Why Is Your Hair Still Frizzy After a Keratin Treatment?


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hair still frizzy after keratin treatment

It’s a common question many people ask us, but unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

If your hair is still frizzy after a keratin treatment, it could be due to several factors like:

  • The type of treatment you had.
  • The products you’re using.
  • How well you’re following the aftercare instructions.
  • Or your lifestyle.

After talking to a couple of hairstylists to get some answers, here are the reasons and suggested solutions to help you overcome this issue.

Reasons Why Hair Is Still Frizzy After Keratin Treatment

If you didn’t get proper keratin aftercare instructions or did the treatment at home without professional help, don’t worry.

We’ve detailed all the rules (products, lifestyle, and styling habits) you should check to ensure your treatment doesn’t unravel into a frizzy mess.

Please read it here: Dos and don’ts after keratin treatment.

Now scroll on to read what’s making your keratin-treated hair frizzy …

You Started Washing Your Hair Too Soon

If you wash your hair too early, it can create frizz

Shit happens!

You probably missed the part in the instructions that tell you when to wash your hair after.

Most keratin treatments require 72 hours (3 days).

If you did wash your hair earlier, you might have compromised the treatment by stripping away the fresh keratin layer. As a result, some parts are still coated while some are stripped, causing an uneven mix of hair textures that appear frizzy.

Consult your hairstylist to check if you can have a top-up. If you did it at home, read your product instructions carefully (again) for corrective steps. Most keratin treatments have a leaflet with questions and answers to common problems inside the box.

You’re Using the Wrong Shampoo

Not using the correct shampoo

Many people opt for a keratin treatment to achieve smooth and frizz-free hair. However, if you don’t use the right shampoo afterward, you can undo all those benefits. Specifically, you need to avoid shampoos with sulfates and sodium chloride (salt), as these ingredients are known to strip away keratin and leave your hair feeling dry, brittle, and back to its pre-treated state all too soon.

Using the correct shampoo will ensure that your keratin treatment lasts for months.

It’s also possible that your product contains one or more of these, so check the ingredient list to ensure you’ve not overlooked anything or get one of our suggested shampoos for keratin-treated hair.


Use this tool to check what’s in your shampoo: InciDecoder.

It helps you understand the ingredients in simple language.

You’re Not Using a Hair Serum

a serum seals moisture and adds shine

A serum is like an anti-frizz raincoat for the hair. It blocks outside humidity and keeps the hair shaft sealed so no external elements can disrupt its moisture balance.

Even though a keratin treatment promises frizz-free and manageable hair, it’s not always a guarantee. Unpredictable conditions like humidity, intense sunshine, and rain can leave your hair at the mercy of frizziness.

So use a serum to weather-proof your hair. Don’t always assume that a keratin treatment is a gift from the hair gods!

You’re Using Too Much Heat

using too much heat to straighten hair

If you’re still using heat (flat iron, blow dryer, curler), you are slowly melting away the keratin layer that is supposed to keep your hair smooth and frizz-free. This may cause patches of uneven keratin, creating difficult-to-manage hair.

Find alternative ways to style your hair without heat.

You May Be Using Products That Contain Alcohol

hair products that contain alcohol make hair dry

Alcohol is a key ingredient in many hair styling products ranging from shampoos to hair sprays. Used as an agent to facilitate fast-drying and the “holding” effect that can help your hairstyle last longer – too much of it can be very drying for the hair.

It’s also important to note that alcohol is a solvent that breaks down other substances, including keratin.

Think about it; alcohol removes nail varnish and even keratin extensions. It must have a very strong stripping effect, right?

But not all alcohol in hair products is the same.

To figure out which ones to avoid, check out this guide: Good alcohols vs. Bad alcohols.

So if you’re using dry shampoos or sprays too often, check their ingredients to see if they contain the bad alcohols that may be stripping your hair.

dry shampoo no alcohol

The Best Dry Shampoos Without Alcohol (Propane and Butane)

You’re Sweating Too Much

it makes more sense to avoid sweaty workouts

Sweat releases salt residues when it dries, which is bad for keratin-treated hair. Salt, also known as sodium, can dissolve keratin coating due to its gritty and exfoliating texture. If you work out regularly, the buildup of salt may be dissolving the treatment from your hair. Plus, the dehydrating effect of sodium disrupting the moisture balance of the hair is a perfect recipe for frizz.

“Sweating is a healthy bodily function, however, we do need to rinse sweat from our hair as it can cause dryness. Once the water evaporates it leaves salt residue which can dry out the hair.” – says Stephanie Sey, Trichologist and specialist for hair-care brand Grow Gorgeous.

You’re Washing Your Hair Too Often

salons don't recommend washing hair too frequently

The golden rule for keratin-treated hair is to wash it less often because the more you wash, the more the treatment wears out. Think of it like a semi-permanent hair dye. Some may last for 12 washes, and some for 20 washes. A keratin treatment is similar. It will last up to 3 months, depending on how often you shampoo.

Consider using a shower cap on the days you don’t intend to wash your hair. Or you can use this dry shampoo to stretch out your washes if your scalp tends to get greasy because of the keratin.

You’re Washing Your Hair With Hot Water

don't wash with hot water after keratin hair treatments

High heat will melt the keratin layer from the hair. When you wash with hot water, not only does it fade the coating, but it also opens the cuticles making the hair prone to frizziness.

The ideal temperature to wash the hair is 38°C/100°F. Then finish off with a cold rinse to close the cuticles.

Your Hair Towel Is Rough

cotton towels can make straight hair rough, and tangled

Most hairstylists recommend avoiding cotton towels because the material is rough. When you use it on keratin-treated hair, it will have a tendency of chip away the keratin coating. Over time, this can make the treatment uneven, causing frizzy patches.

Opt to air dry your hair instead or use a microfiber towel, which has friction-free material that can also absorb water faster.

You’re Using The Wrong Brush

brushing can cause split ends

Brushing is essential to keeping keratin-treated hair healthy and looking its best. Brushing helps to distribute the keratin evenly throughout the hair progressively, and it also helps remove any buildup that may have accumulated on the scalp or strands. In addition, brushing stimulates the scalp, which can promote healthy hair.

However, it’s essential to use a brush that is designed specifically for use with keratin-treated hair. Traditional bristled brushes can cause friction and breakage, damaging the delicate treatment and leaving the hair looking frizzy and tangled. Instead, look for a brush with nylon bristles that are gentle on the hair and won’t pull or snag.

We recommend the Denman boar bristle brush because it has properly spaced-out bristles and provides a smooth and tangle-free brushing experience.


The Keratin Treatment is Wearing Off

keratin straightening treatments wearing off

A keratin treatment is semi-permanent. It’s expected to gradually fade even if you take good care of it. But if it fades too fast due to your aftercare routine, it can create difficulty managing the hair.

To help prolong the effects of a keratin treatment, it is necessary to use gentle haircare products and avoid exposing the hair to excessive heat or humidity. Taking these precautions allows you to enjoy smooth, frizz-free hair for months.

The Keratin Treatment Wasn’t Right for You

it happened to be the incorrect treatment for your hair type and texture, and you may need a haircut to fix the frizzy parts, which can be frustrating

If your stylist used too much keratin or didn’t properly seal the cuticle, you could end up with frizzed-up hair. The best way to avoid this is to choose a reputable salon that offers top-quality keratin treatments. No cheap knock-off deals on Groupon!

Did your stylist properly assess your hair before recommending the product?

If not, you’re probably wearing a treatment incompatible with your hair type or condition.


Your Hair Was Too Damaged Before the Treatment

your hair was in bad conditions before the treatment

If your hair was too damaged before the keratin treatment, it’s possible that the treatment wasn’t strong enough to overcome the damage and mitigate the frizziness.

You may have to wait a little more to top up the treatment as it’s not always the magic formula that can conquer any hair problem.

How to Fix Frizzy Hair After a Keratin Treatment

Now that you know why your hair is still frizzing after a keratin treatment, here are a few corrective steps to fix the problem.

Use a Sulfate-free Shampoo

Sulfates are harsh detergents that strip away keratin and color from the hair, causing it to become frizzy and unmanageable. Using a sulfate-free shampoo will help preserve the keratin in your hair, prolonging the good results. If you’re looking for an extra boost of hydration, look for a shampoo that contains argan oil. It helps to nourish and condition the hair, making it soft and silky.

Use an Argan Oil Hair Serum

After getting a keratin treatment, it’s recommended to use an argan oil-based serum to keep your hair looking its best. This oil is perfect for protecting against humidity and sealing the cuticle, which prevents frizz. In addition, it helps to keep your hair healthy and vibrant by providing essential nutrients.

An argan oil serum will ensure that your hair always looks smooth and sleek regardless of the weather.

Wash Your Hair Less Often

Avoid overloading your hair with products and try to keep your hair clean at all times to avoid frequent washing. The more frequent you wash, the more the treatment will fade, reverting your hair gradually to its pre-treatment state.

You must not wash your hair more than once a week. Use a dry shampoo instead to help your hair get extra milage until the next washday.

Use a Microfiber Towel

Ditch your cotton towel in favor of a microfiber towel.

Microfiber towels are made of extremely fine fibers that are effective at absorbing water. This means that they can help to quickly dry your hair without roughing up the cuticle or causing frizz. In addition, microfiber towels are gentle on the hair, helping to keep delicate strands from being damaged. When used regularly, microfiber towels can help to prolong the life of a keratin treatment and keep your hair looking its best.

Use a Deep Conditioning Masque Weekly

A deep conditioning masque helps to replenish moisture and nutrients.

To prevent keratin from fading fast, you should use one weekly as it contains micro keratin infusions to improve the treatment progressively.

The masque will also optimize the protein and moisture balance, leaving your hair feeling soft, smooth, elastic, and less prone to frizziness.


Sleep On Silk

A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to sleep on silk after getting a keratin treatment.

It might seem like an extra step that’s not necessary, but trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. Silk is a smooth fabric that won’t tug at your hair or aggravate your scalp the way some other fabrics can. This helps to keep your keratin treatment looking smooth and sleek for longer. It also helps to protect your hair from damaging friction while you sleep. So if you want to get the most out of your keratin treatment, invest in a good silk pillowcase.

Your hair will thank you for it!


If you’re still having trouble with frizzy hair after your keratin treatment, read the causes listed above and adjust your aftercare routine to ensure you’re not committing any of these mistakes.

If re-adjusting doesn’t solve your problem, speak to your hairstylist and request to have the treatment topped up. It may be that the treatment wasn’t done correctly, or your hair was too damaged.

Formaldehyde-free straightening and smoothing treatment amazon

GK Hair Keratin Smoothing Treatment

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Camelia Smith
Camelia Smith
Creative Writer

Camelia loves all things creative and glamtastic.

She 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.