Should I wash my hair before having a keratin treatment?

hair wash before keratin

  • You must wash the hair before a keratin treatment. You can use a ph-balanced or clarifying shampoo to remove any product residue or dirt.
  • If you use a keratin treatment kit, you should wash your hair with the shampoo included in the kit. It’ll clean your hair to absorb the keratin.
  • Alternatively, if you apply the keratin at a salon, you have two options: wash your hair with ph-balanced shampoo or dishwashing detergent at home beforehand or wash it at the salon.


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In general, all keratin treatments are applied to clean hair. It guarantees the success of the treatment.

However, you shouldn’t use just any shampoo.  You should opt for a ph-balanced or clarifying shampoo to remove any kind of residue on your hair. 

Even if you can’t see it, the residue is there. What do I mean by residue?


  • The accumulation of different hair products you use daily.
  • The heat protectant you use when you flat iron your hair.
  • As you flat iron your hair quite often, you use an intense nourishing mask every week.
  • You also apply micellar water to the ends to hydrate them.


 So, if you look at your hair care routine, your hair accumulates traces of hair products after several weeks. Regular shampoos don’t remove them in full. 

We should also consider environmental pollution, such as those small and almost unnoticeable dust particles that accumulate in your hair.

Can you imagine what would happen if you sealed the keratin with heat by ironing your hair with particles of dirt and dust?


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The answer is very simple:  the treatment will lose effectiveness because those particles will penetrate together with the keratin inside the hair and dry it out. 

Then, the frizz will still be there because the keratin won’t have nourished and hydrated your hair.


So, now you know that you should always wash your hair before keratin and that you should use a ph-balanced shampoo. However, you should also pay attention to how to use this shampoo.

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How to wash your hair with a ph-balanced shampoo before the keratin treatment

ph balanced shampoo before keratin

Before I explain the step-by-step, which is very important, let me give you two pieces of advice:

  • First, if you’re going to invest in a keratin treatment at the salon, let the stylist wash your hair.  Sometimes, by saving a few dollars on washing, you end up ruining the keratin treatment. 
  • Second, if you’re going to do the keratin treatment at home, and for whatever reason, the shampoo isn’t included in the kit, be proactive and buy a clarifying shampoo in advance.


Let’s be honest. You don’t apply a keratin treatment every day.

So,  before you start applying the treatment, make sure you have all the elements you need. 


If you don’t have the ph-balanced shampoo before applying the keratin, you can always use dish soap, although it isn’t the best option.

As dish soap contains a lot of sulfates, it’ll remove the accumulated dirt from your hair.

However, it’ll also dry out your hair.


Therefore, it’s better to use a ph-balanced shampoo. It contains no dye or fragrance, more sulfates than regular shampoo, but less than dish soap.

Now let’s go to the step-by-step of using ph-balanced shampoo.


  • Wet your hair and apply the ph-balanced shampoo. Massage your scalp.
  • Take your time massaging the product into both your scalp and lengths with a lot of lather.
  • Rinse your hair and reapply the ph-balanced shampoo. Yes, you read that right. The ph-balanced shampoo is used twice, only this time you don’t need to massage your scalp.
  • Simply let the ph-balanced shampoo act on your hair for three minutes.
  • After the exposure time, rinse thoroughly.
  • Rinse and let your hair air dry.


 Now your hair is completely clean for the keratin treatment. If it feels a bit drier, don’t even think about using conditioner. 

If you do, you would have to wash your hair with a ph-balanced shampoo, and it would be aggressive to your hair health.

The keratin will take care of moisturizing your hair and eliminate frizz.


What are the most commonly used brands of ph-balanced shampoo?

washing removes color

As you plan to buy a ph-balanced shampoo that you won’t use very often, you should know that you can use it for other purposes. That’s why I’ve decided to recommend these three shampoos.


Paul Mitchell Shampoo Tres Clarifying

If you’re blonde, practice swimming frequently, and want to avoid green spots in your hair, this shampoo should not be missing in your bathroom kit. It cleans your hair before the application of keratin and keeps your blonde hair free of green stains.

Just remember that it’s not for daily use. If you swim frequently, use it every three weeks to free your hair from chlorine.


Neutrogena Shampoo Anti-Residue Formula

If your hair is curly and you frequently use products to style your curls, you can opt for this shampoo.

 Many of my clients say that despite containing sulfates, it doesn’t leave their curls frizzy after use.  Of course, it cleans your hair before keratin.


Biolage Normalizing Clean Reset Shampoo

If your hair is oily, you need to make sure you remove all the dirt accumulated before applying keratin. And this ph-balanced shampoo is your best option.

Now you know all about washing your hair before keratin. Still, it never hurts to have a few extra tips. And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


How to prepare your hair for a successful keratin treatment

damaged ends after keratin

Do you have your ph-balanced shampoo on hand?


Then, very few things can go wrong during keratin application. However, you can always do something else.


  • For example, trim your tips to remove the damaged ends.

I don’t know why so many women prefer not to trim their hair. When I tell one of my clients that she could trim her ends, she looks at me as if I were asking permission to shave her.

It’s five centimeters, just five centimeters!


Believe me, you’ll hardly notice the difference if your hair is past your shoulders. However, your hair will because split ends are impossible to recover. Not even a keratin treatment can fix them.

Trim your ends, and your hair will be shiny, healthy, and frizz-free.


  • Forgive me for insisting, but if your budget allows it, go to a salon

The keratin application process takes place in several steps. All of them are important, including washing the hair before keratin, as I explained above.


 Regardless of the keratin you apply, it’ll fail if you don’t do the treatment correctly. 

You must apply the keratin with patience, comb it through, and let it work. Then, you must iron strand by strand to seal the keratin in your cuticles.

That takes time, patience, and dedication.



Washing your hair with a ph-balanced shampoo before the keratin treatment is essential. Otherwise, if you apply it without having used this type of shampoo, your hair will be dull, rough, and dry.

The reason won’t be the keratin but the preparations before starting the treatment.

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