How to Reverse a Keratin Treatment Gone Wrong: 9 Simple Ways

Are you freaking out after a lousy keratin treatment and wondering how to reverse a keratin treatment gone wrong?

Years ago, after a keratin treatment, my hair was so flat and ugly that I couldn’t stand it and had to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Fortunately, you can get your beautiful curls or repair damaged hair with a few tricks if you act quickly, and I’m here to share the secret with you.

Just keep reading.

9 Ways To Reverse A Keratin Treatment Gone Wrong

Brazilian keratin treatment is a chemical process that smooths curly hair by filling the porous gaps in the hair cuticle and sealing it to prevent frizz.

Reversing a bad keratin treatment involves styling products that will remove the chemicals from the hair shaft and moisturize the scalp and hair fibers to prevent hair breakage.

lady with curly damaged hair

From my experience, you get the best results if you act in the first few hours after the treatment. The longer you wait, the harder it is to reverse the effects.

And now, let’s see my top 9 ways to deal with a keratin treatment gone wrong!

#1 Wash With Sulfate Shampoo

When you get a keratin treatment, stylists warn you to wait three days before washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.

So, when a keratin treatment goes wrong, getting into the shower immediately and washing with a sulfate shampoo is the easiest way to reverse it.

Sulfates are chemicals with a deep-cleaning effect that strip the keratin from the hair follicles and prevent it from working as it should. (1)

However, sulfates can leave your hair dry and prone to breaking. So, don’t forget to use a suitable deep/leave-in conditioner for healthy hair.

And check this article on how to get body after a keratin treatment!

#2 Go For A Swim

Swimming in a pool with chlorinated water or the sea can help regain your hair’s natural texture after a bad keratin treatment.

As Michael Thomas Hair Design explains, “Both chlorine and salt will, however, shorten the life span of your treatment.” (2)

The bad news is that frequent exposure to chlorine or salt water can affect the pH levels of your scalp and lead to dandruff, brittle hair, and other problems.

Again, don’t forget deep conditioning treatment to keep hair healthy.

#3 Yogurt + Sea Salt Mask

One of my friends recommended a yogurt and sea salt mask after I botched my hair with a DIY keratin hair treatment. I was skeptical, but it did wonders for my flat and dry hair.

The mask works because the sea salt exfoliates the keratin and the other harsh chemicals from the hair roots/strands while the yogurt moisturizes. Here’s how I do it:

  • I mix yogurt with a bit of sea salt and leave the mixture to sit while I wash my hair with lukewarm water.
  • I apply the yogurt to my hair and massage it thoroughly.
  • Then I wait 45 minutes for the mixture to work before rinsing it.
  • I pat my hair dry with a microfiber towel. Don’t use a blow drier since the heat can dry and damage the hair shafts.
  • If necessary, repeat the hair mask after a couple of days, but not more than three times a month. And be careful. Don’t use salt if you have scalp abrasions or scratches.

#4 Coconut Oil And Sea Salt Spray

A sea salt spray can also help get rid of keratin-treated hair:

women protecting her hair from heat damage using hair spray

  • Spritz your hair with the spray and massage it well throughout the hair to exfoliate the keratin.
  • Apply coconut oil hair mask. Coconut oil is alkaline and will open the hair cuticle, stripping away the keratin and moisturizing the hair strands.
  • Sit under a hair steamer for 15 minutes for better infusion.

#5 Wash Your Hair With A Clarifying Shampoo

How to reverse a keratin treatment gone wrong quickly? Just wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo!

A clarifying shampoo has a unique formula to remove as much dirt, build-up, and other impurities from the hair as possible.

So, such a shampoo can strip away the keratin treatment from your hair if you use it during the first three days. Remember to use a low-pH shampoo or conditioner afterward to balance your scalp’s pH.

#6 Bentonite Clay Hair Mask

Bentonite clay can help you regain your original hair thanks to its moisturizing power and deep cleansing ability.

As the trichologist Gretchen Friese, explains:

It also deeply cleanses the scalp, removes dead skin cells and toxins, while strengthening the hair and preventing hair loss by clarifying the hair follicles so that they can absorb water, which can contribute to growing thicker, healthy hair.

And as you can see from this video, a deep cleaning treatment is perfect for restoring your natural curls:

#7 Style Your Hair

If you’re unhappy with your Brazilian treatment, style your hair as soon as possible by pulling it up in a ponytail, using clips, or braiding it.

The point is to touch your hair as much as possible to prevent the keratin from infusing the strands.

#8 Exercise

Sweat can ruin a keratin treatment, so you must be physically active after the treatment and wash your hair as often as possible.

#9 Go To A Professional Stylist

Finally, consider going to a stylist to fix your hair, especially if you have keratin allergy symptoms, heat damage, or other hair problems.

lady in a hair salon having a keratin treatment

And now, let’s talk about how to prevent a keratin treatment from going wrong.

For sweet dreams while keeping your keratin-treated hair in check, hop over to “How to Sleep with Keratin Treated Hair,” and if you’re curious about those keratin treatment rumors, check out “Does Keratin Treatment Cause Cancer?” for the lowdown.

How To Prevent A Keratin Treatment From Going Wrong

You can ensure that your keratin treatment is successful with five simple tips.

1. Consider Your Hair Type

Keratin treatment, known for its versatility across various hair types, is often a preferred choice. However, it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your hair, especially when dealing with concerns like brittleness.

women wondering why is the underneath of hair so damaged

For those exploring options, understanding the nuances of collagen vs keratin for hair becomes crucial. This knowledge can guide you in making informed choices, particularly when navigating potential issues arising from the application of certain Brazilian blowouts, which may contain harsh chemicals.

According to dermatologist Nicole Rodgers, “People who are already prone to thinning hair are the last people who should be getting these treatments; their hair is already too fragile.” (3)

2. Check Your Hormones

During my adolescence, I often struggled with thin hair, hair loss, and keratin treatments that had awful results.

My problem turned out to be hormone-related, and getting thyroid treatment greatly improved my hair growth. As a result, keratin treatments were more successful.

3. Go To A Professionalist

If you’ve never used keratin for hair, it’s best to go to a professional stylist, especially if you have long and voluminous hair.

hair salon

I also recommend researching the salon well to ensure you entrust your beautiful locks to professional.

4. Use The Right Tools

When doing a keratin treatment at home, you need an easy-to-use keratin solution and the right flat irons or keratin straighteners.

5. Prepare For The Treatment

Most keratin treatments require keeping your hair dry for three days, so it’s best to plan it when you don’t have any arrangements to get your hair wet.

And hairstylists recommend getting your permanent or semi-permanent color just before your keratin treatment to seal the color.


Can You Undo Keratin?

Yes, you can undo a keratin treatment, but it’s going to take several weeks to regain your curl shapes and natural texture.

Can Clarifying Shampoos Remove Keratin?

Yes, clarifying shampoos have a high pH level, so they open the hair cuticle and dissolve the keratin from the shafts.

How Long Does It Take For A Keratin Treatment To Wear Off?

Depending on the type of keratin treatment and your hair volume, it can take 6 weeks to 5 months for the keratin to wear off.


In conclusion, no matter how frizzy the situation, there’s always a way to bounce back. Remember, your hair is as resilient as you are!

It may take time and patience, but with the right care, your hair can recover from a keratin treatment gone awry.

So, are you ready to embark on this hair-repair journey? It’s not just about finding the right solution, but also about nurturing a loving relationship with your locks.

When life gives you a bad hair day, do you let it frizz you out, or do you step up, brush it off, and make your mane magnificent?

lady putting on some hair mask


  • 1. Cherney K. Should You Avoid Shampoos with Sulfates? Healthline. Published July 19, 2018.
  • 2. Keratin Treatment FAQ – Michael Thomas Hair Design. Michael Thomas Hair Design. Published October 6, 2017. Accessed September 13, 2022.
  • 3. Booker K. Keratin Treatments And Sulfates – Expert Advice. Accessed September 13, 2022.
About Martina Todorovska

Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES . Follow her on LINKEDIN , INSTAGRAM. Learn more about her HERE.

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