Rebonding is a chemical process for permanently straightening hair. The chemicals break the natural bonds of curly or wavy hair and restructure these bonds to straighten. It’s very time-consuming—it takes about four hours for shoulder-length hair—and has to be done correctly to prevent strands from falling out. Having a trained hairstylist do it for you is definitely your safest bet. But if you’re brave enough to try it, you can do it yourself with a home rebonding kit.

Things You'll Need

Wash hair with mild shampoo, rinse out, and dry with a blow-dryer on medium setting.

Separate hair into sections with a comb. Hold sections in place with hair clips.

Put on the gloves that come with the kit. Apply the relaxant or cream softener to each section of hair. Keep the product on for at least 30 minutes, but check the directions because each kit has its own time frame depending on the chemicals used and the texture of the hair.

Steam hair for 10 to 30 minutes with a hair steamer. If you don’t have a hair steamer, boil a pot of water on the stove, put on heat-proof gloves, place a towel in the hot water, wring it out, and then wrap it around the hair. The length of time for steaming depends on the texture and condition of the hair.

Rinse out the relaxant or cream softener. Dry your hair with a blow-dryer.

Apply the keratin lotion to the hair. Leave lotion on hair. Do not rinse out.

Iron hair with a ceramic flatiron until all hair is straight.

Separate hair into sections. Apply a neutralizer to each section. Leave neutralizer on for at least 30 minutes. (Again, consult the directions in the kit.) The neutralizer sets the new bonds of the hair.

Rinse out neutralizer with cold water. Blow dry hair until completely dry.

Iron hair with the flatiron again for a final touch-up.


  • Don’t wash your hair for three to four days after rebonding. Don’t wear any kind of hair accessories, such as clips, rubber bands, or barrettes. Wear a shower cap during bathing or showering to keep your hair dry during these first few days.
  • For best results, use high-quality products.