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Should You Wash Hair Before a Keratin Treatment?

Keratin hair treatment is an intricate process that follows exact steps for the best results. One of the mandatory steps is washing your hair before a keratin treatment. Here is our guide to why your should, how wash and  prepare your hair before getting a keratin treatment.


Should You Wash Hair Before a Keratin Treatment?

Yes, whether you are getting a more comprehensive natural keratin smoothing treatment or an express blowout, you must wash your hair before a keratin treatment. You can wash it yourself or walk into the salon and have your hair stylist wash your hair.

Although it is not always obvious if your hair has accumulated residue that can prohibit keratin from sealing and setting into your hair.

This residue can be an accumulation of hair products you use daily, including heat protectants, the nourishing mask used when flat ironing your hair, and a leave-in conditioner. It also removes any oxidizing agents that can chemically react with the keratin treatment, inhibiting its ability to penetrate the hair.

If the hair is treated without being properly washed, it loses its effectiveness and adds another layer of residue to it. Therefore, the hair is left dry and frizzy.

Washing the hair also reduces the treatment processing time as the keratin infuses into the hair shafts possible. Furthermore, it is easier for your hairstylist to examine clean hair and recommend the best treatment options.


How to Wash Hair Before a Keratin Treatment

How to Wash Hair Before a Keratin Treatment

Washing your hair prior to having a keratin treatment is important for the best results.

  • Wet your hair completely using lukewarm or cool water.
  • Use a quarter-sized amount of sulfate-free or clarifying shampoo. You can use less if you
    have short hair.
  • Lather up, making sure to gently rub your scalp; do not use your fingernails.
  • Rinse completely.
  • Skip the conditioner.

If you’re washing your hair on the same day as your appointment, make sure your hair is completely dry before going.


Tips for Preparing Your Hair for Keratin Treatment

Tips for Preparing Your Hair for Keratin Treatment

  • Make sure to schedule a consultation with the salon you’ve chosen to get your keratin treatment at. This will be your chance to find out about any extra prep steps your stylist would like you to take prior to the keratin treatment. At the consultation, you may learn that you don’t need to wash your hair before your appointment since your hair stylist has their own technique.
  • Deep condition your hair the week of your appointment. A deep conditioner moisturizes your hair and can work as a protectant during the keratin treatment. Don’t use your regular conditioner for at least two days before your appointment. Conditioner can block the keratin from penetrating your hair follicles.
  • Avoid using any hair oils for at least two days before your appointment. These can be heavy and act as a barrier on the hair follicle, preventing the keratin treatment from being its most effective.
  • If you’re planning on touching up highlights or coloring your hair, do it at least four to six weeks before your treatment. Coloring hair causes damage and your hair needs to be at its healthiest before a keratin treatment.
  • Wait to get a haircut until after your hair treatment. Many blogs will say otherwise, but the truth is any unevenness in your hair length or ‘over processed ends’ will be most obvious and easily caught after the treatment.



For a keratin treatment to be effective, it has to penetrate the hair shafts and scalp properly. Cleaning your hair before a keratin treatment removes any dirt and residue that could prevent the treatment from penetrating.

You can wash it at home using a clarifying shampoo or go to the salon and let your hairstylist do it with the rest of the hair treatment procedure.