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Should I Wash My Hair Before Dying It at a Salon? – Dye FAQs

Should I Wash My Hair Before Dying

Should I wash my hair before dying it? The short answer is YES, YOU SHOULD!

But you should know how to do it the right way.

If you want to know more, continue reading the article to find the answer.

Table of Contents

Can You Dye Your Hair Before Washing It?

The age-old questions: Should I wash my hair before hair dye? Can I wash my hair before a color service?

Back in the old days, most hair color products contain harsh chemicals. With that, people practiced not washing their hair before coloring or a hair appointment.

The theory was that by not washing your hair, the natural oils present would give better results. So let’s understand how those work during your color service.

How Natural Oils Work with Dyes

From then on, many people started believing they would get better hair colors from their color service with “dirty” hair. Plus, they also thought that messy hair before coloring brings several benefits, such as:

  • For starters, most dyes used for color service work best with a bit of dirty hair. To be more specific, hair dyes bring better results on completely dry hair over time.
  • The natural oil present on your scalp acts as a defensive layer. It reduces the harmful effects of the chemicals found in coloring products.
  • Having some oil on your scalp could lessen your head’s sensitivity. In effect, you’re less likely to have irritation or itching sensation after dyeing.

So What's the Problem with Having My Hair Colored This Way?

It’s hard for the salon stylist to work with excess natural oils on your scalp during a color appointment. Hair coloring product processes slowly in oily hair as it lifts poorly.

Now… how does dyeing work with a cleaned hair compared to greasy hair?

If you ask a stylist, they would say that dyeing freshly washed hair is complicated. It is more difficult for the coloring agent to stick to clean hairs as it should.

While several techniques allow you to dye hairs with some moisture, it’s still advisable that you get your color service with a dry head.

Dyeing Clean vs. Messy Hair

If your head is still in confusion asking, “should I still wash my hair before dying it,” don’t worry. You’re not alone, as many people share the same sentiment as you.

You might be wondering what spells the difference between dyeing dirty and clean hairs. Well, there isn’t a huge difference between the two.

Whether you dye clean or dirty hair, you still get essentially the same results from style to the overall look. The only difference is that the dye applied to clean hair starts to fade after some time.

But, the coloring process is much different today. The styling products used today are more gentle that you can wash your hair before dyeing without any doubt.

So if you want to get a permanent hair color, continue reading to learn some tips to wash your hair the right way before your color service.

How to Achieve Permanent Hair Color: “Before” Washing Tips

How to Achieve

So how do you wash your hair before coloring the right way?

Here are some hair washing tips for you before you get a color service.

  • Allow your scalp to get some oil before you color it, whether on your own or at the salon. Wash hair a day or a half BEFORE dyeing with shampoo or conditioner.
  • When washing your hair, avoid scratching your scalp aggressively. If you do, chances are bleach can cause burning or irritation to broken skin or scratches in your head.
  • As mentioned earlier, excessively oily hair can be a problem when dyeing. So, you better wash these excess oils, especially after you do a workout or engage in sports.
  • If you use coconut oil or olive oil in your hair, use shampoo to remove them. Too much oil in your hair can render hair color products ineffective and make the highlights appear patchy around.
  • While we’re talking about shampoos, avoid using dry shampoo. Dry shampoos create a barrier for the dye to penetrate your hair well.
  • Remove any cover-up products that you use to disguise your roots between services. If you failed to do so, expect less coverage to your desired areas.
  • Most non-oily products and styling products on your hair can go along with coloring products. You can remove your hairspray right before your hair color service.
  • Have your hair washed and dried before dyeing. Although color takes fine on damp hair, damp hair pulls much more during sectioning then dried hair.

Some Considerations to Having Your Hair Colored:

Some Considerations

Before you have fun washing your hair, remember the following considerations as you get your fresh hair dyed at the salon.

#1 The Perks of Having Short Hair

Cutting your hair would help highlight the shade or color of your dyed hair. Watch how the color products shine from the site of application to your hair roots.

One fun thing about cutting your hair is you can save a lot of money at the salon. Imagine how many more products you would use to color longer hair.

#2 Watch Out as You Wash

From the start, your primary concern revolves around the question, “should I wash my hair before I have it dyed?” Well, you should also get your hair washed after dyeing, obviously.

But there is a right way:

  • Use a conditioner instead of shampoo in washing your hair a day or two after you color it. In doing so, you allow the color products to penetrate your hair even if you wash it.
  • Professionals would also say that washing your hair every two days can help maintain a long-lasting color effect after your trip to a salon.
  • If you want to wash your hair daily, better use gentle, mild, and safe wash products like a sulfate-free shampoo other than dry shampoo.

#3 When to Change for the Better (Look)?

Over time, you might decide to change your hair color or recolor it. You might ask when it’s the best time to recolor.

Well, the answer depends on the dye used.

Semi-permanent color can withstand up to 28 times of shampooing for a month. Permanent coloring, on the other hand, can last longer until your hair grows in length.

Final Advice

Final Advice

Whether it’s your first time or not, dyeing your hair can be a bit challenging. But, with the help of the tips mentioned earlier, you can achieve your desired results.

Just to repeat: If you’re still confused about “Should I wash my hair before dyeing,” you should! 

Make sure to follow all the tips we mentioned to maximize the results too! Happy dyeing!

If you’re suffering from scalp issues, check out our article on all the best shampoos for treating oily scalp and hair fall.


Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.