The Underrated Technique of Track Bonding
What Is Track Bonding?
Track bonding is when you use trimmers to shave a “track” in your client’s natural hair before installing and removing their hair system. The steps to this method look like this:
- Shave a track using trimmers set at 1/8″ (often a #1 on electric trimmers).
- Place P.A.T. Tape along the hair system’s perimeter to match the track in your client’s hair.
- Apply a small amount of hard bond adhesive to the 1/8″ hair stubble. A little bit of hard bond is all it takes.
- Press the hair system firmly in place.
- Pro Tip: Since hard bonds dry so quickly, work on small sections at a time.
- Re-shave the track to remove the hair system and prepare for reinstall.
- Pro Tip: Use Lace Release to remove P.A.T. Tape from the hair system.
Why set trimmers at 1/8″? You want to set trimmers at 1/8″ to leave enough hair stubble for you to apply the hard bond adhesive to. This tiny length of stubble keeps the glue off your client’s skin.
Hard bonds stick the hair stubble permanently to the P.A.T Tape on the hair system. When the stubble grows out after a month or so, the hair system will begin to feel loose. So, you want the hair short enough to get the longest wear possible before it feels loose. But you also want hair long enough to keep the hard bond from getting on your client’s skin. This makes 1/8″ the ideal length.
Which Clients Benefit Most from Track Bonding?
Hard bonds are the way to go for clients struggling to keep their systems on for more than a few days. Maybe they have oily skin, heavy perspiration, a humid climate, or a combo of these and other factors.
Clients with oily skin like track bonding because the bond isn’t to the skin. It’s between the hair and the system. Plus, any climate and lifestyle works because hard bonds hold strong pretty much forever. In fact, they offer the strongest, longest possible hold of any adhesive method of hair replacement.
That said, hard bond adhesives hold a bit more rigidly, which some clients like, while others prefer something with more give. Clients with sensitive skin may want to go with our softer options of tapes and liquid adhesives.
Track Bonding with Walker Tape Hard Bond Adhesives
How Do Hard Bond Adhesives Work?
Hard bond adhesives were created during World War II to seal wounds quickly and safely. They’re still used in the medical field today. In our industry, they’re considered the strongest adhesive for hair systems by a long shot. They’re basically a hypoallergenic, quick-drying super glue.
They get their name from the fact that they dry hard. While softer glues tend to break down over time, hard bonds keep getting harder and harder. This hardening factor creates a challenge that separates Walker Tape’s selection of hard bond adhesives from other options.
Certain hard bonds start to flake off, which can make a hair system uncomfortable to wear. Those flakes can irritate your client’s scalp. It’s like when you have sand or something small and poky in your shoe.
For this reason, you want hard bond products that flake off the least amount possible. That’s one of the biggest reasons why our hard bond adhesives stand out above the rest.
Our Selection of Hard Bond Products
We offer three great hard bond adhesives formulated to prevent flaking to keep your clients more comfortable. They all come in one standard size of 1.1 oz bottles that are good for 20-25 applications. Our hard bond family also includes a tape we’ve made to permanently bond with our adhesives. Plus, we have a remover meant only for immediate accidents before the adhesive has dried.
- Top Priority Bond is our most popular hard bond adhesive, an industry standard, and works great for impossible-to-stick-to clients.
- Sure-Stick has a lid optimized for a long storage life, making sure you get the best performance from every last drop.
- Sensi Bond is perfect for clients looking for slightly shorter 2-4 week holds.
- P.A.T. Tape protects the hair system from the hard bond while having a non-sticky side that fuses excellently with the hard bonds.
- Hard Bond Remover is only for emergencies during application before hard bonds have dried. It contains acetone, so it’s not tested as skin safe and may cause damage to the hair system.
Shelf Life & Storage
P.A.T Tape lasts for at least one year following our recommended tape storage guidelines. We also make sure that all our liquid products can last you up to six months. That goes for both Hard Bond Remover and our hard bond adhesives. Just remember to always close the cap.
Pro Tip: Store hard bond adhesives in a freezer for the longest shelf life.
Pro Tips: Pairing Hard Bond Adhesives with Other Walker Tape Products
German Brown with hard bond adhesives: When you find yourself running low on P.A.T. Tape, know that hard bonds fuse to German Brown amazingly well.
Lace Release with P.A.T. Tape: Lace Release works better with P.A.T. Tape than any other remover we’ve seen. This is great news since Lace Release’s oil-free removal means less for you to clean up. Plus, it also removes bacteria, which does wonders for the hair system’s smell after weeks of wear.
Sponge Brushes with Hard Bond Remover: Sponge brushes make it easier to work with Hard Bond Remover to help avoid contact with your client’s skin.
Want to try out some of these pairings? Our new store makes it easier than ever to browse our products, see recommended pairings, and add them to your order. Conveniently shop for any of these quality products today!