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First Wash After Keratin Treatment (How to CLEAN Your Hair)

Any keratin treatment promises to eradicate dry and frizzy hair, giving your locks more shine and strength. The treatment is best applied in a salon, though you can also buy keratin treatments to apply at home. After application, this treatment requires ample time to settle into your strands, and you will follow it with a careful first wash after keratin treatment for the best after-care routine.

Why is a First Wash After Keratin Treatment Vital?

If you need the keratin treatment for your hair, it is because the strands are porous and thus too dehydrated. This treatment feeds the strands of keratin (a protein found in hair, nails, and skin) through heat treatment to strengthen and hydrate it to restore good health. That said, the treatment does not settle in as fast as other hair treatments. So, you need to wait at least 72 hours for the keratin to settle into the strands before washing. 

After the time has passed, you will also need to consider a few things before washing your hair. The first one is which type of keratin treatment you applied, which is an important factor affecting the treatment’s effectiveness. The next consideration would be your hair strands, specifically if your hair had color or chemical treatment before applying keratin. 

When you consider these two factors, you will be able to find the best products, such as shampoos and conditioners, and understand the best procedure for washing your hair. However, the most important factor to observe when washing your hair for the first time after a keratin treatment is to avoid stripping the treatment off your hair with harsh chemicals. 

Below, we discuss how to wash virgin and color-treated hair and which shampoos are best to use to avoid drying your hair, as doing so would undo all the good a keratin treatment would have done. But first, here are the two types of keratin treatment you might have used so you will know how to wash your hair afterward. 

Which are The Two Main Types of Keratin Treatments?

There are two main types of keratin treatments you can apply to your hair; those with formaldehyde and those without. 

1. Formaldehyde treatments

A keratin treatment that contains formaldehyde is much stronger and often too harsh on your hair. However, it can leave your strands smoother, so your hair is easier to manage, but it will not be an effective protein treatment for your hair. 

After application, you can leave the treatment on for a day before washing it out. Then, you will need to wait for several days before washing your hair again. If you’ve not applied a keratin treatment, it is best to avoid this ingredient, which is also a popular carcinogenic. 

2. Formaldehyde-free keratin treatments

The best keratin treatments are formulated without formaldehyde. These will feed protein into your porous hair, and you can enjoy beautiful results in the coming months. The laboratory-tested and certified keratin treatments are applied fast and can be washed off after an hour. After the application, you can wash your hair safely with a gentle keratin shampoo and hydrating conditioner after a few days. 

How to Wash Colored Hair After a Keratin treatment

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Both keratin and color treatments require the best after-care routines to keep hair healthy. If you had a color treatment before the keratin treatment, you might notice a slight color change after the keratin treatment. This is so because any keratin treatment requires heat during the application, which will slightly oxidize the color particles in your strands. 

When ready to wash your color-treated hair first after a keratin treatment, here is how to go about it;

Step 1: Wet your hair with cold or lukewarm water to stabilize the color-treated cuticles. 

Step 2: When your hair is thoroughly wet, apply a good amount of color-safe and keratin-safe shampoo and massage it into the hair and scalp. 

Step 3: After shampooing, rinse hair with lukewarm water, then apply a color and keratin-safe hydrating conditioner. 

Step 4: Rinse your hair with lukewarm water, then air-dry it. Air drying your hair is good for helping maintain your best hair color. 

If your hair is color-treated, it is imperative to avoid harsh shampoos or conditioners which would strip the color from your hair. Instead, look for a color-safe shampoo that does not contain sulfates, parabens, and other harsh ingredients. In addition, make sure the shampoo will also not strip the moisture from your hair, as that would undo the good work the keratin treatment is intended for. 

How to Wash Virgin Hair After A Keratin Treatment

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Virgin hair is your natural hair that has not been exposed to colors or any chemical treatment. In this case, your hair cuticles are closed, so you won’t need to worry about a color-safe shampoo. However, you will need to wash your hair carefully as the closed cuticles make it harder for the treatment to set in. In addition, if you use a harsh shampoo, it can wash the treatment right off, thus denying your hair the benefits you want. 

Observe the following tips when washing your virgin hair after a keratin treatment.

  1. Use a sulfate and sodium chloride-free shampoo and conditioner that also contains keratin. As mentioned earlier, the keratin treatment needs a longer time to set in, a process that is made harder by your hair’s closed cuticles. So, using a keratin shampoo will mitigate the risk of washing the treatment off, thus giving your hair a better chance at better health. 
  2. Wash your hair after a few days. The first wash after keratin treatment can come after 72 hours, and it is also imperative to space out your subsequent washes. 
  3. Use lukewarm water to avoid removing the keratin treatment from your strands. Also, pat your hair dry with a microfiber towel before air-drying or blow-drying your hair. It is also vital to avoid brushing your hair as you wash it, as that would cause unnecessary friction that could damage the keratin treatment. Luckily, your hair will need less detangling after a keratin treatment, while the keratin shampoo will also help smoothen your strands for easier handling.
  4. Do not saturate your keratin-treated hair in water to mitigate the risk of removing the keratin treatment. So, take the least time possible when washing your hair. 

How to Choose the Best Shampoos for After-Keratin Treatment Washes

After successfully applying a keratin treatment, you need to use the best shampoos that will not remove the treatment or cause further damage to your hair. When buying shampoo, it is best to avoid shampoos with harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, sodium chloride, alcohol, gluten, and harsh fragrances. Here are the best shampoos for keratin-treated hair.

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