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Is bio ionic hair straightener better?

Marie’s bemused by Bio Ionic: I’m considering getting my hair permanently straightened using the Bio Ionic thermal straightening process. I did a bit of research but the information seems a bit too sciencey and kind of what you’d expect from infomercials. The website talks about “negative ionic, infrared and electromagnetic wave charges simultaneously” and shattering “water molecule clusters into micro-fine particles.” My alarm bells are ringing but I know The Beauty Brains will be able to confirm or deny!

This doesn’t come cheap either – I’m looking at $300 to $600 for something that may or may not leave my hair straight. Is this really the “biggest evolutionary leap in hairdressing ever” or the biggest load of bull?

The Right Brain’s recommendation:

The answer lies somewhere in between but probably closer to “bull.”

What is Bio Ionic?

Bio Ionic Inc., was founded by professional stylist Fernando Romero. According to his website, Fernando traveled to Japan where he discovered natural ion therapy. Today Bio Ionic has an entire line of products using this “powerful healing energy.”

What does Bio Ionic supposedly do?

The main claim of the line revolves around these natural ions that are “powerful enough to break water molecule clusters into micro-fine particles and penetrate the hair shaft. That means moisture balance is restored and the hair cuticle is sealed.” It’s a great sounding story, but it doesn’t really mean all that much in terms of real science. Water will penetrate into a hair shaft just fine without being converted into pseudo-scientific micro-fine particles, thank you very much. Of course, that doesn’t stop Bio Ionic from using this natural ion complex in their shampoos, conditioner, and styling products as well as their line of styling tools (blow dryers, flat irons, etc.).

Perhaps the most interesting product in their line is their so called Ion-Retexturizing System which is a “permanent straightening process designed for people with curly, frizzy or unruly hair who want to wear their hair permanently straight.”

Does Bio Ionic really work?

Their website contains a FAQ section that reveals Ion-retexturizing formula is based on Thioglycolate at pH 9.5 with a Neutralizer at pH 3.0. This chemistry will be very familiar to anyone who has had their hair permed. Thioglycolate is used to chemically break down the disulfide bonds in hair and the low pH neutralizer reforms the bonds to lock the hair into a new shape. This is old school technology used in a perms to to take straight hair and change its shape to curly. But there’s no reason that you can’t use the same chemistry to take curly hair and make it straight. So the answer is yes, Bio Ionic will straighten your hair.

But unlike a regular perm, Bio Ionics uses heat to boost the straightening power of the treatment. So, the answer is YES, this product will do what it says. It will permanently straighten your hair. But it has nothing to do with micro-fine natural ions.

Why is Bio Ionic so expensive?

You’re paying for the time and expertise of the stylist doing the procedure. Despite Bio Ionic’s claims to the contrary, if you’re not careful you can seriously damage your hair. (They are correct though, it is less damaging than other chemical straighteners like relaxers.)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Bio Ionic’s Ion-Retexturizing System uses a combination of permanent wave chemistry and heat to effectively straighten your hair. But there is no special science or technology in their natural ion therapy that makes this product work.

What’s YOUR favorite hair straightening product? Do you use styling tools like Farouk’s Straightening Iron, chemical processes like Motions Relaxer, or styling products like Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baum? Leave a comment and share your straight dope with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • winter stephens April 8, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Thank you so much! They make it sound so scientific when its nothing more than a reverse perm. I’m so glad I found this!

    • Ruth October 3, 2015, 10:47 am

      Ive had the treatment since 2007 and its the best thing that had happened to my beautiful curly hair. I never learned to do my hair so even though my curls are beautiful they take a lot of maintenance and Im at an age that I need to simplify everything in my life. I can say in all this years the bio ionic treat has never damaged my hair, I love it because I don’t have to worry anymore about frizz in damp weather, it stays straight. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that is a permanent straightener, so if you want to go back to curly you’ll have to cut your hair or let the roots grow back. The treatment lasts for around 6 months (sometimes more depending on how fast your roots grow. Make sure you find a salon that has experience on applying the treatment.

      • Donna Ayers October 28, 2015, 5:18 pm

        My daughter had this done about four years ago and she has extremely curly hair. It is beautiful, but she had just had a baby and was chronically ill so she wanted something low maintenance. I had my reservations because of how curly her hair is and I have had all kinds of straighteners including a reverse perm. The only straightener that worked for me was the Japanese Yuko Straightening System and not as well as I liked. It was a bit too straight and didn’t last long. My daughter’s hair was wash and wear afterward. It came out silky and shiny. I was impressed with this product. I have to have surgery soon that will take awhile to recover from and am contemplating using it. My apprehension stems from the fact that I already have processed hair so I am going to try it on a test strand and wish for the best.

        Usually if it sounds too good to be true, it is, but in this case, it really is. I think the problem that most people have with products is that they don’t follow directions to a tee. We did and were beyond satisfied with the results.

  • Jocelyne November 3, 2015, 11:26 am

    I have been relaxing my hair for many years but never enjoyed the process. My scalp is very sensitive and the relaxers are not harsh for me. My hair is kinky fine and always to straight when relaxed. But recently I decided to try Phytospecific relaxer. It is from France and it is expensive but it is fantastic, great for my scalp, no shedding, not too straight.

  • jaishree November 15, 2015, 3:48 am

    I bought this bio ionic conditioning straightening iron 4 years and i want it to be repaired can someone pls contact me where can i get it repaired or even buy one no.0825203510

  • Nikki November 26, 2015, 5:57 am

    I can vouch for Bio Ionic!
    I have unmanageable, unruly, frizzy and horribly curly hair, and over 10 years ago, my salon recommended this product. (They would not even want to blow dry my hair – if you want an idea of how bad it was!)
    After I had my Bio Ionic done, I felt like I had a life again!
    Shower, get ready, and walk out with perfectly straight hair!
    What a pleasure!!

  • Jenna May 5, 2016, 2:38 pm

    I am getting this done. I have extremely thick hair and was wondering if its good for thick hair. I have a slight wave

  • Odalis Soriano July 26, 2016, 10:08 pm

    I have a question about Bionic can you color you hair after the process ? I mean 3 or 4 weaks after? Or this will dismish the efficiency of the product .

    Please let me know so I can make a good desition, because I have a lot if grey hair and I have to color my hair monthly , thanks!

    • Randy Schueller July 27, 2016, 8:23 am

      An ionic hair dryer will not affect how long you have to wait before you color your hair.

  • Jennifer July 28, 2016, 1:09 pm

    Bionic ionic Japanese straightening hair is the same procedure and result of Japanese straightening hair

  • Christopher Gloria October 18, 2016, 8:04 am

    I found an ad on your site for this Dyson hairdryer. It looks like it is the only one that manages to do testing. Not surprisingly, it does mention it produces ions, however doesn’t tell you much about that part of it. I was disappointed to see that even though the temp is apparent measured and re-calibrated 20 times each second the lowest temp setting is above the 130 degree mark, which is where a lot of hair damage occurs (learned from you folks). I am curious, with super speed settings, which is more damaging to hair, heat or high speed air flapping your tresses around?


  • Christine June 16, 2017, 1:54 pm

    I have been getting the bio ionic retex straightening done for about 10 years and it is the greatest product ever!! I have the most unruly, frizzy hair with extremely tight curls and this is the only product that has not only made my hair manageable, but easy to work with and beautiful! It actually dries straight! I never imagined that I could have straight hair. My hair has gotten so long and so healthy since I started getting this done. I love love love this product, and the whole line of bio ionic! Their hair brushes and flat irons are great too!

  • Monica November 13, 2017, 2:44 am

    BEST STRAIGHTENER I HAVE EVER USED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Tammy February 26, 2018, 1:03 am

    Hi does the Bio Ionic Retex hair straightner leave my hair permanently straighten for good want no more curly hair and does it have any chemicals in it that will damage my hair

  • Sharon March 7, 2018, 2:48 pm

    I’m a hairdresser and have used Bio Ionic for 12 years. I don’t know why anyone would use any other product. I Love this product! It can be used on color treated hair and with caution can be used on highlighted hair. I keep a portfolio of before and after sand when potential clients see those pictures they are shock. I highly recommend this

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