Should you use toner before or after a keratin treatment?

woman with uneven hair color and doubt gesture

  • You should use toner after keratin.
  • That is, you get keratin treatment to strengthen and repair your hair. Then after two weeks, you use the toner to neutralize the harsh colors that appeared in your hair.
  • If you apply the toner before the keratin treatment, you will remove the toner with the keratin and your hair will have those harsh colors again.


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Crystal clear.

 You always use toner after a keratin treatment, just like any other type of coloring such as dye.  Below, I’ll tell you why it’s important you respect this order.

Now, how much time should you allow between a keratin treatment and toner?


different toners for hair

Generally speaking, as a colorist I recommend you wait two weeks to use toner after keratin. This way the keratin will settle properly in your hair.

Once two weeks have gone by since your keratin treatment, you will be able to tone your hair without any problems.

So to avoid any doubts, I repeat.


You always apply toner after keratin

before and after keratin treatment

And let’s discuss why it’s essential you respect this order.

When do you generally get a keratin treatment?


Most of my clients (and I’m sure this is true in your case) get a keratin treatment to repair damaged and frizzy hair.

Why? Because keratin is a protein that’s naturally present in hair. But for various reasons, such as exposure to dyes, sunlight, and even age, hair begins to produce less of it.

When this happens, the hair dries out and split ends and frizziness appear. The keratin treatment fills the empty spaces in each strand of your hair, leaving it completely healthy.


Now, to seal the keratin, you use a straightener and blow dryer, that is, very high temperatures.

And here lies the crux of the matter.

 What if you first use the toner and then the keratin? Since you seal the keratin treatment with a lot of heat, you could lighten your hair color by up to two numbers.  And you would also remove the toner pigments.

Here’s an example.


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Let’s say your hair is dark blonde 6 and has some harsh colors. So you use a toner to make it paler and eliminate those harsh oranges. The next day, you apply a keratin treatment to your hair.

When you look in the mirror, you see your hair is totally orange, carrot orange. The keratin removed the toner. But it also lightened your hair.

carrot orange hair

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That’s why you should always get the keratin treatment before the toner. You’ll see what color your hair will be, and know which toner to choose to neutralize those harsh colors.

Now you know the order:  first the keratin, and after 2 weeks, the toner. 

Here are some helpful recommendations.


What to take into account before and after your keratin treatment if you want to apply a toner

  • Wash your hair with detox shampoo to remove any dirt and residue from hair products and don’t use conditioner.
  • Don’t renew your color or apply toner. It’s better to apply keratin to gray hair than to end up with red or orange hair.
  • Talk to your stylist about what type of treatment to apply, strong or extra strong. Remember, many of these treatments contain formaldehyde which can irritate your skin.
  • After applying the keratin treatment, don’t wash your hair for three days. This will allow your hair to absorb all the protein it needs.
  •  Wait two weeks to tone your hair after the keratin treatment. 
  • Use shampoo and conditioner containing keratin as much as you can to prolong the effects of the treatments.



You should always use toner after a keratin treatment, not before. Why? Because keratin is sealed with a straightener at high temperatures. And that extreme heat can remove the pigments from the toner, causing harsh colors to reappear.

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