Jeni Thomas, Pantene’s global principal scientist, explains that bond builders are formulas that “work to build new bonds that support the strand where bond breakage has happened. They can also work by strengthening bonds from being broken in the first place.”
Common key ingredients in bond builders are small, organic acids (like malic, maleic, and citric acid), Thomas explains, that “help build ionic and electrostatic linkages and strengthen hair’s protein structure.” Lipids such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol can also help rebuild bonds usually broken due to heat damage, she adds. “[They] hold the fiber together, keeping it compact, and return resilience to hair so it can bounce back after being stressed.”
Epres Bond Repair Treatment features a patented formula made with diethylhexyl maleate (a compound made up of ethylhexanol and maleic acid) to repair and strengthen protein structure, while a new hair mask in the Pantene Miracle Rescue collection uses lipids (making it perfect for those who heat-style frequently). Next on the horizon: Marc Anthony Haircare Repair Bond +Rescuplex Collection, which includes a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatment, and mask meant to rebuild damaged disulfide bonds. John Freida will also be launching a nourishing shampoo and conditioner duo meant to undo damage.
When shopping for damage-repair and bond-building hair-care products, cosmetic chemist Ginger King recommends looking for formulas with cystine bis-pg-propyl, silanetriol, or lysine carboxymethyl cysteinate (anything that looks like cystine or cysteine): “When you see these ingredients you know they are functional,” she notes. But, she warns, while you may see ingredients like starch, honey, ceramide, and protein used in bond-building products, they are “more of a story ingredient,” meaning they offer some benefits on their own, but they’re not contributing to rebuilding your hair’s bonds.
Prepare To See More Of This Buzzy Hair Growth Ingredient
Two of the most searched hair-related topics this year aren’t exactly what you think of when you hear “hair trend”: Hair loss and thinning were foremost on our minds, according to a study conducted by Harris Williams, a mergers and acquisitions firm. “Increased focus on these issues is particularly high among women in life stages during which hair growth can be impacted, such as post-pregnancy,” the study claims.
The truth is, “there is no magic hair-growth oil,” says Dr. Howard-Verović, emphasizing that hair growth looks different for everyone and there’s no one-size-fits-all cure. She does find that people neglect scalp care when trying to address hair growth, though, and that, to some extent, a healthier scalp (there it is again!) can help promote healthier hair growth.
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