If you’ve recently undergone a keratin treatment or are considering getting one, you’re in the right place. Keratin treatments have become incredibly popular for transforming frizzy, unruly hair into smooth, sleek locks.
However, maintaining the results and ensuring the longevity of your treatment requires proper care and attention. This comprehensive guide walk you through essential tips, dos and don’ts, and a step-by-step routine to help you maximize your keratin-treated hair. Say goodbye to bad hair days and hello to effortlessly gorgeous tresses!
How Does Keratin Treatment Work?
It involves the application of a specially formulated keratin-based solution to the hair, followed by heat to seal and bond the product to the hair cuticle. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how keratin treatment works:
- Preparation: The hair is first washed with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue, oils, and buildup. This step ensures that the hair cuticles are open and ready to absorb the keratin solution.
- Application of Keratin Solution: The stylist applies a keratin-rich solution to the hair, which usually contains a blend of hydrolyzed keratin, other conditioning agents, and sometimes even formaldehyde or a derivative (although some newer formulations are formaldehyde-free). Keratin is a protein naturally found in hair, nails, and skin, and it helps to strengthen and smooth the hair.
- Even Distribution: The stylist ensures that the solution is evenly distributed throughout the hair, using a comb or brush to work it through from roots to ends.
Post-Keratin Treatment Care Basics
After getting a keratin treatment, it’s crucial to follow a proper care routine to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of the treatment. Here are some essential post-keratin treatment care basics to keep your hair looking smooth, shiny, and healthy:
- Wait Before Washing: Give your hair at least 72 hours (3 days) before washing it after the keratin treatment. This allows the keratin to set and bond to your hair fully.
- Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Opt for a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the treatment’s results. Sulfates can strip the keratin and natural oils from your hair, causing the treatment to fade faster.
- Avoid Moisture and Humidity: During the first few days after the treatment, avoid getting your hair wet or exposing it to high humidity. Moisture can disrupt the keratin bonding process.
- No Hair Accessories: Refrain from using hair ties, clips, or accessories that could create indentations or marks on your hair during the first few days.
- Avoid Tucking Hair Behind Ears: Avoid tucking your hair behind your ears during the initial period to prevent unwanted kinks.
- Regular Hair Maintenance: Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair gently, starting from the ends and working your way up. Avoid using brushes that could pull or break the hair.
- Limit Heat Styling: Minimize the use of heat-styling tools like flat irons and curling irons. When you do use them, apply a heat protectant spray to shield your hair from damage.
- Protect Your Hair in the Sun: UV rays can cause colour fading and damage. Wear a hat or use a UV-protective spray when spending time outdoors.
Washing and Drying Techniques
Proper Hair Washing Frequency:
After a keratin treatment, it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines for hair washing frequency to maintain the longevity of the treatment and the health of your hair. Generally, waiting at least 72 hours (3 days) before washing your hair after a keratin treatment is advised. This waiting period allows the keratin to set in fully and bond with your hair.
Using Sulfate-Free Shampoos:
Sulfates are cleansing agents commonly found in many shampoos. However, they can strip the hair of its natural oils and potentially reduce the effectiveness of a keratin treatment. To ensure the longevity of your keratin-treated hair, opt for sulfate-free shampoos. These shampoos are gentler on the hair and won’t disrupt the keratin bonds. Look for products that are specifically labeled as “sulfate-free.”
When washing your hair, use a small amount of sulfate-free shampoo and focus on massaging the scalp. Avoid vigorously scrubbing the lengths of your hair, as this can cause friction and potentially lead to frizz. Rinse your hair thoroughly to ensure that all the shampoo is removed.
Gently Towel Drying Your Hair:
After washing your hair, it’s important to be extra gentle when towel drying to prevent unnecessary stress on the hair shaft and minimize frizz. Here’s how to gently towel dry your keratin-treated hair:
- Blot, Don’t Rub: Instead of vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel, gently blot the excess water. This helps to absorb moisture without causing friction.
- Microfiber Towel or T-Shirt Method: Use a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt to blot your hair. Microfiber towels are known for absorbing moisture efficiently without causing damage.
- Squeeze Out Excess Water: Gently squeeze your hair from roots to ends to remove excess water. Avoid twisting or wringing out the hair, as this can lead to breakage.
Styling Tips for Maintaining Keratin-Treated Hair
Keratin-treated hair requires special care and attention to maintain its smoothness and strength. Follow these styling tips to ensure your keratin-treated hair stays healthy and stunning:
Using Heat Protectants
Heat protectants are essential when using heated styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. These products create a barrier between your hair and the heat, preventing damage and helping to preserve the keratin treatment. Here’s how to use them effectively:
- Choose a high-quality heat protectant spray or serum that suits your hair type. Look for products that provide both thermal protection and nourishing ingredients.
- Apply the heat protectant evenly to damp hair before using any heat styling tools. Comb through your hair to ensure even distribution.
- Use the lowest heat setting necessary to achieve your desired style. High heat can strip away the keratin coating, leading to frizz and breakage.
Suitable Hairstyles to Minimize Stress:
Choosing gentle hairstyles can help minimize stress on your keratin-treated hair, preventing unnecessary breakage and frizz. Opt for these styles to keep your hair looking fabulous:
- Loose waves: Embrace your hair’s natural texture by creating loose waves using heat-free methods like braiding or twist-outs.
- Low ponytails or buns: Avoid pulling your hair too tightly, which can stress the keratin-treated strands. Opt for loose, low ponytails or buns to reduce tension.
- Soft updos: Create elegant, relaxed updos that don’t pull or strain your hair excessively.
- Half-up, half-down styles: These styles offer convenience and sophistication without putting too much stress on your hair.
Avoiding Excessive Hair Accessories:
While hair accessories can add flair to your look, excessive use can cause tension and damage your keratin-treated hair. Follow these guidelines when accessorizing:
- Choose lightweight accessories: Opt for lightweight hairpins, clips, and headbands to avoid putting too much pressure on your hair.
- Avoid tight elastics: Use gentle hair ties that won’t leave creases or indentations on your hair when you remove them.
- Give your hair a break: Allow your hair to breathe by avoiding tight hairstyles and excessive accessories, especially at home or sleeping.
Long-Term Care Strategies for hair after keratin treatments
Recommended Haircare Routine:
After undergoing a keratin treatment, it’s crucial to establish a proper haircare routine to maintain the health and longevity of your treated hair. Here’s a recommended routine:
- Avoid Excessive Washing: Wash your hair less frequently to prevent the keratin from being washed out too quickly. Aim for washing your hair every 2-3 days instead of daily.
- Cool Water Rinse: Use cool or lukewarm water to rinse your hair instead of hot water, as hot water can weaken the keratin bonds.
- Gentle Towel Drying: Pat your hair dry with a soft microfiber towel instead of rubbing vigorously, which can cause friction and damage.
Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatments:
Integrating weekly deep conditioning treatments into your haircare routine is essential for maintaining the health and strength of your keratin-treated hair. Here’s why:
- Restoring Moisture: Keratin treatments can sometimes strip the hair of its natural moisture. Deep conditioning treatments help replenish lost moisture, keeping your hair hydrated, soft, and more manageable.
- Enhancing Shine: Deep conditioning treatments improve the overall appearance of your hair, adding a healthy shine and luster to your locks.
- Preventing Breakage: Well-moisturized hair is less prone to breakage and split ends. Deep conditioning strengthens the hair shaft, reducing the risk of damage.
- Preserving Keratin Treatment: Deep conditioning treatments can help extend your keratin treatment’s life by maintaining the keratin bonds’ integrity.
Importance of Regular Trims
Even with a keratin treatment, regular trims are a vital aspect of maintaining the health and appearance of your hair. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip those regular salon visits:
- Preventing Split Ends: Over time, hair can develop split ends, traveling up the hair shaft and leading to further damage. Regular trims remove split ends, promoting healthier hair growth.
- Maintaining Shape and Style: Trims help maintain the shape and style of your hair, ensuring that your keratin-treated locks continue to look polished and well-maintained.
- Boosting Volume: Removing damaged ends can give your hair a fuller appearance, as healthy hair strands contribute to more volume and body.
- Preserving Keratin Treatment: Trims help prevent the ends of your hair from becoming overly dry or frayed, which can compromise the effects of your keratin treatment.
Environmental Factors and Protection
Shielding Hair from UV Rays and Pollution:
Exposure to UV rays and environmental pollutants can lead to damage and fading of the hair, particularly after keratin treatments. To protect your hair effectively, consider the following measures:
- UV-Protective Products: Look for hair products, such as leave-in conditioners, serums, and sprays, that contain UV filters. These products create a barrier on the hair shaft, shielding it from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
- Hats and Scarves: Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a scarf when spending extended periods outdoors can provide additional physical protection to your hair and scalp. This is especially important during peak sunlight hours.
- Avoid Peak Sun Exposure: Whenever possible, limit your sun exposure, particularly during the midday hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Swimming and Chlorine Protection:
Chlorine in swimming pools can strip the hair of its natural oils and disrupt the keratin treatment’s effects. To safeguard your hair while swimming:
- Pre-Swim Protection: Wet your hair with tap water before entering the pool. This reduces the hair’s ability to absorb chlorinated water, minimizing the damage.
- Wear a Swim Cap: While not always the most fashionable option, a swim cap provides a physical barrier between your hair and the chlorinated water.
- Rinse Thoroughly: After swimming, rinse your hair immediately with fresh water to remove chlorine and pool chemicals. Follow up with a sulfate-free, keratin-friendly shampoo and conditioner.
Overnight Hair Protection:
Taking care of your hair while you sleep is essential to prolong the benefits of a keratin treatment. Follow these steps:
- Silk or Satin Pillowcase: Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase reduces friction and minimizes hair breakage. These materials also help retain your hair’s natural oils, nourishing it.
- Loose Hairstyles: Avoid tight ponytails or braids while sleeping, as they can lead to hair breakage. Opt for loose hairstyles or gently gather your hair in a low bun.
- Silk or Satin Bonnet/Wrap: Using a silk or satin bonnet or wrap provides an extra layer of protection, preventing tangling and friction during the night.
Dos and Don’ts for Prolonging Treatment Effects
- Avoiding Harsh Hair Products:
- Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Opt for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates can strip away the keratin from your hair, causing the treatment to fade faster.
- Choose Mild Formulas: Look for products specifically formulated for chemically treated hair. These products will be gentler and help maintain the keratin treatment’s effects.
- Use a Leave-In Conditioner: A leave-in conditioner can help moisturize your hair and prevent frizz. Look for products that are lightweight and won’t weigh your hair down.
- Weekly Deep Conditioning: Incorporate a deep conditioning treatment into your routine once a week to nourish your hair and help maintain its smoothness.
- Limiting Heat Styling Frequency:
- Use Heat Protectant: Before using any heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray to create a barrier between your hair and the heat. This will minimize damage and help preserve the keratin treatment.
- Lower Heat Settings: Using heat tools like hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons, use the lowest heat setting possible to achieve your desired style.
- Air Dry When Possible: Let your hair air dry instead of using heat styling whenever you can. This will reduce the stress on your hair and help extend the life of the keratin treatment.
- Following Professional Advice:
- Listen to Your Stylist: Your stylist knows best. Follow their post-treatment care instructions and ask for specific tips on maintaining your keratin-treated hair.
- Use Recommended Products: If your stylist recommends specific products for your post-treatment hair care, consider using them. They may have been chosen to complement and prolong the effects of the keratin treatment.
- Schedule Regular Touch-Ups: Depending on the type of keratin treatment, you might need touch-ups after a few months. Regular touch-ups help maintain the treatment’s effects over time.
- Don’t Use Harsh Hair Products:
- Avoid Sulfates: Avoid shampoos and conditioners containing sulfates, as they can strip away the keratin treatment and cause your hair to become frizzy.
- Minimize Alcohol-Based Products: Hair products with high alcohol content can dry and damage your keratin-treated hair. Try to avoid them.
- Don’t Overdo Heat Styling:
- Avoid High Heat Settings: Using high heat settings frequently can weaken the keratin bonds in your hair. This can lead to faster fading of the treatment and increased damage.
- Limit Daily Heat Styling: Try to avoid using heat-styling tools daily. Let your hair rest between styling sessions to maintain its health.
- Don’t Neglect Professional Advice:
- Avoid DIY Chemical Treatments: Applying other chemical treatments on top of your keratin-treated hair without professional guidance can lead to adverse reactions or premature fading.
- Don’t Skip Maintenance Appointments: Regular touch-up appointments are essential for maintaining the effects of your keratin treatment. Skipping appointments may result in uneven texture or frizz.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long should I wait before washing my hair after a keratin treatment?
After a keratin treatment, waiting at least 72 hours (3 days) before washing your hair is generally recommended. This lets the keratin fully set and bond with your hair, ensuring longer-lasting results.
Can I go swimming with keratin-treated hair?
It’s best to avoid swimming, especially in chlorinated pools or salt water, for the first two weeks after a keratin treatment. Chlorine and salt can strip the keratin from your hair, potentially reducing the longevity of the treatment.
Is it safe to use hair dyes after keratin treatment?
Yes, you can usually dye your hair after a keratin treatment. However, waiting for about a week before applying any hair dye is recommended. This waiting period allows the keratin treatment to set fully and your hair cuticles to close properly. A strand test is also advised before applying hair dye to the entire head to ensure the desired results.
What should I do if my hair feels greasy shortly after the treatment?
If your hair feels greasy shortly after a keratin treatment, it might be due to excessive product application or inadequate rinsing during the treatment. Try gently washing your hair with a sulfate-free, keratin-safe shampoo to remove any residue. If the issue persists, consult your stylist for guidance.
You’ve now equipped yourself with the knowledge and insights to maintain stunning hair after a keratin treatment. Following the guidelines outlined in this ultimate guide to hair care after keratin treatment, you’re well on your way to enjoying sleek, smooth, and manageable locks for an extended period. Remember, consistency is key, and the right care routine will help you preserve the incredible results of your keratin treatment.