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Should I Wash My Hair Before Coloring? | It Depends

Should I Wash My Hair Before Coloring? | It Depends

Many women who want to change their hairstyle, color, or shade wonder, “should I wash my hair before coloring?” Knowing the answer to this question can help prevent breakage, damage, and dry hair. 

Should You Wash Your Hair Before Coloring It?

In general, most hair dyes and coloring products work better on hair that has not just been washed. For example, if you washed your hair two days ago, this would be the perfect time to get your hair colored or dyed due to the oil build-up in your hair. 

The oil build-up in your hair is crucial to protecting your scalp and skin from irritants or harmful products. Especially if your skin is not used to harsh chemicals, it will react to dyes and colors.

In this case, having a slight oil build-up after a few days of not washing your hair is best for protecting your hair and scalp. So, should you wash your hair before getting it colored, and WHEN?

The best time to wash your hair is 1-2 days before your hair appointment to allow for oil build-up and let your hair settle into how you normally wear it. 

How to Prepare for Getting Your Hair Colored

Although you can shampoo your hair before getting your hair colored, there are a few things to keep in mind to get ready before this process:

  • Shower early. The optimal time to shower before getting your hair colored is 24-48 hours before to allow for a natural oil build-up.
  • Leave it natural. Try to leave your hair in a natural state before getting it colored (or how you normally wear it). If you normally straighten your hair, do so before you go to get your hair dyed. 
  • Bring a photo for inspiration. Do you have an idea of what you want the highlights, color, or dye to look like? Bring a photo for inspiration to your hairdresser.
  • Discuss the upkeep. Make sure you talk with your hairdresser about the best way to care for your hair and highlights before you get the procedure done, which can give you an idea of when you will have to get your hair touched up, the correct products to use, and the dos and don’ts of dyed hair. 

Will Shampoo or Other Hair Products Affect Coloring?

If you just washed your hair or used a specific haircare product, you might be nervous that this will harm the coloring process. Maybe you used a de-frizzing oil or a leave-in conditioner, and you are worried about how this will affect the dye.

Will shampoo or other hair care products ruin the coloring? In short, no, but you do need to be careful. For example, if you just shampooed your hair before going to the salon so they can color it, the shampoo may slightly change the texture and the condition of your hair.

And this can alter how the hairdresser does the coloring process. For example, freshly-shampooed hair may cry differently and look different than it would after a day or two of settling in.

Some peoples’ hair may dry wavy, and after 24-48 hours, it may straighten out. In this case, the coloring process will look different than it would with other types of hair. 

Can I Use Anti-Frizz Sprays?

If you want to wash your hair or use an anti-frizz spray before visiting the salon, you can still do so before going to the hairdresser. If you usually shampoo your hair and put in a hair care product every single time, you can do this too. 

Try and stick with the same routine you normally would so your colorist will know where to put the highlights, colors, or dyes in your hair strands. 

Can I Use Dry Shampoo?

If you are going to get your hair colored or dyed, it is best to skip the dry shampoo. Even if you have not washed your hair in a few days, it is better to leave your hair dirty than to use dry shampoo. 

Dry shampoo forms a layer between your hair shafts and the coloring product, so it will prevent the color from really taking into your hair. Avoid using a dry shampoo before getting your hair highlighted or dyed.

Read Next: When to Use Dry Shampoo

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Can I Shampoo My Hair After Coloring?

Now that you know the process of shampooing your hair before the coloring process, you might be wondering — how soon after the coloring procedure can I shampoo my hair? 

The good news is that you can shower as soon as you want. After the coloring process is done, you can shower. After the color has soaked into your hair strands and penetrated the follicles, it is in there for as long as intended (permanent or semi-permanent). 

You can shampoo as soon as you want. However, we recommend using shampoos specifically for color-treated hair to prevent drying out, color fading, and breakage of the ends of your hair. 

Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair

If you want to wash your hair soon after you just dyed or colored your hair, then check out some of these choices to help prevent fading or drying out of your hair:

1. Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo

Our Top Pick
TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner Set
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Try this high-end option from Tresemme to get a bargain shampoo for colored hair that will help protect your strands and prevent the color from changing. This product showed the least color change after 20 washes!

2. Color Protect Shampoo

Our Top Pick
Hair Food Sulfate Free Color Protect Shampoo
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This Hair Food option is great for those who want a sulfate-free, conditioning, and non-irritating shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. 

3. Color Assure Radiant Color Care Shampoo

Our Top Pick
Nexxus Hair Color Assure Sulfate-Free Shampoo
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This choice from Nexxus is an inexpensive option that purifies hair and doesn’t break the bank. 

4. EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture Shampoo 

Our Top Pick
EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture Shampoo 
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We love this L’Oreal Paris option that is sulfate-free and low-priced for those who want a shampoo for oily hair. 

5. Fade-Defying Orchid Oil Shampoo

Our Top Pick
OGX Fade-Defying Orchid Oil Shampoo
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This option from OGX is a low-priced, high-conditioning option that helps increase shine through grape seed oil and orchid extract. 

6. Supreme Color Protect Shampoo

Our Top Pick
Supreme Color Protect Shampoo
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We love this Head & Shoulders shampoo for those who are dandruff-prone and want a shampoo for color-treated hair that smells great!

Read Next: The 7 Best Shampoos for Colored Hair in 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman shampooing her hair in a shower for a piece titled should i wash my hair before coloring it

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Before getting your hair dyed, check out these commonly asked questions regarding this common salon maintenance procedure.

Can I wash my hair the same day I dye it?

Most salons recommend washing your hair 1-2 days before getting it dyed. After the procedure, the best time to wash your hair is at least two days afterward to let the color soak in and prevent fading and prevent drying out of the hair. You can wash your hair whenever you want. However, it may cause fading and dry quicker than if you waited 24-48 hours.

Why do salons wash your hair before coloring?

Salons wash your hair after coloring the hair to help the color soak in, shampoo the hair, and condition the hair after the drying-out coloring process.

Should you wash your hair before coloring? 

Are you worried that washing your hair before coloring can change the outcome? Knowing the right way to prepare your hair beforehand is key to ensuring the color lasts as long as possible! 

It is a myth that you shouldn’t wash your hair before getting it colored, but you should do your best not to wash it right before the procedure. The best time to wash your hair before getting it colored is actually 1-2 days beforehand. 

How do I prepare my hair for coloring?

There are a few things that you can do to prepare your hair for coloring:

  • Don’t wash your hair on the day of coloring. Your hair can be clean, but avoid washing it right before the procedure. Not only will your hair still be wet, but it can dry differently than it normally does, and you won’t have an oil build-up for protection. 
  • Keep your hair clean for highlights. If you’re getting highlights, like blonde on dark brown hair, try and keep your hair clean beforehand so your hairdresser can use the brighter colors to lift your hair. 
  • Use a clarifying shampoo. The last wash before getting your hair colored should use a clarifying shampoo for the best results.

Should I wash my hair before I go to the salon?

In short, washing your hair 1-2 days before going to the salon for a haircut or coloring process is the best period to have your hair ready for a cut, color, or styling. 

If you wash your hair too soon to the appointment, it can dry differently than you would normally wear it, and the oil build-up will not protect your hair from irritants in the dye.

So, Should I Wash My Hair Before Coloring?

In short, you can wash your hair before coloring. But it is best to wash it 1-2 days before the salon appointment. This way, your hair will be in its natural state, you will have a protective oil build-up, and your hairdresser will be able to work on your hair the way you normally wear it. Happy coloring!