What Not To Do After Your Keratin Treatment (The Complete List)

By Editorial Team
Published 25 Feb 2018 / Updated 12 Jul 2022

What Not To Do After Your Keratin Treatment (The Complete List)

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After having my fair share of post keratin hair disasters, I decided to make a list of what not to do after a keratin treatment.

And today I’m going to share this list with you to help you avoid all the aggro, and enjoy all the benefits that come with a good keratin treatment.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

What Not To Do After Your Keratin Treatment

While your hairstylist may give you tips on how to care for keratin-treated hair, I am going to highlight some of the boo-boos that most of you are probably not aware of, and easily take for granted.

So here they are:

1. Do Not Buy Cheap Shampoos

what not to use after keratin treatment
What not to use after keratin treatment

This is the most important thing of all. Choose your shampoo and conditioner wisely.

Put your drugstore shampoos away for 3 months.

Keratin-treated hair needs gentle shampoos with micro keratin that will progressively enhance the treatment to always look fresh and hold on for longer.

The notorious ingredients you need to avoid in your shampoos are:

  • Sulfates
  • Sodium chloride (Salt)


Because sulfates are surfactants that deplete natural oils from your hair and scalp. They also destroy the acid mantle that keeps your scalp healthy and free from bacterial infection.

Salt, on the other hand, is gritty and abrasive. It contains sodium that works as a thickening agent in your shampoo.

Using salt-based shampoos will dissolve the keratin coating and wash out your expensive treatment prematurely. Oouch!

For lasting results, post-treatment shampoo should be free of sulfates (sudsing agents that can strip hair) or sodium (a thickener that dissolves keratin) Emma Froelich
Vice president of marketing and personal care at Hain Celestial - Today.com

Products I recommend:

Arvazallia keratin shampoos

Arvazallia Hair Repair


This is the number 1 shampoo kit for keratin-treated hair because of its sulfate-free and toxic-free ingredients.

luxe organix for keratin treatment hair



Our customers also love LuxeOrganix for its pure ingredients and Argan oil benefits.

2. Do Not Use A Clarifying Shampoo

avoid clarifying shampoos after keratin treatment
Do not use clarifying shampoos after your keratin treatment

Clarifying shampoos are excellent for pre keratin treatments as they prime the hair by removing residues and deposits.

While they help your hair absorb keratin faster, you should only use them before your treatment and not after.


Because clarifying shampoos work at high pH to open the cuticles and deep cleanse.

When your hair cuticles are open, alkaline water dissolves the keratin and allows them to escape from the shafts, therefore fading your keratin treatment fast.

Use gentle shampoos with low pH levels.

They are excellent for sealing and tightening the hair cuticles after keratin and color treatments.

3. Do Not Wash Your Hair Frequently

Keratin treatments are semi-permanent. So they wash out gradually.

The key to maintaining your keratin treatment for longer is to wash your hair less.

I know this may feel gross, but I get by with dry shampoos easily.

Honestly, it’s the best way to keep your hair clean and refreshed without using water.

Spray dry shampoo on your roots twice daily on the days that you skip washing. It saves you time, and it makes your hair smell heavenly!


Although you can wash your hair 3 days after a keratin treatment, freshly applied keratin is malleable and still needs time to set in properly into your hair.

Products I recommend:

4. Do Not Touch Your Hair Too Much

avoid touching hair after keratin treatment
Do not touch your hair too much after keratin treatment

Touching your hair frequently makes it feel greasy. And when your hair feels greasy, you’re tempted to wash it more often.

Plus you run the risk of kinking up your strands if you manipulate them too much.

So keep your hair down and straight and let it be.

5. Do Not Style Your Hair Up For 2 Weeks

can i style my hair up after keratin treatment
Do not style your hair up after keratin treatment

I wouldn’t recommend you to do updos and ponytails as you’ll need additional hair accessories to hold your hairstyle together.

Putting any accessories in your hair can leave dents and lines of demarcation.

The key to prolonging the life of your keratin treatment is to keep your hair down and straight as much as you can.

6. Do Not Wear Headbands For 2 Weeks

do not use headbands after keratin treatment
After keratin treatment do not use headbands

Using headbands to keep your hair up will kink your hair into that style.

This will make it look patchy. Straight in some parts, and curly in others.

As I said, keratin is malleable in the first week, and it needs time to blend in. So during that settling period, any shape you whip your hair into will cause your hair to retain that shape, which you may find hard to undo.

Leave your locks alone as best as you can for the first 2 weeks.

7. Do Not Hold Your Hair Back With Sunglasses

keratin-treated hair aftercare - no sunglasses
Avoid holding your hair back with sunglassess

Sunglasses are not headbands, but most of us love to use them as such to hold our hair back or from getting in our faces.

Sure, a pair of sunglasses can rescue you from having a bad hair day, but it’s not an ideal hair accessory when you’ve just had a Brazilian.

8. Do Not Use Clips In Your Hair

keratin-treated hair aftercare - no tight clips
Keratin treatment aftercare – Do not use tight hair clips

Just like headbands, hair clips or barrettes leave dents and lines of demarcation in your hair.

Avoid them until the treatment has completely set in.

Otherwise, you may experience hair breakage in some parts while your hair is still adjusting.

9. Do Not Tuck Your Hair Behind Your Ears

Do not tuck your hair behind your ears
Do not tuck your hair behind your ears

Tucking your hair frequently behind your ears creates unwanted creases which require heat to straighten again.

So don’t let your hair bunch up at any point during the first 2 weeks.

10. Do Not Overdo It At The Gym

avoid gym after keratin treatment
Excess sweating after keratin treatment is not recommended

Heavy workouts and excess sweating will force you to wash your hair each time you get home from the gym.

Even if you get by with dry shampoos, sweating on the scalp will interfere with your keratin treatment setting in.

To avoid all the hassle, plan to start your gym routine again after 2 weeks.

11. Do Not Sleep On Cotton Pillowcases

do not use cotton pillowcase after keratin treatment
Use a silk pillowcase for your keratin-treated hair

Cotton pillowcases make your hair crease.

They also absorb moisture to leave your tresses frizzy and dry.

Moreover, the fabric also causes friction in your hair which results in tangles and knots.

If you want smooth and tangle-free hair when you wake up, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase instead.

Satin and silk reduce friction between your hair leading to less breakage, and they don’t absorb moisture from your hair or skin.

Related: How to sleep after a keratin treatment »

Product I recommend:

mulberry silk pillowcase

SLIP Silk Pillowcase


Experience the finest, creamiest and shiniest seamless charmeuse silk that gives you a good night sleep without messing your hair.

12. Do Not Use Heavy Oils Like Coconut Oil

can i use coconut oil after keratin treatment
Coconut oil after keratin treatment use

Coconut oil or Jojoba oil nestles deep into your hair follicles to provide moisture.

While this is a good thing, the bad side of it is, you’ll need a lot of shampoo to wash them out.

Read: Can you use coconut oil on hair after keratin treatment?

Be patient, get through the first 2 weeks of transition, then you can use them as you wish.

If you’re a big fan of using oils, I recommend using a lightweight keratin infusion oil in the meantime.

Product I recommend:

keratin treatment aftercare oil

Lanza Keratin Aftercare Oil


The best lightweight oil with keratin infusion. Without sulfates, parabens, or salt.

13. Do Not Color Your Hair For 3 Weeks

can i use color my hair after keratin treatment
Coloring your hair after keratin treatment?

The best time to color your hair is before your keratin treatment. That’s because keratin seals the color in nicely and provides a protective coating to stop your hair color from fading.

If you do it within 3 weeks after your treatment, the hair dye will struggle to penetrate. You may not get the best results from your color service.

Related: When is the best time to color your hair after a keratin treatment?

If you do need to switch up your color temporarily for a party or festival, follow this guide: The best hair dyes and colors for keratin-treated hair.

14. Do Not Swim For 2 weeks

can i swim after keratin treatment
Swimming after keratin treatment can dissolve the keratin coating

You cannot, I repeat, cannot let your hair get anywhere near chlorine for 2 weeks after your treatment. Unless, of course, you have money to burn!

Chlorine will dissolve freshly applied keratin in no time. Just one dip in the pool is enough to see how your hair unfolds into a big mess.

14. Do Not Bleach Your Hair

can i bleach my hair after keratin treatment
Bleaching is not good for keratin-treated hair

Similar to Chlorine, bleach is a hair killer. It’s corrosive and will leave your hair feeling fried and out of sorts.

I recommend doing your highlights and blondification well before your Brazilian keratin treatment.

In fact:

A keratin treatment will make your highlights and blonde hair more radiant.

15. Do Not Use Beach Sprays

beach sprays contain salt
Beach sprays contain salt

Bleach sprays contain salt to give your hair the beachy waves texture look.

Avoid them as much as you can.

Instead, use a keratin mist spray for light hold hair styling.

Product I recommend:

16. Do Not Use High Heat

do not use high heat
Hair straightening after keratin treatment solutions

High heat can melt away the keratin layers from your hair. Stick to the recommended 365°F to straighten or curl your hair when using heat styling tools.

Additionally, you should use a heat protection spray that shields your hair against heat damage.

Product I recommend:

17. Do Not Wash Your Hair With Hot Water

do not wash hair with hot water after brazilian keratin treatment
Avoid hot showers after your keratin treatment

For long-lasting results, Walt Winslow, director at Alberto Culver hair and skin beauty products, suggests shampooing with tepid water followed with a cool rinse.Hot water can melt away freshly applied keratin, and you need to avoid it as much as you can.

A cool rinse, on the other hand, shocks your hair cuticles to shut thus preventing frizz and tangles.

18. Do Not Rub Your Hair With A Towel After Wash

after keratin therapy do not rub hair with towel
Avoid friction from towel in your hair

A rough cotton towel creates crease in your hair.

Use a microfiber towel instead to gently dry your hair. Microfiber towels are super absorbent, and they quickly grab all the excess water from your wet hair without rubbing.

And they don’t create crease and frizz in your hair as they are friction-free.

Product I recommend:

use microfiber towel for keratin-treated hair

Aquis Microfiber Towel


The Aquis friction-free surface keeps your hair smooth while drying it. And it’s big enough to wrap around your head!

19. Do Not Overload Your Hair With Styling Products

products to use after keratin hair treatment
Avoid product overload

When your hair is coated with keratin, you shouldn’t need to use mousse, gel, and hairspray to tame your hair into the right shape and style.

Styling products can cling on to your hair and leave residues behind. The fewer styling products you use, the less build-up, and the less you need to wash your hair.

It ensures your keratin treatment stays fresh and strong for longer.

20. Do Not Brush Your Hair To Fix Kinks

hair brush for keratin hair treatment
Do not brush your hair hard

There will be days when you wake up, and your hair is all over the place.

For example: A bit bent and out of shape.

Don’t panic. And please do not reach out for your hairbrush to fix it.

Read: Can I brush my hair after a keratin treatment?

Just grab your blow dryer or flat iron (at medium heat), and try to straighten your hair back gently.

If you want to keep your hair tidy, use a soft boar bristle brush at night before you go to sleep and in the morning. The natural bristles gently detangle your hair, and they simulate your scalp too.

Unlike regular hair brushes, a boar bristle brush works with the texture of your hair to keep it smooth and minimize friction.

Product I recommend:

best brush for keratin-treated hair

Denman Boar Bristle Brush


The smooth friction-free brush that conditions your hair and detangles without stripping keratin.


To recap:

Here’s your quick list of what not to do after a keratin treatment:

  1. Do not buy cheap shampoos
  2. Do not use a clarifying shampoo
  3. Do not wash your hair frequently
  4. Do not touch your hair too much
  5. Do not style your hair up for 2 weeks
  6. Do not wear headbands for 2 weeks
  7. Do not hold your hair back with sunglasses
  8. Do not use clips in your hair
  9. Do not tuck your hair behind your ears
  10. Do not overdo it at the gym (Excess sweating)
  11. Do not sleep on cotton pillowcases
  12. Do not use heavy oils like coconut oil
  13. Do not color your hair for 3 weeks
  14. Do not swim for 2 weeks (Avoid Chlorine)
  15. Do not bleach your hair
  16. Do not use beach sprays (They contain salt)
  17. Do not use high heat (365°F recommended)
  18. Do not wash your hair with hot water
  19. Do not rub your hair with a towel after wash
  20. Do not brush your hair to fix kinks

So there you have it.

A useful combination of tips from my hairstylist and my own experience.

If you think about it, all of them make perfect sense.

Now that you do know what not to do after your keratin treatment, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to end up with a keratin hair treatment disaster.