What Happens If You Don’t Wash Out Keratin After A Treatment?

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Keratin treatments are an effective way of straightening hair and reducing frizz. If you are preparing to get this treatment, you may have a few questions. One of the more important ones is, ‘what happens if I don’t wash out the keratin?’ Well, in this article, we’re going to discuss the process of getting a keratin treatment and the dos and don’ts.

You’ll be glad to know that nothing much happens if you don’t wash out a keratin treatment when you are supposed to. However, it is recommended that you do not leave the treatment in for any longer than 4 days because, after such a period of time, the treatment will simply have stopped working.

What is Keratin?

Keratin is a protein that is naturally found in your hair fibers. Keratin is responsible for the hair maintaining elasticity and strength.

However, hair loses keratin every time you apply heat, dye, or other chemicals that are known to be damaging.

That’s when keratin treatments can be very beneficial. They aim to replenish this essential protein as well as giving the hair an overall smoother, shinier appearance. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Keratin Treatment

There are many benefits to a keratin treatment. It can transform dull, frizzy hair into smooth, sleek hair that is easier to manage.

Many keratin treatments provide a straightening effect, which is one of the main reasons that people will seek out this treatment.

Keratin smooths the hair cuticles, resulting in straighter, frizz-free locks that generally look much healthier. The added keratin can also strengthen the hair strands (at least temporarily) to reduce breakage and split ends.

Many people find that they wash and blow-dry their hair a lot less following a keratin treatment because the hair simply doesn’t need it.

Also Read: 5 Important Chemicals To Avoid In Shampoo (And Why)

Who Should Get A Keratin Treatment

A keratin treatment is suitable for most people, but the common reasons why someone may get a keratin treatment are the following:

  • Eliminate frizz
  • Reduce the need for heat styling tools
  • Achieve shinier, smoother hair
  • Graighter hair
  • Increase volume
  • Transform dry, dull hair

Along with these common reasons, some people may simply want to change up their appearance or prepare for an upcoming event.

Following a keratin treatment, hair is generally more manageable and less prone to frizz and tangles. This makes it beneficial to those who are reactive to humidity. 

What Happens During A Keratin Treatment

What Happens If You Don't Wash Out Keratin

So, what happens during the keratin treatment? Well, you can either opt for at-home treatment or an in-salon treatment. Here’s what the process would entail.

Salon Treatment
  1. The stylist will begin by washing the hair as usual. They may use an anti-residue shampoo to make sure the hair and scalp is thoroughly cleaned. This will remove all build up
  2. They will then proceed to towel dry the hair so it is damp
  3. The hair will be divided into sections to it makes an easier application
  4. The stylist will begin to gently apply the solution with an applicator brush, starting from the roots to the ends
  5. They will then comb through the hair to ensure the solution is spread evenly throughout the hair and that there is no excess
  6. The hair will then be wrapped and left for up to 45 minutes for it to absorb
  7. The next step is to blow dry the hair, making sure to smooth down the hair with a round brush
  8. Once the hair is smooth, the stylist will proceed to use a flat iron on a high temperature to sections of the hair. This process may take longer, depending on how straight the client wants their hair to be
At Home Treatment

While we would recommend that you get a keratin treatment done by a professional, you may choose to opt for an at home treatment.

This could involve a kit with detailed instructions and the right equipment or a heat activated keratin mask.

An at home treatment would follow the same process as above. But you do need to be aware of the following:

  • Consider asking someone to help you with the application
  • Always read the instructions thoroughly
  • Ensure you have everything that you need to get started (brush, applicator brush, bowl, gloves, clips etc.)
  • Do not expect to get the same results that you would in a salon

Also Read: How To Get Hair Dye Off Skin (8 Methods That Work!)

How Long Should You Leave In Keratin?

There’s often some confusion about the length of time you should leave keratin in your hair and what happens if you don’t wash it out.

Here is what you need to know if you are receiving a salon or home treatment:

Salon treatment

It’s recommended that you wait at least 3 days before you wash out the keratin. This ensures that the keratin has enough time to fully penetrate and begin working on the hair.

You, therefore, don’t want to wash out the keratin too early as you might end up with a bad result.

At home treatment

Generally, most at-home treatments will follow the same process and therefore, should be left in the hair for 3 days for it to be effective.

But each product varies so it’s important to read the instructions carefully. Do not assume that all products are the same.

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Out The Keratin Treatment?

There’s nothing to suggest that something bad will happen if you don’t wash out the keratin treatment immediately when you’re supposed to.

In fact, there doesn’t appear to be any adverse effects if you wish to leave keratin in your hair for longer than 3 days. You may wish to leave it in for 4 days.

However, we do recommend that you do not leave it in your hair for longer than this time. Not only will your hair become greasy from being unwashed, but it is better to avoid any potential side effects by not following the instructions.

If there is any uncertainty, this is a question that you can ask a professional.

What Happens If You Wash Out The Keratin Treatment Early?

If you wash out the keratin too early then you will not get the desired results.

In fact, your hair will most likely look the same way it did prior to application.

The reason for this is that the keratin needs at least 72 hours to fully absorb. This is why nothing much will happen if you don’t wash out the keratin immediately when you’re supposed to.

Keratin has to bond with the hair; washing it before the recommended time will result in your hair not taking to the treatment.

So if you wash it out after a day or two, the keratin won’t have enough time to work. This will result in disappointment and a loss of money.

Try to leave the keratin treatment in for at least three days but no longer than four days.

Things Not To Do During A Keratin Treatment

What Happens If You Don't Wash Out Keratin

There are certain things that you should avoid doing to ensure that you make the most of your keratin treatment. These include:

Going To The Gym

The reason you should avoid going to the gym is because strenuous activity often leads to perspiration.

You will want to avoid this for the first 3 to 4 days to get the best outcome. It’s important that your hair does not get wet.

Also Read: 9 Amazing Benefits Of Using Soybean Oil For Hair

Tying Up Your Hair

Tying up your hair can cause kinks to form and this can affect the overall outcome of the treatment.

Even though it can be uncomfortable for some people, it is best to leave your hair loose. This will ensure the keratin is able to do its work.

Using Bands And Clips

Clips and bands can also leave dents in the hair within the first few days. This can result in hair that is not completely straight or smooth.

Leave your hair loose in the first few days following treatment. After this time, you can use a soft band to tie your hair back if needed.

Washing Hair Too Early

If you wash your hair too early or accidentally come into contact with water, the keratin will get washed right out.

In the event that you come into contact with water, immediately blow dry your hair to reactivate the keratin.

How To Make The Most Of Your Keratin Treatment

As well as avoiding the things mentioned above, you will want to take additional precautions to prolong your keratin treatment. Here is what you should do.

Use Heat To Seal In The Keratin

Blow drying and flat ironing the hair will ensure that the keratin stays in for longer. Many keratin treatments can last for several months before the hair slowly starts reverting.

Heat is the key to making it last longer.

Don’t Expose Hair To The Sun

Too much exposure to the sun can strip out some of the keratin from your hair. When going out in the sun you may want to cover the hair or minimize the amount of time you are outside.

Don’t Touch Your Hair Too Frequently

Touching your hair too frequently, especially in the first few days, can cause kinks and dents to form.

It can also affect the effectiveness of the treatment because you may be transferring oils and bacteria from your hands to the hair.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of not touching your hair too often. That can lead to hair that appears dull and greasy.

Don’t Wash Hair Every Day

Washing your hair every day or even every other day will lessen the effects of the keratin. In this case, it would be completely washed out of the day within a few weeks.

The ideal situation is to wash your hair 2 or 3 times a week maximum. For some people, once a week would be enough.

You can use dry shampoo if needed, but make sure that it’s all natural!


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