Hair is an important part of overall beauty, and we all want our hair to look the best, whether that means colored, straight, braided, or just plain. One of the biggest questions that we have about hair involves the use of keratin treatment. Keratin treatment allows those of us with curly hair to straighten it without using chemical relaxers yet enjoy the same benefits. If you are wondering about the use of keratin treatment on dyed hair, you have come to the right place.
Yes! You can safely do keratin treatment on dyed hair without damage. Applying keratin treatment on colored hair will seal in the hair dye and make it shinier.
There are a few things to understand first before arriving at this answer:
- What is Keratin Treatment?
- How does Keratin treatment work?
- How does hair dye work?
- How do hair dye and keratin treatment Interact?
What is Keratin Treatment?
Often referred to as the Brazilian blowout, keratin treatment is used to eliminate frizz and straighten curly hair by changing the texture.
According to ELLE, Meghan Merkel utilizes Keratin treatment to keep her curly hair straight. The primary agent in Keratin treatment is formaldehyde, which is what gets the hair straight.
All keratin treatments contain formaldehyde or chemicals that release formaldehyde when heated. The results of Keratin treatment last up to three months, but the application process lasts only two hours.
How Keratin Treatment Works
The process begins with properly cleansed hair that has absolutely no build up in it. The hair is saturated with the Keratin treatment for about 20 minutes so that it coats the hair cuticles.
After the application, the hair is blow-dried and then flat ironed (treated with high heat to lock in keratin), and the level of heat depends on the straightness required.
Once it is flat ironed, the hair is then washed without shampoo, and a locking product is applied to keep the treatment in place.
It is for this reason that you should not wash your hair for the first two to three days after a keratin treatment.
Keratin treatment contains formaldehyde, which enters into the hair cuticles, breaks down the hair’s natural bonds to align them in a straighter position before resealing the hair cuticles. This treatment needs a heat source.
Although keratin is the building block for structures such as hair, nails, and feathers, the keratin used in hair treatment in salons is industrial level and is of non-human origins such as wool or chicken feathers.
Scientific research shows that Keratin treatment increases hair smoothness, removes entanglement, and helps to add thickness to hair, especially the one damaged by heat or bleach.
This research shows that keratin treatment is absorbed by the hair follicles integrated and fills any gaps present, which enhances elasticity and tensile strength of the hair.
This research study indicates that Keratin treatment works by combining with the intermediate filament protein into the hair, where it then forms disulfide bonds with the hair’s natural keratin protein.
Thus, if the hair is damaged or there are any gaps in its natural keratin profile, keratin treatment fixes this and promotes recovery and mechanical strengthening of the hair.
Therefore, keratin treatment works by integrating with the hair’s natural keratin protein to add to the strength, elasticity, and smoothness by thickening the diameter of the hair filaments.
These studies were based on K31, a type I acidic keratin, which is more effective than the one used in salons. Therefore, your keratin treatment is not likely to work this miracle of restoring damaged hair, but you will notice these benefits to a limited extent.
How Hair Dye Works
Natural hair color arises from the presence of melanin pigment (cortical melanin) in the hair shaft cortex.
Therefore, hair dying works by changing this pigment in two main ways. One method involves removing the cortical melanin pigment through bleaching, while the second method involves simply adding artificial pigment by applying hair dye.
Thus, hair dyes can be temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent.
Temporary hair dye does not penetrate the hair shaft cortex and simply adheres to the hair shaft using weak Van der Waals forces, which is why they wear off.
However, permanent dies will penetrate inside the hair shaft by opening the hair cuticle so they can reach inside the cortex.
Permanent hair dyes form both covalent and ionic bonds with hair cells, which is why they can be damaging to the hair.
On the other hand, semi-permanent hair colors will only partially enter the hair shaft while partly adhering to the external parts of the hair shaft.
Semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes do not involve chemical reactions in order for you to see color.
However, permanent dyes require chemical reactions, which is why hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are used as a developer for to activate the color. These chemical reactions to form both covalent and ionic bonds are irreversible and have damaging effects on your hair.
When hydrogen peroxide is applied to your hair, it causes the hair cuticle to swell so that the dye can diffuse into the hair cortex.
Next, this hydrogen peroxide will bleach the natural melanin present in your hair and then activate the new hair dye into large molecules that are then trapped inside your hair cortex as the cuticle closes.
According to research, unlike in temporary hair dyes where the hair is just painted over, permanent hair dyes cause oxidative damage to your hair shaft.
Researchers found that permanent dark hair dyes such as dark-brown and black tend to cause the highest amount of damage to your hair, since they darker shades require more activation, hence more bleaching in the use of hydrogen peroxide.
How Hair Dye and Keratin Treatment Interact
As mentioned above, keratin treatment can restore damaged hair, but only if its pure keratin.
Unfortunately, the keratin treatment used in salons is often a diluted version and does not have enough power to restore damaged hair.
Also, the amount of heat used during keratin treatment can dry out your hair, but you will definitely notice some improvement in your hair after the process.
When your hair is dyed, especially permanent hair dye, their chemical and structural breakdown of your hair, which leaves it weak and dry, and the additional opening of the hair cuticles cause the hair to lose moisture. Therefore, this can be a grueling experience for your hair follicles.
Given how taxing these two processes are to your hair, it seems best to only use one technique at a time to avoid too much damage on your hair.
As mentioned earlier, keratin treatment can cause heat damage, and hair dye can cause oxidative damage due to bleaching.
However, if your hair is dyed and you badly want to do a keratin treatment, the answer is yes, you can.
As a matter of fact, doing a keratin treatment on dyed hair might come with some benefits.
If you do keratin treatment immediately after hair coloring, the Keratin treatment will have the best results, but your hair dye may not.
This is because hair color opens up the hair cuticles and allows keratin to enter; however, this means that some of the hair colors might be displaced, and your dye will not appear as bright or intense as you wanted it to.
However, if you wait a few days after coloring to your keratin treatment, your hair dye is likely to look better after the treatment.
This is because keratin treatment straightens and smoothens your hair. Straight and smooth hair reflects light better than curly and frizzy one, so in this case, your hair dye will look brighter and shinier.
Also, the keratin treatment will seal in the hair dye and keep it vibrant. Also, since the hair dye is sealed in by the keratin treatment, it will last longer than usual.
You can do keratin treatment on dyed hair; as a matter of fact, it is best to color your hair before keratin treatment and not after. But those who choose to dye the hair after keratin treatment should wait about 2 weeks or more to color the hair.
As shown above, both hair dying and keratin treatment are taxing on your hair, and it might even be advisable to use only one technique at a time to avoid hair dryness and weakness. However, keratin on colored hair can make the hair last longer, shine brighter, and remain vibrant throughout the duration.
Conclusively, the answer is yes; you can do keratin treatment on dyed hair.