If you have—or are considering—a hair-smoothing salon keratin treatment, you probably already know about the post-treatment, no-shampoo-for-three-days rule. However, there are additional tips that will help you maximize how long (and how well) your new treatment lasts. Here, what to do, as well as what not to do after a keratin hair treatment.

DO Avoid Water

It’s not just shampoo that will wreck your newly-sleek strands. Think of your treated hair like a clay sculpture that’s still malleable (aka. dentable) because it hasn’t yet dried. So, your goal is to keep your tresses as bone-dry as possible for three days. This means steering clear of any exposure to water. In addition to not dunking your head under a showerhead, you should also avoid extreme humidity: no bubble baths, steam rooms or indoor pools, even if you’re just sitting poolside. And if it’s raining outside, pull up a hood and open an umbrella, but don’t wear a hat. Remember your hair is still malleable and crushing it under a cap could impact its shape and result in unwanted dents or lines.


For the reasons outlined above, head sweat is your hair’s (temporary) enemy. If you must exercise within the three-day window, choose an activity that doesn’t cause you to perspire heavily, such as gentle yoga, walking outside (in low-humidity weather) or light strength training. And if your scalp does become damp, blow-dry it asap.

DO Leave Your Hair Alone

The best thing you can do for your hair during the three-day waiting period? Let it be. Don’t use barrettes, headbands, elastics, bobbi pins, braid it, or even tuck it behind your ear. Remember it’s malleable. Anything you use to manipulate your hair can leave a lasting impression, literally.

DON’T Use A Shampoo With Sulfates

A surefire way to shorten the lifespan of an in-salon keratin treatment is to suds up with sulfates, which are cleansing agents that may strip the keratin right out of your hair. If you use Prose products this is a non-issue because all of formulas are sulfate-free.

DO Skip Alcohol And Salt

There are a number of styling products that contain alcohol (mousse, hairspray) and some that contain salt (a.k.a. sodium chloride), such as beach sprays. Most hair experts recommend avoiding both of these additives while you have a keratin treatment because alcohol can dry the hair (and keratin-treated tresses are already a little dehydrated), and salt has an abrasive quality that could dissolve and remove keratin from your strands.

DON’T Shampoo So Much

Even though it’s technically okay now to shampoo your hair, you will find your keratin treatment lasts longer if you stretch time between cleansings. Just like with salon color, the more you wash, the faster you remove what the treatment deposited (e.g. color or keratin). Most pros recommend extending time between shampoos to at least two days. Then just use dry shampoo and a blow-dryer to get by in the meantime.

DO Nourish Your Hair At Least Once A Week

During the Prose consultation process, we always ask if you’ve had a keratin smoothing treatment because, like most chemical processes, it can leave hair on the dry side. This means, if you answer in the affirmative, we will typically make a nourishing mask part of your weekly regimen to ensure your newly-smooth hair stays healthy and hydrated. Actives often included in these masks: a reparative complex made of Collagen, Lilac and Hyaluronic Acid and a deeply hydrating blend of Argan, Sacha Yushi and Jojoba Oils.