Which type of hair color should you use after a keratin treatment?

woman with question gesture and well-treated hair

  • If you got a keratin treatment less than three weeks ago, you can use a semi-permanent hair color. This type of dye doesn’t contain ammonia and you don’t apply it with developer. Therefore, it won’t remove the keratin.
  • If you used keratin more than three weeks ago, you can use a permanent dye. Because after three weeks, the keratin will have finished settling into your hair.
  • The only dye you should avoid using on keratin-treated hair is super-lightening dye or getting coloring work such as balayage or highlights.


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As you can see,  if you want to color your hair after a keratin treatment, the most important thing is to take into account how much time has passed since you had the keratin. 


Because that will determine the type of dye you should use. And this is something vital.

Why? Well, if you used keratin, it’s because you wanted to repair your hair. So it wouldn’t make sense to use a dye that removes the keratin’s effects.

hairdresser shows result of keratin on client's hair

They say that good things come to those who wait, and I can assure you that in coloring matters, this rule applies 100%.

Now there are two things that are completely forbidden for keratin-treated hair:


  •  Super-lightening dyes . You apply them with 30 0 40-volume developer, and you could damage your hair irreversibly, as well as completely removing the keratin.
  •  Bleaching . Either a complete bleach or a partial bleach to achieve techniques such as highlights, balayage, Californian highlights, and ombré. In this case, you will have to go to a professional for a personalized evaluation of your hair.


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As for color choice,  if you use a permanent hair color, I recommend you don’t try to lighten or darken your hair more than two shades. 

Why not?


Because if you don’t like the color after you dye your hair, you can’t bleach it or apply a remover. You will ruin the keratin treatment and your hair’s health.

Also, your hair will probably lighten up to two shades anyway after the keratin treatment.

woman choosing dye color

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So what is my professional advice? Apply the same color you had before the keratin treatment or at most two numbers lighter or darker. For example:

  • If your hair is light brown 5, you can apply blonde 7.
  • If your hair is dark blonde 6, you can apply a brown 4.
  • If your hair is brown 4, you can apply a dark blonde 6.
  • If your hair is a very light blonde 9, you can apply a blonde 7.


Now let’s see why it’s important to consider the type of hair color you use.


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If it’s been less than three weeks since you had a keratin treatment, dye your hair with a semi-permanent hair dye

Clairol semi-permanent hair dye with keratin

Why? Since semi-permanent dyes adhere to the outer layer of your hair, they won’t compromise the keratin treatment’s effects.

You can use them even if your hair is very gray. Many brands of semi-permanent hair color offer excellent coverage for gray hair.

 You can choose fantasy colors , although your hair should already be light or very light,  or traditional colors , which you can find in the brands Clairol Natural Instincts o Adore, for example.


In addition, keeping up the color of your hair will be easy. The care routine will be the same as how you should look after your keratin-treated hair.

  • Wash your hair at the most three times a week.
  • Use sulfate-free products.
  • If you straighten your hair after keratin, to reactivate the protein and the effects of the treatment, use a heat protector.

This way, you will extend the effects of the keratin and your hair color will also last between 18 and 24 washes.


If you applied keratin more than three weeks ago, you can use permanent hair color

Why? It takes about three weeks for your hair to absorb the keratin. If you apply a permanent dye before three weeks, the ammonia and developer in the dye will remove the keratin.

Therefore, your hair will be left with uneven color and frizziness.

If you’re going to use this type of dye, I recommend using brands such as Garnier Nutrisse, which contains oils and keratin, or Schwarzkopf Keratin Color, which will also strengthen your hair.



The only dye you can use immediately after a keratin treatment is semi-permanent dye. It doesn’t contain ammonia and you don’t have to apply it with developer.

If you want to use a permanent hair dye, you should wait at least three weeks after your keratin treatment.

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