The Bond-Building Haircare Treatments That Work
The Bond-Building Haircare Treatments That Work

The Bond-Building Haircare Treatments That Work

Strengthening your hair from the inside out by rebuilding the broken bonds between damaged keratin proteins, bonding treatments were previously only available in professional salons. Designed to nourish strands and improve colour and shine, now, there are plenty of at-home formulas offering the same results. Here are the ones that get our vote...
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Bond-Building Repair Treatment, £29.99 | Bumble And Bumble

Best For: Fine Hair

This silky-smooth treatment is designed to be used once a week – especially by those with fine, delicate hair. It won’t weigh your strands down and doesn’t overload your scalp with ingredients. Instead, it has a honey-based bond-building complex which de-frizzes and moisturises the hair cuticle all in one go. The result? Better shine and improved softness – not to mention more manageability. You’ll find hair feels smoother and bouncier.

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Bond Building Pre Shampoo Treatment, £22.75 | Coco & Eve

Best For: Very Damaged Hair

Before this even hit the shelves, it had more than 20,000 people on the waiting list. From a brand known for its hard-working treatments, this new Coco & Eve release is no exception. Clinically proven to reduce even the worst damage, it’s a total game-changer for those looking to strengthen weakened hair. Using botanical oils, fatty acids and bond-builders, it gets down deep into the hair’s shaft providing a protective layer that softens and smooths. Apply it to damp hair, leave it for 15 minutes minimum, then shampoo as normal. Once you dry your hair, you’ll see immediate results.

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Silkamio Mega-Moisturizing Masker, £24 | Drunk Elephant

Best For: A Quick Fix

Looking for a quick hair fix? This new mask should be your go-to. Drunk Elephant has teamed up with A-list stylist Chris McMillan to launch a range of hard-working products – and this one is our favourite. Using amino acids and silk proteins, it works to bring over-processed strands back from the brink. The formula also contains marula butter, lipids and fatty acids, all of which repair broken bonds at a deeper level, so you’ll see hair feels softer and less brittle almost immediately. You only need to leave it on for three minutes each time to see a difference – great for the time poor.

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Leave In Molecular Repair Hair Mask, £9 | K18

Best For: Smoothing Brittleness 

If you have brittle, dry or broken strands, this mask will make a difference. A leave-in treatment, it uses a sophisticated blend of peptides and proteins, both of which repair broken chains and bonds to restore hair to its healthiest state. Shampoo as normal, skip conditioner, then apply the mask to towel-dried hair. You only need one or two pumps depending on your individual hair texture. With regular use you’ll see hair feels smoother and looks glossier – no wonder it has more than 2,800 positive reviews.

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Bond Smoother, £28 | Olaplex

Best For: All-Round Benefits

There’s little this Bond Smoother can’t do. Not only does it speed up blow-drying time, it controls frizz, hydrates and prevents further breakage. Full of smoothing oils, aloe juice and proteins, apply it to damp hair after you’ve shampooed and conditioned it, then style as normal. You’ll find it leaves behind an invisible shield on the hair, protecting it from everyday wear and tear.

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Bond Builder Lipid Shield Oil, £22.10 (was £26) | Philip Kingsley

Best For: Thickening Hair 

If you want a bond builder that delivers extra volume, this one’s for you. Just like others on this list, it uses strengthening proteins and panthenol (a form of vitamin B5) to boost elasticity and, in turn, minimise breakage and split ends. Use it pre-shampoo on damp hair. The brand recommends leaving it on for ten minutes, but if you can, we advise leaving it on for longer to really let it sink in. You’ll soon see the difference – hair will be notably easier to style, and feel healthier overall.

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Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Pre-Treatment, £17.20 | Redken

Best For: Bleach Blondes

If your hair’s been weakened as a result of bleach, this bonding pre-shampoo treatment promises to minimise damage and soften brittle texture. The ingredients are specifically designed to rebalance your hair’s pH levels – which often come unstuck as a result of bleach – while lactic acid and castor seed oils lock in extra nourishment. Not only does it smooth strands, it makes damage less noticeable and ensures your colour lasts longer.

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PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, £12.99 | The INKEY List

Best For: Those On A Budget

At £12.99, this is one of the best affordable bonding treatments we’ve tried. Spritz it onto towel-dried damp hair once it’s clean, covering every area except your scalp. Then, style as normal, allowing the brand’s core strengthening ingredient – Granrepair PowerBond – to get to work. You’ll also find pyrrolidone carboxylic acid in this – which is where the product gets its ‘PCA’ name from. Both of these repair and protect damaged bonds. The only downside is it can feel a little heavy, so it’s better for those with thicker, fuller hair.

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