Difference between Volume Rebonding vs Soft Rebonding vs Rebonding Perm

Published on Aug 02, 2021

Those who don’t have it, want it and those who have it, well… struggle with it.

Ah, yes, the all too familiar curly hair woes.

Curly hair does take a lot of time and effort to maintain which is why many choose to rebond or straighten their hair. Unlike 3-5 years ago when rebonding is deemed to be "straight and boring", we have seen a revival in natural rebonding among both Korean artistes and in Singapore salons!

There are however many different types of rebonding right now; from Volume RebondingS Curve RebondingC Curve RebondingRebonding Perms and Volume Perm,  it’s best to educate yourself on what each type of rebonding is.

We have therefore asked salon experts to give us a deeper insight on the various types of rebonding techniques and design to give us a better idea on how these rebonding techniques differ!

Read on to find out which is more suitable for you!

What is Rebonding?

Originally developed in Japan, rebonding became hugely popular as it made curly, frizzy hair much more manageable!

The process of rebonding involves:

  1. Strong Straightening Lotion is applied to the hair to break the existing hair bonds.
  2. A flat iron is used to reset the hair bonds and make the hair straight.
  3. A final neutralizer is then applied to reform the bonds.

Rebonding, however, has its downsides. It can not only damage your hair but make your hair excessively straight, sticking to the sides of your face and possibly making it look bigger.

Straight rebonding for frizzy hair

Fortunately for us, hair salons in Asia have been experimenting with ways to make rebonding hair look natural yet manageable.

The major advances have been in two primary aspects:

  1. Technique: Technique refers to the procedure used by the salon to rebond the hair.
  2. Design: Design refers to how the stylist cuts the hair and uses the iron to achieve a certain style.

Differences in Techniques and Design have therefore led to the different terms like Volume Rebonding, S Curve Rebonding, C Curve Rebonding and so on. Read on to find out how they differ!

What are the Rebonding Techniques

There are five different types of techniques: Straight RebondingSoft RebondingJapanese Aqua StraighteningVolume Rebonding and Volume Body Perm.

These five techniques differ on the strength of chemicals used, level of heat used, amount of treatment included and whether perming techniques are used within the process.

1. What is Straight rebonding?

Straight rebonding for frizzy hair

Straight Rebonding for Coarse and Very Curly Hair by Act Point Salon

This refers to the traditional type of rebonding that gives you the super straight look. Despite straightening your  hair, it can also make your hair look a little flat as strong hair chemicals are used to tame the hair.

Straight rebonding is usually recommended for ladies with coarse and very curly hair as their hair often require high heat and strong chemical products to tame!

Straight rebonding therefore works very well for most Indian and Malay ladies with such hair texture.

For the rest of us, it may be better to opt for the other types of rebonding as straight rebonding can make our hair look a little too flat!

PS. We note that the preferred chemical choices for Straight Rebonding tends to be Shiseido and L'Oreal. Read more about Rebonding Chemicals in Part II of this article here!

2. What is Soft Rebonding?

Natural soft rebonding suitable for Asian hair

MUCOTA Soft Rebonding by Kobayashi Hair Design

Soft rebonding is a milder version of Straight Rebonding. Instead of using strong chemicals and high heat, milder hair chemicals and a lower temperature are used to reduce the natural frizziness.

The end result is hair that looks naturally straight for hair that are not too curly and coarse! This is suitable for most Chinese ladies with straight frizzy hair that may be slightly damaged.

PS. We note that MUCOTA is fast becoming the rebonding chemical of choice for soft rebonding. Read more about MUCOTA Rebonding in Part II of our Rebonding Special here!

3. What is Japanese Aqua Straightening

Hair health is the one thing that Japanese stylists prize above all else. As rebonding can be a damaging process, Japanese stylists and hair chemical companies have innovated to include more treatments within rebonding to minimize damage. The Japanese Aqua Straightening is therefore created.

Straight rebonding for frizzy hair

Aqua Straightening by Art Noise Japanese Salon

Taking Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon as an example; although they use Shiseido and Arimino for their straightening creams, they use their inhouse SHA treatment to protect the hair and keep the moisture in, a key strength of the inhouse treatment throughout the aqua straightening process. SHA is used as a pre-treatment before applying the rebonding lotion and again before applying the neutralizer. An additional acid treatment is then applied after the whole process.

To preserve the natural volume of the hair, the stylists also take the effort to leave a minimal space at the roots untouched by the chemicals. This way, your hair will look naturally straight even at the roots!

Straight rebonding for frizzy hair

Aqua Straightening at COVO Japanese Hair Salon

COVO Japanese Hair Salon goes one step further by creating their own original blend of rebonding lotion. This blend can be made to order according to your hair condition; if your hair is healthy, the chemical mix can be made stronger and if the hair is damaged, it can be made weaker to avoid further damage. The result is a softer straightening effect than what is seen in usual rebonding in other salons. The rebonding blend itself also contains a lot of hair treatment ingredients to strengthen the hair. This makes it suitable even for thinner Caucasian hair, which has seen great results at COVO!

Although Japanese stylists at salons such as Art Noise and COVO can adjust the strength of chemicals used based on your hair texture, we believe that Japanese Aqua Straightening probably works better for Chinese hair which tends to be less coarse and curly! We also note that Japanese Aqua Straightening tend to work well even for Caucasian customers as the amount of treatments involved ensure that their hair is not excessively damaged!

4. What is Volume Rebonding?

A combination of rebonding and perming, volume rebonding requires perming the hair where volume is desired while the rest of the hair is tamed through rebonding.

Volume can be created at the top, ends or body of the hair. The area where volume is required will necessitate a perm while the rest of the hair can be rebonded.

Volume rebonding for frizzy hair

Volume Rebonding by LeeKaJa Korean Hair & Beauty Salon

Ailee from Pro Trim Korean Salon at JEM loves to recommend Volume Rebonding as it combines the best of both rebonding and perm.

The graceful curls can take years off a lady's face while at the same time taming her hair through rebonding. The end result is a hairstyle that looks natural and yet easy to manage!

As Volume Rebonding is a combination of rebonding and perming, it can work well for many different hair textures. The right stylist should be able to design a perm and rebonding to suit your natural hair texture e.g. perm at the top if you naturally have curly hair to make sure that the hair still looks natural when it grows out. This however requires much more judgment and expertise from the stylist so we would recommend that you do volume rebonding only with a stylist you trust!

5. What is Volume Body Perm?

Due to the use of the high heat, rebonding is often deemed more damaging than perms. To minimize damage and make rebonding possible for even the thinnest and most damaged of hair, you can go for cold perm to create an effect similar to volume rebonding, without the need of heat and strong rebonding products!

Although there aren't any pictures to show, we find that this technique is probably similar to Korean Body Perm seen in various Korean salons or Korean Wave Perm in Picasso Hair Studio but with a focus on straightening the hair.

Korean volume rebonding for short hair by Picasso Hair Studio

Korean Wave Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

Instead of having defined curls, the volume body perm / Korean Wave Perm creates waves that make the hair look more voluminous.

This works best for those of you with thin and damaged hair since it is less damaging. It can also be done more frequently to maintain the volume!

This is however not advisable for those with coarse hair as a cold perm like this will probably not create sufficiently defined waves!

Volume Rebonding Designs

Rebonding is merely the straightening of your hair. Once your hair is straight and silky smooth, a great haircut would be what differentiates your hair from another hairstyle. It is therefore crucial to find a haircut specialist to design a haircut for you, especially if you are just intending to go for a straight rebonding, soft rebonding or Japanese Aqua Straightening.

One of our favourite go-to haircut specialists is Izumi. Although she does not do rebonding, we love how her haircut can transform the overall look of how your rebonding looks like... especially fringes!

For Rebonding / Perming hybrids like Volume Rebonding and Volume Body Perm, it can get a little more complicated. The stylists can add a S Curve or C Curve at any point of your hair to create volume and the overall design.

It can therefore be pretty difficult to specify the type of the design you are looking.

There is however, one hair salon which has standardized rebonding and perming methodologies to make it easier for customers to communicate their preferred rebonding styles: Picasso Hair Studio

Although some of these names are commonly used across salons, not every salon uses the same technique. So we would still advise you to take a picture along for your consultation particularly if it is at another salon!

1. What is C Curve Rebonding?

C Curve Rebonding

C Curve Rebonding by Picasso Hair Studio

Neat and professional, the C Curl give the wearer a younger and womanly look that still looks great at work!

Due to its convenience and manageability, C Curve Rebonding is one of the most popular types of volume rebonding we've seen lately. It is basically rebonding at the top and perming at the ends to create C shaped curls that curl inwards. To create this design, the haircut is heavy and does not have many layers.

Recommended For: Busy Working Ladies and even Mothers with a Bob cut to Super long hair.

2. What is S Curve Rebonding?

S Curve Rebonding

S Curve Rebonding by Picasso Hair Studio

A style of Volume Rebonding that looks more like a perm than rebonding, the S Curve Rebonding is basically rebonding at the top and perming at the body and the ends to create the S-shaped Curls. The haircut has many layers to create the effect of many soft curls put together.

The S Curve Rebonding has a more romantic and feminine look while making sure that the top of your hair is manageable! The curls are also the most defined among the different types of volume rebonding available.

Recommended For: Ladies with bra strap length hair and below.  This works well even for super long hair that is chest length and below!

3. What is Rebonding Perm?

Rebonding Perm

Rebonding Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

The Rebonding Perm may look similar to S Curve Rebonding but is slightly less curly. This is because Rebonding Perm is about half a curl less than an S-curve rebonding.

This is therefore perfect for those who want quite a bit of curl but not an excessive amount. It also works better for ladies with hair that is slightly shorter than bra length.

Recommended For: Ladies with shoulder-length hair and below and desire some waves in their rebonding!

FYI, Agent S has just gone for Rebonding Perm at Picasso Hair Studio. Read about her experience here!

4. What is Styling Perm?

Low maintenance styling perm for perm beginners

Styling Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

The styling perm is the least curly rebonding with only a small curve at the end. This perm is a strong C curl with layered haircut. The final result is therefore a perm that looks like many layers of waves. As the curls/waves tend to be looser, there is also minimal lesser maintenance required, making it a great wash-and-wear hairstyle... perfect for perm beginners!

Recommended For: Ladies who have not permed their hair before and fear getting a perm that is too curly. It works well for ladies with shoulder length hair to super long hair.

With the pictures and explanation, we hope that you now have a better idea of what is the difference between Soft Rebonding, Aqua Straightening, Volume Rebonding, S Curve Rebonding, C Curve Rebonding and so on.

Ultimately, the type of rebonding that best suits you depends a lot on your hair texture and your preferred overall look / design. Therefore, it is crucial to find a good hairstylist you can trust to design the right type of rebonding for you.

Do note however that the outcome of the rebonding also depends on other factors such as the type of Rebonding Chemicals Used. We will be discussing more about that in Everything you need to know about Rebonding: Part 2.

Want to know which salons are best for rebonding? Read on for our list of best hair salons for rebonding here according to reviews!

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