When it comes to keratin treatments, it really isn’t a once-size-fits-all topic. We’ve already noted how different formulations work for different hair—but there’s also the question: Should you color your hair before a keratin?
The reason this is one of those what came first—the chicken or the egg? questions is because keratins characteristically lighten hair just by nature (regardless of brand or formula). But, it gets tricky because the whole point of getting a keratin is to make hair appear healthier and less frizzy. So, it makes sense that people would want a smoothing treatment like a keratin after a drastic chemical process like a hair dye. But if it’s only going to alter the color you went for, what do you do?
After reaching out to two experts in the keratin field, we’ve come to one universal answer: there isn’t one! That said, however, it’s worth reading each contributor’s input if you’re trying to make the decision yourself. Below is what to know about whether you should color your hair before a keratin.
Bleach May Be the Exception
When it comes to most shades, the order of when to get the keratin or color treatment is up for debate. But bleached hair may be the case when you can rely on doing color first. It’s already a fact that your hair likely can’t get any lighter, and as Gussi spokesperson Annabel Learner points out in regards to the brand’s at-home treatment, “Bleach can damage the hair cuticle and Gussi’s keratin treatment will help smooth down the damaged cuticle.”
Bleach Aside, Keratins Will Almost Always Lighten Artificially Colored Strands
“A bit of hair lightening is inevitable for someone who colors their hair,” NYC’s Mark Ryan Salon co-owner Ryan Trygstad tells Mane Addicts. “Natural hair color will not lighten from a keratin treatment. I believe hair that is most vulnerable to undesirable lightening is any single process hair color. The hair also lightens more if the user has a single process to cover gray.”
Bottom Line: Consult With Your Stylist Before Making Any Moves
“There are many different manufacturers of keratin smoothing treatments, and each manufacturer has specific directions regarding whether it’s best to color before the treatment or after,” says Trygstad, who uses PuraLuxe at his salon. “This smoothing treatment is great because it uses natural oils and amino acids to reduce frizz and drying time, and increase shine and manageability. It’s truly non-toxic and doesn’t involve any chemical fumes. Another aspect of this treatment that we love is that it’s possible to color immediately afterwards.”