Whether it’s highlights, a balayage, or a full color transformation, dying your hair is a great way to change up your look and express yourself. But with all of the chemicals involved, you do run the risk of damaging your hair in the process.
If you’re considering coloring your hair, you probably want to make sure you do whatever you can to keep your hair as healthy as possible. Many people wonder how they can best prepare their hair for their coloring appointment, and one big part of that is whether or not it’s a good idea to condition your hair beforehand?
If you Google this question, you’ll find many different opinions from many different sources, and it can be hard to figure out who to believe. So let’s go through the options together and look at a few things worth considering before making your decision:
- How can conditioning your hair before a coloring appointment help?
- What are the potential risks of conditioning your hair before a coloring appointment?
- What do the pros think?
How Can It Help?
Kyle White, lead colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City, told Everyday Health that it’s a good idea to give your hair a good wash and use a deep conditioner before a coloring appointment to help preemptively address any damage done by the dye. The conditioner can help to prevent your hair from losing too much moisture during the coloring process, he said.
L’Oreal Paris recommends not washing your hair immediately before your appointment, as the oils in somewhat dirty hair can help protect your scalp from the dye, but they do recommend using both shampoo and conditioner a day or two before.
Brianna Davis, hairstylist and owner of ABL Hair Studios in Brooklyn, New York, agreed that deep conditioning and hydrating treatments are essential to keeping color-treated hair strong.
Davis told Good Housekeeping that hair can get dry and brittle when it’s been dyed, especially during the warmer parts of the year, so a good conditioning treatment can help keep your hair healthy.
What Are The Risks?
Living Gorgeous rebuts White’s advice, claiming that using conditioner before a coloring appointment can make the hair too soft, which makes it harder for the color to take. Instead, they recommend washing and conditioning your hair two or three days before your appointment. If your hair has product in it on the day of your appointment, they recommend just brushing it out instead of doing a full wash.
Hair blog Groenerekenkramer takes it one step further, advising that it’s best to keep conditioning to at least five days to a week before your coloring appointment. They claim this balances the hair’s pH and restores moisture to keep your ends hydrated, which can help the hair absorb color evenly.
If you absolutely have to condition your hair on the day of your appointment, Groenerekenkramer recommends using a natural, 100% coconut oil-based conditioner to hydrate your ends and protect your hair from chemical damage without messing up the color.
What Do The Pros Think?
White and L’Oreal Paris seem to agree that conditioning can help your hair, as long as it’s a day in advance of your appointment. But they’re not the only professionals worth consulting.
If you’re still unsure, you can always give your hair salon a call and ask them what your stylist recommends. This can be especially helpful if you regularly get your hair done by the same stylist, as they’re familiar with your hair and can give you more targeted advice.
So What Should You Do?
There are pros and cons to conditioning your hair before getting it colored, so really the decision is up to you. The professionals generally seem to agree that it’s a good idea as long as you do it at least one day before your appointment.
Some online forums claim you should wait a few more days than that. But even the critics seem to agree that a natural conditioner can be used day-of, if necessary.
Ultimately, you know your hair best and, between that knowledge and a conversation with your stylist about your hair specifically, you should always make the decision you’re most comfortable with.