9 Best Shampoos for Keratin Treated Hair (Sulfate-free & Salt-free)
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Keratin-treated hair requires a gentle approach to cleansing to preserve the keratin bonds and maintain the treatment.
The ideal shampoo for keratin-treated hair should be sulfate-free and sodium chloride-free, as these ingredients can strip away the keratin coating and diminish the treatment’s effects.
To help you find the correct shampoo that complements your hair type and lifestyle choices, please select your criteria below for a personalized recommendation.
- Argan Oil
- Ph Balanced
About Your Hair
- Curly Hair
- Wavy Hair
- Straight Hair
- African-american Hair
Your Hair Routine
- Wash Daily
- Wash 2-3 Days A Week
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Arvazallia Advanced Hair Repair Shampoo
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback via our blog from happy customers who thanked us for recommending this product. You can see it for yourself on Amazon. Search the reviews for “keratin” on the product link below and read the comments.
When I bought this set the first time, I immediately fell in love with the quality, the fresh macadamia scent, how my hair felt after using it, and most importantly, the longevity it gave to my blowouts. I still use this complete set every time I get a Brazilian keratin treatment done.
My tried and trusted shampoo never disappoints, and I know exactly what to expect from it. Plus, it comes with a conditioner and a lush hair mask too. It’s excellent value for money as you won’t have to buy them separately.
Here are the reasons why the Arvazallia shampoo is excellent for keratin-treated hair.
- It is SLS-free.
- It does not contain salts.
- It has the highest grade of pure Moroccan argan oil.
- It helps hair heal from damage.
- Adds softness and shine to the hair.
Formulated as an advanced hair repair system, the shampoo, conditioner, and mask are designed to boost hydration and revitalize stressed-out hair after chemical treatments. With antioxidant-rich argan oil and nutrients-rich macadamia oil, this system fortifies the hair from root to tip to accelerate recovery after keratin, color, and even bleaching treatments.
What’s particularly impressive about this shampoo is that it lathers so well despite having no sulfates and salts. It deep cleanses so well that you won’t need to wash your hair frequently. Once a week is enough.
Full Review: Arvazallia Advanced Hair Repair Shampoo Review.
LuxeOrganix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
Reviewers rave about the Luxeorganix shampoo’s ability to preserve their keratin while keeping their hair frizz-free and smooth.
Formulated for all hair types and textures, this shampoo is enriched with Moroccan argan oil, vitamins, fatty acids, and omegas that work together to protect the hair’s lipid layer, boosting natural moisture.
It doesn’t have any bad sulfates or salts, so rest assured it won’t strip your keratin-treated hair even if you use it 2 times a week. Just work it into wet hair and massage it gently to activate the cleanse. Then rinse out.
For those with dyed hair, you’ll love how this shampoo benefits your colored hair. Most people who used it reported better color vibrancy and no color fade.
Full Review: LuxeOrganix Sulfate-Free Argan Oil Shampoo Review.
Vegamour is one of the fastest-selling hair products right now on Sephora and Amazon. It’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based, and considered by many as the best keratin shampoo in the clean beauty space.
A few months ago, I bought Vegamour’s GRO products to do a review, and I must admit, these products are a different class. Yes, they are expensive, but you feel the love and passion put into each of their products.
Made with pure botanical extracts and b-silk vegan keratin (Karmatin), this shampoo is a no-brainer for keratin-treated hair. There is basically nothing in their products that can strip the hair. In fact, the shampoo is so gentle you can wash your hair every day with it. I wish I could, but looking at the price, I’d rather make it last for 2 months.
The Vegamour keratin shampoo will suit you well if you’re vegan and an advocate for clean sustainable cosmetics that don’t contain any animal derivatives.
Olaplex 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
The Olaplex 4 is a professional reparative shampoo designed to fortify bonds in chemically processed hair.
It is normal for hair to feel weakened and stressed out after any kind of chemical treatment due to the intense heat and chemicals applied. This is where Olaplex swoops in with its recovery powers to strengthen vulnerable and weak hair against breakage and split ends.
Olaplex is the number 1 go-to product for anyone with damaged hair. Trusted by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and legendary hairstylists, Olaplex is clinically proven to reverse the damaging effects of chemical processing and heat damage on the hair. You can see evidence of Olaplex results from their website.
By using a unique patented bond multiplier technology, it rapidly heals the hair to make it healthy from the inside from root to tip.
However, beware of overusing this shampoo. It has high doses of keratin and aminos, so it can cause protein overload on hair that already has keratin coated. Protein overload usually manifests in dry, brittle hair that breaks easily.
So avoid using it daily and stick to once a week.
Tree to Tub Soapberry Shampoo
The Tree to Tub shampoo is pH-balanced without harsh chemicals. It helps neutralize alkalinity from chemical products that can leave the hair feeling dry, damaged, and prone to breakage. By rebalancing and revitalizing the follicular environment, it brings both the scalp and hair into their natural harmonious pH range for optimal moisture and function. It also does an excellent job of calming frizzy hair after showering.
My only gripe about this shampoo is that it doesn’t contain hydrolyzed keratin, which means I have to add an extra product to my routine to top up the keratin.
Maple Holistics Shampoo
The Maple Holistics shampoo is made with 100% pure argan oil, almond oil, green tea extracts, avocado oil, silk amino acids, and hibiscus to heal, rejuvenate, and strengthen keratin treated hair.
The set also comes with an equal-sized conditioner, so you don’t have to buy one separately. For me, a 236ml bottle can last for up to 2 months if I wash my hair once every week.
Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein Shampoo
If you are on a tight budget, the Aveeno quinoa protein shampoo is the cheapest shampoo for keratin treated hair available from most drugstores.
Although it contains some mild sulfates (C14-C16 olefin sulfonate), we noticed it still did a pretty good job on colored hair. So we tested it on one of our client’s post-keratin hair after 1 week. We wanted to see if this cheap option would work, and surprisingly it did.
It didn’t show any signs of stripping. Both keratin and color were safe and didn’t fade after 2 weeks of use.
The Aveeno shampoo is also ultra-soothing on the scalp, and it leaves the hair soft and smooth.
Videri Lemon Sage and Tea Tree Shampoo
The Videri shampoo combines peppermint, tea tree, jojoba, vitamin C, and aloe vera extracts to deliver a refreshing cleansing experience like no other.
You immediately feel the invigorating qualities deep down on your scalp. Not only it detoxes the hair and the scalp, but it also re-energizes dry and brittle hair with its deeply moisturizing fatty acids and omegas.
The Videri shampoo is also low pH (4.2 – 5.8). It does not contain any harsh chemicals, and has extra hydrolyzed wheat proteins, which ticks all the right boxes.
The only sticking point is the price for 355ml volume. There are better options with more volume at lower prices, like the one below.
ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo
This set comes with a shampoo and conditioner, both big enough to last for up to 2 months if you wash your hair twice a week.
The shampoo provides a gentle cleanse, while the conditioner adds good slip to help your brush or comb glide through your locks without friction.
It works well for keratin-treated hair because of its keratin proteins (from rice) and healing botanical extracts. Combining Moroccan argan oil and aloe vera as the base of its unique formula, the Artnaturals sulphate-free shampoo cleanses with low lather while keeping moisture intact.
Yes, you may not see a lot of suds in your hair, but that doesn’t mean it’s not cleansing. It works differently.
Unlike other shampoos that make the hair dry due to heavy surfactants scrubbing the outer layer of the hair, the Artnaturals shampoo contains very mild and non-irritating ingredients that absorb dirt and impurities from your hair instead of scraping. For post-keratin-treated hair, this is exactly what you want. A shampoo that absorbs and rinses the gunk out. Not one that would erase the keratin layer from your hair.
Other Shampoos We Tested That Did Not Make The Cut
As always, we initially start we a big list of good quality shampoos and verify the ingredients, quality, size, and customer sentiments on the whole. We also use some of them and ask people (on forums), who have used them, for their personal opinions.
Then we make a shortlist to filter out the ones that don’t work, are misleading with their ingredients, and have bad reviews.
Here are the other products we looked at but didn’t like:
Luseta Keratin Shampoo
A promising one, but we found sodium chloride in the ingredients list. Otherwise, it is a good keratin shampoo for people who just want to strengthen their dry and brittle hair.
L’Oreal EverPure SLS-free shampoo
Misleading ingredients. We found too many cleansing agents and sodium chloride on the list. Reviewers also reported dry hair after use. It may work well for people with oily hair, but if you’ve just done a keratin treatment, it’s best to avoid it.
Keratin Complex Keratin Care Shampoo
This product is advertised as good for use after a keratin treatment, but has mild sulfates and salts. We also had it confirmed from Ulta Beauty forum discussions.
OGX Brazilian Keratin Shampoo
We wrote this one off after 2 uses. It makes the hair dry, and it contains sodium chloride. It may look like a popular choice online, but we advise against it.
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Sulphate-free shampoo
Unfortunately, despite boasting clean and naturally sourced ingredients, we still found too many chemicals, including sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and salt. Otherwise, the Bio:Renew would have made a good budget-friendly option.
Why Do You Need a Special Shampoo for Keratin-Treated Hair?
A gentle shampoo without harsh surfactants is necessary to preserve the keratin treatment’s coating on the hair strands. The gentle and non-stripping formula of the shampoo helps to preserve the keratin treatment, unlike sulfate-based shampoos or clarifying shampoos that may strip the keratin.
Buying Guide – What to Look for in a Post-Keratin Treatment Shampoo
A good shampoo for keratin-treated hair must have the following qualities:
- Prevent keratin treatment from wearing off
- Deep cleanse without stripping the hair
- Moisturize and hydrate without making the scalp feel greasy
- Reduce frizzy hair
- Strengthen the hair against breakage
- Not leave residues
Here’s what to look for when buying a post-keratin treatment shampoo:
- DMDM-hydantoin-free (Formaldehyde)
- Contains argan oil
- Strengthens and prevents hair breakage
- Low lather
- Low or pH balanced
- Good scent
Sulfates to Avoid on Keratin-Treated Hair
While sulfates do get a bad wrap in cosmetic hair products, it’s essential to note that not all sulfates are bad. Some sulfates are derived from plants and fruits, but due to cosmetic naming standards, the ingredients have to be listed by their chemical names. You need to avoid sulfates considered as surfactants (stripping). That’s because strong surfactants open up the cuticles to cleanse through them. When hair is treated with keratin, the cuticle layer should remain undisturbed, allowing the keratin coating to settle in and absorb. Only after a few weeks, you may use a slightly stronger shampoo.
Bad sulfates to avoid:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Good sulfates (mild), you may still consider:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (derived from coconut oil)
- Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
- Disodium EDTA
You can use InciDecoder.com to get a more detailed explanation of the ingredients in your shampoo.
Ingredients in cosmetic products are listed by their order of concentration. So if you find these ingredients high up the list, then their concentrations are high. It indicates a very low concentration if they are near the bottom of the list.
Why Sodium Chloride Is Bad for Keratin-Treated Hair
Sodium chloride is salt. And salt has exfoliating effects. Do you really want to put salt in your hair to scrub out the layer of keratin you’ve just paid $300+ to apply? Probably not.
Salt also dehydrates as it sucks out water from its surroundings to store in its crystals. So if you use any product that contains sodium chloride, it will have the dual effect of exfoliating and dehydrating your hair. That’s why most hairdressers recommend staying away from it if your hair is colored or chemically treated.
Color-safe Indicates That the Shampoo Doesn’t Strip
A good shampoo for color treated hair also makes for a good post-keratin treatment shampoo. I tend to think of it this way: If it doesn’t strip semi-permanent hair dyes, then it won’t strip keratin coating, either. Both treatments are a little similar in the sense that both keratin and semi-hair dyes are simply hair-coating agents.
A Good Scent is a Must
Often, keratin treatments can leave a bad odor in your hair that dissipates after a week or so. Sometimes it may even last longer. It’s essential to use a shampoo that can neutralize and mask the smell in the meantime.
Deep conditioning keratin masks can also be used to distract from the odor. They are infused with more intense conditioning agents and natural scents from organic ingredients that also prevent the keratin from drying up and peeling in layers.
Can You Use Dry Shampoo After a Keratin Treatment?
I highly recommend using dry shampoo after a keratin treatment. It’s an excellent way to keep your hair fresh and clean and get more mileage between washes.Recommended: Best dry shampoo for keratin-treated hair.
What Other Products Can You Use On Keratin Treated Hair?
Like your shampoo and conditioner, any other styling products you apply to your hair should complement the treatment and make it last longer. The styling products you use should also be light and easy to wash. You don’t want to apply heavy products that necessitates washing frequently; for example, coconut oil and castor oil are not recommended.
Aftercare is the most challenging part of a keratin treatment. But with good planning and using the right shampoo and conditioner, you can stretch your treatment for up to 4 months.
So look for products that are sulfate-free, sodium chloride-free, and labeled as safe for keratin-treated or color-treated hair. And remember to add dry shampoo to your routine to help stretch your washdays for longer.
The less you wash your hair, the longer the keratin will last.
Check out: Keratin aftercare products and guides.
About the Author
Camelia Smith can color hair, perform keratin treatments, bleach hair, and even cut curly hair. She is our go-to person whenever we have hair treatments and styling questions.
She's also currently training as a freelance makeup artist and is passionate about helping others feel beautiful in their skin. When she's not writing or doing hair, she's usually spending time watching British period dramas.