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When to Wash Hair After a Keratin Treatment

Washing your hair too soon after a keratin treatment will wash out the protein before it’s fully bonded to your hair. To reap all the benefits of your treatment, check out this post to learn how to care for and when to wash hair after a keratin treatment.

When to Wash Hair After a Keratin Treatment

How you care for your hair after keratin treatment determines how well your outcomes last. You shouldn’t wash your hair for the first 72 hours (three days). Otherwise, you risk ruining the sleek and flawless benefits a hair keratin treatment provides.

What Is a Keratin Treatment?

Keratin treatments are one of the simplest techniques for achieving smooth, maintainable hair. Unfortunately, this treatment requires much time and money to complete. It’s essential to care for your keratin-treated hair properly to enjoy the best results.

Else, you risk all that effort and your hard-earned money going down the drain! Unfortunately, keratin doesn’t absorb quickly. You must allow it to remain in your hair for several days for it to get absorbed correctly.

This explains why your therapy fades so fast if you clean your hair within 72 hours following treatment. Besides, it also diminishes the quality of the keratin treatment outcome, which means your hair won’t be as smooth and soft.

Now that you’ve decided you want your first keratin hair treatment, do you understand what you should do to achieve optimal outcomes? This article covers some of the key concerns you have, including:

  • How to prepare for your first hair clean after keratin treatment?
  • What are the tips for cleaning keratin-treated hair?
  • What other hair care tips should I know after a keratin treatment?

So, without further ado, let’s get cracking!

Preparing Your Hair to Wash

Woman detangling her hair to wash it after a keratin treatment


The first wash after your keratin hair treatment is the most important. Get it wrong, and the results you’ve worked for will fade away in no time. Below are some things you should do to ensure you are well-prepared for your aftercare.

Acquire the Proper Hair Care Supplies

You’ve heavily invested in your hair through a keratin treatment. So, why should you jeopardize it by buying inappropriate hair care products? Find conditioners and shampoos that don’t contain sodium chloride or sulfates.

These substances can deplete your hair from its keratin treatment, leaving it stiff and dry. Instead, acquire hair care supplies specially formulated for hair that’s been chemically treated.

Buy a Microfiber Towel

Following keratin therapy, purchasing a quality microfiber towel is another way to prepare yourself for hair cleaning. Microfiber towels are built of small, very absorbent threads. As a result, they’ll absorb extra moisture from your hair, causing it to dry quickly and avoid frizz.

Get a Broad-Toothed Comb

In addition to a microfiber towel, you should acquire a comb with large teeth. Old habits are hard to depart from; hence, you might be compelled to use your fingers to untangle your hair.

Unfortunately, this causes hair breakage and damage. Rather, brush your hair lightly with a wide-toothed comb to minimize pulling or tugging.

12 Tips for Cleaning Keratin-Treated Hair

You can clean your hair with the right products once 72 hours pass after your keratin treatment. Here are some tips for washing your hair properly.

1. Assess the Water’s Temperature

Your water’s temperature shouldn’t be extremely hot as it could dry your scalp. Likewise, it shouldn’t be extremely cold as removing the keratin from the hair becomes hard. Just keep it lukewarm. The ideal temperature range is about 100°F.

But, because you cannot always have a thermometer, simply test the water temperature with your forearm. Be keen with the water type you use. Ideally, don’t use hard water as it has compounds that might interfere with your hair.

If you cannot access soft water, using a water softener can help minimize the mineral content. Alternatively, outsource soft water for your first hair clean by buying from a local store or boiling the water.

2. Avoid Soaking Your Hair Excessively

Although you can clean your hair in the shower, it’s crucial not to dampen it excessively. Complete soaking not only makes the shower supplies less effective but could also remove the keratin before it properly penetrates and treats your hair.

3. Correctly Use Your Hair Care Products

The secret to your aftercare hair cleaning success is appropriately using your shampoo and conditioner. Before rinsing, concentrate on the hair roots and rub the shampoo for roughly one minute.

Similarly, apply the conditioner on the hair ends and leave for up to 5 minutes before rinsing. But make sure you don’t over-rinse to avoid stripping the keratin from your hair.

4. Always Use a Hair Conditioner

Hair conditioners protect your hair’s natural oils from the abrasive nature of hard water. Without this product, you might end up with frizz and dry hair. A conditioner helps maintain your hair sleek and smooth even after repeated washes following keratin treatment.

5. Don’t Style Your Hair

Avoid styling your hair in a ponytail, bun, or restrictive hairstyle for the first few days after keratin treatment. It will ensure your keratin remains smooth and avoids frizzing.

You shouldn’t pull your hair behind your ears as this can cause creases. Try low buns and braids if you must style your hair, maybe because of work or other commitments.

6. Stay Away From Other Chemicals During the First Several Weeks

Allow your hair to absorb the keratin treatment for as long as possible. Avoid using other chemicals such as straighteners, hair dyes, or permanent waves. 

Exposing your hair to these chemicals can diminish the efficacy of the treatment, particularly in the days or weeks following treatment.

7. Have a Hair Moisturizing Regimen

Keratin hair therapy might upset your hair’s balance of moisture and protein. This procedure softens your hair shaft by injecting protein but could also cause brittleness and dryness in your hair strands.

A moisturizing routine helps restore this balance for your hair strands to remain strong and healthy. Your routine should have a moisturizing conditioner and serum or oil for your hair to retain moisture.

8. Use a Heat Protectant

Heat exposure can harm the keratin solution by degrading it. You’ll need a heat protectant for your hair to retain the keratin effects. This protectant creates a barrier between your keratin-treated hair and heat for you to enjoy frizz-free, smooth, and lustrous hair.

9. Don’t Use Hair Dryers

As previously highlighted, keratin doesn’t like heat exposure. Avoid using heating appliances like hair dryers for around two weeks. Instead, you can air-dry or use a microfiber towel whenever you wash your hair.

10. Use a Silk Pillowcase

Always use a silk pillowcase. Conventional cotton pillowcases can create friction and disturbance to hair cuticles during movement, resulting in frizzy hair and short-lived keratin effects.

Sleeping on a silk pillowcase while you turn and toss in your sleep will prevent damage to your hair. Silk generates significantly less irritation than other materials, resulting in longer-lasting keratin treatment outcomes.

11. Always Use the Correct Shampoo

When washing your treated hair, you must use a sulfate-free shampoo. However, simply because your shampoo doesn’t contain sulfates doesn’t imply that you can use it on your hair. Check the products you’re using carefully before use. After applying it to your scalp with a light massage, wash it off immediately. 

12. Avoid Using a Wet Brush

If you normally detangle your hair while bathing, you must refrain from doing so after keratin therapy. Wait for about two weeks before you begin using a shower brush. Otherwise, you could harm the keratin in your hair through friction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman getting a keratin treatment for a guide to when to wash hair after a keratin treatment


Here we’ll review some of the most commonly asked questions regarding washing your hair after a keratin treatment.

What occurs if you wash your keratin-treated hair in 24 hours?

Washing your hair too quickly could reduce the therapy’s effectiveness or remove it entirely. It’s advisable to wait 48-72 hours before your first hair wash.

Why does my hair have a scent when wet after keratin therapy?

After a keratin treatment, it’s common for your hair to have a foul smell because of the treatment’s chemicals. This odor fades away in a few days or after several washes. Meanwhile, you can try masking the odor using an essential oil or leave-in product.

How long do keratin hair treatments last?

The outcomes of keratin therapy can last between two and six months. This duration will vary according to how frequently you wash, your hair products, and your general hair care regimen. Nonetheless, the success of your treatment will also depend on its quality, which explains why you should receive keratin therapy only from trusted providers.

How should you dry your hair following keratin therapy?

Ideally, you should hair dry or tap your scalp with a dry microfiber towel. Avoid using a blow dryer, as the heat can harm your ketamine treatment. If you need to use the hair dryer, you’ll have to minimize its heat.

What shampoo should I use after keratin treatment?

While it might be confusing what shampoo to use after a keratin treatment, you can use whichever you prefer! It’s better to use a shampoo that’s free of sulfate and sodium chloride compounds to extend the longevity of your treatment.

When to Wash Hair After a Keratin Treatment

Ultimately, you must wait for not less than three days (72 hours) before first cleaning your keratin-treated hair. This time allows your keratin treatment to work its magic. 

With the additional aftercare tips highlighted in this article, you can ensure you capitalize on the benefits of a keratin hair treatment. Happy styling!