Should you apply the protein treatment before or after shampoo?

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  • The protein treatment is always applied after shampoo.
  • You should use a ph-balanced shampoo to remove all traces of hair products and dirt.
  • If you don’t wash your hair thoroughly before applying the protein treatment, some residues (such as hair dye ones) could damage your hair.


Here’s how to wash your hair before the protein hair treatment.

Also, here I tell you which shampoo to choose to wash your hair before the treatment.


Proteins are essential for our life. They give us energy and keep us healthy.

The same happens with our hair.


Our hair is exposed to climate change, environmental dust, and pollution.

Then, we add beauty products, dyes, sprays, gels, and conditioners. Can you imagine the number of residues your hair receives?


 That’s why you need to wash your hair before applying a protein treatment. 

As a rule, you should always apply a protein treatment on clean hair.

Why do I say this as a rule?

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Because not all protein treatments are the same and the preliminary wash can make a difference

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Imagine that tomorrow, you have an appointment at the salon for a keratin treatment. As you know, it’s a protein treatment.

In that case, you’ll need to wash your hair to remove any dirt or hair product residue.

 The only way to achieve this is by using a ph-balanced shampoo. 



Because this type of protein treatment is applied with heat to activate the proteins to penetrate the hair core.

What would happen if there was residue from other products, such as hair dye or just environmental dirt?


 In the case of dirt, the protein wouldn’t reach the hair core. Therefore, your treatment would not give the results you expect. 


In the case of hair dye residue, which contains chemicals, the hair would absorb the protein and chemicals. It would produce irreversible hair damage.

What would be the result if you didn’t wash your hair before applying a protein treatment such as keratin?


It would be a total waste of time and money, but you could also ruin your hair.


I apply a homemade protein mask. Should I also wash my hair beforehand with a ph-balanced shampoo?

Yes, because it’s still protein.

Have you ever heard of homemade egg and olive oil masks?


This really is a protein shock!

You simply mix two egg yolks with two tablespoons of olive oil, apply the mixture to dry, clean hair, and leave it on for 20 minutes.

 In this case, you should also wash your hair before applying them for the protein to penetrate and strengthen the hair. 


If you don’t have time to wash your hair before applying the treatment, the worst that could happen is that the treatment will be less effective.

Nevertheless, your hair won’t be ruined. At best, it’ll stay the same as it was before the treatment.

So, you’ll only waste time.


As you can see, sometimes you MUST wash your hair before applying a protein treatment. In other cases, although washing is important, your hair won’t suffer serious consequences if you don’t.


If you choose to have the protein treatment done at the salon, you don’t have to worry. Your stylist will wash your hair with a ph-balanced shampoo.

But if you’re having the protein treatment done in the comfort of your own home, you should have a ph-balanced shampoo at hand. I’ll tell you later which one to choose.

First, you need to pay special attention to how you wash your hair. And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


How to wash your hair before the protein treatment the right way

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Step 1 – Wet hair

Wet your hair with plenty of warm water. Let it run through your hair for three minutes to open the cuticles and ease cleansing with the ph-balanced shampoo.


Step 2 – Shampoo application

Place a walnut-sized amount of shampoo in the palm of your hand and apply it to your hair.

Massage with your fingertips all over your scalp to remove even the smallest particles of dirt.


Rinse with plenty of warm water and repeat the shampoo application. Yes!

 Before applying the protein treatment, you need to wash your hair TWICE with a ph-balanced shampoo. 


When you apply shampoo the second time, focus on lengths. Rub them from roots to ends. Once you’re done, rinse your hair with plenty of warm water.


Otherwise, you’ll cancel the deep-cleansing effect of the shampoo.


Step 3 – drying

You can either blow-dry your hair or let it air dry.

Don’t panic if you notice that your hair is dull, frizzy, or very rough. This is the “detox effect” of the ph-balanced shampoo.


Remember that you’re about to apply the protein treatment, which will restore shine, softness, and nourishment to your hair.

Now, it’s time for recommendations.


Which ph-balanced shampoo to use to wash your hair before protein treatment?

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If your hair is very dry or very fine, opt for Neutrogena Shampoo Anti-Residue

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Even though it’s a deep cleansing shampoo, it’s light and has a very mild scent. You’ll notice that your hair stays manageable and frizz-free.

However, I don’t recommend it for people who may suffer from seborrheic dermatitis. In that case, it could interfere with the prescription shampoo. If this is your case, consult your dermatologist beforehand.


If you color your hair, choose OGX Purifying + Charcoal Detox

detox shampoo wash hair before treatment

Despite its deep cleansing formula, it doesn’t contain sulfates that are corrosive to color.


If you have a sensitive scalp, I recommend Garnier Fructis Pure Clean

Its formula is vegan and free of parabens and silicones. Therefore, despite having a deep cleansing formula, it’s gentle enough not to irritate your sensitive scalp.



Before applying a protein treatment, you should wash your hair with a ph-balanced shampoo, even if you decide to use a homemade protein mask.

This way, the proteins will penetrate the hair core to strengthening and nourish it.

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