added directly to any colour or lightener. And since Olaplex extends processing time, stylists need to increase their developer strengths when using the system. The No.2 Bond Perfector is used after rinsing the colour from the client’s hair. The No.3 Hair Perfector continues the bonding at home for clients to use as a nourishing weekly home care treatment.
The technology: Olaplex uses its patented bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate ingredient, which targets the sulfur hydrogen bonds that break and reform during the colour process, by adding carbon bonds to form disulfide bonds that strengthen the hair and prevent breakage.
“A lot of people come to us because of Olaplex—we were the first in Vancouver to have it. It’s so liberating for a hairdresser to be able to achieve big makeovers in one sitting without having to worry as much about hair breakage. A lot of salon owners don’t believe it until they’ve seen it. I think that’s why people are still behind on it. They need to see it because it is a miracle—the most modern innovation since the flat iron.” – Michael Levine, owner of A Michael Levine Salon Group
Pro Benefits: BondPro+
Most bonders work for a variety of hair types. BondPro+ from Goldwell features a two-component system that includes a Protection Serum and Nourishing Fortifier. The Protection Serum penetrates the hair while protecting the fibres and preventing breakage throughout the alkaline lightening, colouring and texturizing process. The Nourishing Fortifier is an intensive treatment that helps stabilize the bonds while strengthening the hair. It can also be used as a deep conditioning treatment for severely damaged hair. While there is no home care product that is part of the system, BondPro+ has been designed to work with Goldwell’s existing home care line.
The technology: BondPro+ consists of an inter-amino-bonding system with an advanced amino acid formula with moisturizing panthenol and cationic polymers that stabilize and reinforce bonds while strengthening and protecting hair fibres.
This past summer, former Contessa winner Palma N’Sheluvzit was one of the first to try out the product: “I really put the product to the test. It’s great for clients who are playing with trendy silver or fantasy colours, or as a deep- conditioning treatment. I’ve been using my regular colour formulas and adding this to my formulation and getting the exact same coverage. It helps protect the hair and prolong colour. And if hair is healthier, your colour will last longer.”
– Palma N’Sheluvzit, The Hair Spot, Toronto
The Smart Solution: Smartbond
Smartbond from L’Oréal Professionnel is a three-step system: It consists of a bond-strengthening add-in, which is mixed with colour and lightener to lift and optimize colour without any damage, along with in-salon and home care bond-protecting conditioners that strengthen hair fibres while closing the hair’s cuticles.
The technology: Smartbond contains a new acid with a formulated blend of ceramide and polymers that protects and strengthens bonds while cleansing bad ions from the hair fibres, allowing for the reconstruction of weak bonds.
“There’s no reason why any salon shouldn’t have a bond protector. Clients are starting to want bigger colour changes more often: Mermaid colours, dark to very blonde, and balayage. Since people are colouring their hair more and using hot tools more, their hair is generally more damaged. With Smartbond, I don’t have to change the consistency of balayage. I can’t have something that I’m going to put into my lightener that’s going to make my strongest developer of 40-volume a 30-volume. I need to make sure it always stays the same.” — Matthew Collins, brand ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel
Fibre Fix: Fibreplex
Fibreplex from Schwarzkopf Professional is a four-step system that includes Fibreplex No.1 Bond Booster, which integrates with the hair fibres and strengthens their structural bonds. Fibreplex No.2 Bond Sealer is an intensive treatment that seals the hair’s outer surface for improved strength and shine. The Shampoo cleanses while providing hair with intense, restorative care. The No.3 Bond Maintainer is the system’s home care treatment, which not only maintains the bonding system’s benefits at home but also shields hair from new damage. Fibreplex can be used as a bond enforcer for colour-treated hair or as a bonding care service for strengthening hair between colour services and for your non-colour-service clients.
The technology: Fibreplex No.1 is formulated with Fibre Bond technology, which protects hair from damage throughout the lightening, lifting and colouring process. The technology interlinks with the hair fibres, enforcing the strength of their structural bonds while minimizing breakage by up to 94 per cent. The Fibreplex Shampoo, No.2 and No.3 contain Fibre Bond 4.5 technology, which creates new bonds while balancing the pH level to secure colour pigments, resulting in vibrant, long-lasting colour.
“The bonding category has become so important because more and more people are pre-lightening their hair now, which means that the hair needs a lot more protection now than ever before. With Fibreplex, stylists can maintain their regular colouring routine so they don’t need to increase their processing time or change their developer strengths. And, because they don’t have to alter their normal routine, they are guaranteed the same, if not better, colour results with the added protection of the hair. Bonding systems are not a trend; they are a staple.” – Susan Boccia, education manager for Schwarzkopf Professional Canada
Photo: Hair: Hair: Michael Piastrano, Ibiza Hair, Australia; Colour: Adrian Rotolo; Makeup: Kylie O’Toole; Stylist: Vass Arvanitis; Photo: Andrew O’Toole