First wash after keratin treatment: how to do it the right way?

ph balanced shampoo before keratin

If you had a keratin treatment and now you need to know how to wash your hair not to ruin the treatment, you should consider the following:


  • If you used keratin with formaldehyde, you should wait one day after the keratin application to wash your hair.
  • If you used keratin without formaldehyde, you should wash your hair as soon as you finish the treatment.
  • However, if you have color-treated hair, you should wash your hair with cold water after the keratin treatment. Then, alternate between keratin shampoo and color shampoo. You’ll find the step-by-step below.
  • If you don’t have colored hair, you should use keratin shampoo, blow-dry, and space out the washes. I’ll give you the step-by-step and more care tips.



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If you applied a keratin treatment at home, chances are that the box has instructions.

You should know that  not all keratin manufacturers recommend the same. 


On the other hand, if the keratin treatment you bought didn’t have instructions, labels, or anything, don’t worry: I’ll still tell you how to wash your hair after applying the keratin treatment.


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Not all keratins are the same, but most promise the same result: to reduce frizz, repair hair, and control volume.

Tabla de Contenidos


2 keratins types: with and without formaldehyde

keratin treatment on colored hair

Keratins with formaldehyde

Keratins with formaldehyde are actually NOT keratins that repair hair.

In fact, they’re a kind of softer straightening treatment with formaldehyde in their formula.

In general,  these products are mistakenly called keratins and, usually, don’t have manufacturer’s instructions. 


If you applied this type of “keratin,” you’ll most likely have to leave it in your hair for at least 24 hours.

Then, you can wash your hair as usual. Before I go on to what you’re interested in, I need to tell you this:


 Try not to buy products of dubious origin. I mean, those that don’t have a laboratory seal and don’t come with specific instructions or approvals.  The vast majority of them have harmful substances to your health and hair.


So, if you want to get an actual keratin treatment, buy commercial products with official approval and instructions for use.


Formaldehyde-free keratin

As for formaldehyde-free keratins – those that are authorized and legally marketed – they’re washed out after application.


Having said that, let’s talk about how to wash your hair for the first time after keratin.


Colored hair

If you have color-treated hair and also had a keratin treatment, I invite you to take a look at your hair. You’ll probably notice a slight change in its color.


Therefore,  the first wash after the keratin treatment will depend on whether your hair is colored or not. 

Before going to the step-by-step to wash your-color treated hair after a keratin treatment, do you know why your hair color changed?


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On one hand, the heat from the flat iron and blow dryer opens the hair cuticle. On the other hand, the keratin treatment is applied with heat.

This is why your opened cuticles lose a bit of color in the process. Most likely, your hair color will look slightly oxidized.


How to wash colored hair after a keratin treatment

heat activates keratin

1) Rinse with cold water and wet your hair thoroughly. This will finish closing the cuticles and stabilize the color.


2) I recommend doing this first wash out of the bathtub to avoid freezing.


3) Then, when your hair is wet, wash it twice as you usually do. Use a color-specific shampoo. The water may be warmer.


4) After shampooing, apply a conditioner for color-treated hair and rinse.


5) Blow-dry your hair. Blow-drying your hair after a keratin treatment preserves its durability.


 Extra tip: 

I recommend alternating color shampoo and shampoo with keratin.

Use each one once in your following hair washes.

This way, you’ll take care of the keratin treatment and your hair color simultaneously.


How to wash virgin or uncolored hair after applying a keratin treatment

remove hair dye

In general, uncolored hair looks healthier because the cuticles are more closed.

Also, the keratin treatment may last less according to your hair thickness. This is why the first wash is relevant.


 Whether you have thin or thick uncolored hair, you should try to space out the washes to extend the duration of the treatment. 


The temperature of the water when washing doesn’t make much difference.

Instead, the products you use as well as the frequency of washing and the way you dry your hair may make a difference.


1) The shampoos and conditioners you should use should have keratin. Any shampoo with keratin will be great, and the conditioner should be the same.


2) Try to space out your hair washes. Also, every time you wash your hair, you should blow dry it. This applies especially to the first wash after the keratin treatment. If you have curls, you can use a diffuser.


3) Did you know that keratin is thermo active? That is to say, it’s activated by heat. That’s why the hair-dryer extends the durability of your keratin treatment.


4) So, you should always blow dry your hair with heat. However, if you can’t do it every day, do it at least once a week.


Choosing the right products to wash your hair after a keratin treatment

I have told you how to wash your hair after a keratin treatment, whether you have color-treated hair or beautiful virgin hair.


I also recommended that you pay special attention to  the keratin treatment you choose: buy products that have a seal of approval. 

As regards aftercare, don’t forget to use shampoo and conditioner with keratin. Also, alternate with color shampoo if you have colored hair.


Then, drying your hair is very important because the heat extends the duration of the keratin treatment.

Finally, here is a list of products for your first wash after the keratin treatment. You’re already an expert!


Products for keratin-treated hair

Color-treated hair

  • L’Oréal Vitamino color shampoo
  • Vitamino color conditioner
  • Fructis by Garnier color shield or color resist


Keratin care

  • Lisa unlimited by L’Oréal professional
  • Tresemme straight keratin
  • Perfect straight line or keratin line

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