Can I Use Drugstore Shampoo With Keratin Treatments?

You just spent $300 to $600 on a keratin hair straightening treatment, and you’re sitting in the salon chair admiring your silky, sleek locks when the hairdresser begins telling you about the expensive salon-brand shampoos and conditioners you must purchase to maintain the look. Before you reach for your wallet, know that some products on drugstore shelves are also safe to use on keratin-treated hair.

Man having his hair washed (Image: golero/iStock/Getty Images)

Ingredients to Avoid

Whether you purchase a salon formula or a drugstore product, the most important thing to ensure is that the product doesn’t contain sodium laureth sulphate or sodium chloride, both of which can strip the treatment off of your hair, suggests Jordana Lorraine of Lorraine Color Bar in Santa Monica. If a product contains these, they will be listed on the ingredient list on the packaging.

Why Choose a Salon Product?

One of the benefits of some of the salon products that are part of the keratin lines is that, in addition to being sulphate-free and sodium chloride-free, they contain hydrolized keratin or botanical smoothing agents. This means they deposit the same keratin that went onto your hair the day you received the treatment each time you shampoo, helping to maintain the straight, glossy locks.

Recommended Drugstore Brands

If you want to save money, consider sulphate-free Organix Nutritional Acai Berry Avocado Shampoo, which Lorraine says is a good runner-up to the salon brands. A few other sulfate-free shampoos to look out for: Matrix Biolage Delicate Care Shampoo, recommended by the editors at Glamour, and L'Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo, a fave of Elle editors.

Additional Tips

To maintain the longevity of your results, avoid hair styling products that contain sea salt, since this can strip the keratin treatment from your hair. Also, it’s a good idea to saturate hair with tap water prior to taking a dip in the ocean or in pool water, and shampoo and condition your hair as soon as you can afterwards.

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