Can I Curl My Hair After A Keratin Treatment? (Answered)

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Keratin treatments are great for restoring shine back into your hair. But can you curl your hair after a keratin treatment? It’s absolutely possible, but there are a few things you should be aware of. Read on to learn more.

Curl Hair After Keratin Treatment

It is possible to curl your hair after a keratin treatment. The only stipulation is the time: you need to make sure you wait a minimum of two weeks before using any kind of heat styling tool on your keratin-treated hair. This is because the keratin is still malleable in your hair.

Can I Curl My Hair After Keratin Treatment?

Yes, it is possible to curl your hair after a keratin treatment. But you need to be very careful.

Hair that has been treated with keratin has been through a lot of stress, so you want to avoid adding excess heat which could result in damage.

Not only do you need to consider the level of heat, but the timing also needs to be factored in. 

These both play a role in the keratin treatment because strong chemicals and heat are used to rearrange the cell structure of your hair, producing the change in texture.

Ideally, you should create your curls without compromising the integrity of the keratin treatment.

How Long After A Keratin Treatment Can I Curl My Hair?

How Long After A Keratin Treatment Can I Curl My Hair

If you want to retain the effects of your keratin treatment, it is advised that you wait around two weeks before using any kind of heat styling tools to curl your hair.

This two-week wait can vary depending on hair type. If you have fairly thick, healthy hair, you could try curling it a little bit earlier than the two-week mark. The same advice applies if your hair wasn’t especially curly or ‘coily’ to begin with.

Two weeks after the keratin treatment, if your hair still feels a bit ‘wet’ in places, then it may need longer to settle into its new texture. 

In this case, it is best to wait for three weeks after the keratin treatment before you try curling your hair.

Realistically, many keratin treatments wear off after about three months. 

If you are nearing this in your keratin treatment timeline and you have decided you want to curl your hair, then you can probably throw caution to the wind and go for it!

What Happens If You Curl Your Hair Straight After A Keratin Treatment?

If you were to curl your hair with a heat styling tool straight after a keratin treatment, fibers of the hair can break. This can result in frizz. And none of us want to invite frizz into our lives…

A keratin treatment leaves the hair more malleable, so if you curl it, it may not be possible to get it back to the smooth, straightening effects of the keratin treatment. 

Effectively, the time and money you have invested in the treatment will go to waste.

If you curl your hair within the first week or two of the keratin treatment, you may want to wash the curls out after you are done with them. 

The more often you wash keratin-treated hair (especially in the early days) the more the effects of the keratin fade.

How To Curl Your Hair After Keratin Treatment

Your hair has been through quite a bit in having a keratin treatment. If you want to proceed with curling it, it is important to remember the hair is in a vulnerable state and should be treated with the utmost care.

Here’s what to do:

Re-visit Your Stylist

You can, of course, go back to your stylist. They will have the experience and know-how to curl hair after keratin treatment.

They will also be well-versed in the right tools and products to use to avoid any unnecessary damage to your hair.

Ensure Keratin Has Dried Out

In the week after your keratin treatment, hair can feel stiff and sticky. You may have trouble running your fingers through it.

This is not the time to curl your hair. The keratin is still being absorbed into the hair shafts.

Only when your hair feels silky smooth and you can run your fingers through it, should you proceed, cautiously, to curl your hair.

Perform The Strand Test

It is a good idea to do a strand test before you curl all your hair. Go for a piece of hair at the back, a small section just behind your neck.

This can help check you are selecting appropriate heat and that the keratin won’t come off. If it does, at least you can get rid of this small piece of hair without much fuss.

Use A Ceramic Curling Iron 

If you decide to use a curling iron to curl keratin-treated hair, make sure it has a ceramic coating. If you decide to use a flat iron to create curls, make sure it has ceramic plates.

The ceramic material maintains a consistent temperature, meaning there are no ‘hot spots’ that could cause damage.

Dry Your Hair Before Curling It

Avoid curling keratin-treated hair when it is damp. Damp hair is more fragile and therefore more susceptible to breakage.

Use A Low Heat Setting

Use a heat styling tool with adjustable heat settings. It is not a good idea to use high heat on a recently applied keratin treatment.

There is a danger that the coating could melt, leaving your hair in a mess.

It is recommended that you use a temperature below 365°F to avoid doing any damage.

Use Heat Protectant Spray For Extra Protections 

You should definitely use a heat protectant spray before curling your keratin-treated hair with hot tools.

This will provide a protective barrier between the keratin coating on your hair and the heat.

Section Your Hair

Try to clearly section your hair so it is clear which sections have had heat applied. This means you can be more efficient with heat application and avoid excessive heat exposure for your keratin-treated hair.

Use A Brush Designed For Curls

Use a brush specifically designed to style naturally curly hair. This will make the curling process more manageable.

Ask For Help From A Friend

Try to get someone to help you when you’re setting out to curl hair that has been keratin-treated. They can help with the back sections and, hopefully, prevent you from getting stressed during the process.

What to Expect When Curling Hair After A Keratin Treatment

You may need to use hairspray to hold your curls in place after a keratin treatment. However, you may not need to due to the hold of the actual keratin itself.

It is unlikely you will achieve well-defined curls when you curl hair after a keratin treatment. Curls are likely to be loose, perhaps even waves.

Alternative Methods Of Curling Hair After Keratin Treatment

Alternative Methods Of Curling Hair After Keratin Treatment

If you are really concerned about the potential effect styling with heat could have on your keratin-treated hair, then you could try going old school.

We have rounded up a few alternative methods for getting a curl in your hair after keratin treatment:

Heatless Rollers Or Foam

You will need:

  • Set of rollers


  1. Wait for the required two-week setting period.
  2. Follow the instructions on whatever rollers you choose.

Bobby Pins

You will need:

  • Bobby pins
  • Spray bottle with water


  1. Slightly dampen the hair and apply a styling product.
  2. Wrap small sections around your fingers away from your face.
  3. Pin these with a bobby pin and leave overnight if possible.
  4. When you release the hair, you should be left with loose waves.

Make A Bun

You will need:

  • Hair ties
  • Mousse


  1. Dampen your hair.
  2. Apply a good quality mousse.
  3. Gather hair into a high ponytail and twist it into a knot.
  4. Wrap the knot around the base of your ponytail and secure it.
  5. Let your hair dry completely.
  6. Release and enjoy your wavy hair.

Braid Your Hair

You will need:

  • Hair ties
  • Hair spray


  1. Wash your hair in the evening and allow it to dry a little.
  2. Do your hair into lots of small tight braids. The number of braids and thickness of the braids will depend on how curly you want the result.
  3. Secure the braids with hair ties and leave overnight if possible.
  4. In the morning, unravel the braids to reveal curls or waves.
  5. Use a hairspray to hold in place.


You will need:

  • Chopsticks
  • Hair ties


  • Part your hair in the middle
  • Gather one side into a ponytail and secure the other side with a hair clip.
  • Twist the ponytail over the chopstick.
  • Now turn the chopstick so you can tuck it underneath the hair tie.
  • Do the same on the other side.
  • For added support, try to tuck the chopsticks into the hair from the opposite side.
  • Secure the chopsticks in place using a hair tie.
  • Leave overnight if possible.
  • In the morning, release to enjoy beautiful bouncy waves.

To be safe, you should wait at least a week (ideally two weeks) after the keratin treatment before you use any of these curling methods. This will avoid any unwanted marks being left on your hair from the tools you use to curl.

How To Get Volume After A Keratin Treatment

How To Get Volume After A Keratin Treatment

If you feel the keratin treatment has left your hair a bit too ‘poker-straight’, then perhaps breathing a little volume into your hair is the answer rather than curling it.

Here are a few ways to get volume into your hair after a keratin treatment:

Use Clarifying Shampoo

You will most likely have been warned to avoid using sulfate-based shampoos in your keratin-treated hair.

However, we are here to tell you that doing so once a week (or even once every 10-12 days) could give you the volume you crave.

Using a good-quality clarifying shampoo will remove any grime and build-up from your scalp. This will help lift your roots and stop strands from being weighed down, leaving your hair bouncier and more voluminous.

Do An Upwards Blow Dry

Firstly, remember to avoid a hair dryer in the first two weeks after your keratin treatment. But after that time, another way to inject some volume into keratin-treated hair is to blow dry it upwards. 

You could also hang your head upside down as you do this. This should inject a little bounce to your locks.

In conclusion, you can curl your hair after keratin treatment. You just need to wait for two weeks so you can do so without compromising the integrity of the keratin treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Can I Curl My Hair After A Keratin Treatment?

Ideally, you should wait two weeks before you curl your hair after a keratin treatment. This also applies to using any styling products in your hair. This way, your hair will have time to settle into its new texture and the keratin will be safely absorbed in order to do its job.

Can I Tie My Hair After A Keratin Treatment?

Avoid tying your hair back after a keratin treatment. You should also avoid using clips or anything that could leave a ‘dent’ in the hair. This advice should be adhered to for around 3-4 days after the treatment. After this time, it should be safe to use hair ties again.

Can you do a keratin treatment and keep curls?

Yes, you can. A keratin treatment can be used as a way to tame frizz and make your curls more manageable. The treatment can be left in your hair for varying lengths of time according to the results you want to achieve.

How can I get my curls back after keratin?

There are a few things you can do to help your hair as it returns to its virgin state such as: keeping it well-nourished, avoiding excessive heat styling, and eliminating friction by sleeping with a silk wrap on your hair or using a silk pillowcase.

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