Why Hair Feels Sticky After a Keratin Treatment and How to Fix It

Written by Shehnaz Shirazi

Updated on

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.

hair feels sticky after keratin treatment

This is a guest post from one of our readers who wanted to share her post keratin treatment experience.

The next day after my keratin treatment, I noticed that my hair felt stiff and sticky, like a dry mess that made it look like a wig.

But I couldn’t do much as I was given specific instructions not to wash my hair for 72 hours. I guess I just had to wait and see how it turns out after washing.

So 72 hours later, I returned to the hair salon for my first wash.

Although the hair salon did provide me with the post-keratin treatment shampoo, I was a bit anxious about doing it myself just in case I screw up.

So this is when I had enough time to catch up with my hairstylist, and we had a proper chat.

Then I told her how my hair felt stiff and sticky after the Brazilian keratin treatment.

She just casually smiled at me and told me:

There’s nothing to worry about. It all depends on how your hair takes it.

So let me share a bit about the conversation with my hairstylist on this problem, which I see many people freaking out about on forums.

stickiness after getting a keratin treatment
Why hair feels sticky after brazilian blowout

On day two, I must admit that I couldn’t even run my fingers through my hair as I would normally do. But then, after a week, my hair felt amazing!

I never had such silky, smooth, and easy to manage frizz-free hair all my life.

If that’s the trouble you have to endure for a few days in exchange for silky smooth lust-worthy locks, I’ll still do it all over again.

So let’s get back to the subject of that sticky feeling.

What’s exactly happening to your hair right after your keratin treatment?

1. It Depends on The Texture of Your Hair

I have curly hair, and I must say I am cursed with the worst hair quality and texture. If I have to describe my hair type, it’s probably somewhere between a 3C to 4A.

To make it worse, my hair is low porosity central. I never had any luck with moisturizers and deep conditioners to hydrate my hair.

I always had to use a hair steamer to get moisturizing products to seep into my hair.

My hair was feeling sticky after my Brazilian keratin treatment because of its type and texture.

If my hair cannot take in moisturizers, it’ll struggle to take in keratin, which is much heavier.

As a result, the keratin coating stayed on top of my hair, taking longer to absorb into the shafts.

So here’s the first explanation of hair stickiness after a keratin treatment.

Next up, let’s talk about the quality of your keratin treatment.

2. Poor Quality Keratin Treatment

Now, I must admit I had one of the latest and expensive keratin treatments.

When I enquired about the service, I was offered a few options, ranging from $100 upwards to $350!

I didn’t want to mess up with my hair as I was doing it to attend my best friends’ wedding. Naturally, I didn’t want to end up with a botched hair treatment.

So what’s different between the cheap range, and the expensive range and how does it affect the hair?

I was curious, too, and I asked these questions during the 2-hour session while I was in the chair having the keratin treatment done.

The expensive range has a special formula called nano-keratin.

Nano means the keratin molecules are hydrolyzed, broken into million smaller pieces than the average keratin molecules.

The more expensive versions also have Argan oil, Caviar extracts, and a cocktail of antioxidants that work better with the hair.

On the other hand, cheaper keratin treatments have larger keratin molecules, and most times, harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde that reshape the hair faster at a cheaper cost.

You see the quality of the product matters.

If you use a premium product, the hydrolyzed nano keratin works faster to absorb into your hair.

Fair enough, it took a few extra days for me due to my hair type, but I would dread to imagine how much longer I would have had waited if I opted for the cheaper version.

So if you’ve had a keratin treatment formulated with Hydrolyzed keratin, don’t worry about it. The keratin coating will eventually absorb within a week.

If you’ve had a cheaper version without the nano formula, you may have to wait a bit longer to feel your hair back to normal.

Cheap quality keratin may cause product buildup in patches.

Either way, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Let me give you a few tricks on making it easier to manage, props to my hairstylist.

How to Fix Sticky Hair After Keratin Treatment

The first thing to remember is not to jump straight in the shower right after your treatment thinking a shampoo will fix it.

If anything, washing your hair too early may ruin the treatment.

You may end up with frizzy patches and uneven hair!

So don’t panic.

Use a boar bristle brush.

Here’s why it works perfectly.

The bristles on the brush are made of compounds similar to human hair. They are designed to seamlessly absorb oils form the base of the hair and spread it through to the lengths.

So by using a BB brush, you’re helping to move the keratin coating from dense areas to distribute it equally through the hair without damaging the effect of the treatment.

You see, sometimes your hair may feel stickier in patches because some areas may have had more product built up.


Sticky hair after a keratin treatment is simply product buildup.

It all depends on how long your hair takes to process it.

Some of us are lucky to have thirsty strands, while some are cursed with stubborn hair.

Use a boar bristle brush in the meantime to help loosen up the dense areas of buildup, and give it some time to properly absorb into your hair.

Boar Bristle Brush

About the Author

Shehnaz ShiraziShehnaz Shirazi

Shehnaz Shirazi has been writing in the beauty and cosmetics industry for over 8 years, sharing her expansive hair care and beauty knowledge. Shehnaz researches and tests new hair care trends and publishes her insights here.