The idea of doing a keratin treatment on colored hair always seemed risky to me.
I automatically thought that it was the other way around.
As in: Keratin treatment first then hair color on top.
But I was wrong.
It turns out that if you’re going to get a keratin treatment and color your hair …
You should do the coloring first.
If you’re confused about why that might be, allow me to explain it to you.
There are some proven benefits to coloring your hair before a keratin treatment. And there are some significant downsides to doing it the other way around.
Let’s look at why you absolutely MUST color first, followed by your keratin treatment.
Lock Down That Vibrant Color
Have you ever colored your hair and it’s come out looking dull? Or it looked amazing at first, but the color soon faded away?
No one wants that to happen.
You want shiny locks that are full of life and light, not muted tones that look like someone’s turned the dimmer down.
If you’re looking for that perfect intense color, keratin on color-treated hair is the right thing to do.
Here are the reasons why:
- Keratin acts as a color protection barrier
- It intensifies and amplifies your hair color
- It heals the damage that happens from coloring
- You get long-lasting color protection
You read that right – a Brazilian keratin smoothing treatment makes your hair color dimensionally daring.
You will literally light up the room.
Keratin Treatment Or Dye Hair First? It’s The Latter
So why do your coloring first, and not the keratin treatment?
If keratin can lock in color, why would it matter which way around you do it?
The problem is that if you do a keratin treatment before coloring your hair, you will have the opposite effect.
Keratin protects your hair, which gives it a high shine and smooth feel. Unfortunately, it also stops color from penetrating into your hair.
So, coloring + keratin treatment = impressive vibrant locks.
But keratin treatment + coloring = patchy, uneven color.
Why Does Keratin Stop Hair Dye Working?
Keratin treatments soften and soothe your hair for results you can rely on – so why do they stop color treatments from working?
Let me explain …
Keratin acts as a barrier to protect your hair. It wraps around the strands, replenishing the natural keratin in your hair. This is good for batting away harmful environmental factors, from humidity to smog and pollution.
But do you want the keratin to protect your hair from your hair dye?
You don’t want the dye to destroy your hair, but the best way to do that is to use the right color product and apply it correctly.
The best hair for coloring is clean hair, with no product buildup or residue. You need nothing in the way, so your hair absorbs the pigment from the dye – and that means no keratin treatment, either.
That’s why professional hairstylists use clarifying hair treatments to prime your hair before a color session.
The Benefits Of Keratin treatment On Color Treated Hair
If you’re still not convinced that coloring your hair after a keratin treatment is bad, let’s take a closer look at what happens.
You’ve had your keratin treatment, and you’re feeling amazing about your hair. It’s soft, smooth, and frizz-free. It has volume without being too big.
Now if you’re planning to color your hair, that incredible feeling will go down the drain.
The first 2 weeks after your keratin treatment are super critical. This is when the keratin is still settling in and binding to your hair.
If you color your hair during this period, it could:
- Stop the dye working completely
- Give you patchy results
- Leave the color just sitting on your hair, making it easy to wash out
Spend money on coloring your hair after a keratin treatment, and it will be a total waste.
You can technically do it if you wait for a few weeks.
However, even then, it might not be a great idea. And if you want to dye your hair, why would you want to wait several weeks to do it?
How A Keratin Treatment Protects Your Hair Color
Dyeing your hair before you do your keratin treatment, on the other hand, can make your hair color even better.
By doing a keratin treatment after you dye your hair, you lock in the color and give it more shine and vibrancy.
Dye your hair first, then have a keratin treatment, and you’ll get all the usual benefits of a keratin treatment.
The treatment will:
- Repair damage to your hair
- Hydrate and lock in moisture
- Deal with frizz for smoothness and softness
- Brighten up dull hair
The added benefits of a keratin treatment in colored hair:
- Repairs damage to your hair caused by the coloring
- Balances your hair’s pH
- Gets rid of any chemical deposits left from your coloring
A keratin treatment binds keratin to the strands of your hair, giving it a protective layer.
It stops the color from escaping and fading.
Normally, your color can start to wash out as soon as you’ve had the treatment done. Even permanent dye can fade over the first few weeks. You might start off with a vibrant look, but then it slowly fades into something more dull.
With a protective keratin layer, the color has no chance to escape and leave your hair looking less than bright.
When Can You Color After Keratin?
A keratin treatment doesn’t last forever, so don’t think that you’ll never be able to color your hair again!
If you have a keratin treatment, you can dye your hair afterward – but you have to wait.
A minimum of 2 to 3 weeks is recommended, but don’t assume you’re free to do hair treatments after that.
I would definitely caution against coloring or any other treatments even within the first few months after a keratin treatment. The treatment can last for several months, even if it’s not as effective in the end, compared to the beginning.
Talk to your stylist about whether it’s ok to color your hair or use any other treatments after your keratin treatment. They can use their expert knowledge to advise you.
Keratin Treatment On Colored Hair Works Better
Coloring your hair and having a keratin treatment straight after will make your hair look incredible.
Whether you’re going blonde or bubblegum pink, you’ll get vibrant, lively color.
Remember to color first if you want to avoid the worst!
Do your keratin treatment on colored hair, and it could be the best, longest-lasting color treatment you’ve ever had.
Laura is a UK-based freelance writer who occasionally writes for this blog.