What to do after protein treatment? 6 hair care tips you’ll love

hairdresser applying keratin/tratamiento-de-keratina-profesional.jpg


  • You shouldn’t wash your hair for at least 72 hours after a keratin treatment. Also, you shouldn’t do an updo. Then, you should maintain a washing frequency of 48 hours.
  • During those 72 hours, you should use products that extend the duration of the protein treatment. For example, shampoos and conditioners with keratin or collagen. Also, moisturizing treatments.
  • You should also comb your hair with a natural fiber brush. I’ll explain later how to style your straight or curly hair.
  • Finally, blow-dry your hair twice a week to activate the protein treatment. If you color your hair, wait two weeks to color it.


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You’ve finally taken the first step towards your hair’s recovery and applied a protein treatment.

Surely, at this point, you notice that your hair looks shiny and alive. It’s as strong as if it had been rejuvenated ten years.

  That’s the magic of protein treatments: they repair the hair by binding hydrolyzed proteins to the hair cuticle and hardening the cuticle layer.  


That’s why they’re a shot of vitality for your mane. Now, the magic only exists in the hands of Copperfield.

What I mean is that   to extend the duration of the protein treatment, you’ll need to do your part by incorporating a few changes into your hair beauty routine.  

If you’re here, it’s probably because you don’t remember anything the stylist explained to you at the salon regarding hair care for the protein treatment. How do I know?


From experience!

Usually, when I explain some tricks to extend the protein treatment, my clients interrupt me to take a WhatsApp call.

Some others are more focused on taking a selfie to upload to their social networks than on my explanations.


Then, two days later, they call me to ask what I had already explained to them in detail.

I assume it’s an occupational hazard. Don’t forget that stylists deal with forgetful clients, their own children, and much more.

Are you like one of my forgetful clients?


No worries. Let’s get started with this essential hair care guide for protein-treated hair.

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6 hair care routines after a protein treatment

Wash your hair 72 hours after applying the treatment

hair washing frequency

But, even more important, you must wait for 72 hours between each wash. Protein treatment isn’t permanent. It means that you’ll lose part of the nutrients in each wash due to the water and the cleaning products.


  You should allow 48 to 72 hours between washes to extend the duration of your protein treatment.  


Also, don’t forget that the natural oil produced by the scalp is a great moisturizer and protector for your hair. If you remove it daily, your hair will dry out even if you apply dozens of treatments.


Don’t permanently wear your hair tied back

tied hair can cause hair loss

Although you can tie your hair after the protein treatment, my advice is not to do it. What’s more, I encourage you to go one step further.

Use updos only in exceptional cases.


After the treatment, the proteins must settle inside the hair and need to flow freely in each strand of your hair.

If you tie your hair up, you prevent the scalp from breathing and moisturizing. Then, it starts to heat up.

That heat takes moisture off the roots and cuts off the flow of nutrients.

This bad cycle for your hair results in hair loss from the root, dryness, dandruff, excess oiliness. It also prevents growth.


  I’m not saying you can’t wear your hair up at any time. On the contrary, leave the updos for special occasions or intense heat days.  

I know what you’re thinking, “Alejandra, my job requires me to wear my hair up.” Well, in that case, you’re not going to lose your job, are you?

What I recommend is that you avoid pulling your hair tight when you tie it up. The looser the updo, the better.


Check your hair care products and discard those that are a threat to the protein treatment

remove hair dye

There are many beauty products for hair on the market, but not all are suitable after a protein treatment.


This is one of the most important hair care products you need to understand. Your hair is part of your body. As you wouldn’t apply just any moisturizer to your skin, you can’t use just any shampoo and conditioner.

You’ll need to incorporate new products if you want to keep your hair from further damage.

So, how do you choose the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair now that you’ve had your protein treatment?


  • Lesson 1: Take your time and read the labels.
  • Lesson 2: Product formulas should include proteins such as keratin, elastin, collagen, ceramides, coconut oil, argan, flax, and avocado.
  • Lesson 3: You can use shampoos and conditioners for chemically treated hair that contain proteins.


On the other hand, you can incorporate several products to your routine in addition to shampoo and conditioner:

  • Liquid proteins in ampoules
  • Heat-protectants
  • Leave-in conditioners
  • Styling creams
  • Natural oils
  • Dry shampoo

These hair beauty products will help you extend the protein treatment.


Use a natural bristle brush to detangle your hair

Unbelievably, the brush or comb you use to detangle your hair is also relevant. Although it doesn’t influence the duration of the protein treatment, it has a direct impact on your hair’s health.


When you comb your hair to detangle it, you also aerate it and remove loose hairs.

That is why you shouldn’t use fine combs.   The further apart the teeth of your comb are, the less chance you have of breaking your hair when you detangle it.  

The same goes for brushes.


Choose brushes that have long teeth to detangle your hair.

The best brushes for detangling hair are natural bristle brushes. Yes, just like your grandmother used.


How should you style your hair to take care of your protein treatment?

If your hair is straight or wavy:

  • Start styling from the ends with a comb or brush.
  • Work your way up towards the roots little by little as you detangle.
  • Therefore, never start detangling your hair at the roots.


If your hair is curly or afro:

  • Untangle your hair using your fingers from the roots.
  • Then, to add volume, you can use a wide-toothed comb.

Whether your hair is straight or curly, you can use a styling cream or leave-in conditioner to ease styling.


Use the blow dryer twice a week

hair with protein treatment

It’ll reactivate the protein treatment. Now, don’t confuse using a blow dryer twice a week with flat ironing every other day.

While protein treatments are activated by heat, overuse of flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can deeply damage your hair.


I also don’t recommend blow-drying and, then, flat ironing your hair.

Use one of the two tools because extreme heat damages your hair and ruins the protein treatment.


So the ideal thing to do with heat tools would be as follows:

  • Apply thermal protectants after using the hair dryer.
  • Alternatively, let your hair air dry, and apply the protectant before flat ironing or curling.


If you color your hair with permanent hair color, wait fifteen days to color it after you apply the protein treatment

hairdresser applied a dye too dark

This way, you’ll give the proteins time to settle inside the hair.

If you apply the protein treatment and color your hair before a fortnight, the proteins will disappear. But why?


Because the hair must “make room” for the color to set. The only way to do this is to expel the proteins it has absorbed.

  That’s why you should wait fifteen days to color your hair after coloring.   In the meantime, your hair retains and absorbs the proteins.


If you can’t wait fifteen days, you can use a semi-permanent hair dye because they are not applied with peroxide. Therefore, they don’t open the cuticles and the color is deposited on the outside of the hair by forming a film.



Taking care of the protein treatment isn’t that complicated, is it? It’s just a matter of using the right products, spacing out the washes, and not abusing heat tools.

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