Wondering how safe is it to relax and color on the same day? Wow! It depends on your hair type, your curl pattern, what type/brand of color being used, and if you are trying to cover gray. So pictured is Nairobi Semi-Permanent color bottle. It does not have to be mixed with any type of activator nor developer. It is a direct dye in a ready to use form. This type of semi-permanent color does NOT cover resistant gray hair even at relaxer time, but it safe to use on all hair types. Please note that direct dyes coat the outside of the hair strand which could hinder the conditioner from being as effective. Leave-in conditioners are definitely required when using semi-permanent haircolor. Pictured here is Goldwell Colorance line. It is a demi-permanent color that has to be mixed with an activating lotion. Goldwell Colorance has an intensive lotion and a mild (Acid) lotion. The Intensive Lotion should be treated like permanent color. It goes on dry hair, and it should NOT be used on the same day as a relaxer for anyone. Now, the Goldwell's milder Lotion can be used on the same day as the relaxer on certain hair types! Yes, it is discriminatory. Smile. If you have fine hair, then do NOT use this color on the same day as a relaxer. Stick with a ready to use/semi-permanent color even if you have gray hair. The semi-permanent color should cover gray on fine hair during relaxer time.
If you have an extremely curly hair type 3C or 4, then do NOT use this color on the same day as a relaxer. If you desire to cover resistant gray, then schedule a separate color service two weeks later for the Goldwell Intensive Lotion. If you desire a direct dye/semi-permanent color on the same day as the relaxer that will be fine for fashion colors, but it may cause the Intensive Lotion to not work as well if you need gray coverage two weeks later. If you still choose to get the Goldwell color with the milder lotion on the same day of relaxer, it will not melt your hair off, but your hair may be "fussing" about it. So it is not worth the headache.
If you have wavy hair or a looser Curl type 3, then your hair seems to do just fine with the Goldwell mild lotion on the same day as the relaxer as long as your stylist sticks to a 5 minutes or less application and a 10 minute processing time without heat. Now, a 20 to 30 minutes processing time in a corner while someone else is getting another service completed is TOO LONG. Your hair will not melt, but it may revert the relaxer application that was just applied and the hair may "fuss" for a few weeks. So I recommend setting a 10 minute timer as a guideline to rinse out.
If you have resistant gray outgrowth, an event to go to, and you need a relaxer, I advise that you get the color service done followed by a blow-dry service with a Redken CAT Treatment and mold your edges straight for the event. Then schedule a MILD Fiberguard Affirm relaxer touch-up a few weeks later. This relaxer in the mild strength safely relaxes hair with permanent color on it. Please see my separate article on the Fiberguard relaxer.
Again, if you have a curl pattern of type 3c or 4, then your hair is more vulnerable. So it will cost you more time and money to schedule separate hair appointments for the relaxer service and then to return two weeks later for the color service. Relaxer service is usually done before color service, but for those who need color every 4 weeks, then you get color service more often than you get relaxer service so your choice in relaxer strength and brand is important. If you have a sensitive scalp, Fiberguard Mild may not be a good match. Please see separate articles on sensitive scalp relaxers.
Paul Mitchell's mild or regular strength relaxer may be used in lieu of Fiberguard Mild in these cases when you are receiving regular haircolor services to keep the distinguished strands covered.
Fiberguard has designed a "Bridge Serum" to allow for permanent color and relaxer services to be done in the same visit with some restrictions, but I do NOT recommend this service option. I think it is too risky and remember the saying: "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part (the stylist)!"