My stylist suggest I use a Keratin treatment to straighten my hair and lighten the colour, is this true?

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I have been colouring my hair blue black for many years to cover my white hair roots. I want to change to ginger brown and also straighten my hair through a chemical process as it is naturally very curly.

What is the best technique that will cause the least damage to my hair? My hairstylist suggested I do what is known as a keratin treatment which will make the hair straighter and make the colour lighter, but not ginger brown. He said I should continue this process so that the hair gradually becomes lighter and lighter till its light enough to colour it ginger brown without the need to bleach.

What is your view? Is this a correct method for me to take?

Anon, Singapore

Blue black hair is the darkest dye that we have and also can be the most difficult to remove. If your hair has been coloured and recoloured with this shade then it might be very difficult to lighten, especially if your hair is naturally very dark. 

If your hair is white underneath this black shade then it may be possible to remove the build up of artificial colour and then recolour with a ginger type brown. This will involve a very heavy chemical process and can be quite damaging to the hair. It may also not be possible to do it in one appointment but over a few visits to let the hair rest before processing again.

Now as to the straightening, you wouldn't be able to have it chemically straightened or relaxed as well as lightened because this will lead to destruction of the hair shaft. Both processes remove essential moisture and protein from the hair so this is a big no no. It may be possible to have a keratin treatment to smooth out the hair shaft but this will not straighten it.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

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