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Hair Bonds 101

02.02.2021 | Haircare

Bleaching, heat treatments, colouring and styling - the daily grind for luscious-looking locks can be a heavy burden on your hair, with damage being one of the top haircare concerns we encounter. Fear not, PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment is a super saviour bringing dual powers of protection and repair.

This innovative formula works on two levels - firstly to protect and prevent further damage and secondly, to penetrate the hair bond to repair and strengthen already affected areas. i.e it can actually help revert the impact of existing hair trauma and is designed for ALL hair types.

This sounds like a miracle treatment - must be expensive, right? At INKEY, we believe beauty is for all and the access to repairing and protecting your hair should be as accessible as the things that cause it, which is why we’ve created this budget-friendly bond repair treatment to work easily into your daily routine. 


In a fine mist, post-wash spray, The INKEY List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment is a unique, next generation of bond-cure technology. Key to this treatment is it’s active ingredients. In particular, the active compound Granrepair Powerbond®* penetrates the hair fiber and is clinically proven to target all hair bonds, and therefore all hair types and textures, to help repair, strengthen and protect them from damage caused by excessive bleaching, colouring or heat.


It’s true that some hair types are more susceptible to damage, and any exposure to chemicals or excessive heat can increase that, but ALL hair can experience damage of various degrees. Unlike skin, hair lacks regenerative properties, therefore, when deciding to bleach, color or use chemical relaxers it is recommended to use products alongside that help preserve and maintain the hair’s structural integrity.

If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may need some PCA TLC:

  • Lack of shine
  • Brittleness
  • Split Ends
  • Hair feels rough to touch
  • Hair prone to breakage
  • Use of bleach/hair colour
  • Use of heat styling tools

By incorporating our PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment into your haircare routine, you see immediate and long-term results of the hair:

  • looking healthier, less damaged, less split ends and less prone to breakage
  • feeling softer, smoother, less frizzy and easier to comb through
  • becoming stronger, with improved shine and bounce


Following The INKEY List philosophy that knowledge powers everything - this carefully formulated product is rooted in a firm understanding of how our hair bonds work and therefore what’s needed to repair, strengthen and protect them.

Taking the lead in this unique chemical composition is key active 10% Granrepair Powerbond®, a new and innovative bond building technology called pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA). So what’s so great about PCA? PCA is a very small silicone which, don’t panic, are generally known to be non-toxic and non- irritating. The structure of this compound allows it to penetrate into the cuticle to work across ALL the hair bonds, both permanent and temporary. It can also attract moisture to hydrate the hair, giving it more shine, whilst replacing lipids for softness.

To support this superstar active in the PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, we’ve combined it with 0.2% Aquarich to help improve the structure of the hair making it glossier, easier to comb and preventing split ends; 2% Crodasone™ P to protect hair from thermal damage and prevent cuticle cracking and splitting from heat; 0.2% Heliogenol™ to protect hair against damage caused by free radicals and UV rays and 2% Betaine to condition hair, leaving it soft and healthy.


The key to this product is the understanding of how our hair bonds work and the structure and function of how each hair fiber is built.

So let’s get science-y! Working from the molecules up, we start with Amino Acids which are the building blocks of chemical component keratin (protein), a word you may be familiar with in the world of haircare. Keratin equates to 65%-95% of the hair weight and it’s main role is protection. It does this by layering up, like slates on a roof or feathers, to create a sort of shield.

For Keratin to create this shield, it requires chemical bonds or links within the hair structure which are responsible for the “interactions” between the chains of amino acids that compose the keratin. It’s these hair bonds that are overall responsible for hair’s mechanical and cosmetic properties such as strength, elasticity, shape and shine and it’s when these bonds are broken by external aggressors such as heat or chemicals that damage occurs.

It’s the 3 main chemical bonds we’ve created the PCA Bond Repair Treatment around - disulphide bonds, hydrogen and salt (ionic) bonds:

HYDROGEN BONDS: Temporary and relatively weak bonds normally broken by the application of water (whether simple humidity or washing) and heat. These bonds, like the ionic bonds, are responsible for hair’s strength and a consistent percentage of hair’s elasticity.

SALT / IONIC BONDS: Like hydrogen bonds, these are also temporary and weaker bonds which also are normally broken by water. They greatly contribute to hair strength and elasticity.

DISULPHIDE BONDS: Tougher to reach by many products, these are stronger and permanent bonds which maintain the shape of our hair. They are normally broken by heat (like use of flat irons) and by chemicals (like bleach or hair relaxers).

Our Granrepair Powerbond® PCA works across each of these hair bonds by protecting existing disulphide bonds and helping to repair hydrogen and ionic bonds resulting in improved gloss, strength, manageability and softness of hair with reduced split ends and breakage both immediately and ongoing.


It depends on the condition of the hair and how often people bleach, color or use heat styling tools but for people who have damaged hair, we’d recommend using it every time after washing the hair. This can be decreased once hair seems to have improved, unless bleaching, colouring and heat styling continues in which case maintain every wash usage to help protect.

For best results, use post- wash. Activate the pump by pressing down 2-3 times before first use. Shake well and spray on towel-dried damp hair, focusing particularly on the more damaged areas from mid lengths to ends. As a guide, we’d suggest spritzing 4-6 sprays through short, fine hair and 6-10 sprays for longer, thicker hair. Check out the demo in the video above.

And if making your hair happy wasn’t enough, the PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment also makes the planet smile as the packaging (including bottle, spray pump, cap and carton) is 100% recyclable as part of our ongoing sustainability mission.

So that’s the lowdown on hair bonds and beyond. As INKEY Co-Founder, Mark Curry advises: “This year, if you want to invest in ONE product that helps repair, protect and strengthen damaged hair, invest in a product that DOES IT ALL, FOR ALL.”

For more information about our PCA BOND HAIR TREATMENT and The INKEY List products, contact us at #askINKEY

Photo of Written by one of our askINKEY skincare advisors

Written by one of our askINKEY skincare advisors

Our askINKEY team are available 24/7 on our live chat. A friendly bunch, all experts with deep product knowledge, ready to make skincare as simple as possible. Whether you are an ingredient expert or starting your journey, no question is too big or too small, no judgement or jargon, we’re here to help and be part of your journey.