What Happens to Hair After Keratin Treatment Wears Off?

Written by Camelia Smith

Updated on

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hair after keratin treatment wears off

Shiny, luscious, and straight hair is what any keratin treatment promises. However, that promise has an expiry date, and the keratin treatment wears off in 3-4 months tops.

Keratin-treated hair is the same as dyed hair. You can’t expect that it will last forever and you will have to redo it once you notice the hair gets back to normal. But, unlike hair dyes, you can get to that permanent keratin hair after a few treatments. However, having a healthy hair routine in between treatments is crucial, so you won’t move back to the start.

If you’d do anything to have nice and thick hair, then you should learn what it takes and how to do it in a healthier way. The article below contains everything you need to know about keratin treatments, and how the hair behaves after keratin treatment wears off.

After Keratin Treatment Wears Off, Hair Gets Back to It’s Natural State

When a keratin hair treatment wears off the hair gets backs to its original state. As a semi-permanent straightening process, the overall effect will wear off once moisture that comes as you wash your hair opens the hair cuticles, and wash away the keratin coating.

The good thing about a keratin treatment is that only the outer layer of the keratin goes away, while the proteins that your hair strands soaked in during the first three days will never fade away.

Another potential hazard when the keratin coats begin to fade away is whether they will be too obvious for curly heads. Normally, you will notice the roots will become a bit frizzy after 4 months, but there’s never an obvious line between the treated and new hair because until the new hair becomes visible, the treatment will already be faded or nearly entirely faded.

Does Keratin Treatment Change Your Hair Forever?

The short answer is no. The keratin hair treatments act as a semi-permanent hair dye as the keratin wears off as you wash your hair.

However, if you have curly or wavy hair, then the keratin treatment may affect the curl pattern permanently and you cannot reverse it. Also, you will have the same hair look as the one you had after the first three days post-treatment. For that reason, hair stylists strongly advise and warn their clients who recently did this chemical treatment to do the aftercare carefully so they don’t ruin it. Otherwise, you may end up with a bad hair look.

Finally, only the newly grown hair will not be affected by the keratin treatment, which means if you’re not satisfied with the hair, you will have to wait to grow or cut it really short. Otherwise, adding extreme heat to your keratin-treated hair can cause damage and end up with super dry hair or even split ends.

Signs That Your Keratin Treatment is Fading

After a few months, you will notice the following signs that shows that the keratin treatment is fading off:

1. The Roots Have a Different Texture Than Mid-Lengths

Keratin hair treatment may turn curly hair into a straight hair, but that doesn’t mean that it will be forever. Therefore, as you’d expected when the new hair begins to grow, the roots will have the natural hair texture while the mid-length will be different or as you treated.

Depending on the growth pace, your hair will show no signs of a different texture. However, that’s entirely individual.

2. The Ends Begin to Feel Rough

Since the keratin hair treatment makes the hair smoother, the first signal is straw-like ends. When you notice that the ends are not as smooth and rich with keratin, then it probably begins to wear off.

However, if you use a flat iron, or blow dryer without any heat-protectant products, you will damage the hair. Although it’s best if you stay away from all heat products, essentially you should stay away from high heat.

3. Hair Doesn’t Feel Smooth and Lacks Shine

With regular washing of your hair, the keratin will slowly lose its smoothness and shine. The more you wash your hair, the faster the shine will fade away. In other words, if you want to retain that shine and smoothness, you shouldn’t wash your hair every single day, but only when completely necessary.

Additionally, to prevent earlier shine loss, you need to get rid of harsh shampoos with chemicals. Plus, make sure that you use a protein-free shampoo. That way, you will prevent protein buildup. Heat tools also facilitate the earlier loss of shine as they unnecessarily damage the hair.

What to Do When Keratin Treatment Starts to Wear Off

As mentioned, the keratin treatment doesn’t wear off entirely, only the outer coat or the one in the hair cuticles gets washed away, while the keratin that your hair absorbed cannot fade away.

In other words, we can conclude that the hair is healthy on the inside but unstyled on the outside. Therefore, you can get back to the hair straightening products, but make sure that you use low heat to prevent further hair damage.

However, those who don’t want to get back to the tedious blow drying, or other time-consuming hair styling methods, should definitely get another keratine treatment. But, you will learn more about the second and any following treatment in the content below.

Can You Repeat a Keratin Treatment After It Wears Off?

After the first keratin treatment wears off entirely, schedule another one right away. So, to answer the question immediately — yes, you can repeat a keratin treatment after it fades away, however, you cannot have more than three treatments per year.

Even if the keratin treatment formula doesn’t damage the hair in the same way a flat iron does, it is still based on chemicals. For that reason, hair stylists don’t recommend using more than 3 treatments per year. Some even don’t recommend repeating the treatments on clients with thin natural textures or who have brittle hair.

If you overdo a keratin treatment, you might end up with a flat look, and brittle hair that’s prone to breaking. Therefore, you should always follow the hair signals, and apply the treatment when needed and entirely necessary.

Tips for Maintaining Keratin

To maintain a luscious keratin treatment look, we relied on the advice of reputable hair stylists. So, let’s check them out!

Appropriate Post-Treatment Routine

You should know that the first week, especially the first 2 days after the treatment is critical for the overall appearance of your hair because the keratin must sink in entirely into the hair. For that reason, hair stylists strongly prohibit washing your hair after the first two days, not to mention using any sulfates and sodium shampoo, because with every wash the treatments get washed away as well.

Additionally, you shouldn’t put your hair in a ponytail, unless you want a permanent crease. Brushing your hair may encourage permanent frizz.

Stay Away from Dyes or Other Chemical Treatments

Since dyes used in a salon contain a higher level of pH than that of natural hair, stylists prohibit using any kind of chemical treatment for at least 3 weeks. Otherwise, chemicals “will open your hair cuticles, causing the treatment to “bleed” prematurely,” says the Associate Director of Chez Vous Salon, Wai Kan.

Cultivate a Healthy Haircare Routine

The keratin-treated hair comes with a healthier beauty routine. Namely, you should always use conditioners, or if you don’t know which one to choose, just look for any keranique volumizing keratin conditioner. However, make sure you leave it in the conditioner for at least five to ten minutes so that it can deeply hydrate the hair. Any brand will work. Additionally, after the wash, you should be careful about the blow drying. Make sure that you blow dry your hair toward medium heat, but not when your hair is soaking wet. Wrap your hair in a microfiber towel before you proceed to blow dry. Let that towel soak in the excess water, and then use your blow dryer.

Avoid Swimming and Saunas

If you go swimming, or sauna makes sure that you protect your ketatin-treated hair with a hair wrap. Remember, your hair is like a sponge. Every time you soak it in water it swells. It absorbs the water and makes the keratin wear off easily. Also, humidity affects the keratin treatment longevity the same as soaking your hair in water over time. Therefore, make sure you stay away from excessive hydration.

Get Ready to Top Up!

As you’ve seen, when keratin treatment wears off, you have only one true way out if you don’t want to get back to flat irons and that’s to repeat the treatment. It’s the best solution even if you have to wait a little bit until your hair is ready for round two of keratin load because, with every treatment, you will reduce the need to repeat the treatment.

However, post-treatment routines are crucial if you want to maintain a luscious look, and avoid unwanted results. You must follow the new pace of your hair, and take good and healthier care.

We hope you found this article useful, and that you’ve learned the basics of keratin treatments, and the effects afterward.

About the Author

Camelia SmithCamelia Smith

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.