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5 Sulfate-Free Shampoos to Keep Keratin Treated Hair Fresh and Sleek

Don’t accidentally wash out your pricey treatment with the wrong cleansing system.
June 19, 2023

Frizzy hair is not a bad thing, in fact, for many people it’s a normal part of having hair. However, it might not be the hair look that you want for yourself. That’s where keratin comes in. Those with keratin treated hair enjoy sleek and flyaway free strands that last several months — even after shampooing. This hair glossing trend has been a favorite for straightening all hair types — specifically curly, kinky and coily hair — for years. 

While there are at-home keratin treatments available, this process is best left to the professionals to provide the best application. If you’re considering getting a keratin hair treatment, continue reading to learn the ins and outs of this hair process and the most important part: the best shampoos to use for keratin treated hair. Because the last thing you want is to accidentally wash out the treatment after spending upwards of  $400 on it.
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What Is a Keratin Hair Treatment?

A keratin hair treatment is a chemical hair process that smooths and straightens hair temporarily. Studies show that keratin itself is a naturally occurring protein in the skin and hair that can lose its potency over time — which makes keratin hair treatments important to fill the protein back into strands. According to a 2022 study, Keratin is one of the structural proteins that make up the outer layer of hair and skin. 

The treatment utilizes a professional mix of chemicals to coat strands with the keratin protein that is sealed on the frizz-prone protective outer layer of hair. After blow drying and straightening hair to activate the keratin coating, hair is left with a silky, straight look that can last three to six months, depending on upkeep. A popular keratin hair treatment is the Brazilian blowout, which uses a keratin-rich solution to straighten strands. However, not all keratin treatments are Brazilian blowouts. 

What Are the Benefits of Keratin Treated Hair?

The main benefit of treating hair with keratin is the ease of styling and the frizz-free look that you get. After a treatment, you’ll save time styling your hair since strands will only need a quick blow dry or pass of a hair straightener to get the shiny salon look. In addition to better manageability, keratin hair treatments also protect hair from humidity, add shine and strengthen the hair with the replenishment of lost keratin. 

Please note: While there are a lot of benefits to keratin hair treatments, the FDA warns against using keratin treatments that contain formaldehyde as it turns into a carcinogen when heated. Thankfully, many professionals use formaldehyde-free formulas now, but it’s still important to ask before sitting in the salon chair. 

How to Care for Keratin Treated Hair?

All hair treatments and coloring methods require a dedicated hair regimen to upkeep the look, and keratin treated hair is no different. If you have freshly bleached blonde hair you should use a purple or blonde-specific shampoo. If you have damaged hair you should use a repairing shampoo. And if you have keratin treated hair you should use a sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip away all the rich protein you just paid for. 

You should actually wait at least three days after your treatment before washing your hair (or getting it wet in general) to allow the keratin protein to set in your hair. Avoid shampooing too often as this will break down the keratin treatment faster. If you’re prone to greasy hair and product build-up, try a dry shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Blonde Hair or the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair between showers to avoid overwashing. 

Additionally, when caring for your keratin treated hair, put the hair ties down as they can cause crimping and lines in your hair. Embrace your new style and keep your hair down for the longest-lasting look, and when it’s time for bed, use a silk pillowcase or hair wrap to keep strands in place.

What Shampoo to Use for Keratin Treated Hair

We’ve discussed the overall care methods for keratin treated hair, now for the dedicated shampoo you should use. If you want to keep your keratin treated hair in the same fresh salon quality that you left with, then the use of a sulfate-free shampoo is a must. Sulfate shampoos don’t lather as much as regular shampoos that can wash away the protein treatment and leave hair looking and feeling brittle and damaged. After spending all that money on a keratin treatment you can save on shampoo with affordable and nourishing washes from L’Oréal Paris. Below we’re listing the best shampoos to use for keratin treated hair that you may want to pick up on the way home from the salon.

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid

Since the treatment requires a heating process, some damage might occur. This shampoo helps repair and strengthen heat damaged and chemically damaged hair all without sulfates, making it an excellent choice for those with a keratin treatment. When caring for your hair, swap out your current shampoo for this pick that nourishes as it cleanses. The citric acid formulation penetrates inside the strands to rebuild weak hair bonds without stripping the hair of the moisture it needs. Follow up with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid for a complete in-shower system that nourishes hair like the shampoo, with the same lather-free formula. 

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, pH Balanced

If you want to keep your keratin treated hair shiny after each shower, use a sulfate-free shampoo like this one that leaves hair with an extra glossy finish. This glossing shampoo is infused with argan oil to boost hair with nutrients while the anti-fade formula and balanced pH gives strands a longer lasting, more radiant shine. Reach for this shampoo when your hair is looking a little dull and enjoy the added subtle notes of rose and sandalwood that linger between washes. Continue the hair regimen with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Conditioner, pH Balanced that’ll nourish your hair while sealing in the extra shine.

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil

A keratin treatment can be an intense chemical experience for those with a sensitive scalp so when it’s time to shampoo you might want to reach for one that is extremely gentle. Try this sulfate-free hair wash from the EverPure Simply Clean line, which refreshes hair and renews softness without the inclusion of synthetic fragrances, parabens or added dyes. The formula is enriched with natural essential oils that lightly lather to clean hair thoroughly without the need for a lot of product that could strip the keratin from your hair. After shampooing add a gentle conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Simply Clean Conditioner with Essential Oil that provides hair with intense moisture, working alongside keratin treated hair from week one to your next salon session. 

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Micellar Shampoo

If you can avoid washing your hair while rocking a keratin hair treatment, then you should. Shampooing hair too often can cause the protein to leave the hair faster. In place of a regular hair wash, reach for a sulfate-free micellar shampoo like this one that gently removes impurities while maintaining the natural moisture of your hair. 

While this is a clarifying shampoo designed for curly hair, the micellar liquid formula is ideal to wash away hair buildup on all hair types, without disturbing the keratin protein on the hair. Use the tip applicator to apply the product directly to the scalp before massaging the shampoo at the root and gently working it through mid-lengths and ends. Finish out your routine with the hyaluronic acid and castor oil-infused L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner that locks in the hydration from these hair-loving ingredients. 

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo

Whether you’re a natural blonde or have chemically lightened gold strands, you’ll want to use a purple shampoo that keeps brassiness in control. In order to keep up with your blonde hair and keratin treated hair, use this toning shampoo that washes strands with a sulfate-free formula. Follow up with a moisturizing sulfate-free conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris Ever Creme Sulfate-Free Deep Nourish Conditioner that replenishes dry, brittle hair. 

Next: 10 Ways to Prevent Hair Breakage

Photo Design: Sarah Duvivier

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