How Often Should You Use Keratin Shampoo? Answered

In-salon keratin treatments are a popular way of smoothing unruly and frizzy hair, but they are not without their risks. Enter keratin shampoo, a safe way to treat your damaged tresses. But how often should you use keratin shampoo?

How Often Should You Use Keratin Shampoo

Main Takeaways

  • You should use keratin no more than 3 days a week
  • Overusing keratin products can cause protein overload
  • Keratin shampoo can help if your hair is dry, damaged, and prone to breakage
  • You can include eggs, salmon, garlic, and kale for added keratin in your diet
  • Alternative solutions include an apple cider vinegar rinse or hot oil treatments

You can use a keratin shampoo and conditioner every 3 days if you’re looking to reduce signs of damage to your hair or boost its strength and volume.

Though it is safe to use keratin shampoo daily, overuse can result in signs of protein overload, such as dryness, dullness, and a straw-like texture.

What Is Keratin Shampoo?

Keratin shampoos are shampoos that contain, you guessed it, keratin. The keratin will mostly show up in the ingredients list as ‘hydrolyzed keratin’ or ‘keratin amino acids.’

Keratin is a protein that makes up the structure of your hair, nails, and even part of the outer layer of your skin. It serves a protective function for the body and is responsible for the strength and resilience of your hair.

So, you can imagine that if your hair loses some of that keratin, the structure of the hair becomes weaker and more prone to damage.

Chemical processes can break down some of the keratin in your hair, as well as excessive heat styling and exposure to the sun.

This can result in damaged, dry, and frizzy hair.

Keratin products can help undo some of the damage, making your hair smoother and stronger.

Where Does Keratin In Hair Products Come From?

Most keratin in hair products comes from animal wool, feathers, or horns. The keratin undergoes a chemical process that breaks down the large molecules of the keratin so that it can penetrate the hair cuticle.

So, yes, keratin is an animal product as it is only produced in animals – there is no plant-based or synthetic version of keratin, unfortunately.

What Are The Benefits Of Keratin Shampoo?

What Are The Benefits Of Keratin Shampoo?

Keratin shampoo has a number of great benefits for the hair. These include:

Stronger Hair

Hair can become damaged over time due to heat styling, chemical processes and other aggressors.

Keratin can smooth over the cuticle of the hair and fill in damaged parts of the hair shaft. It will also insulate the hair from further damage and make it more resistant to breakage.

Smoother Hair

Keratin smooths the outside layer of your hair, making it easier to manage. It will be easier to comb through and won’t tangle up as easily.

Your hair will overall look smoother and shinier with less frizz.

Protects Hair

Keratin not only repairs damage in the hair cuticle and strengthens it, but it also helps to protect hair against further damage.

This is because the keratin forms a protective layer on the outside of the hair that helps protect it from things like heat damage and UV rays.

Helps Hair Grow Longer

Since keratin can make your hair grow stronger, it can also help it to grow longer.

This is because stronger hair has less breakage, meaning it can grow longer before it breaks. The protective layer formed by keratin helps it to retain moisture and elasticity.

It can also smooth over the appearance of split ends and help to prevent them.

Should You Use Keratin Shampoo?

A keratin shampoo is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of keratin as part of your hair care routine.

But do you really need to use a keratin shampoo? The best way to answer this question is by taking an honest look at the condition of your hair.

Keratin shampoo is of the most benefit to hair that is:

  • Dry
  • Damaged
  • Thin
  • Lacking in volume
  • Prone to breakage
  • Prone to tangling

Keratin shampoo can also be beneficial for your hair if you do any of the following on a regular basis:

  • Bleach, color, or highlight your hair
  • Chemically relax or perm your hair
  • Use hot styling tools
  • Swim in chlorinated or saltwater
  • Expose your hair to the sun

If you’re still not sure whether keratin shampoo is right for you, there is a simple hair strand test you can try.

Take a strand of your hair and feel the texture of it, then gently pull on it.

If your hair feels smooth, stretches a little bit, and returns quickly back to normal when you pull on it, it means your hair has a good balance of moisture and protein (keratin).

If your hair feels rough and dry, and doesn’t stretch at all but breaks easily, it means it needs moisture.

If your hair feels limp or mushy, and stretches and doesn’t return or breaks easily, your hair needs protein (keratin).

Can You Overuse Keratin Shampoo?

It is possible to overuse keratin shampoo. That’s why we would not usually recommend you use it daily.

If your hair has too much keratin (protein) it may display the following symptoms:

  • Feels stiff and straw-like
  • Feels dry
  • Feels sticky
  • Looks dull and lacks shine
  • Tangles easily
  • Breaks easily
  • Feels rough
  • Sheds more than normal

If your hair is showing signs of protein overload, stop using your keratin shampoo.

You could instead try using a gentle clarifying shampoo to help break apart the proteins that are bonded to your hair.

Does Keratin Shampoo Untangle Your Hair?

Does Keratin Shampoo Straighten Your Hair

No, keratin shampoo does not straighten the hair.

You may have heard of in-salon keratin treatments that straighten the hair.

However, these are different, and the name is actually a little misleading.

In these cases, it is not the keratin that straightens the hair, but a chemical called formaldehyde, which can be dangerous if inhaled, so treatment must be done in a well-ventilated area.

Keratin shampoo can be an easier, safer way of benefitting from the smoothing, and strengthening effects for the hair.

Keratin shampoo will not change the texture of your hair. It will simply ‘fill in’ the damaged parts of your hair shaft and smooth the cuticle of your hair.

So, if your hair is naturally curly, keratin shampoo will not straighten your hair.

Instead, it will leave it fuller, smoother, and healthier-looking. It will soften your curls and help to prevent frizz.

Can You Get Keratin In Other Ways?

There are two ways other than the topical application to the hair that you can get keratin.

The first method is via your nutrition.

You can stimulate the production of keratin in your body by eating foods that are rich in protein, biotin, and vitamin A.

Good foods to eat to help your body produce keratin are:

  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Salmon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mangoes
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Beef liver
  • Carrots

The other method is to take keratin supplements.

You can buy keratin supplements from most health food stores. However, these are not recommended ways of getting more keratin naturally.

For one, there is not much evidence they are effective. Most people do not need to take a keratin supplement, as you can usually get enough keratin through diet alone.

Also, if you take too many keratin supplements, it can result in too much protein building up in your body.

Alternatives To Keratin Shampoo

If keratin shampoo is not for you, there are some great alternatives you can try to keep your hair smooth, healthy, and frizz-free:

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

An apple cider vinegar rinse is a great way to cleanse product build-up and maintain the pH balance of your scalp. It will smooth the cuticles of your hair and leave it soft, shiny, and healthy-looking.

Hot Oil Treatment

Try a hot oil treatment once a week as an alternative to keratin shampoo.

You can use oils such as olive, jojoba, castor, coconut oil, or a combination of these. Massage into the scalp and work through the lengths of your hair.

Cover with a shower cap or saran wrap and leave on for 20 minutes before shampooing out.

Deep Conditioning

Use a good deep conditioner at least once a week. This will help smooth and moisturize your hair, leaving it softer, shinier, and with less frizz.

Skip The Heat

Although they can make your hair look smooth in the short term, using hot tools is damaging for your hair in the long term, resulting in more dryness, frizz, and damage to the hair’s cuticle.

Try to limit heat styling, ideally to every few days, and always use a heat protectant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Can I Use Keratin On My Hair?

You should use a keratin shampoo no more than every 3 days for it to have an effect on damaged hair.

When Should You Not Use Keratin Shampoo?

You should avoid keratin shampoos if you are suffering from protein overload. Your hair will feel dry, coarse, and hay-like if this is the case.

Is Keratin Shampoo Or Conditioner Better?

A keratin shampoo is more moisturizing than a keratin shampoo so if you are having to choose between the two, a keratin conditioner is a better option.

Can Keratin Shampoo Cause Baldness?

Keratin shampoo could potentially lead to hair loss if it is overused. This is because excessive use of keratin shampoo can lead to protein overload in the hair. Signs of protein overload include a straw-like texture, roughness, breakage, and a tendency to shed more than usual.

Is Keratin Shampoo Good For Natural Hair?

Keratin shampoo can be great for natural hair, especially if your hair is high porosity. It will help to smooth the hair, leaving it more manageable, and help protect it from breakage and the elements.

Is Keratin Shampoo Sulfate-Free?

Keratin shampoos are usually sulfate-free. This makes sense considering they are designed to restore the condition of your hair. But always check the label first to be sure.

Is Keratin Shampoo Good For Gray Hair?

Keratin shampoo is excellent for gray hair, which tends to be coarser, frizzier, and more vulnerable to heat damage. Keratin shampoo will help to smooth your gray hair and repair damage, leaving it stronger with less tendency for breakage.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Dee Poulsen

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.