10 Best Hair Dyes For Keratin-Treated Hair. Read This Before You Try!

Written by Camelia Smith

Updated on

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best hair dyes for keratin treated hair

The best hair dye for keratin-treated hair is one that ticks these boxes:

  • Semi-permanent (Only coats the hair)
  • Non-stripping
  • Ammonia-free (No cuticle lift)
  • Peroxides-free (No alkaline chemical reactions)
  • Sulfate-free
  • Low pH
  • Requires no heat to apply
  • Requires no foil application
  • Light to medium shade (Not too dark)
  • Fades out naturally (Doesn’t require dish soap to remove)
  • Has a nourishing and conditioning formula
  • Contains keratin complex (Big bonus)

The hair dye must complement your treatment to ensure it does not strip the keratin coating prematurely and causes detrimental side effects like blotchy uneven colors, frizziness, or damage.

I know this looks like an extensive list to verify, but you have to be thorough. Otherwise, you’ll end up sabotaging your keratin treatment.

It took me a long time to find the right mix of products that play safely on keratin-treated hair, and I must admit, it wasn’t easy.

But after a lot of trials, patience, botched colors, tears, and sweat, I can finally say, I have now figured it out.

I don’t get anxious about playing with exciting colors on my keratin-treated hair anymore. Instead, I embrace it and enjoy the best of both worlds.

So if you want to get it right first time, read this guide and take notes.

To start, here’s a list of the best hair dye brands you should be looking at:

Please Note:

Always do a patch test and a skin allergy test before using any hair coloring product.

1. Keracolor Clenditioner

keracolor clenditioner amazon

Best For: Temporary colors. Refresh. Tone. Party and festival vibrant colors.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

  • Naturals: Platinum, Silver, Copper, Red, Mocha, Honey
  • Vivids: Hot Pink, Blue, Purple, Teal, Emerald, Lemon
  • Pastels: Merlot, Onyx, Espresso, Mint, Light Pink, Rose Gold, Silver Blue


Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sorbitan Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Caprylyl Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Citric Acid, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Metabisulfite, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmito Amidopropyl Dimethylamine, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Rosa Moschata Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis Fruit Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool.

How To Use:

  1. Apply to wet or dry hair
  2. If applying to the entire head, use a comb to distribute from roots to ends
  3. Let it sit and wait for 20 minutes
  4. Rinse

Results Last for: Up to 15 shampoos.

The Keracolor Clenditioner allows you to blend exciting colors with your keratin treatment.

No ammonia, No peroxides, No SLS, No PPD, infused with micro keratin and natural moisturizing ingredients, the Keracolor Clenditioner is by far the best hair dye for keratin treated hair I’ve used.

Plus, the quality of the conditioner itself is so creamy that it leaves your hair feeling soft and bouncy. Curlies love it, and the 26500+ people who rated this product with a 5-star can’t be wrong!

With 19 different shades to choose from, you can add natural, vivid, or pastel colors with a reflective shine to your hair in as little as 20 minutes.

It’s the only product you’ll need to kick up your color in between salon visits.

Keracolor makes dyeing your hair after a keratin treatment hassle-free and safe. It has all the good ingredients, the BONUS micro keratin, and a lot of moisturizing goodness that makes it tick all the right boxes.

2. Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent No Ammonia Hair Dye

best hair color no ammonia

Best For: Temporarily changing your natural hair color.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 38 shades

  • Brunette: 4 – 6.5G
  • Black: 1BB, 2, 2BB, 2RV, 5. Black/Brunette: 3
  • Red: 4R – 6RR
  • Blonde: 7G – 9


Aqua/Water/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Ethanolamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, 2-Methoxymethyl-p-Phenylenediamine, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Resorcinol, 2-Methylresorcinol, N,N-Bis(2-Hydroxyethyl)-p-Phenylenediamine Sulfate, Citric Acid, m-Aminophenol, Dicetyl Phosphate, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Sulfite, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Steareth-200, 2,4- Diaminophenoxyethanol HCl, Ascorbic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethyl-3,4-MethylenedioxyAniline HCl, Titanium Dioxide / (CI 77891), Disodium EDTA, 1-Hexyl 4,5-Diamino Pyrazole Sulfate, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Put your gloves on
  2. Squeeze the color cream tube into the color activator bottle
  3. Shake to blend the color mixture
  4. Apply to your hair
  5. Leave in for 20 minutes to process
  6. Rinse until water runs clear

PRO TIP: Cover your surfaces with old towels to avoid stains.

Results Last for: 28 shampoos.

The Clairol Natural Instincts is another excellent sulfate-free and ammonia-free hair dye for keratin treated hair that provides a wide selection of colors.

It comes in a non-drip color creme formula that is super easy to apply at home, and it lasts for up to 28 washes.

The ingredients are perfectly aligned for chemically treated hair and it works on all hair types.

3. Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss

keratin hair colorant

Best For: Revive faded hair colors after keratin smoothing treatments.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 8 shades

  • Glassa – all hair colors
  • Crema – for blondes and gray hair
  • Prosecco – for adding light golden tones
  • Miele – for blonde or brunette hair
  • Cannella – for red or brunette hair
  • Barolo – for red and brunette hair to add red tones
  • Amaretto – for brunette hair to add bronze and caramel tones
  • Espresso – for black or brunette hair to add depth


Water, Propylene Glycol, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-10, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butylene Glycol, Benzophenone-4, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Acid Violet 43

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Apply to mid-lengths of your hair
  2. Massage it down to the full length of your hair
  3. Use a wide tooth comb to even it out
  4. Cover your hair with a shower cap
  5. Leave in for 35 minutes to process
  6. Rinse thoroughly

Results Last for: 6 – 8 shampoos.

Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss is a hair care product designed to refresh faded color, reduce brassiness, and add shine, making it an ideal choice for brunette color-treated hair.

The product is free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, gluten, SLS, and titanium dioxide, making it suitable for keratin treated hair​. This semi-permanent color solution offers 1-2 applications and lasts 6-8 shampoos, providing a temporary enhancement without over-darkening or creating color buildup. Its nourishing formula, which includes argan oil, keratin, and ginseng root extract, works to strengthen and fortify hair, leaving it soft, hydrated, and healthy-looking​.

4. L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Color

no drip hair dye to chemically-processed hair

Best For: Trendy shades. Rainbow hair. Festival hair colors.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 14 shades

  • Teal
  • Pink
  • Burgundy
  • Maroon
  • Soft pink
  • Hot pink
  • Bright red
  • Purple
  • Indigo
  • Blue
  • Turquoise
  • Metallic pink
  • Metallic blue
  • Metallic orchid


Formula 1242370 colorista red ingredients, aqua / water / eau, cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, amodimethicone, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, sodium hydroxide, isopropyl alcohol, basic yellow 87, basic red 51, hydroxyethylcellulose, trideceth-6, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, sodium chloride, chlorhexidine digluconate, cetyltrimonium chloride, fumaric acid

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Apply the color to the section of your hair you desire
  2. Wait 15 – 30 minutes
  3. Rinse

Results Last for: 5 – 15 shampoos

L’Oreal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Color is a popular hair coloring product that offers a variety of vibrant shades, suitable for different hair types and styles.

However, for keratin-treated hair, using this product may present some considerations. Keratin treatments involve a process that can make the hair’s outer layer less porous. Thus, semi-permanent dyes like Colorista, which coat the hair’s outer layer, may not adhere as well, resulting in less vibrant color or faster color fading.

It’s also crucial to ensure that the Colorista product used is free from sulfates, which can strip the keratin treatment from the hair. It’s always recommended to consult with a hair professional before applying any dye to keratin-treated hair to maintain hair health and treatment effectiveness.

5. Ion Color Brilliance

best hair color for shine

Best For: Semi-permanent intense hair colors and shine.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 8 shades

  • Radiant raspberry
  • Hot red
  • Burgundy brown
  • Medium warm brown
  • Midnight blue black
  • Black
  • Blackest black
  • Clear


Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Ceteareth-50, Lauryl Alcohol, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone Peg-8 Meadowfoamate, Myristyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Cocamidopropyl Betaine ,Imidazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Basic Yellow 57, Lactic Acid, HC Blue No.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Apply freshly washed towel-dried hair
  2. Wait 25 minutes to process
  3. With plastic cap, wait 10 – 15 minutes to process
  4. Let it cool for 5 minutes
  5. Rinse

Results Last for: 10 – 15 shampoos

Ion Color Brilliance hair dye is a popular choice among hair enthusiasts for its vibrant and long-lasting colors.

The Ion Color Brilliance range includes options that are ammonia-free, which are gentler on hair and could be a better choice for keratin treated hair.

It’s also worth noting that the dyeing process can potentially strip the hair of its natural oils and proteins, including the keratin treatment. Therefore, it’s recommended to wait at least two weeks after a keratin treatment before dyeing your hair. Using a color-protective shampoo and conditioner can help maintain both the color and the keratin treatment longer.

6. Wella Color Charm

6. Wella Color Charm

can you color keratin treated hair

Best For: Gray blending. Toning. Color refresh. Lowlights. Highlights.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 4 shades

  • Dark blonde
  • Light blonde
  • Black and brunettes
  • Violets and reds


Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Steareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-2, Dicetyl Phosphate, Citric Acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, HC Blue No. 15, Basic Blue 99, HC Yellow No. 2, Acid Violet 43.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Mix 1 part Color Charm gel haircolor with 2 parts Color Charm developer
  2. Apply to hair
  3. Allow to develop for 30 minutes
  4. Rinse

Results Last for: Up to 20 shampoos

Wella Color Charm is a popular choice for maintaining color vibrancy in keratin treated hair.

It is a professional-grade hair dye line is loved for its long-lasting and fade-resistant results. It’s gentler on hair compared to other dyes, making it compatible with keratin treatments, which can leave hair more sensitive.

The unique formula of Wella Color Charm penetrates the hair shaft without disrupting the keratin structure, thus preserving the smoothness and shine from the treatment. However, it’s crucial to remember to wait at least two weeks post-keratin treatment before applying any hair dye to prevent potential damage.

As with any hair product, individual results may vary, and it’s always recommended to consult with a professional before use. Overall, Wella Color Charm can be a great option for those seeking to color their keratin-treated hair.

7. Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask

Does Moroccanoil color depositing mask cover gray hair

Best For: New shades. Refresh existing tones.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 9 shades

  • Bordeaux
  • Cocoa
  • Copper
  • Coral
  • Hibiscus
  • Lilac
  • Platinum
  • Rose gold
  • Aquamarine


Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Propoxytetramethyl Piperdinyl Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Parfum/Fragrance, Bis-Hydroxy/Methoxy Amodimethicone, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Algin, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Chitosan, Citric Acid, Acetic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-13 Pareth-9, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyquaternium-70, Dipropylene Glycol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Quaternium-87, PCA, Sodium PCA, Hydroxyacetophenone, Trideceth-6, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, CI 56059 (Basic Blue 99), CI 12251 (Basic Brown 17), CI 12245 (Basic Red 76), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Section hair
  2. Apply the mask
  3. Let it process for 5 – 7 minutes
  4. Rinse well

Results Last for: 5 – 10 shampoos

Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask can be a fun and moisturizing color change for keratin treated hair.

This product is applied like a conditioner, left on for 5-7 minutes, and does not usually stain hands or bathtubs​. The color deposited can be quite subtle and last for multiple washes, maintaining visibility even after six to eight washes​.

The color result can differ based on individual hair properties, with some customers noting that it turned their blond highlights into a bright pinkish-red, which was unexpected​.

It’s also important to consider the strong scent of the product, which can linger even after washing​. While some users have found it drying, many others find it moisturizing, particularly for dry hair​. However, the final color result and impact on hair can vary significantly based on individual hair characteristics, including its porosity after a keratin treatment.

8. Arctic Fox

arctic fox hair dye for damaged and processed hair

Best For: Fun, vibrant, and vivid volors for parties and new seasons.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 15 shades

  • Ritual
  • Rath
  • Poison
  • Virgin pink
  • Frose
  • Electric paradise
  • Sunset orange
  • Phantom green
  • Aquamarine
  • Poseidon
  • Perinwinkle
  • Purple AF
  • Violet dream
  • Girls night
  • Transylvania


Aqua (Water), Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerine, Stearalkonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Fragrance, Basic Violet 2, Basic Yellow 87, Basic Blue 99, Basic Red 51, Basic Orange 31, Basic Red 76.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Wash and dry hair thoroughly
  2. Use coconut oil around hairline to prevent staining
  3. Wear protective gloves
  4. Pour color into a bowl
  5. Apply color with an applicator brush
  6. You may apply a plastic cap to cover your hair
  7. Allow color to process for 30 minutes
  8. Rinse until water runs clear

Results Last for: Up to 24 shampoos

Arctic Fox semi-permanent hair dye is renowned for its vibrant, long-lasting colors and vegan, cruelty-free formulations.

With its gentle, conditioning ingredients, it minimizes hair damage, making it suitable even for keratin-treated hair. Keratin treatments fill in the porosity of your hair, leaving it silky and more resistant to humidity. These treatments also reduce the hair’s ability to absorb color, potentially altering the results of a dye job.

With Arctic Fox, however, the color tends to be vibrant and adhere well, even to keratin treated hair. But, it’s always essential to strand test on treated hair as results may vary. While the dye is free of harsh chemicals like peroxides and ammonia, it’s still important to take proper care to maintain both the color and the health of the keratin-treated hair.

9. RAW Demi-Permanent Hair Color

a hair color that is safe to use with a keratin treatment

Best For: Punky, gothic, bold, and vibrant hair colors.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 8 shades

  • Neon red
  • Deep purple
  • Lavender cloud
  • Crimson red
  • Super green
  • Candy pink
  • Fuchsia fatale
  • Twisted teal


Water (Aqua, Eau), Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Verbascum Thapsus Flower, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Acetic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tributyl Citrate, Buteth-3, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Basic Violet 11, Basic Violet 16, Fluorescent Brightener 28

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Apply to washed and towl-dried clean hair
  2. Put gloves on before applying the dye
  3. Apply petroleum jelly as a stain protector around hairline
  4. Apply color
  5. Leave for 15 minutes
  6. Rinse with cool water until water runs clear

Results Last for: Up to 45 shampoos

RAW Demi-Permanent Hair Color is free from ammonia and peroxide, chemicals that can strip the protective keratin layer and cause damage. It gently deposits color, preserving the integrity of the hair’s structure.

The dye’s nourishing ingredients complement the keratin treatment by keeping the hair hydrated and shiny. However, as with all hair color products, a strand test is recommended before full application to ensure compatibility with your specific hair type and keratin treatment.

Remember, keratin treated hair requires special care, and using the right products, like RAW Demi-Permanent Hair Color, can maintain the health and vibrancy of your locks.

10. Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection

10. Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection

over the counter keratin treatment compatible hair dye

Best For: Refreshing permanent hair colors. Gray coverage. Gray roots touch-ups.


Product Summary

Color Range Palette:

Available in 20 intermixable shades

  • Honey blonde
  • Plum
  • Intense red
  • Blue black
  • Clear
  • 14k gold
  • Honey brown
  • Light ash brown
  • Light natural blonde
  • Amethyst
  • Rosewood brown
  • Medium ash brown
  • Medium warm brown
  • Light reddish brown
  • Cedar red brown
  • Dark warm brown
  • Darkest brown
  • Black
  • Jet black
  • Wine brown


Water / eau, undeceth-3, propylene glycol, ethanolamine, oleic acid, glycol distearate, cetearyl alcohol, toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, resorcinol, no fragrance, no fragrance. 2, HC blue no. 2, ascorbic acid, HC red no. 3, disodium EDTA, disperse blue 377, m-aminophenol, disperse violet 1.

Note: Ingredients may vary from shade to shade.

How To Use:

  1. Apply to towel dried hair
  2. Process for 25 minutes
  3. Rinse well

Results Last for: Up to 12 shampoos

Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection is gentle on the hair as it is free from harsh chemicals like ammonia that can strip the keratin treatment.

This semi-permanent dye offers a wide range of rich, natural-looking colors that can enhance the shine and vibrancy of your keratin-treated hair. Moreover, it contains a moisturizing formula with aloe vera and jojoba oil, which nourishes the hair, maintaining the health and smoothness imparted by the keratin treatment. However, it is always recommended to conduct a strand test before applying any hair dye post-keratin treatment to ensure compatibility and avoid potential damage.

Reasons You Want to Dye Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment

when to color keratin treated hair
Tagging along with new hair color trends!

Highlights, pastels, root touch-ups, blending your grays, refreshing your old hues … there are many reasons why you’d want to dye your hair after a Brazilian blowout or keratin hair makeover.

Be it for Halloween, a fancy dress party, festivals, or hiding your age, coloring our hair allows us to express ourselves in many different ways depending on what our mood is.

A keratin treatment shouldn’t stop you from doing that.

Yes. It may intimidate you about the risks of damaging your hair, but it is less daunting than you think. Provided you buy the right products, of course.

Get it right, and you’ll benefit from the best of both worlds.

But listen:

You’ll have to be patient by not rushing the product selection process.

With this in mind, here’s a step-by-step assessment you can follow before deciding on which product to pick.

First, assess why you’re coloring your hair.

Is it necessary? Does it have to be permanent?

Is it worth risking 3-months’ worth of frizz-free manageable hair for 4 days of mermaid hair?

By understanding your hair color goals, you’ll be able to make the right decision on what type of hair dye to choose that will work without harming your new keratin blowout treatment.

So let’s figure out the reasons why you’d want to use a hair dye on keratin-treated hair:

1. You Want a New Color

Can’t decide if you wanna go platinum or rose gold??

I think we can all agree that changing our hair from time to time does brighten up our mood and confidence. The “need to make a change” is always an irresistible desire. Whether you want to rock the new seasonal tones trending on Insta or simply change your hair color to spice up your look and personality, we women will never get bored of the limitless palettes that can add stunning hues to our locks.

If you want a color change, then you need a semi-permanent hair dye that offers a reasonable range of colors to choose from.

But here’s the thing …

You don’t want to go all in with a new color. Keep it low commitment and pick a hair dye that’s easy to apply and easy to get rid of when you feel bored of it.

2. Your Hair Color Has Faded After the Keratin Treatment

Did your keratin treatment fade your existing hair color?

A new layer of keratin coated on top of your hair may suppress your hair color depending on the strength of the treatment.

3. You Want to Touch Up Your Gray Roots

A gray root here, a gray root there, creeping in all over the place amongst your lush keratin-treated strands. Well, there’s nothing you can do about it except covering them up or blending them with discreet root touch-ups.

You Want to Blend New Gray Hair Growth

No matter how much you retouch and refresh your old hues, your hair will continue to grow. And the growth at the base, of course, will look out of sync with the rest.

4. You Want To Neutralize Brassy Tones

The perfect shade of blonde hair is a personal choice. Some people prefer to go light and airy, while others want their locks to be so bright they could blind you on the spot. But no matter what shade you choose, one thing is for sure:


Irrespective of whether you’ve had a keratin treatment or not, your blondes will turn brassy because of the light color, which makes it look dirty and dull fast.

To neutralize the brassiness, you need to warm up the over-processed brassy tones with a color depositing mask that works without ammonia or developers.

5. You Want to Add Gloss to Your Existing Color

Pollution, hard water, sun exposure, and excessive heat styling can all contribute to color fade and dull-looking hair.

To fix it, you need to work a protective gloss through your keratin-treated hair to intensify the shine, enhance your color, and protect it from fading.

6. You Want to Tone Your Hair

Purple shampoos can take a few days before you see any significant results when trying to tone your hair.

Unfortunately, after a keratin treatment, you shouldn’t be washing your hair frequently. So it’s a big no no for purple shampoos.

7. You Want Highlights

Highlights, lowlights, babylights, and balayages are excellent ways to add more dimension to your hairstyles. Those sliced sections of hair that are lifted lighter not only accentuate your hair but also add more personality to your overall style.

Needless to say, highlights and lowlights will always be on-trend, and it’s only a matter of time before you decide to go all in.

8. You Want Bright Pastel Festival Hair Colors

Want to be the talk of the festival or the fancy dress party with bold, daring, and vibrant hair colors that will make everyone’s jaws drop?

There’s a 15-minute keratin-friendly hair dye makeover for this too!

Check out: L’oreal Paris Colorista

Whatever your hair color goal is, it’s important to play by the rules if the keratin treatment on your head is still fresh.

You don’t want to end up in a mess where the color doesn’t turn out well, and it also strips the keratin treatment. Big Ouch!

Rules For Dyeing Your Hair After A Keratin Treatment

Keratin treatment rules for using hair dye and color

1. Don’t Use Permanent Hair Colors (No Ammonia).

Most professional hairstylists advise against coloring hair straight after a keratin treatment.

Reason: Your hair needs rest. It allows the keratin to cure and the cuticles to relax back into their shape, which is flat and closely aligned.

Permanent hair dyes use harsh chemicals like ammonia and peroxides to deposit color deep into the hair cortex by forcing the cuticles to open.

Doing these treatments within a short space of time from each other will seriously hurt your cuticles, which can lead to overstress and hair breakage.

Another potential risk is that you may not know how the color will turn out on keratin-treated hair. Since there’s an extra layer of keratin interfering with the hair dye, you won’t get the results you expect.

This can turn out to be an expensive waste where you end up with the worst of both worlds.

2. Use Semi-permanent Colors, Depositors, or Sprays (Fake It).

Semi-permanent hair dyes are low commitment, high-impact colors that will give you stunning results in less than 20 minutes without hurting your hair.

The only drawback is that they don’t last long and fade gradually after washing, but it’s an excellent way to tag along with the latest hair color trends while maintaining your keratin treatment.

3. Avoid Products That Require a Deep-cleansing Shampoo.

A deep cleansing clarifying shampoo lifts the cuticles to remove dirt and oils so that pigments from hair dyes can seep into the cortex for maximum color impact. This is also called priming the hair.

You don’t want any such shampoos on your keratin-treated hair, as lifting the cuticles may revert the keratin treatment.

4. Avoid Products That Require Heat to Seal Color.

Heat is not recommended in the early stages after a keratin treatment. That’s because heat will melt the keratin layer, leaving you with sticky and flaking residues.

5. Avoid Products That Require a Developer.

The function of a hair dye developer is to bring your hair into a porous state so that the cuticles can be lifted to inject color. You don’t want anything touching those cuticles. They need to lay flat and undisturbed.

When Can You Dye Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

You CAN color your hair 2 weeks after a keratin treatment.

Reason: You need to wait until the keratin has cured in your hair so that another chemical treatment won’t strip it off.

Any interference, you’ll end up with neither being in good condition. No color. No keratin.

Both treatments can be chemically heavy on your hair if you apply dye too soon after the keratin treatment.

So be patient and wait for two weeks to color your hair.

Does Hair Dye Ruin Keratin?

Permanent hair dyes are more likely to damage your keratin treatment as they have to pierce through the cuticles to deposit pigments into the hair cortex. Ingredients like ammonia when mixed with water create a highly alkaline (high pH) solution that can degrade the hair’s structural integrity starting from the cuticle layer.

Semi-permanent hair dyes don’t use penetrative formulas. They just sit on top to coat the hair. Like mascara on your skin.

Ingredients to Avoid in Hair Dyes for Keratin Treated Hair

The most important tip to remember here is:

Avoid any chemicals that lift the cuticles.

As long as the cuticles are flat, smooth, and undisturbed, your keratin treatment will do just fine.

So here are the ingredients you need to avoid in hair dyes:

Ammonia has a high pH value of 11.6. The pH of hair is 3.67!

When you use an alkaline chemical in your hair, it messes up the pH balance, forcing the cuticles to swell. After a keratin treatment, you should avoid such types of chemicals from touching your hair.


Because once the cuticles start to swell and expand, they crack the keratin layers wrapping around them. As a result, you end up with clumps of dry keratin peeling off your hair, leaving behind flaky residues.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a corrosive and oxidative chemical, which needs to penetrate the hair’s inner structure and break apart the melanin to lighten its color.

In other words, it creates some serious chemical reactions to interact with the structural integrity of the hair fibers. The direct impact on keratin treated hair is that it will blast away the keratin coating to get through the cuticles.

Sulfates (SLS)

Sulfates are bad for keratin-treated hair when used repeatedly in shampoos. They are foaming detergents that can strip keratin layers from your hair to deep cleanse. Some amount of sulfates in hair dyes may be fine, but always proceed with caution by doing a strand test.

Now you know what chemicals to avoid when selecting a hair coloring product, here are some other things you may want to consider to narrow down to the right one that will work for you.

What to Consider When Choosing a Hair Dye for Keratin Treated Hair?

1. Permanent or Semi-permanent?

Always go for low commitment semi-permanent hair dyes that don’t require chemicals like ammonia and peroxides to lift the cuticles.

2. Your Hair Texture and Porosity

Texture and porosity can determine how well the color will perform on your hair. So always do a patch test to figure it out beforehand.

3. Application Process

Look for hair dyes that are easy to apply.


  • Without heat
  • No developer
  • Without foils
  • Without deep cleansing shampoos

You want a hair dye that simply coats the hair.

No ammonia. No lift. Easy to apply. Easy to wash out.

4. Processing Time

A hair dye that takes too long to process can potentially leave the hair feeling stiff, dry, and over-processed leading to breakage.

Stick to hair dyes that take less than 25 minutes to process.

5. Scalp Sensitivity

Always do a skin patch test in case you’re not sure how your skin will react to the ingredients in the hair dye. This is beneficial if you’re touching your roots.

6. Does It Stain Hard?

You don’t want a color that stains hard.


Because, if the dye didn’t react well with the keratin in your hair and the result wasn’t what you expected, you would want to be able to revert the mess as quickly as possible without damaging the keratin treatment.

If the dye has a strong staining factor, then you’ll need a lot of stripping shampoos to get rid of it, potentially stripping the keratin too.

7. Does It Require Heavy Maintenance?

After a keratin treatment, your main focus is to help the treatment last longer.

If you add another layer of product on top of it, and that product requires heavy maintenance like re-application, frequent washes, and heat for upkeep, then it’s probably not worth the hassle.

Trust me, maintaining keratin-treated hair is tedious enough. You don’t want any more hassle. You want a zero-commitment hair dye that you can just deposit on top and easily wash out.

8. Does The Hair Dye Improve Your Keratin-Treated Hair?

Ideally, any product you use on keratin-treated hair should enhance the treatment. Not fade it.

A good dye for keratin-treated hair needs to contain Hydrolyzed keratin, amino acids, moisturizing ingredients, and sealing agents that will keep the cuticles locked and sealed.

Any products that don’t meet these criteria, cross them off your list.

It’s all about narrowing down on the best solutions and then consider if it’s still worth taking the plunge.

What Hair Color is Good for Keratin-Treated Hair?

A shade closer to your existing color works better on keratin-treated hair because you’re simply touching up and reviving it to look healthier with a radiant glow.

Pastel colors, vibrant festival colors also work well as they are like mascara for your hair. You just slap them on for a short period until they wash out.

You don’t want to be doing any color lightening as it won’t work. Color lightening jobs require peroxides and bleach. So don’t expect a semi to take you from black hair to blonde hair when you’ve just had a keratin treatment.

So cross out any bleaching and plans to go blonde. You don’t want to be doing these yet.

Dark colors will take longer to set in, requiring more than one application.

So avoid going from light to dark colors and vice versa.

What Are the Risks When Applying Hair Dye to Keratin Treated Hair?

Although the risks of dyeing your hair after a keratin treatment are minimal if done correctly, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

So make sure you read the instructions properly so that you don’t have to undo and repeat the application.

Here are some problems you may encounter:

Splotchy Hair Color

Remember, unlike a traditional hair dye job when your hair is primed with a clarifying shampoo for maximum color absorption, keratin-treated hair is not primed for color. Instead, you’re applying the hair dye on top of keratin layers, which can yield lower-quality results. You will get splotchy hair colors in places if the keratin has not dried out properly. So make sure you give your tresses enough time to recover before dyeing.

Color May Come Out Lighter

As I said, you won’t be priming your hair with a clarifying shampoo. So forget maximum color absorption and set your expectations right.

The hair dyes we’ve identified as good for keratin treated hair are not dyes that lift and deposit pigments into the cortex. Instead, they only coat the outer layer of the hair.

So don’t expect the result to be 100% accurate.

Flaky Residues

If the quality of your hair dye is not great, you may experience some flaky residues due to the buildup of extra color layers on top of the keratin layers.

I wouldn’t worry too much about this as it normalizes after a couple of washes.

Greasy And Sticky Feeling Hair

Improper rinsing may lead to greasy hair after your keratin treatment.

This can happen due to:

  • Using too much hair dye
  • Hard water not rinsing your hair properly
  • Not rinsing thoroughly until water runs clear
  • Not waiting long enough before applying the hair dye

Your hair may also feel sticky if you apply heat too soon after coloring.

How To Choose a Good Hair Dye for Keratin Treated Hair

  1. Figure out what you need first
  2. Make a list of products that will help you achieve your hair color goal
  3. Make sure they are semi-permanent hair dyes
  4. Cross out products with ammonia, peroxides, SLS
  5. Check if the product is low-commitment (Easy to apply. Easy to wash out)
  6. Check if the hair dye contains keratin (Bonus)
  7. Cross out products that require a lot of maintenance
  8. Check if the product will work on your hair texture
  9. Check if the product has a conditioning formula

Why Use Semi-Permanent Hair Dye On Keratin-Treated Hair?

All Play. No damage.

​​A semi-permanent hair color is basically a hair dye without ammonia or peroxide. It simply coats color to your hair without any heavy-lifting as most permanent hair dyes do.

It’s the best way to experiment with different shades before you fully commit to a permanent color you love.

A semi-permanent hair dye also delivers low commitment, big impact colors that won’t put your hair through stress.

​​You want to rock a new color for a party, it gets the job done.

Want to revive your existing color, there’s a solution for that too!

From my personal experience and recommendations from my hairstylist, I find color depositing masks infused with keratin work better.

Not only do they have tons of hues available, but they also have options to blend in your grays, cover your roots, neutralize brassiness, and they do a better job than purple shampoos too!

Best Color Depositing Masks for Keratin Treated Hair

depositing hair colour for keratin treated hair

A color depositing mask is like mascara for your hair.

Just slather the mask onto your hair and the color pigments blend in seamlessly in next to no time.

Yep! You don’t have to mix it with a developer, prime your hair, or read any lengthy instructions.

A color depositing mask contains pure color dye pigments infused in a creamy, nourishing mask to coat the hair strands from root to tip sealed with a vibrant and glossy finish.

Here are 2 of my favorites:

If you want to try a wash-out hair color that lasts only for 1 day, there’s a solution for that too. See below …

Color Sprays For Keratin Treated Hair

Tiptoe into bold colors with a blast of pigmented sprays for a quick color hit that requires zero prep and aftercare.

Colors sprays are ideal for faking hair colors for a day or two. The L’oreal Colorista hair color spray features 10 amazing colors you can spray, play, wash, and repeat.

L'Oreal Colorista Color Hair Spray

is it a good idea to color my hair after doing a keratin straightening treatment

For a quick color hit.


How to Dye Keratin Treated Hair at Home

hair dye with keratin treatment instructions
  1. Start Small: Do not go for a dramatic change if you’re dyeing your hair for the first time after a keratin treatment. If you start small, you can always add to it progressively.
  2. Plan It Out Well: Don’t be too nervous about it and make sure you plan it well to give your hair enough time to rest and recover.
  3. Do a Patch Test: Patch tests are always necessary regardless if you’re doing the hair dye job before or after a keratin treatment. A patch can reveal if the color will work with your hair texture, and will deliver the correct result. It can also reveal any allergic reactions.
  4. Wear Protective Gloves: Most hair dye products provide gloves for application. If you don’t see a pair in your box, then you need to get your own.
  5. Apply Vaseline to Your Hairline: Apply vaseline to your hairline and parts of your skin where you think the colors may leak. It works as a stain guard. You do not want stains on your skin when doing a dye job.
  6. Cover Your Surfaces: Cover your surfaces, bathroom tub, or sink with towels or plastic sheets to ensure you don’t create a mess with hair color stains.
  7. Get Your Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner: Be prepared and buy your maintenance shampoos when you get your hair dye in case you need to wash your hair the next day. You don’t want to be using a stripping shampoo.
  8. Have a Contingency Plan in Place: Think. What can possibly go wrong? If you’re doing your hair dye job at home, always have a backup plan for what to do in case something goes wrong. You may need a hairstylist to help you out. If the color goes wrong or the keratin in your hair starts to peel off, have a plan in place on how to stop and prevent the situation from getting worse.

If You’re Not Sure, Let A Hair Stylist Handle It For You

I honestly don’t care if I have to pay some money to avoid the hassle and nervousness of coloring my hair for the first time after a keratin treatment.

Truth is: It can either turn out amazing, or you could f*ck both up badly.

So for peace of mind, I would rather book a hairstylist to take me through the process for the first time so that I can learn how it should be done correctly.

Play it safe.

Don’t Forget To Do A Skin Allergy Test!

Do a skin allergy test 48 hours before using any hair color product.

How to Maintain Dyed Hair After A Keratin Treatment

Any semi-permanent hair dye will fade after a few washes. But depending on the shampoo and conditioner you use, you may be able to stretch it and make it look more vibrant while it’s still in your hair.

If you don’t want your hair color to look washed out and dull after your second shampoo, here are some of the best after-dye hair care you can use:

Pros And Cons To Dyeing Hair After A Keratin Treatment

Before you jump in with both feet, I’ve put together this list of pros and cons to help you evaluate the benefits as well as the risks associated with dyeing your hair after a keratin treatment.

Just a quick refresh to help you think twice in case you missed something, and to set the right expectations.


  • Adds healthy glow and shine to your hair
  • Adds more depth to your hair
  • Helps to change your look for new seasons or festivals
  • Helps you cover your grays
  • Helps you neutralize brassy tones
  • Adds shine to existing color


  • Risk of overstressing your hair
  • Splotchy hair color coverage if keratin is not fully cured
  • The hair dye job may not go as planned, you may have to do it again
  • Risk of not understanding ingredients that may strip the keratin
  • Don’t expect the results to be 100%
  • Colors don’t last long as they are semi-permanent coating colors

Should You Color Your Hair Before Or After A Keratin Treatment?

It’s best to do a keratin treatment on dyed hair. Not the other way round.

Ideally 2-3 days before your Brazilian treatment, but even if you do it on the same day a few hours before, it’s fine.

Doing your color treatment prior to keratin applications means you get maximum color depth and absorption since you’ll be using a clarifying shampoo to deep cleanse the hair.

Another reason to dye your hair before is that you can use ammonia-based permanent hair dyes that can lift the cuticles and deposit pigments.

In short: You have more options to play with.

The keratin treatment applied straight after a hair dye job will then coat the hair strands and seal them so that the pigments don’t bleed and fade.

To summarize:

Identify the reason/goal why you want to dye your hair after the keratin treatment, then assess your options carefully.

Remember: There are many different types of hair dyes that can help you achieve your color goal. It does not have to be a permanent solution.

To be on the safe side: Just fake it with a color depositing mask or spray.

Start with a temporary color first to avoid overwhelming your fragile hair, then once the keratin starts to wear off, you can move on to permanent solutions.

Once you’re ready to use a permanent hair dye, make sure you do it before your next keratin treatment. The keratin will lock in your new color for maximum radiance, glow, and shine. It will also prevent the color from fading.

About the Author

Camelia SmithCamelia Smith

Camelia Smith can color hair, perform keratin treatments, bleach hair, and even cut curly hair. She is our go-to person whenever we have hair treatments and styling questions.

She's also currently training as a freelance makeup artist and is passionate about helping others feel beautiful in their skin. When she's not writing or doing hair, she's usually spending time watching British period dramas.