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. In this article, I explain everything you need to know.
- You can curl hair after a keratin treatment, but it is best to wait two weeks
- Curling hair too soon can affect the results of the treatment
- Do a patch test first to check if the hair is ready to be curled
- Use high-quality curling irons, heat protection spray, and sulfate-free shampoo
What Is A Keratin Treatment?
A keratin treatment refers to a straightening method where you apply a liquid keratin solution to your hair and then seal in the liquid with a flat iron.
The method is also known as a Brazilian blowout and you can have the treatment done in a salon or purchase a more affordable at-home treatment.
A keratin treatment transforms frizzy, dull, and curly hair into shiny, straight hair that usually lasts around three months, and you can expect to pay anything from $100-$500 dollars for the service. At-home treatments are usually much cheaper but they won’t last as long.
Can I Curl My Hair After A Keratin Treatment?
Although you may want straighter and less frizzy hair on a daily basis, you may also want to curl your hair every now and then after your keratin treatment. But is this possible?
Generally speaking, yes, it is possible to curl your hair after a keratin treatment. This means that you can use heat stylers such as curling irons, flat irons as well as heatless rollers.
When Can You Curl Hair After a Keratin Treatment?
If you want to retain the optimal effects of your keratin treatment, it is advised that you wait 1-2 weeks before using any kind of heat-styling tools to curl your hair.
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.
Furthermore, the keratin is still malleable in your hair, and curling it could affect the results of the keratin treatment.
Now, this two-week wait can vary depending on hair type. If you have fairly thick, healthy hair, you could try curling your hair after one week. The same advice applies if your hair wasn’t especially curly or ‘coily’ to begin with.
If your hair still feels a bit ‘wet’ in places two weeks after the keratin treatment, it may need longer to settle into its new texture.
In this case, I would recommend that you wait three weeks after the keratin treatment before you try curling your hair.
Ideally, you should create your curls without compromising the integrity of the keratin treatment.
What Happens If You Curl Your Hair Straight After A Keratin Treatment?
Although a keratin treatment only takes around an hour to complete, it’s very important to adhere to post-treatment rules. This is to ensure the best results and to keep your hair as straight and frizz-free as possible.
If you were to curl your hair with a heat styling tool immediately after a keratin treatment, the fibers of the hair may break.
Furthermore, as a keratin treatment leaves the hair more susceptible to structural changes, using a curling iron may undo the work of the treatment.
This would not only be a waste of your time, but also your money.
If you do need to curl your hair within the first week or two of the keratin treatment, a good tip is to wash out the curls before you go to sleep. This way, they won’t hold the curly shape for long.
But do note that the more often you wash keratin-treated hair (especially in the early days) the more the effects of the keratin fade.
Things You Should consider before curling Keratin-Treated Hair
Re-visit Your Stylist
If you’re looking to splurge or you have a big event coming up for which your curls must be perfect, it may be best going back to your hair stylist. They will have the experience and know-how to curl hair after a keratin treatment.
They will also be well-versed in the right tools and products to use to avoid any unnecessary damage to your hair.
Perform a Strand Test
If you plan on curling your hair at home, you should definitely do a strand test before you curl all your hair.
- Chose a small piece of hair at the back of your hair, just behind your neck.
- Curl it using your curling iron and determine if you’re happy with the results.
This can help you decide if the heat setting is right as well as check if the keratin treatment is affected.
If you notice an unusual result such as the smell of burning hair or your hair won’t curl, wait another few days before you attempt to curl it again.
Ensure The Keratin Has Dried Out
In the week after your keratin treatment, hair can feel stiff and sticky. You may even have trouble running your fingers through it.
If your hair still feels like this, it is not the right time to curl your hair. This is because 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.
How To Curl Your Hair After Keratin Treatment
So, if you’re ready to proceed with curling your hair after a keratin treatment, here’s my step-by-step guide on the best way to do so:
1. Use A Ceramic Curling Iron
If you are using a curling iron to curl your keratin-treated hair, make sure it has a ceramic coating. Similarly, 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 to your hair.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Use A Brush Designed For Curls
Use a brush specifically designed to style naturally curly hair. This will make the curling process more manageable.
Why Get a Keratin Treatment If You Want Curls?
The main benefit of a keratin treatment is of course shiny and straight hair, but there are other benefits such as:
- Smooths split ends
- Reduces frizz
- Reduces the appearance of breakage
- Speeds of drying time
- Reduces need for hot styling tools
A keratin treatment can therefore help strengthen your hair and make it appear overall healthier and glossier.
Of course, as with any chemical treatment, there are of course some drawbacks to keratin-treatments.
- The use of formaldehyde (some treatments don’t use this)
- Keratin treatments are pricey
- You’ll need top up treatments every four months
- Washing your hair too much can affect the result
- Chlorine from pools or sea water may interfere with the effectiveness
- You’ll need to use sulfate-free shampoos
- Keratin treatments are not recommended for pregnant women
Overall, the positives do outweigh the negatives and your main concern should be the price as well as pregnancy.
Check out my list of the Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos For Keratin-Treated Hair.
What to Expect When Curling Hair After A Keratin Treatment
As a keratin treatment is a smoothing and straightening treatment, you can’t expect to get bouncy, tight curls until the keratin solution wears off.
You may need to use hairspray to hold your curls in place afterwards but often the added keratin actually helps curls keep their shape.
It is unlikely you will achieve super well-defined curls when you curl hair after a keratin treatment. Curls are likely to be loose, perhaps even waves.
However, with your newfound smooth and silky hair, your curls will look incredible!
Types of Keratin Treatments
There are four types of keratin treatments available:
Brazilian Keratin Treatment
This classic keratin treatment eliminates frizz from your hair while also smoothening it. It is best suites for those with curly hair or those who are sensitive to humidity.
The keratin solution is applied to the hair, blow-dried and dried and then straightened using a flat iron.
Most often, this type of keratin treatment doesn’t use formaldehyde.
Soft Keratin Treatment
A softer version of the Brazilian. This treatment will eliminate frizz but keep some of your curls. It should be used by those who have fine hair.
Japzilian Keratin Treatment
This keratin treatment utilities both the Brazilian method as well as the Japanese hair straightening method.
It last for a very long time, in some cases, up to seven months and takes around three to four hours to apply.
First the Brazilian treatment is done and afterwards, a Japanese straightening solution is added to all of the hair. After the solution sets, the hair is rinsed and blow dried.
Keratin Express Treatment
This type of keratin treatment is best used for those who primarily want to get rid of frizz. It’s not meant to last long-term and you’ll find that hair usually returns to normal within six weeks.
Similarly to the Brazilian method, keratin is applied to hair, blow-dried and then the hair is straightened. The difference is that the solution is a serum and therefore not as potent as the original Brazilian perm solution.
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.
I 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
- Wait for the required two-week setting period
- Section your hair
- Start with a section near your crown, rolling up pieces of hair to your desired thickness
- fasten the rollers
- Let sit for an hour
- Remove rollers
Use Bobby Pins
You will need:
- Bobby pins
- Spray bottle with water
- Slightly dampen the hair and apply a styling product
- Wrap small sections around your fingers away from your face
- Pin these with a bobby pin and leave overnight if possible
- When you release the hair, you should be left with loose waves
Make A Bun
You will need:
- Hair ties
- Dampen your hair
- Apply a good quality mousse
- Gather hair into a high ponytail and twist it into a knot
- Wrap the knot around the base of your ponytail and secure it
- Let your hair dry completely
- Release and style your wavy hair
Braid Your Hair
You will need:
- Hair ties
- Hair spray
- Wash your hair in the evening and allow it to dry a little
- 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
- Secure the braids with hair ties and leave overnight if possible
- In the morning, unravel the braids to reveal curls or waves
- Use hairspray to hold the curls in place.
You will need:
- 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 by the tools you use to curl it with.
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 two tips on how to get volume into your hair after a keratin treatment:
1. Use Clarifying Shampoo
Although you should avoid clarifying shampoo on a regular basis (sulfate-based), 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 help 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.
2. 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.
So, Can I Curl My Hair After A Keratin Treatment?
In conclusion, yes, 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
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.
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.
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.
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 or using a silk pillowcase.
A keratin treatment usually takes around 90 minutes to complete.
A Brazilian keratin treatment can last up to three months whereas a Japzilian can last up to seven months. An express keratin treatment will usually last around six weeks.
A keratin treatment can cost from anything between $100-$500 at a salon. You can buy cheaper homekits online.
You should avoid washing your hair 3-4 days after a keratin treatment. Once your hair no longer feels sticky and straw-like, it is OK to wash.
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