Should you apply protein treatment before or after coloring?

dye two weeks after keratin

  • Protein treatment should be applied after coloring.
  • This prevents the chemicals contained in the hair dyes from removing the nutrients from the protein treatment. It also prevents the color from fading.
  • Once you color your hair, you should wait at least 15 days to apply the protein treatment.


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Today, I needed an emergency yoga class.

I called my instructor and asked her to meet me for the practice. My body was so stiff it felt like a battle tank.

The reason?


Occupational hazard. Unbelievably, despite my years of salon experience, some situations still put me on edge.

When that happens, my body takes speaks.

Do you want me to tell you why my body and mind were in such a state?


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Thank you for saying yes. Every time I speak about it, I get a little more stress-free.

A few days ago, a new client came into the salon. Her name: Maria Paz.

I should’ve known at the time that, sometimes, names don’t match personalities.


 She wanted to have a protein treatment because her hair was dry, straw-like, and dull. I recommended a keratin treatment. 

We made the appointment for the next day.


At that moment, I couldn’t foresee the storm that was coming. It was worse than the storm in the movie “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney.

It was three o’clock in the afternoon, and Maria Paz entered the salon. My hair stood on end, and my heart stopped for a few milliseconds. She was wearing her dyed hair and a stunning smile.

“What the hell did she do?” I thought.


She asked me if I liked her colored hair.

After answering that the color was very nice because it really was, I informed her that we couldn’t do the protein treatment. Maria Paz turned into “Maria Guerra”.


She raised her voice and shouted when saying that she already had the appointment. She had the anniversary dinner with her boyfriend, and was angry.

Appealing to the tranquility of Tibetan monks,  I explained to her that I didn’t recommend the protein treatment. If she had it on her freshly dyed hair, her hair color would lighten up to two shades. 


She wouldn’t listen. I tried to give her other options to nourish her hair and eliminate frizz, but Maria Paz was still stubborn. She swore that she wanted to take the risk.

I know that, in a nervous breakdown, a client may say something they regret when they see the results in the mirror.


That’s why, with all the pain in my soul, I would rather lose a client than give her the best advice even if she didn’t want to hear it.

Therefore, she did. Maria Paz left the salon without her protein treatment. In the meantime, I was going to be able to sleep that night with a clear hairdresser conscience.

So, make peace and not war, and respect the orders regarding hair dye application and protein treatment.

In case it wasn’t clear, I’ll repeat it again.

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The protein treatment should always be applied 15 days after coloring

keratin treatment in salon

There’s an explanation for this.


Hair is naturally made of proteins. The proteins form small links in a long chain within the hair’s core.

These links break. They can be broken by the abuse of heat tools, hair dyes, and even long exposures to the sun or chlorinated water.


 When you apply a protein treatment, such as Keratin, biotin, collagen, elastin, or ceramides, the empty spaces in those links are filled in. 

Therefore, after protein treatment, your hair looks shiny, silky, and strong.


Most protein treatments are applied with heat to activate the proteins and help them settle into empty spaces. This way, they fill in each hair strand.

Therefore, any time is appropriate to apply a keratin treatment, except if you color your hair.


Why do I have to wait 15 days after coloring to apply a keratin treatment?

When you apply a permanent hair dye, it finishes settling after about fourteen days. That is, your hair continues to absorb the hair dye and expel the excess during those days.


The first few days after applying the hair dye, your hair is saturated with color. The core slowly absorbs it until it’s filled with pigmentation. From that moment on, the excess starts to be expelled.

 In other words, you must wait fifteen days after coloring your hair to apply a final treatment so as not to modify the color of your hair. 


The protein treatment is usually applied with heat, which is corrosive to the color.

If you apply the protein treatment immediately after coloring, your hair can lighten up to two shades.

I know what you’re thinking.


What happens if I apply the protein treatment before coloring?

You can’t do both processes at the same time. You can’t even do them five days apart.

There must always be fifteen days between the two treatments.


 If you apply the protein treatment today, and color your hair tomorrow, 70% of the nutrients from the treatment will disappear  along with the excess color molecules. Remember that it takes 15 days for the hair dye to settle.

Also, the chemicals in the hair dye will break down the cuticles, and your hair will lose nourishment from the treatment.



I feel more at ease with my conscience. Sometimes, your wishes aren’t commands if you think about your hair health and your goals.

If you want to wear the color of your choice and take full advantage of the benefits of the protein treatment, color your hair, and wait 15 days. Then, apply the protein treatment.

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