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Can You Curl Hair After a Keratin Treatment? | Yes & No

Visiting the salon for a keratin treatment to smooth your locks and calm your frizz can be just what you need. But you might want to get some volume and bounce back into your look soon afterward.

That might leave you wondering, can you curl hair after a keratin treatment? Don’t worry — we’ll answer this question in detail below.

What Is a Keratin Treatment?

Keratin is a protein that your body produces naturally. Your hair and nails are predominantly made of keratin. A salon or at-home treatment can relieve frizz, add shine, and reduce the look of split ends.

The treatment coats the shafts of hair locking in your natural keratin. A keratin treatment is a temporary process that coats your hair in a chemical to make it smoother and straighter.

A keratin treatment is very similar to a Brazilian blowout. The stylist brushes the chemical onto your hair before blow drying it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get some curl back in your hair afterward. 

You can gain back some natural curl after receiving a keratin treatment. You can also curl naturally straight hair afterward if you are careful about how much heat you use. Some things to consider are  that:

  • Your hair is mostly made of the protein keratin 
  • Keratin treatments are temporary
  • You can curl straight hair afterward
  • You can get natural curls back afterward

Read Next: When to Wash Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment

Why Get a Keratin Treatment If You Want Curls?

Woman with half frizzy and unkempt hair and half straight hair for a piece titled can you curl hair after keratin treatment

Sofia Zhuravetc/Shutterstock

You can reap several benefits and continue to style your hair in curls even if you get a regular keratin treatment. 

Benefits of a Keratin Treatment

Salon keratin treatments are derived from wool, feathers, or horns which contain natural proteins like your hair and nails. The treatment smooths the cuticle on each hair strand. This gives you more slip, less frizz, and higher gloss.

It smooths your spit ends temporarily too by bonding the hair back togetherKeratin treatments last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It depends on the kind of treatment you get and how much you wash your hair.

Getting a keratin treatment helps those of us with thick, curly, or dry. Keratin-treated hair dries more quickly, allowing a simpler hair care routine. An added benefit of quicker drying is a reduced risk of heat damage. 

Dry hair that endured frequent heat styling is more prone to breakage. Keratin treatments strengthen your hair, preventing breakage. Less breakage makes your hair seem to grow faster. 

Drawbacks of a Keratin Treatment

With any chemical treatment, there are some downsides. You’ve got to consider the effects on your body as well as your wallet. Many keratin treatments contain the dangerous chemical formaldehyde. It’s the ingredient that makes your hair straighter.

You can get a treatment that contains an alternative ingredient glyoxylic acid. It is less effective, but not as toxic. Prolonged or frequent exposure to formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems.

Keratin treatments are expensive. A session at the salon will cost $300-$800. You can lessen the impact on your budget with an at-home treatment, but it will not last as long. One way to get the most out of a keratin treatment is to time it right.

You shouldn’t get more than three treatments a year, anyway. So getting it in late spring or early summer before humidity increases your frizz potential is a great option. Treating your hair right after a keratin treatment maximizes its effects.

Ocean or pool water can shorten the effectiveness. You’ll also need to avoid sulfate shampoos that will lift the treatment before it bonds to your hair. Professional hair stylists also do not recommend keratin treatments for pregnant women

Can You Curl Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

Woman getting a keratin treatment with hot tools in a salon chair


Yes. You can curl your hair after a keratin treatment with a few caveats. Results vary depending on how long you wait after the treatment and which treatment you get.

Types of Keratin Treatments

There are four types of keratin treatments you can get at a salon. They are best for different hair textures and last various amounts of time. The Brazilian treatment is most common and good for naturally curly and frizzy hair.

It smooths the hair and elongates curls. A Soft keratin treatment is suited for fine or medium hair with waves or loose curls. While it has some straightening effect, it helps the hair form defined curl clumps. 

Japzilian keratin treatments work well on all hair types with the most straightening effect. If you want to regain curls post-treatment, this is not likely the one for you.

Keratin Express takes the least amount of time and lasts about a month. Another way to help decide if keratin treatments are right for you is to try one that doesn’t last long to see how your hair reacts. 

When Can You Curl Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

You have to wait 3-4 days before washing your hair afterward. You should wait a minimum of two weeks after your keratin treatment to use heat tools to curl your hair. The primary reason to wait is to protect the effects of the treatment on your hair.

Get the most out of the time and money you spent by holding off on curling your hair for a couple of weeks. The second reason to wait to curl your hair is to allow the treatment to take full effect.

After a keratin treatment, your hair is in a highly malleable state. Many stylists will tell you not to use any ponytail holders or barrettes in your hair for about two weeks. You could put a kink in your hair that lasts for the length of the treatment by tying it back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman curling hair after a keratin treatment in a salon


You can curl your hair after a keratin treatment. Here are a few more facts to help decide if it’s right for you.

How long does a keratin treatment take?

It depends on the type of treatment you get. The stylist brushes the chemical on your wet hair, lets it set, and blow-dries it. Plan to be at the salon for a few hours at least.

How long does a keratin treatment last?

Again, it depends on which treatment you get. You may want to try one that lasts less time or is not as strong when you first go for it. Expect a salon treatment to last anywhere from a few weeks to six months.

How much is a keratin treatment?

A salon treatment will run anywhere from $300 to $800. You can pick up an at-home treatment for $65 to $150.

Can I style my hair after keratin treatment?

Wait about two weeks after treatment to resume your normal styling, especially if you regularly use heat tools like curling irons and blow dryers.

When can you wash your hair after getting a keratin treatment?

Your stylist will direct you about when to resume washing your hair after a keratin treatment. But generally, you’ll want to wait 3-4 days to allow the chemical to completely dry on your hair.

So, Can You Curl Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

Yes. You’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits like reduced frizz and sleek shine and get back your curls and waves. Waiting a few weeks before resuming your usual styling routine will give you the maximum benefits of your keratin treatment. Happy styling!