There are some reoccurring questions at the salon.
For example, the other day, one of my clients asked me if it’s a good idea to do a keratin treatment on recently bleached hair.
And the truth is, I thought a lot about the subject and it seems like a good opportunity for me to dispel some myths about keratin.
I’m going to start by saying that if you bleached your hair two days ago, keratin is not for you right now.
To apply keratin to bleached hair, you should wait at least four weeks.
Do you want to know why?
I’ll tell you right now, but also, I will explain what exactly bleaching consists of.
Also, you will know what a keratin treatment is for.
And if that doesn’t seem like enough to you, I will tell you how to prepare your hair to get the most benefits out of the keratin.
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Does keratin work to fix your hair after bleaching?
The short answer is NO.
When you bleach your hair, you are stripping out the melanin, which is the pigment that gives color to your hair. The more melanin, the darker your hair will be.
To strip out or erase that color, two products are used in the bleaching process: hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, which are mixed and when they make contact with your hair fibers, they produce an irreversible chemical reaction, oxidation.
During this process, your hair doesn’t just get bleached, but also these chemicals break down the fatty acids in the hair stalks, which causes dryness and weakens the hair.
It also opens the hair cuticle, which causes it to lose more moisture.
And you may say, but Karina, I have read in a lot of different places that keratin is a protein that closes the cuticles, strengthens, and nourishes hair.
And you are right.
Keratin is a protein that looks to nourish the internal layers of the hairs, giving them softness and shine.
Can you imagine how your hair would turn out, if immediately after bleaching it, you apply the heat from the hair dryer and after from the flat iron?
You’ll only end up losing most of the moisture in your hair and a greater loss of natural oils.
As they usually say, “when it rains, it pours.”
So, when is it best to do a keratin treatment on your hair?
You should wait at least four weeks after having bleached or colored your hair.
And here, I would like to make a clarification.
There are two types of keratin treatments
One is called “keratin shock”, which is a deep, hair restoration treatment.
The other treatment with keratin is the one that’s used to straighten hair.
Beyond the objective for applying keratin to your hair, be it to improve the look of your hair or because you want to join the ranks of twenty-four hour straight-haired people, if you bleached your hair, you should wait at least four weeks to apply keratin.
You may say, then Karina, how can I nourish my hair while I wait those four weeks.
That’s exactly what I’m going to tell you now.
How to nourish your hair while you wait to do a keratin treatment
There are a few types of products on the market with high protein content that can help fix the natural moisture of your hair, giving it shine and silkiness.
Another factor to keep in mind is food.
Yeah, don’t laugh, Your hair is what you eat. Include in your daily diet foods like eggs, poultry, chia seeds, yogurt, and lots and lots of leafy greens.
Examine your hair.
If you follow my blog, you know that I always recommend taking the topic of bleaching very seriously.
Because bleaching causes permanent damage to your hair. I’m not exaggerating. For this topic, there’s no turning back.
When you bleach your hair, you erode the proteins that make up the external layer of the hair cuticle, which is nothing more than a protective cap around the cortex or nucleus of the hair.
This protective layer is made up of protein cells (keratin) that overlap to create a hermetic and impermeable layer. The damage, be it from chemical products or heat, lift up these cells and separate them.
When the cuticle is damaged, the cortex becomes unprotected and the hair begins to break.
The damage is done then as much internally as externally.
That is why, hands down, bleaching + keratin = DEFINITELY NO.
Now, while you wait to do a keratin treatment, you can prepare your hair so that when the time comes, it’ll be as healthy as possible
Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. To figure out which ones those are, take the time to read the labels.
If you see SLS within the ingredients, this stands for sulfate lauryl sodium, which means you are using a shampoo that will create a lot of foam while each day it dries out your hair more and more.
Replace it with a shampoo that is free of these types of ingredients. In the market there are tons that contain natural argan oils or coconut oils for example, that hydrate your hair, giving it back the moisture that it lost during the bleaching process.
During this month, keep your hair dryer and flat iron locked up with four keys. Heat, more heat, more heat will only dry out your hair more, and the keratin helps, but it doesn’t work miracles.
I said before coconut oil. If you are ready to fix your hair, I challenge you to leave coconut oil in your hair all night long.
Once you spread it out well throughout your hair, wrap up your whole head in a shower cap and let it sit while you sleep. The next morning, you just have to rinse it out with lukewarm water.
Do this process every fifteen days. You’ll see the changes immediately and you’ll be praising me from wherever you are.
Now you know, you can apply keratin to your bleached hair, but always after a sensible amount of time. I recommend that you wait at least four weeks.
But meanwhile, you can use other little tricks to prepare your hair to receive the keratin.