How Long After Keratin Treatment To Wash Hair
You’ve just had a great haircut and it looks fabulous! You’re thrilled with how good your new ‘do makes you look until you try to shampoo it. Suddenly, all your hard work is ruined because your tresses seem to weigh an extra 100 pounds. Why does washing so many hours after your salon treatment feel like such a drag?
The biggest reason why your scalp gets oily after shampooing is due to the chemical process of detangling your hair from its roots. This is called “wash out.” When the stylist washes your hair in the salon, he may use a variety of techniques to achieve the best result possible: He could go from brushing to combing, back and forth, to teasing. The problem is, when you take off the tools used during the styling session, tiny brushes, combs, etc., are left embedded deep into the hair shafts. These tiny bits of metal, plastic or nylon cause irritation as they rub against your skin. It’s also uncomfortable to pull them out. As the day progresses, these embedded objects continue to irritate your scalp and oil glands produce more sebum to counteract the discomfort. Once you shampoo, this oily residue clogs up your pores and creates the appearance of greasiness.
Fortunately, most professional salons require their clients to wait three days between visits to the salon and any type of treatment. There are some salons which allow clients to come in within two days after their services but do check first to make sure the policy applies to your particular stylist. In addition, even if these policies exist, it doesn’t mean they will be strictly enforced by every stylist. Some stylists may want to rush the client home immediately while others may give the benefit of the doubt to see if the effects persist over time.
So what’s the verdict? Should you wash your hair less than 72 hours post-treatment? Or should you simply avoid going in less than three days? Well, here are some guidelines to consider:
If you have gotten a color service – especially, if it has been professionally applied and sealed with a gloss sealer – you probably shouldn’t wash your hair for less than three days. Colorants contain chemicals which can irritate the scalp and eyes and cause reactions like rash, redness and sensitivity to light. Also, the longer the dye stays in contact with the scalp, the more likely it is to absorb through the follicles and affect future coloring results.
Products containing sodium hydroxide (lye), ammonium thioglycolate, sulfonamide/paraben preservatives and formaldehyde releasers should generally be allowed at least three days before shampooing. However, this isn’t always the case. Many salons will tell customers that their products don’t need to be washed for three days because they were treated with special formulas that are gentler on your hair. Ask your stylist about the specific ingredients in the product you received.
If you got a relaxer, rinse out conditioner, leave-in conditioner or heavy duty mousse. Leave-ins and mousses often contain oils that can break down your cuticle and dry out your scalp. And conditioners can add moisture to your hair but too much conditioner can make it frizzy. So, again, ask your stylist about the products you used.
If you’re getting a blowout, you’ll want to follow the strictest waiting period. Blowouts involve heat and lots of water, both of which can damage hair. They also tend to create a lot of foam and dirt particles which can obstruct your pores. The last thing you want is to have to cleanse those dirty little critters in addition to cleaning your hair.
Now that we know why waiting 72 hours seems necessary, let’s talk about why it actually helps keep your hair looking cleaner. First of all, the oil glands in our scalps release an abundance of sebum during the three-day waiting period. This excess sebum tends to stick around longer than normal because it hasn’t yet made contact with the air. When you shampoo, you are removing the old, dead surface layer of cells, leaving only the healthy ones at the bottom of each strand. Unfortunately, during this process, the oil glands are still producing large amounts of sebum. When you return to shampoo after waiting three days, there won’t be enough oil glands’ output to coat your hair with grease.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, waiting three days allows your natural oil production to catch up with the amount being produced by the oil glands. Without sufficient oil, bacteria can multiply on your hair and scalp causing dandruff, itching, inflammation, and odor. Plus, without oil, the hair becomes brittle and prone to split ends. Although the oil glands aren’t working overtime, you now have more room in your scalp to accept conditioning agents which restore shine, softness and manageability.
Finally, waiting three days gives your cuticles a chance to heal. Your cuticles become irritated when they rub against the strands of hair. Waiting allows your cuticles to grow back stronger and healthier.
While waiting seems like a pain, remember that most hair care professionals agree that it’s worth the delay. Consider it a small price to pay for having beautiful hair for another week.
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