When Is The Right Time to Wash Your Hair Before and After Coloring?

Should You Wash Hair Before Color Appointment?

Neither squeaky clean hair nor dirty hair with a lot of sweet and product buildup is ideal for coloring. For best results, it is recommended that you wash your hair a day or two before permanent coloring.

The right time for washing depends on what type of color you are going to use and the condition of your hair and scalp. When it comes to permanent coloring, hair professionals don’t recommend applying color to freshly washed hair.

a woman choosing to use or not to use shampoo

Natural oils produced on your scalp act as a protective barrier against dye chemicals. If your hair is freshly washed, the dye chemicals would additionally dry out the hair, which may result in damage and hair breakage. To avoid any damage to your hair and scalp, you shouldn’t wash your hair right before coloring. An unwashed scalp is less exposed to chemicals which helps prevent burning and itching.

A lot of sweat in your hair can also interfere with the dying process. If you have been exercising, you should wash your hair to eliminate the buildup of sweat and oil and then wait a day or two before applying the dye.

If you do not have a buildup of hair sprays, gels, and other products in your hair, wash your hair with a mild shampoo for 1 to 2 days before visiting the salon. Gently massage the scalp without scratching the skin. The scratches are susceptible to irritation when dye chemicals get in contact with your scalp. A light oil coating formed during the next two days will shield your scalp and hair from strong dye chemicals such as ammonia and peroxide.

Should You Use Clarifying Shampoo Before Coloring

If you have a buildup from dry shampoo, hair oils, and other hair products, this could prevent the color from absorbing into your hair. In the case of heavy buildup, use deep cleansing shampoo and wait at least 2 days before dying. Since deep cleansing shampoo strips natural oils, you must wait until sebum-producing glands restore the natural protective oil layer. Don’t use any hair product before the coloring service.

a stylist washes client's hair in the salon

Hair Washing Before Bleaching

If hair coloring service involves bleaching regrown hair, natural oils can be vital for protection. Bleach is a very harsh agent, and a fresh wash can lead to severe scalp irritation. You should refrain from washing your hair for 2-3 days before bleaching. This waiting period will give enough time for your oil glands to build a protective oil layer on your scalp.

Should You Wash Your Hair Before Semi-Permanent Coloring?

If you are going to use semi-permanent color, your hair must be clean and free from product buildup. Product residues can affect the dye’s ability to adhere to the hair. Semi-permanent colors can be applied to freshly washed hair, as these dyes don’t contain chemicals that could irritate the skin or dry out your hair. After washing, wait no longer than 24 hours to apply semi-permanent color. Don’t use any styling product before the coloring service.

It is always a good idea to talk to your colorist before visiting the salon to see what they suggest for your specific service.

woman with semi-permanent color in the salon

Can You Wash Your Hair Immediately After Dying It?

You shouldn’t wash your hair immediately after coloring. The cuticles are not completely closed immediately after the dying process and the shampooing will wash out some dye molecules. The cuticle takes about 72 hours to fully reseal and lock in your fresh color. Try to refrain from washing your hair until that period ends.

After coloring your hair with semi-permanent dye, rinse out the dye with lukewarm to cool water. Wait three days before washing your hair with shampoo. This three-day non-washing period will allow dye molecules to adhere better to the hair, so the color will be vibrant for longer. Since your hair was clean before applying the semi-permanent color, waiting shouldn’t be a problem.

How Often Should You Wash Colored Hair?

Do not wash dyed hair too frequently because water opens the cuticles, and a bit of color will be washed away with each shampoo. Wash your hair only when it is dirty. 2 washes per week are acceptable for colored hair and shouldn’t cause premature color fading. Use shampoos intended for colored hair and avoid those that contain sulfate-based detergents. Set the water temperature to lukewarm or cooler as hot water lifts the cuticles allowing color to be washed out.

While you should avoid dry shampoo immediately before coloring, this product is an inevitable part of your post-color hair care regimen. Dry shampoos keep excess oil under control and help you delay your wash frequency. Dry shampoos don’t open the cuticles like liquid shampoos, so they won’t speed up color fading. Invest in a quality dry shampoo intended for colored hair and formulated without harmful chemicals. Oil-absorbing powder formulas are gentler and eco-friendlier than aerosol dry shampoos.

Reduced hair washing frequency is especially important after semi-permanent color treatment. This color is short-lived and washes easily with shampooing. Only use mild shampoos designed for colored hair and avoid washing hair with hot water. Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for semi-permanent color. You can go a few extra days without shampooing which helps extend the life of your color.

woman with freshly dyed hair
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Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. It would be best if you didn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Gaga

About the author

gaga@softerhair.com | Website | + posts

Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing. Her pets are her coworkers, and she replaced the town crowd with a quiet neighborhood outside the city.

 

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