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Which colour is best for keratin treated hair?

Keratin treatments have become increasingly popular for smoothing and straightening hair. The treatment coats the hair with a liquid keratin formula and seals it with heat from a flat iron. This helps repair damage and makes hair appear smoother and shinier. However, keratin treatments can slightly alter how hair color absorbs and appears. When choosing a hair color for keratin treated hair, it’s important to consider how the color will react with the treatment.

How Keratin Treatments Affect Hair Color

Keratin treatments create a protective coating on the hair strand. This can make it more difficult for hair color to penetrate the cuticle layer. As a result, hair color may appear lighter and less vibrant on keratin treated hair. The coating can also cause hair color to fade more quickly. This is especially true for fashion colors like reds, blues and purples which require more frequent touch-ups. On the other hand, keratin makes hair appear smoother which can enhance shinier hair colors like chocolate browns and rich blacks.

Best Hair Color Choices for Keratin Treated Hair

While any hair color can be used on keratin treated hair, some options hold up better than others. Here are some of the best hair color choices for maximizing results:

  • Natural brown and black shades – These shades tend to show up well on keratin treated hair. The smooth texture from the keratin treatment helps enhance the shine.
  • Single process colors – Sticking to a single, all-over hair color helps avoid a patchy appearance. Highlights and lowlights can appear less blended.
  • Gloss treatments – Getting a gloss treatment in between color appointments helps refresh color and seal the cuticle.
  • Semi-permanent colors – These deposit color but don’t fully penetrate the cuticle, allowing for less color fade.
  • Demi-permanent colors – Demi-permanent color falls between a semi and permanent formula for longer lasting results.

Avoiding Problems with Hair Color and Keratin Treatments

To get the best results from hair color on keratin treated hair, follow these tips:

  • Wait 2-4 weeks after the keratin treatment before coloring hair.
  • Perform a strand test to see color result before doing full head.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo 2-3 days before coloring to open cuticle.
  • Apply hair color immediately after washing hair when cuticle is most open.
  • Use a protein or color-depositing conditioner to enhance color.
  • Refresh color with gloss or semi-permanent color as needed.
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and cool water washes to make color last longer.

How Different Hair Color Types React with Keratin

Certain hair color formulas and techniques may be better suited for keratin treated hair. Here is an overview of how common hair color types interact with keratin:

Hair Color Type Interaction with Keratin
Permanent Hair Color Can appear slightly less vibrant. Requires touch-ups every 6-8 weeks.
Semi-permanent Hair Color Color washes out more quickly. Less damage to treated hair.
Demi-permanent Hair Color Provides longer lasting color than semi-permanent. Requires less frequent touch-ups.
Highlights/Lowlights Can look less blended on smooth keratin treated hair. Foils help penetration.
Bleach/Lightener Can be drying. Use lower volume developer. Treat with conditioning products after.
Gloss Treatments Great for refreshing color and shine between color appointments.

Best Color Brands and Formulas

Choosing hair color products designed for treated or damaged hair can improve results and minimize fading. Here are some top color brands and lines recommended for keratin treated hair:

  • Schwarzkopf Bonacure – Features keratin-infused color formulas to reinforce hair.
  • Redken Shades EQ – Provides lasting color results even on compromised hair.
  • Matrix Color Sync – Contains intra-cuticle color pigments to help color adhere.
  • Olaplex – Can be added to color for extra smoothing and protection.
  • Pureology – Sulfate-free formulas help extend color vibrancy.
  • L’Oreal Paris Coloriste – Uses oleo-technology for richer color payout and shine.

It’s also helpful to choose permanent hair color formulas that contain caring ingredients like keratin, collagen, silk proteins, and natural oils. Opt for colors one shade lighter than what you want, as the color will appear slightly lighter on keratin treated hair.

Color Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is key to keeping hair color looking its best on keratin smoothed hair. Be sure to:

  • Use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • Rinse hair with cool water to prevent cuticle from opening.
  • Apply weekly conditioning hair masks or oils.
  • Use a boar bristle brush and gentle handling/styling.
  • Avoid chlorine, salt water, and other damaging elements.
  • Get a gloss or glaze between full color appointments.
  • Use an at-home color-depositing conditioner as needed.

When to Schedule a Color Refresh

With keratin treated hair, it’s important to stay on top of refreshing your hair color. The general rule is to make a color refresh appointment when you notice your color beginning to fade. The frequency can vary based on the factors below:

  • Hair color formula – Permanent color lasts 6-8 weeks. Semi-permanent fades faster in 4-6 weeks.
  • Your hair type – Dry and damaged hair often needs more frequent touch-ups.
  • Color shade – Light colors fade quicker than darker shades.
  • Sun exposure – The sun’s UV rays speed up fading.
  • Hair products – Sulfate-free products help extend color vibrancy.
  • Lifestyle – Frequent swimming or hot styling can increase fading.

It’s better to refresh your hair color more frequently than to wait until the color completely fades. This will provide the best color results on your keratin treated hair. Aim for touch-ups every 4-8 weeks based on your unique needs.

Consult a Professional

While properly maintained keratin treated hair can hold onto hair color well, every head of hair is different. Consult with your professional stylist to determine the optimal hair coloring strategy. The right formulas, application techniques, timing and maintenance plan can help you achieve beautiful, long-lasting color results.

With the right approach, you can have smooth, frizz-free keratin treated hair in the shade you desire. Take these tips into account when planning your next hair color service after a keratin treatment. With some care and maintenance, your hair color can remain vibrant, glossy and healthy looking.