colored chemically straightened hair
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Award-winning colorist Mia shares her coloring tips for chemically straightened hair. “I get clients coming in all the time asking if they can color their chemically straightened hair. There are so many new straightening techniques out there that it can sometimes get confusing. So I've done my own sleuthing and compiled a list of a variety of treatments and the do’s and don’ts regarding coloring.”

Thermal Reconditioning/Japanese Straightening

Thermal reconditioning is a hair-straightening procedure that uses heat to change the shape of the hair. After the cuticle is broken down with chemicals, locks are ironed straight with a hot iron. A neutralization process then closes the cuticle, causing hair to stay straight. With this technique, your hair will remain straight for about five months to a year, depending on how fast your hair grows.

How long should you wait to color?

You need to wait at least four to six weeks before coloring your hair. If you decide to get this procedure done, be sure to protect your hair from ultraviolet rays by using products with UV protection.

Keratin Treatment

Keratin is a tough protein found in skin, hair, and nails, and is (you guessed it!) the primary product used in keratin treatments. The chemical aldehyde, a derivative of formaldehyde, assists the keratin infusion into the hair. The keratin procedure reconditions the hair to prevent frizz while allowing it to wave, curl, or be flat-ironed straight. This procedure is not permanent. It lasts anywhere from eight weeks to four months, but the hair gradually returns to its original state without the awkward growing out stage in Brazilian hair straightening.

How long should you wait to color?

You need to wait two to three weeks before and after you do any other chemical treatments, including coloring. For best results, always do the coloring before the keratin treatment. After treatment, the keratin coats your hair like a thin layer of film, therefore colorants might not penetrate the hair they way it should.

Ionic Hair Retexturizing (IHR)

IHR is the latest Japanese hair straightening technique, which works to lock in moisture and nutrients during the ironing process. It improves the condition of your hair as well as straightens it.

How long should you wait to color?

IHR works best on non-chemically treated hair, and lasts up to six months depending on the growth of your hair.

Always remember the healthiest hair usually has the fewest chemicals applied. Having both straightening and coloring is not the best option for everyone. The healthier your hair, the better results you have when coloring your hair.