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Last updated: September 09, 2021

Relaxer & Color Services On The Same Day?

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Instagram via @patricbradley

Can You Relax & Lighten In One Service Without Destroying The Hair?

We’ve all seen the videos online of clients attempting to lighten and relax their hair at the same time to only end in disaster. Most stylists are wary about mixing these two chemical services themselves and never on the same day, but is it possible? According to salon owner and educator Patric Bradley (@patricbradley) it is with today’s product technology and the right education. Need more proof? He does this service all the time and has countless videos on his Insta about the process.


BTC spoke to Patric on his technique and how he achieves amazing results, plus a few more experts to find out more about why a lot of stylists don’t like mixing the two services and where stylists go wrong attempting to mix the two. Keep scrolling for the deets!


Watch Patric Relax & Lift This Client On The Same Day!

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Why Don’t Stylists Usually Mix Relaxers With Color?

Relaxers and lightener are two chemical services that can severely damage the hair and scalp if not applied correctly, so it’s no wonder that mixing the two isn’t usually encouraged. “I personally do not like to mix relaxers with lightener, because the relaxer breaks down the bonds of the hair and [the] lightener can cause those bonds to become even weaker causing dry and brittle hair,” says hairstylist Cassandra Olivia (@_cassandraolivia)


A lot of professionals don’t even think of mixing the two services together at once. Hairstylist Kendra Alia (@ken__lili) emphasizes, “As a professional I do not recommend lightening and relaxing the hair within the same service. The combination of chemicals [overlapping can] cause over processing, make the hair weak and promote large amounts of breakage.”


She adds that, “The chemicals in different products can cause damage to the hair texture… If you don’t understand the chemistry behind the chair, it can be harmful to your client.”



Kendra Demonstrates That A Silk Press Can Still Temporarily Give Your Clients The Results They Want!

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When It’s Done, It’s Usually Spaced Out

There are a lot of concerns when a client asks for both services, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a traditional way to approach it. “If a client wants both services I offer the relaxer [on] the first visit, and I recommend waiting at least a week to lighten the hair,” says Cassandra. Silk press expert John George III (@johnwgeorge) adds, “I have mixed the two chemical services in the past. The results initially were great, but overtime I saw how the two don’t always mesh well together.”


To combat the damage the process brought to the hair, John says he “began to space the two chemical services at least two weeks apart and prepped the hair in between time with a protein treatment.”


Of course, consultation is key. “All clients are different. The best way that I can prepare myself and a client is to do a consultation prior to [the] service to gain as much knowledge as I can and then I customize the routine based on individual clients hair needs,” says Cassandra.


Watch Cassandra Lift & Blowout Her Clients Hair!

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Here’s How Patric Mixes The Two Services In One Day

Patric emphasizes in one of his educational videos on Instagram that the key to relaxing and coloring the hair in one day starts with the relaxer, which you must always do first. He says one of the biggest mistakes stylists make is letting the hair get too straight during a relaxer service, when it should be processed to a loose “s.” “Relaxers are not made to make the hair bone straight(…) Forget the color, that hair is going to break regardless,” he says on IG.


Of course, the products used are also very essential to the process. Patric has his own haircare company, so he uses the Patric Bradley SoftSo Relaxer and P|Elements P|Levels Absolute Magnitude Lightening Powder on his clients. The SoftSo Relaxer features a low sodium level and is infused with Vitamin E and Aloe to gently straighten color-treated hair, while the P|Levels Absolute Magnitude Lightening Powder is ammonia free, features a built in bold builder and conditions as it lifts. 


It’s important to note that Patric does not do this service on just any client that walks into his salon. “I would never do this service on a walk-in client and a first time client,” he remarks. “You need to know that client’s hair inside and out—no guessing!! I [also] would never do this service on clients that relax their own hair or color their own hair. Always, always ask questions about medications, health and hair history so you will know what and what not to do.”


Here’s How John Silk Press’ His Client’s Blonde Hair!

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Mistakes Stylists Usually Make When Relaxing & Coloring The Hair

If it’s possible to mix the two services, how come hairdressers aren’t always achieving the results they want with their clients? If you’ve tried this and have encountered negative results, here’s what you might be doing wrong:


  • Not Prepping The Clients’ Hair: “I protect my clients scalp by using a base prior to all relaxer services,” remarks Cassandra. “And, for color I use Olaplex No.1, No.2 and No.3.”


  • Unrealistic Level Of Lightness: “Some stylists attempt to achieve a lightness level that is too high for hair that was relaxed during the same service,” says John. “Instead, stylists should be realistic about the lightness level that they can achieve during the service and aim for a lightness level that would take a shorter period of time to achieve.”


  • The Developer Is Too High: “I think a lot of stylists make the mistake of using a developer that is too high in volume,” remarks Cassandra. “If the hair is relaxed, you would want to use a 10-volume [developer] and take the hair on a low and slow process to prevent damage and over processing.”


  • Permanent Color Is Used: “The derivatives in permanent color are more drying to relaxed hair. The one thing relaxed hair doesn’t need is to be dry,” notes Patric. “Once you prelighten the hair you can use direct dyes for tone on tone or change [the] level completely. Secondly, you can use [a] demi, cream toners or liquid toners to neutralize or enhance the level you’re at.” 


  • The Clients’ Hair Is Damaged: “I would never do this process on someone with a scalp condition, major breakage, previously colored hair, texturized hair or hair that is damaged prior to the appointment,” says Kendra. “I want to make sure the hair is in a healthy state. I look for minimal porosity before starting any chemical service.”


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For More Hair Color Education, Click Here To Learn About Lightening Textured Hair!

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