Ask Kate: What is a hair bond?

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When it comes to hair care, it can feel overwhelming to try to determine what products are best for whatever your hair may need! There are products for softening, hydrating, strengthening, adding shine, moisturizing, and even products that claim do to all of those things. If your hair is feeling distressed, looking dry, or feeling lifeless, you may want to explore adding a bond repairing product into the mix! 

What even is a hair bond? The inner part of your hair is made up of disulfide bonds. These bonds make up the strength and structure of the hair, so when they are broken, hair becomes weaker, more fragile, and prone to splitting or just breaking off.

If you are noticing damage in your hair, it wouldn’t hurt to look into a bond repairing product. Bond repairing products contain ingredients that help heal broken bonds in the hair. 

How is a bond repairing product different than a keratin or protein spray? A protein spray is great for restoring strength to the hair and helping strengthen the cuticle (the outer part of the hair shaft). But if you overdo protein sprays, it could end up making your hair feel stiff or hard, especially towards the ends. 

I don’t know what to use but my hair feels like straw! Add a deep conditioner (or a hair mask) into your weekly routine. And make sure you’re using a heat protector before you style, like Bumble and Bumble Hairdressers Oil Heat & UV Primer. Look into one of the bond repairing products below to incorporate into your hair care routine on a once-weekly basis. 

A few well-loved bond repairing products: 

bumble and bumble Bond Building Repair Treatment – my hair always feels fantastic when I use it! I typically switch up my hair masks pretty regularly, but I’m almost to the end of this bottle. 

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-in Overnight Serum – I love the ease of applying this to dry hair at night before I go to bed. 

Olaplex Number 8 – this is probably the best-known hair bond repairing line, and while it works really nicely, I do want to simply share that the other two options I listed above work great as well! I’ve used this specific product a number of times and my hair feels great afterward! 

Questions? Leave them below! And if you enjoyed this, you may also like this post!


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Pauline says · 09.07.21

This info is exactly what I needed on how to make my hair less frizzy! How often should I do deep conditioning masks on my colored hair?

Kate says · 09.07.21

Once a week is a great place to start!!

Sheila says · 09.07.21

Struggling so much with my hair right now. Very dry with breakage around the front and crown. 😩. Not sure if age (menopause and grays) is the problem or my appliances are not helping either. Just ordered a new hair dryer (T3 featherweight 2) and need to get a straightener (recommendation?)
Would supplements help? REALLY struggling.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Christina says · 09.07.21

I always struggle with dryness and breakage as my hair is fine. I’ve been doing Olaplex once a month but should probably up that to once a week. I also started viviscal supplements but can’t comment yet as I’m only two weeks in, and I’m trying Garnier Grow Strong shampoo. I don’t think the brand of hair appliances matters as much as keeping the heat low. And always use a heat protectant.

Melissa says · 09.07.21

Thank you Kate! Love the hair product education, keep it comin! ☺️

Melanie says · 09.07.21

Thanks for the recs! I have been struggling with excessive hair shedding recently – will these help? Do you have any other recs to help slow the shedding down? TY!!

Kate says · 09.07.21

they would help, but this system may be better for you:

CJ says · 09.07.21

Are all of the safe for color treated hair? And is a hair mask or bond repair safe to use while pregnant or nursing?

Kate says · 09.07.21

Yes safe for color treated hair. I cannot speak to their safety during pregnancy or nursing as I’m not a medical professional, so I would encourage you to discuss that with your doctor!

Danielle Bobcean says · 09.07.21

Do you have a Bumble and Bumble code?

Kristine says · 09.07.21

Can you use it just on certain parts of your hair? My hair is the most distressed around the frame of my face.

Jane says · 09.07.21

Was thinking of trying the Amika Kure mask, but now I’m wondering if I should try one of these. How does the Amika mask compare to these?

Hilary says · 09.08.21

Thank you for this post! Possibly silly question, but how do you know if your hair is damaged? What should we look for? I’m going a really long time between hair cuts due to the pandemic and want to keep my hair as healthy as possible between cuts!

Sydney says · 09.08.21

With your recommendation, I purchased the BB bond treatment as well as Shampoo/conditioner from the same line. I have so much hair breakage around my face and the nape of my neck. I’ve spent the summer babying my hair but am not seeing much help. Is it possible to over use the hair bond mask? I’m desperate to fix the breakage!!

Jenny says · 09.11.21

Thanks Kate! I’m much happier with my hair since I discovered your blog 🙂

Melanie says · 09.11.21

Is the Virtue Healing Oil a bond repair treatment or is it something else?

Jenny Gray says · 09.15.21

Hi Kate,

I always love your recommendations. I just got the Alterna product in the picture, but then reading and clicking on the link, its a different product. Is there a difference, and which do you prefer? I liveth idea of putting something on at night before bed, but wasn’t sure if I could use the leave-in protein cream the same way as the serum.


Katherine Koby says · 10.26.21

How do you use the bumble&bumble repair treatment? I purchased it and thought to use it like a mask before I wash but the back says to use it after shampoo?
Thank you!

Kim says · 11.08.21

Would you be able to talk about the difference between bond building and acidic products for bleached hair? Specifically, I keep seeing the Redken Acidic Bonding Complex line and the Matrix Citric Acid line. Are these the same thing as products like Olaplex or the other bond builders listed above? Curious on how to pick one or the other.

Harshu Mogare says · 01.07.22

Awesome content! these are great for adding the feeling of thickness to the hair. If your hair is lifeless or very thin, this duo will give your hair a nice boost!

Elizabeth Gocke says · 02.19.22

What about K19? My stylist recommended it.

Kate says · 02.21.22

K18? I like it okay, I need to play around with it more.

Stacy says · 03.30.22

Hi! I know you are a fan of Virtue products. What are your thoughts on their restorative treatment mask compared to these three?

Kathi Delaney says · 05.20.22

Hello, how do you use Olaplex 8?? And you
recommend using a treatment weekly?
My hair is dry and over processed..
Thank you and have a great weekend.

annneli says · 06.15.22

LOVE the Bumble and Bumble one! I always thought it was just a really good conditioner until I read about bond builders online actually (saw it here That plus the Davine’s Liquid Spell is amazing 🙂