Oily Scalp After Keratin Treatment: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

Written by Kassidy Ward

Updated on

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Dealing with an oily scalp after a keratin treatment can be pretty annoying.

But there’s no need to fret about it.

Some hairstylists will tell you it’s expected to happen and it’s normal.

I agree it doesn’t look good along your hairline and your partings, but there are easy ways to fix it without going overboard with hair products that can undo your keratin treatment.

So don’t fear the greasiness.

Let me explain what is happening to your scalp and how you can fix it with a few easy tweaks to your post-keratin hair care routine.

1. Lack of Shampoo Adjustment Phase

You can expect your scalp to feel oily because, in the first week, you won’t be washing your hair much with shampoos.

Unfortunately, we are so obsessed with washing our hair frequently, we don’t realize that the only reason our scalp produces more sebum is to compensate for the natural lubrication that regular shampoos strip out from the hair and the skin.

So when you stop using shampoos, you feel that your scalp is getting overly greasy.

But here’s the thing …

Because you’re not used to stretching your hair washing for that long, it will feel weird at first because of the adjustment period.

What you need to understand is that your scalp is not producing excess oil. Instead, it’s trying to rebalance itself.

The best thing to do is to be patient and let your body do its job.

I guarantee you after 2 weeks, it will feel normal not washing your hair as much.

2. Your Hair Products Have Sulfates

Sulfates are chemical detergents used in household cleaning products. They are tough on grease and can blast away any stubborn dirt from your sink, oven, and kitchen appliances.

Now imagine how these chemicals interact with your hair and scalp!

Sulfates can break down the scalp’s moisture layer, leaving the scalp dry.

To fight back the harsh effects of sulfates, the scalp produces more sebum to protect itself and keep the hair lubricated.

If you are using shampoos that contain sulfates right now, you are overworking your scalp into a vicious loop of dryness and re pumping oil from the glands to balance itself.

And as this goes on, the protective barrier on the scalp becomes weaker. Therefore more sebum is sent to the rescue, which means your scalp becomes oilier.

So STOP using sulfate-based shampoos and be mindful about all your hair products.

I highly recommend these shampoos to use after a keratin treatment.

2. You’re Using Greasy Conditioners

Conditioners are great for providing slip and rebalancing the hair after your shampoo, but they are not ideal for your scalp.

If you are using a hair conditioner that is heavy and loaded with silicone, it causes buildup on the scalp if not rinsed out thoroughly.

Use the Arvazallia conditioner instead, and make sure you rinse your head thoroughly.

Arvazallia Conditioner & Shampoo Set

3. You’re Not Brushing Your Hair

Look, I understand most people are confused about whether they should brush their hair after a keratin treatment or not.

The only reason hairstylists don’t recommend brushing the hair is to avoid stripping off the keratin coating.

In short: If you have to brush your hair, don’t do it to fix kinks and knots as it causes friction.

Instead, use a hairbrush to gently stimulate your scalp and loosen up your hair.

During the aftercare phase, a lack of shampooing will make your scalp feel slimy.

You need to use a Boar Bristle Brush to loosen the dirt and buildup at the roots and brush to buff them away.

Don’t let dirt and buildup accumulate on your scalp just because you’re not allowed to wash your hair. The will turn waxy and attract more dust and dirt, which is the main cause of greasiness.

Use a boar bristle brush to sweep away every scalp of buildup. It helps to keep your scalp clean in between washes.

Boar Bristle Brush

4. You’re Not Dry Cleaning Your Scalp

Not having to wash your hair for an extended period doesn’t mean that you keep it dirty.

You can use waterless washing in the form of dry shampoos to zap your greasy roots, purge congested pores, and draw out impurities from the scalp that cause oiliness.

Dry shampoo is highly recommended after a keratin treatment. Use it twice a day to make sure I can go longer without washing my hair.

Here’s the best dry shampoo I recommend for keratin treated hair.

5. Keratin Treatment Too Close to The Scalp

And last, the reason why your scalp may feel oily after your keratin treatment can be related to the application process.

According to most keratin product instructions, you should be applying the treatment at least 2 inches (5cm) away from the scalp.

Now, I know some people are too quick to jump straight into the DIY process without reading the manual properly, which leads to big boo-boos.

If you did do your treatment without following this important rule, don’t panic.

Your scalp will feel oily and waxy because the oil glands on the scalp are actively trying to fight irritation from the chemicals.

I will suggest to be patient and only use a boar bristle brush to loosen the buildup and rinse your hair with lukewarm water.

After a week or so, it should start to clear up, and your scalp will get back to its natural state.

Now that you know what may be causing an oily or waxy scalp after a keratin treatment let me show you a few tricks to get through it.

How to Fix Oily Scalp After a Keratin Treatment

1. Be Patient and Let Your Scalp Adjust

Most people in the No poo circles experience overly greasy scalp at some point during their journey. And they know it’s a phase they have to go through.

This phase is called the transition until they reach a milestone also known as the No Poo Nirvana.

This is when the scalp has learned to adjust without shampoos and, therefore, not overproducing sebum. The scalp starts to self-regulate and doesn’t feel as greasy and oily as it used to when shampooing.

So try to transition out of washing your hair and let your scalp find the right balance.

2. Use A Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos are excellent for dry cleaning oily roots without going through a full hair washing cycle, including shampooing, conditioning, and blow-drying.

With just a few spritzes, it’s the perfect invisible wash to de-lank your roots and make your head smell fresh.

Klorane Dry Shampoo

style your hair with this dry shampoo

I always use this dry shampoo when my scalp feels greasy.


3. Use a Boar Bristle Brush

One of my favorite hair care products is the modest but mighty boar bristle brush.

It has gentle bristles that won’t cause friction to your hair strands, therefore making sure it doesn’t damage your keratin treatment.

I love this brush even more for its scalp stimulating benefits.

Besides providing a therapeutic massage to your scalp as you brush through, it also loosens dirt and stale sebum from the roots to unclog the pores and banish oily buildup.

Boar Bristle Brush

4. Avoid Touching Your Hair

Touching your hair and your hairline frequently can transfer greasiness from your fingers to your hair and skin.

So avoid touching for a week and let your hair down for a couple of weeks.

A word of warning:

Avoid using apple cider vinegar rinses for your scalp after a keratin treatment.

I know ACV is excellent for cleansing the scalp and making it soft, but vinegar is not good on keratin treated hair due to its acidic nature.

It will disintegrate the keratin coating from the hair.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it.

The easiest way to fix oily scalp issues after your keratin treatment is by using the mighty boar bristle brush and dry shampoo.

It is as simple as that.

Learn to listen to your hair and scalp, and be mindful about the products you use. You don’t always have to fork out on expensive products.

The scalp produces the best moisturizer for hair (sebum) that no other product can ever replace. Learn to distribute it through your hair so that it doesn’t sit at the roots.

Here are the products I recommend:

Boar Bristle Brush

Klorane Dry Shampoo

About the Author

Kassidy WardKassidy Ward

Kassidy Ward is our curly girl expert and has been following the Curly Girl Method for over 3 years. She's tried just about every product and technique out there to get her curls to cooperate and is always on the lookout for new products to try.

She's also a sucker for free products, which is why she's relentlessly reaching out to manufacturers with her unique persuasive skills. 9 out of 10 times, she wins!