A keratin treatment leaves your hair straight and frizz-free, but what happens if you get caught in the rain when you leave the salon? No need to worry; there are steps to take if you accidentally get newly treated hair wet. In this article, we will look at what to do if your hair gets wet after a keratin treatment and the best ways to care for it.
If you get caught in the rain after a keratin treatment, blow-dry, and flat iron your hair once you get home. You usually must wait 3-4 days after a keratin treatment before washing your hair. Waiting several days to wash your hair might not be appealing, but it will allow you to receive the full effects of a keratin treatment.
How to Fix Wet Hair After a Keratin Treatment
If you just spent several hundred dollars on a keratin treatment, the last thing you want to do is damage it after your stylist just finished. While avoiding water at all costs is best, you can’t always predict the weather.
If caught in the rain, you want to find the closest blow dryer and flat iron before your hair has time to air dry. Remember that you usually want to avoid using heat sources for the first few weeks.
If the rainy weather makes your hair look frizzy, you want to ensure you focus on those areas of your hair.
Unfortunately, if you don’t straighten every strand after getting it wet, you can end up with uneven hair.
Why Water Isn’t Good After a Keratin Treatment
Unfortunately, getting your hair wet right after a keratin treatment could destroy the entire process as keratin doesn’t absorb quickly and needs time.
Even if the rain only dampens your hair, you still want to dry it as soon as possible. Keratin needs to harden; the longer it sets without getting wet, the better results you will have.
Your hair needs to absorb keratin, so water will potentially wash away the treatment.
However, drying your hair immediately after getting wet will help continue absorption. Washing your hair too soon interrupts the keratin from doing its job.
Water on newly treated hair can cause the following:
- Loss of shine from treatment
- Hair may feel lifeless and porous
- Random spots of frizz
- You won’t get the entire life out of your keratin treatment
- Water can alter the shape, causing dents to your hair if washed too soon
- Water can dilute keratin
Tips on Washing Your Hair After a Keratin Treatment
Here are some helpful tips to follow once you’re past the 3-4 waiting period and are ready to wash your hair.
Remember that you should always ask your stylist what the requirement is for your specific treatment. For example, some treatments may require a different waiting time.
Apply a Moisturizing Conditioner on Dry Hair
Before you hop in the shower, apply a moisturizing conditioner to your hair. When you are in the shower, your hair begins to swell as hair touches it.
Using conditioner on dry hair reduces the amount of swelling that occurs when it is wet.
Reducing swelling helps lengthen the effects of your keratin treatment.
Do Not Use Hot Water
A hot shower feels great, but it’s not great for your hair. While you don’t have to shower in frigid water, opting for cooler temperatures is best.
Hot water can melt the keratin coating causing unpleasant side effects.
For best results, use lukewarm water for washing and cold water for rinsing. Cold water acts as a shock to your hair and can help prevent tangles and frizz.
Concentrate on Your Roots
When shampooing, make a point to work on your scalp area, as this is the only area you need to clean. In addition, you only need to use a dime-sized amount of shampoo.
However, you want to massage your conditioner throughout your hair.
Don’t Oversaturate Your Hair
While you might want to wash your hair for the first time after treatment thoroughly, you want to avoid a long shower.
Oversaturating your hair can cause the cuticles to open and potentially lead to a breakdown of the keratin protein.
Pick the Right Brush
While wet brushes are convenient, you want to avoid them for the first two weeks. Instead, use a boar bristle brush with gentle fibers that will be easy on your treated hair.
The brush will help prevent damage and will not strip your hair.
Boar bristle brushes can also help prevent build-up and loosen up any dirt in your hair. You can use the brush in between washes to help clean dirty hair.
Remember that you shouldn’t brush your hair for the first few days after your keratin treatment.
Use a Microfiber Towel
Microfiber towels help reduce drying time and won’t cause friction or static, while cotton towels can strip the keratin from your hair.
When you get out of the shower, wrap your hair in a microfiber towel for a few minutes.
Avoid the Blow Dryer
If you accidentally get your hair wet in the first few days, you need to use the blow dryer. Otherwise, you want to keep heat away for the first two weeks.
Like the hot water, you need to avoid, blow dryers can melt the keratin coating.
When you begin styling your hair, do not set curling or flat irons higher than 365 degrees.
High temperatures can cause significant damage to your keratin treatment and your hair, in general.
What to Avoid After a Keratin Treatment
In addition to water, there are several things you should avoid doing after a keratin treatment.
- Avoid intense workouts that leave you extra sweaty. (Blow dry your hair if you do)
- Don’t put your hands in your hair excessively after treatment.
- Stay away from swimming pools as chlorine can shorten the life of your treatment.
- Don’t use pins, headbands, or hair ties.
- Stay away from braids, ponytails, and other styles for two weeks.
- Don’t tuck your hair behind your ears.
- Avoid holding your hair back with sunglasses.
- Don’t color your hair for at least three weeks.
- Avoid styling products in the first few days.
How to Extend the Life of Your Keratin Treatment
If this is the first time you’ve gotten a keratin treatment, you may wonder about the best ways to care for your hair afterward.
Here are a few ways to get the most out of your newly straightened hair.
Don’t Wash Your Hair Too Often
While the advice is to wait 3-4 days before washing your hair, the longer you wait, the better. In addition, once you have initially washed your hair, it’s better to wait longer between washes.
Keratin provides a protective coating to your hair, so you don’t have to wash it often. For best results, wash your hair once or twice a week. Washing your hair less often will also protect your scalp and reduce flaking.
If you have greasy or dry hair, here are some suggestions to follow on how often to wash your hair:
- Dry Hair – Wash twice a week
- Greasy Hair – Wash three times a week
Use Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is the best secret weapon. You can avoid washing often but still feel like your hair is clean. You can even use dry shampoo in those first few days, although it’s best to confirm that with your stylist.
Ensure you are only applying dry shampoo to the roots.
Use Satin Pillowcases
Satin pillowcases are fantastic even if you didn’t have a keratin treatment. However, you will reap even more benefits if you have newly treated hair.
Satin pillowcases help reduce frizz, cause fewer tangles, and there is a smaller chance of hair breakage.
Pick the Right Shampoo
Not all shampoos are created equal, and you must be mindful of what you use after a keratin treatment.
For example, you want to avoid shampoos made with sulfates, harsh chemicals, or salt. You can also find a shampoo specifically designed for keratin-treated hair.
Ask your stylist for recommendations if you received your treatment at a salon.
While it may be pricey, they likely carry higher-quality shampoos that will help lengthen the life of your keratin treatment.
Keep Your Fingers Out of Your Hair
Whether you like it or not, your fingers are pretty dirty. The more you touch your hair, the more dirt you allow to enter your strands, causing them to become oily.
While it can be tempting to touch your luscious, straight locks, remember to limit the time you run your fingers through your hair.
How to Get Rid of a Keratin Treatment
If you aren’t a fan of how your hair looks after a treatment, use shampoo with sulfates and salt to help rid your hair of keratin. The shampoo you usually want to avoid will help strip your hair of the keratin.
You can also use a yogurt and sea salt hair mask following these steps:
- Mix Shea Hair Yogurt with sea salt and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes
- Rinse your hair with tepid water
- Carefully apply the mixture to your hair
- Leave the mixture on your hair for 40-45 minutes
- Wash your hair thoroughly and pat dry with a microfiber towel
- Allow your hair to air dry; do not blow-dry
The sea salt helps exfoliate and strip the keratin from your hair. The yogurt is added to the mix to prevent your hair from over-drying.
You probably will need to repeat the process at least twice for maximum results and ensure you have gotten rid of all the keratin.
Frequently Asked Questions
If cared for correctly, a keratin treatment can last up to six months. Unfortunately, keratin treatments aren’t cheap, so your wallet wouldn’t want you to do it more often.
Excessive keratin treatments can make your hair more prone to breakage and damage. However, you should limit keratin treatments to once a year. Most keratin treatments use formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.
It’s best to wait two weeks after a keratin treatment to dye your hair. In reality, the longer you wait, the better. If you color your hair too soon, you may have patches of color. You can, however, dye your hair immediately before a keratin treatment. The treatment will help prevent color pigments from escaping due to sunlight or showering.
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Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she’s always happy to recommend you her favorites.