MUCOTA Rebonding vs Shiseido Rebonding vs L'Oreal Xtenso: Everything you need to know about Rebonding Part 2

Published on Sep 17, 2015

In Part 1 of our article for Everything you need to know about Rebonding, we explained about the differences between Volume Rebonding, Soft Rebonding as well as S Curve and C Curve rebonding.

Click here first to read Everything You Need To Know About Rebonding: Part 1 if you haven't!

Other than technique and design, however, the chemicals used and tools of the trade can also impact how the rebonding turns out.

In the second part of the Rebonding series, we will therefore be dealing with your questions on what is the difference between the recently popular MUCOTA rebonding vs the more established Shiseido Rebonding, L'Oreal Xtenso and the newer Arimino and Milbon Rebonding.

Read on to find out more!

Rebonding / Straightening Chemicals

Other than technique and design, hair chemicals also play part in determining how your rebonding will eventually turn out.

In fact, one of the major reasons why Korean salons are so sought after for their Volume Rebonding is because of their specialized chemicals. Some Korean salons import specialized chemicals from Korea that are not commonly found in Singapore.

Volume Rebonding

Volume Rebonding by Flamingo

Even though Korean chemicals are effective, there are some of us who find Korean salons a little out of reach in terms of budget.

So, what are the alternatives?

The most common chemicals used in Singapore for rebonding are the established brands: Shiseido Crystallizing Straight, L’Oreal Xtenso and more recently MUCOTA.

1. Shiseido Crystallizing Straight and L’Oreal Xtenso

Shiseido Crystallizing Straight and L’Oreal Xtenso are the first two rebonding chemicals introduced to Singapore about 5-10 years ago. Today, most local salons including our trusted Act Point SalonPicasso Hair Studio and Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon use either L’Oreal Xtenso or Shiseido Crystallizing Straight.

C Curve Shiseido Rebonding by Act Point Salon

Shiseido Straightening appears to be the most common given its suitability to the Asian hair and also, the continual upgrades to its formula which saw the recent introduction of Hyaluronic acid to strengthen hair structure.

It’s difficult to say which is better than the other, ultimately it depends on your hair structure. Shiseido has an edge because their straightening cream is made in Japan and formulated specifically for Asian hair. Therefore, it appears to work better on Singaporean hair. L’Oreal Xtenso, on the other hand, was previously more effective for Caucasian hair as it is formulated in Europe and designed for Caucasian hair. Today, however, with L’Oreal’s extended presence in Asia and improved formulation, the effectiveness of both Shiseido and L’Oreal are quite similar.

It’s wise to take note that the established brands provide salons with a wide range of rebonding lotions with different strengths.

C Curve Shiseido Rebonding by Act Point Salon

L’Oreal Xtenso for example has “EX”, "M", “N” and “R” while Shiseido has “H1” ,"HL1" and “N1”.

Loreal Xtenso straightener
Shiseido Crystallizing Straight

Each of these lotions are catered for different types of hair. The strongest straightening lotion, for example, should be used for very coarse and curly hair whereas the milder straightening lotion should be used for thinner damaged hair.

Very unfortunately, we hear that there are some not-so-ethical hair salons who purchase only ONE type of straightening lotion at huge quantities. To save on inventory cost and use smaller quantities of straightening lotion, SOME salons purchase ONLY the strongest straightening lotion. Although the strongest straightening lotion can help to rebond your hair within a shorter period of time, the hair tend to be overprocessed easily, making it more likely for the hair to be ‘fried’, overly damaged or at the very least flat. This may also explain why some salons can offer rebonding at lower prices and why reviews are not so good at these salons.

If it’s your first time to the salon, it’s always a good practice to ask if they stock the whole range of straightening lotion and which strength of straightening lotion they would use for each section of your hair.

Needless to say, our recommended salons such as Act Point SalonPicasso Hair Studio and Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon already do!

2. MUCOTA Rebonding

Agent G was first introduced to MUCOTA Opera Rebonding by Focus Hairdressing about 2-3 years ago. The natural straightness of the hair and the aromatic smell of MUCOTA Straightening impressed her a great deal.

Results of my mucota opera rebonding!

Since then, MUCOTA has grown to be really popular in Singapore and is often used by salons around Singapore for soft rebonding.

There are three different types of MUCOTA rebonding treatments and Focus Hairdressing is one of the few salons that carry all three types.

MUCOTA Opera Rebonding by Focus Hairdressing


MUCOTA DYNA Rebonding by Focus Hairdressing

  1. MUCOTA Opera Rebonding: It’s good at controlling frizziness and has a soft rebonding effect. MUCOTA Opera Rebonding is also the cheapest MUCOTA Rebonding.
  2.  MUCOTA DYNA Argan Oil Straightening: The most popular MUCOTA rebonding option right now, the MUCOTA DYNA Argan Oil Straightening contains argan oil and other essential oils to repair the hair even as it straightens it! Even if your hair is damaged, MUCOTA DYNA Argan Oil Straightening will be able to help calm your hair and bring out the natural shine within, lasting up to 4-6 months.
  3. MUCOTA Omega Oil Therapy: The newest MUCOTA rebonding that is currently only available in 20 hair salons in Singapore, MUCOTA Omega Oil Therapy contains seven types of natural essential oils and the latest heat protection treatment to fully protect the hair during the rebonding process. It’s so nourishing that it can even be used on bleached hair!

Other than Focus HairdressingCLEO Hair & Make is also one of the 20 salons which has just introduced MUCOTA Omega Oil Therapy to its customers.


Agent G has also tried it out as a perm and loved the results! Check out her experience here if you are interested.

Other than the Shiseido, L'Oreal, MUCOTA, there are other lesser known chemical brands which has yielded good feedback among salons in Singapore.

3. Milbon Liscio Hair Straightening

A lesser known brand in Singapore but vastly popular in Japan and other parts of the world, Milbon Liscio is now available in Singapore at Branche Hair Salon.

Milbon Liscio

Milbon Liscio is the first rebonding treatment allowed for use in Japanese salons. Due to its suitability even for Caucasian hair, Milbon Liscio is still the chemical often used for Japanese Hair Straightening in the US.

Other than the usual straightening effects, Milbon Liscio is very popular as it incorporates a lot of treatments within the hair service, giving the rebonded hair natural bounce and volume. Similar to Shiseido and L’Oreal, Milbon Liscio is also formaldehyde-free.

4. Arimino Cosme

Another Japanese brand that is more widely known in Japan, Arimino Cosme is available at selected hair salons such as Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon and Picasso Hair Studio.

Arimino Cosme

The difference between Arimino, Shiseido and L’Oreal is that Arimino’s formulation is milder and contains a lot more treatments and conditioning. This makes Arimino more suitable for hair that is dry or hair that has previously undergone multiple chemical treatments.

5. COVO Exclusive Rebonding Lotion

Rebonding at COVO Hair Salon

Dissatisfied with current types of straightening lotions in the market, the owner of COVO Hair Salon is one of the few salons which has produced its own rebonding and perming lotion in Japan!

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!

Overall, many of the hair chemical brands are similar. They offer chemicals of different hair strengths to give better results for hair of different hair condition and texture. However, some are still stronger / milder than others, making it more suitable for a particular type of hair. It is therefore best to do a little bit more research and ask your trusted stylist for advice on what suits you best!

Tools of The Trade

A final factor that may affect the result of rebonding other than technique, design and chemicals is the tools and machinery used during the rebonding process. Although this possibly affects perm more than rebonding, the rise of rebonding perm hybrid makes this factor increasingly important.

Pro Trim Korean Salon at JEM, for example, claims that it uses specially imported irons that make it easy for stylists to make the hair curly or naturally straight, giving natural-looking volume rebonding results. Needless to say, the irons are also a trade secret.

Zinc Korean Hair Salon also seem to bring in many new machines every few months. There's always something whenever I go back for a perm or a volume rebonding.

Setting Perm hangs up the hair

Technique, Design, Chemicals and Tools aside, the most important factor in determining whether the rebonding will turn out well is possibly your hairstylist.

With the right skill, experience and communication, a great stylist should be able to give you the rebonding style that you've always dreamed of.

We note however that few stylists are good at explaining the theory of rebonding to you, the way we have done so in the past 2 articles. So if explanation and theory is important to you, we would recommend stylists such as Veyond from Chez Vous Hair Salon who are excellent both skill-wise and even in terms of explanation.

If not, many of the salons we've mentioned such as Act Point SalonFocus Hairdressing and Pro Trim Korean Salon are also great alternatives particularly if you are looking for reliable rebonding services at reasonable prices!

Do you have any more queries about rebonding?

Share your questions with us below!

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