The First Wash After A Keratin Treatment: Everything You Need To Know

The First Wash After A Keratin Treatment: Everything You Need To Know

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Close-up portrait of a beautiful young woman with elegant long shiny hair

If you’re thinking about going through keratin treatment, part of your research should answer how you’re going to take care of your hair afterwards. 

The first wash after keratin treatment is one of the most crucial steps to take in order to maintain the longevity and results of the treatment. 

As you may already know, keratin treatment is a process that smooths and straightens the hair by infusing it with keratin, a protein naturally found in the hair.

This treatment can last up to three months, but only if you take care of your hair properly afterwards, especially in the first few days.

I’m here to share with you everything that you need to know about taking care of your keratin-treated hair.

Why You Should Be Careful When Washing Hair After a Keratin Treatment

You have to be careful when washing your hair for the first time because when keratin is first applied to hair, it needs time to penetrate the shaft and work its magic. 

You have to be careful when washing your hair for the first time because when keratin is first applied to hair, it needs time to penetrate the shaft and work its magic.

As much as possible, you want to maximize the amount of time the keratin treatment spends on your hair, which is why the first wash is always the hardest. 

Fortunately, I have some tips to make sure your first post-treatment wash is a success.

When To Wash Hair After A Keratin Treatment

Ideally, you should wait 3-4 days after your treatment before washing your hair. This allows the keratin to set and bond properly with your hair. 

If you absolutely must wash your hair sooner than that, it’s best to wait at least 12 hours.

The exact time you need to wait before washing your hair depends largely on these factors:

  • The type of keratin treatment you received
  • How much your stylist applied
  • Your hair type

If you’re unsure, it’s always best to ask your stylist how long you should wait before washing your hair. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t damage your hair or ruin your treatment.

Related: How To Sleep After A Keratin Treatment

Preparing for Your First Wash After Keratin Treatment

These are the steps you need to do to prepare for your first wash after keratin treatment:

Invest in the Right Hair Care Products

You should look for shampoos and conditioners that don’t have sulfates and sodium chloride. 

These ingredients can strip away the keratin treatment and leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. 

Instead, look for products that are specifically designed for chemically-treated hair.

You’ve already invested in making your hair look its best, so don’t skimp on other hair care products!

Here are some products I recommend:

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Bundle

If you're looking to smooth things out and keep your first-wash post-keratin treatment on point, invest in good quality products that are designed for frizzy hair. 

I love the L'Oreal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and Conditioner because they work together to help control frizz and fly-aways while keeping your hair hydrated.


  • Anti-fade,
  • Humidity and frizz resistance
  • Natural botanical oils and sunflowers
Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Color Care Duo

If you have colored hair and underwent keratin treatment, this dynamic duo is ideal for you. The set includes the Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. 

These products are designed to work together to keep your color vibrant while also providing hydration and protection against damage.


  • Contains Provitamin B5,
  • Hydrating and smoothing
  • Sulfate-free
Alfaparf Milano Lisse Design Shampoo and Conditioner Set

The Alfaparf Milano Lisse Design Shampoo and Conditioner Set h0as everything you need to keep your hair hydrated, smooth, and frizz-free.

The shampoo is designed to cleanse your hair without stripping away the keratin treatment. The conditioner will help detangle your hair and leave it feeling soft and silky.


  • Paraben, sulfate, and salt-free,
  • Keeps hair tangle-free
  • Contains hydrolyzed keratin, quaternized collagen, and Babassu oil



Get a Microfiber Hair Towel

The next step to properly washing your hair after a keratin treatment is to get yourself a good microfiber hair towel. 

Microfiber towels are made of tiny fibers that are super absorbent. 

This means that they will help to soak up any excess water from your hair, making it dry faster and preventing your hair from getting frizzy.

Have a Wide-Toothed Comb

Aside from a microfiber towel, you should also have a wide-toothed comb on hand. 

You might be tempted to just use your fingers to detangle your hair after a keratin treatment, but this can actually cause more damage and breakage. 

Instead, gently comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb to avoid any tugging or pulling.

How to Wash Your Hair After Hair Treatment

Now that you’re prepared with the right products, these are the steps to washing your hair:

Check the Water Temperature

Close-up of a woman's hand checking water condition in the shower

You want the water to be lukewarm—not too hot, as this can dry out your scalp, and not too cold, as this can make it difficult to remove all of the product from your hair. 

The best temperature is around 38–43°C. Nonetheless, you can always check the temperature on your forearm. If it is too hot for you, then it will be too hot for your hair.

Additionally, make sure to check the type of water you have. Avoid hard water since it also contains chemicals that can interact with your hair. 

If you have hard water, use a water softener to reduce the levels of minerals before washing your hair or store soft water in bottles for your first wash.

Don’t Wet Your Hair Too Much

While you can still use the shower, make sure to just wet your hair enough for your shower products to work. Avoid fully submerging your head or getting your hair too saturated.

Water can strip away the treatment before it’s had a chance to fully sink in and work its magic.

Maximize Your Shampoo and Conditioner

Maximizing your hair care products for the first wash is key to success. For the shampoo, you want to focus it on the roots and massage it in for a good minute before rinsing. 

As for the conditioner, you can apply it all over your hair but put it more on the ends. Leave it in for about 3-5 minutes before rinsing out.

Again, make sure to just rinse your hair enough to get the product out. You don’t want to overdo it and strip away all the benefits of the treatment.

Apply Conditioner Before Showering

Applying a conditioner to your hair before showering can help to prevent the harsh water from stripping away the natural oils in your hair, which can lead to dryness and frizz. 

This can protect your hair and help to keep it looking smooth and sleek after your first wash.

first wash after keratin treatment infographic

Additional Hair Care Tips for Treated Hair

Some more hair care tips for taking care of your mane:

Keep Your Hair Down

beautiful model girl with shiny brown straight long hair

Don’t put your hair up in a bun, ponytail, or other tight hairstyle for the first three days after your treatment. This will help keep the keratin smooth and prevent it from frizzing.

Additionally, you shouldn’t even tuck your hair behind your ears since this can lead to creasing.

If you have to put your hair up for work or other obligations, try loose styles like braids or low buns instead.

Avoid Other Chemicals for the First Few Weeks

Let your hair soak in the keratin treatment for the first few weeks. Give it a break from other chemicals, such as hair dyes, permanent waves, and straighteners. 

Exposing your locks to these chemicals can reduce the treatment’s effectiveness, especially when you just had your hair treated.

Have a Hydration Routine to Regulate Hair’s Protein and Moisture

Getting a keratin treatment or Brazilian blowout can disrupt the balance of protein and moisture in your hair. 

This treatment smooths the hair shaft by adding protein, but can also make your strands feel dry and brittle.

That’s why it’s important to have a hydration routine in place both before and after your treatment. 

This will help regulate your hair’s protein and moisture levels, keeping your strands healthy and strong.

Your hydration routine should include a conditioner that is rich in moisture, a leave-in conditioner or treatment, and an oil or serum to seal in moisture.

Use a Leave-In Heat Protectant

On top of hydration products, you also have to use a leave-in heat protectant to keep your hair healthy and looking its best. This will help it stay smooth, shiny, and frizz-free.

Exposure to heat can damage the keratin in your hair by causing it to break down and become frizzy. 

A leave-in heat protectant will help to keep your hair healthy by creating a barrier between your hair and the heat.

FAQs: Washing Keratin Treated Hair and Other Concerns

What Happens If You Wash Keratin Treatment After 24 Hours?

Washing too soon can cause the treatment to become less effective and may even strip it away completely. It’s best to wait at least 48 to 72 hours before washing your hair.

Am I Using the Right Shampoo?

If you’ve just had a keratin treatment, you may be wondering what kind of shampoo you should use to wash your hair. The good news is that you can use any type of shampoo you want!

However, I highly recommend using a sodium chloride and sulfate-free shampoo to prolong the life of your treatment.

Related: 5 Best Shampoos For Keratin Treated Hair You Have To Try

Can I Apply Heat to Keratin-Treated Hair After Washing?

No, you cannot apply heat to your hair after washing it for the first time following a keratin treatment. 

This is because the heat will cause the hair cuticle to open and the treatment will be less effective. It is best to let your hair air dry or use a diffuser on low heat if you must use heat.

What is the Best Way to Dry Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

The best way to go about removing excess water from your hair is by blotting it with a towel and then letting it air dry. 

You should avoid using a hairdryer, as the heat can damage your Brazilian blowout

If you must use a hair dryer, make sure to keep it on the lowest setting. If it has an air-only setting (without the heat), then all the better.

Why Does My Hair Smell When Wet After a Keratin Treatment?

It is normal for your hair to smell a little funny when wet after a keratin treatment. This is because the chemicals in the treatment can cause your hair to release an odor. 

The good news is that the smell will dissipate once your hair dries. In the meantime, you can try using a leave-in product or an essential oil to help mask the scent.

The smell should dissipate within a few washes. If the smell persists even after two weeks, make sure to consult your stylist. 

How Long Do Keratin Treatments Last?

Keratin treatments can last anywhere from 2 to 6 months. The length of time will depend on how often you shampoo, the type of products you use, and your overall hair care routine.

Its effectiveness will also depend on the quality of the keratin treatment. A high-quality treatment from a reputable salon will last longer than a cheap knock-off from the drugstore.

Nonetheless, you want to prolong its effects as much as possible. That’s why you should avoid washing your hair for the first 3 days after the treatment.

Conclusion: Let Your Keratin-Treated Hair Soak All That Goodness

Give the keratin treatment ample time to penetrate your strands and scalp. Depending on your stylist and the treatment you received, your ideal first wash can be anywhere from 3 to 5 days. 

When you wash your hair, make sure to use a shampoo free of sulfates and other harsh chemicals that can strip away the treatment. 

Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to help keep your scalp hydrated and your strands healthy.

Want to Learn New Ways to Care for Treated Hair?

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