There are three varieties of bonds holding Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and sulfur molecules together in a magical arrangement, forming human hair. I like to think of these bonds like three varieties of boyfriends.
If hair bonds were boyfriends, who would you choose?
The first bond is a hydrogen bond. Hydrogen bonds break and reform every time hair is heated or cooled, wet and dried. Wash your hair? Broke a bond. Bust out the flat iron? Broke a bond. But don’t worry those bonds come back as soon as your hair dries or cools.
The hydrogen bond is a wishy-washy, yet ultimately reliable dude.
He often can’t make a decision if he should stay or go, but at the end of the day, just when you least expect it, he shows up to watch an episode of Mozart in the Jungle and spoon you well into the night. He might be annoying sometimes, but you’d rather have him than try to find a new beau.
The second bond is a salt bond. The salt bond is slightly stronger than the hydrogen bond. It breaks and reforms when the pH of hair is changed and then normalized. Coloring your hair? Broken bond. Wash and condition after color? Bond reforms, end of story.
The salt bond is that college boyfriend who never leaves your life.
You got along great, but sometimes things got volatile. You stormed out of the house screaming about his Final Fantasy addiction, and a few hours later he’d track you down at the coffee shop down the street to apologize. Your parents loved him, but ultimately you’ve decided to spend your adult life as close friends rather than lovers. He will always show up when you need him. Period.
The third, and most illusive bond is a disulfide bond. A disulfide is the bond between two suffer molecules, and is the bond you never want to break, because its break is permanent. Use a relaxer or perm? You’ve broken disulfide bonds–your hair will never be as strong again. Bleach your hair platinum until it feels like straw–you’re just a step away from destroying all of your disulfide bonds, and you’ll never get them back.
Disulfide bonds are the boyfriend you’re constantly paranoid will leave you.
He’s handsome, and strong, and you feel as though he completes you. Without him you’d be lost. And then, one day, over an argument of what type of mini cupcakes to serve at your wedding, a fight ensues. He breaks, tells you he can’t handle your obsessive clingy nature, and he’s done.
You’ll never see your disulfide boyfriend again. Your friends will try to help you recover with marathons of Sex and the City and books by Mindy Kaling, but a part of you will always feel empty inside.
He will ghost you for years, just like the memory of your once beauty virgin hair that you mistakenly processed to shit.
Cheers to the men and hair you just can’t stop loving.
Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins.