Should You Wash Your Hair Before Coloring It?

4 Mins read

Coloring your hair offers a brand-new look, and it involves many steps. But should you wash your hair before coloring it? This question is common to all who are new to hair coloring techniques. From pre-coloring procedures to after-care tips, each step is important as it can make or break your overall hair appearance. This article discusses when you must wash your hair before coloring it, how to wash it, and what products to use and avoid. Take a look.

In This Article

Should You Wash Your Hair Before Coloring It?

You should not wash your hair right before coloring it. Shampooing right before coloring strips the natural oils, and coloring can further dry out the hair and cause hair breakage.

This does not mean you can dye oily, greasy, and dirty hair. The hair and scalp should be clean but not excessively greasy before dyeing. Excessive oil and grease can affect the color payoff and may give inconsistent results.

So, what is the ideal time to wash your hair before coloring? Read on to find out!

When To Wash Your Hair Before Coloring

Ideally, you should wash your hair 12-24 hours before coloring it. By that time, the scalp will produce some amount of natural oils and sebum to form a thin, protective layer on the strands. This helps prevent excess hair and scalp damage and irritation. Apart from the protective barrier, there will be a healthy friction between the hair that makes it way more manageable and comfortable to section.

Although you know how to wash your hair, there are a few pointers to keep in mind when you are washing it before coloring.

How To Wash The Hair The Right Way Before Coloring It

Here is how you can wash your hair:

  1. Use a clarifying shampoo to wash your hair and remove any product buildup from the scalp.
  2. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner.
  3. Wash thoroughly from the roots to the ends.

Some products are ideal if used before coloring, and some are a big no-no. In the next section, we have discussed that in detail.

What Products To Use And Avoid Before Coloring

Products To Use

  • Pre-Color Treatment: A few weeks before coloring,  use deep hydrating conditioners (if you are not already) and hair masks, get oil treatments and go for hair spas. These products will prep your hair for the coloring session and prevent excessive damage.
  • Clarifying Shampoo: Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo 12-24 hours before coloring. Clarifying shampoo removes product buildup and excessive grease and dirt from the hair and scalp. Always follow up with a conditioner.
  • Non-Oily Products: If you are using serums and sprays, use a lightweight and non-oily product to avoid oil and grease buildup.
  • Dye Removers: This is not mandatory. If you have dyed your hair before and want to remove the traces of the previous color, use a dye remover.

Products To Avoid

  • Oil: Oil treatments weeks before coloring is reasonable. However, avoid oiling your hair right before coloring.
  • Heavy Styling Products: Stay away from products like gels, hairsprays, and serums that may cause scalp buildup. You may use these weeks before but not a few days before coloring.
  • Dry Shampoo: Dry shampoo, especially on the hair ends, may affect color payoff. Avoid using it right before coloring.

Since the one product, you should be using 12-24 hours before coloring is a shampoo, let us determine what kind of shampoo is best for the job.

What To Look For In A Shampoo

Not every shampoo does the job. Some shampoos are too mild to get all the grease and dirt off the hair. A clarifying shampoo is ideal for thorough cleansing.

Unlike your everyday shampoo, a clarifying shampoo contains high SLS levels (a detergent) that can provide deep cleansing to remove the remnants of gels, mousse, hairsprays, and any trace of hair products that stick to the scalp and sebum.

Look for shampoos that have sodium lauryl sulfate. However, it is not recommended to use one every day as it may damage your hair. Use it once in two weeks and always follow up with a nourishing conditioner.

For all those new to coloring their hair, you should not wash your hair before coloring it. This is because washing strips your hair of its natural oils and coloring may make your hair drier. It is recommended that you use 12 to 24 hours before coloring to prevent hair damage. Ensure that you use clarifying shampoo and dye removers to keep your hair clean and moisturized. Avoid using dry shampoo or oil just before coloring your hair to prevent any issues with coloring.

Key Takeaways

  • It is essential to keep your hair clean and dry before coloring.
  • Washing your hair 12-24 hours before coloring helps maintain the right amount of natural oils to form a protective barrier.
  • Using a clarifying shampoo and pre-color treatment helps enhance the hair dye effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I wash my hair after coloring?

Wait for two days post-coloring before washing your hair.

Can the color wash out if you wash hair too often after coloring?

Yes, frequent washing may fade the color.


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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She… more


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