20 Things You Must Not Do After Your Keratin Treatment ⚠️

Written by Shehnaz Shirazi

Updated on

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After having my fair share of post-keratin hair disasters, I made a list of things you must NOT do after a keratin treatment.

And today, I will share this list to help you avoid the frustrations and enjoy all the benefits of a keratin treatment.

So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Although your hairstylist will probably provide you with enough aftercare instructions for your keratin treatment, I want to highlight some mistakes many of you may not be aware of.

So here they are:

1. Do Not Use Cheap Shampoos

what not to use after keratin treatment

To begin with, get the right shampoo.

You must not use shampoos that contain sulfates and salts after your keratin treatment, at least for the next 3 months. That’s because these ingredients can strip the keratin coating and natural oils from the hair.

Instead, use gentle sulfate-free and salt-free shampoos with keratin that can progressively enhance the treatment to last longer.

2. Avoid Clarifying Shampoos

Clarifying shampoo is formulated to strip buildup, dirt, and residues that can cling to the surface of the hair shaft. It can also soften and open the hair cuticle layer to deep cleanse, potentially compromising the keratin coating that’s trying to bond to the hair.

3. Do Not Wash Your Hair Frequently

Keratin treatments are semi-permanent. They wash out gradually.

The key to maintaining a keratin treatment is to wash the hair less often.

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

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

Spray the dry shampoo onto your roots twice daily between your wash days. It saves you time, and it makes your hair smell fresh!



Although you can wash your hair 3 days (72 hours) after, freshly applied keratin is malleable, and it needs time to bond properly to the hair.

4. Do Not Touch Your Hair Too Much

avoid touching hair after keratin treatment

Touching your hair too much makes it feel greasy. And when your keratin-treated hair feels greasy, you’re tempted to wash it more often, which is not good.

Plus, you risk kinking up your strands.

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

Read more: How to Fix Greasy Hair After Keratin Treatment.

5. Do Not Style Your Hair Up for 2 Weeks

Do not do updos and ponytails; you’ll need extra hair accessories to hold your hairstyle together. Putting any accessories in your hair can leave dents and lines of demarcation.

can i style my hair up after keratin treatment

So DO NOT tie your hair up, especially in the first three days. I’ll personally give it a week or two.

Keep your tresses down and straight as often as possible.

Read More: When and How to Tie Hair After Keratin Treatment.

7. Do Not Wear Headbands for 2 Weeks

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

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

do not use headbands in hair after a keratin treatment

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

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

7. Do Not Hold Your Hair Back With Sunglasses

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.

keratin-treated hair aftercare - no sunglasses

Sure, sunglasses can save you from having a bad hair day, but it’s not an ideal hair accessory when you’ve just had a Brazilian blowout. It will kink your hair and create uneven patches.

8. Do Not Clip Your Hair

Hair clips or barrettes can leave dents and lines of demarcation in your hair.

Avoid them until the treatment has completely bonded in. Otherwise, you may struggle to style your hair after removing them.

9. Do Not Tuck Your Hair Behind Your Ears

Tucking your hair 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. Avoid Sweating Too Much

Excess sweating after a keratin treatment can disrupt its bonding process.

can i go to the gym after keratin treatment

Heavy workouts and excess sweating will force you into washing your hair every time you get home from the gym. Even if you get by with dry shampoo, sweating on the scalp can interfere with the keratin treatment.

That’s because sweat contains water and salt, which can dissolve the treatment.

Plan to start your gym routine again after 2 weeks to avoid all the hassle.

11. Do Not Sleep On Cotton Pillowcases

Do not sleep on cotton pillowcases. Instead, sleep on a silk pillowcase.

how to sleep after keratin treatment

Cotton pillowcase creases up your hair, causing tangles and knots as it creates friction. It also makes your hair dry by draining moisture, leaving you with frizzy hair in the morning.

If you want smooth and tangle-free hair when you wake up, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase instead. Satin and silk glide the hair, leading to fewer tangles and breakage. Plus, they don’t wick away moisture from the hair and skin.

Related: How to Sleep After a Keratin Treatment.

SLIP Silk Pillowcase

use mulberry silk pillowcase for sleeping after keratin treatments

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


12. Do Not Use Heavy Oils On Your Hair

Coconut, jojoba, and castor oil nestle deep into the hair to supply moisture.

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


Be patient. Get through the first 2 weeks of transition – then you can try.

If you’re a big fan of oils, I recommend using a lightweight oil.

13. Do Not Color Your Hair For 3 Weeks

You must not color your hair too soon after a keratin treatment. Wait at least 3 weeks for the treatment to bond properly, then do a hair color patch test to check if the hair dye reacts positively.

can i use color my hair after keratin treatment

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

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

Related: When Is the Best Time to Color Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment?

If you need to switch up your color for a party or festival temporarily, check out the products we recommend: The Best Hair Dyes for Keratin Treated Hair.

14. Do Not Swim for 2 weeks

Swimming too soon after a keratin treatment is not advised.

Pool water contains chlorine (a bleaching agent), and seawater contains salt (sodium chloride). Both are bad for keratin-treated hair because they can dissolve and strip color, keratin, and dye coatings from the hair.

can i swim after keratin treatment

So do not let your hair get anywhere near chlorine for the first 2 weeks!

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.

Bleaching can remove the keratin hair treatment and leave your hair feeling dry and damaged. The reason why it’s not advised to bleach keratin-treated hair is that the chemicals create an alkaline reaction to soften and swell the cuticle layer, making the hair porous.

Bleaching effectively breaks open the cuticle layer, allowing hydrogen peroxide through the hair cortex. If you have color or keratin deposited onto the hair, the bleaching process will compromise the integrity of the treatment, making it less effective or removing it altogether.

It’s recommended to do highlights and coloring before a Brazilian keratin treatment.

15. Do Not Use Beach Sprays (Sea Salt Sprays)

beach sprays contain salt
Beach sprays contain salt.

Beach sprays contain salt to give hair a gritty texture.

The problem with salt is that it has a gritty texture that can exfoliate the surface layer of the hair.

Avoid them as much as you can.

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

16. Do Not Use High Heat

do not use high heat

Using high heat on keratin-treated hair is not recommended as it can melt the keratin coating in the hair.

So avoid blow drying, straightening, and curling with hot tools.

Use low heat, a good styling tool, and a heat protectant spray if you must.

Here are 2 excellent products I recommend:

GHD Platinum Hair Straightener

ghd platinum straightener for any hair type

Best flat iron to use after keratin hair treatment.


Eva NYC Heat Protectant Sulfate-Free

can i use heat on my hair after keratin treatment

Best heat protectant for keratin-treated hair.


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.

100°F / 38°C.

Hot water can melt away freshly applied keratin, and you must avoid it as much as possible.

A cool rinse, on the other hand, shocks the hair cuticles to shut, thus preventing frizz and tangles. Use a shower cap when you don’t need to wash your hair.

18. Do Not Rub Your Hair With a Towel After Washing

don't get hair wet. otherwise use a smooth towel to gently dry

A rough cotton towel creases your hair, creating dents and frizz.

Use a microfiber towel instead to gently dry your hair. Microfiber towels are highly absorbent and quickly remove excess water from wet hair without the need to rub.

I also recommend air drying after keratin treatments. Leaving your hair down naturally and not trying to manipulate it makes the treatment bond faster.

Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel

use microfiber hair towel for keratin-treated hair

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

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

Styling products can cling on and leave residues. The fewer styling products you use on your hair after a keratin treatment, the less buildup and the less you need to wash.

Keep your hair loose and embrace low-maintenance hairstyles for a few weeks.

20. Do Not Brush Your Hair to Fix Kinks

hair brush for keratin hair treatment

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

Sometimes a bit bent and out of shape.

But don’t panic. And please do not use a hairbrush to rip it through your dry hair!

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 sleep and in the morning. The natural bristles can help distribute your hair’s natural oils to prevent it from getting greasy, stimulate your scalp, and gently detangle your hair.

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

Denman Boar Bristle Brush

best brush for any keratin-treated hair and scalp stimulation

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


So there you have it.

The full list of mistakes to avoid after your keratin treatment – from my hairdresser and personal experience.

If you think about it, they all make perfect sense.

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.