Should I Wash My Hair Before Dyeing It

Should I Wash My Hair Before Dyeing It?

Washing your hair comes so naturally to you that you probably don’t think twice about it. When thinking about dying your hair though, you may want to know the slight science behind working with these chemicals. Whether you’re a regular or a newbie, you want the best color and results. 

What’s Coming Up:

  • Should I wash my hair before dying it?
  • Should I show up with wet hair?
  • Can I wash my hair after a color treatment?

Should I Wash My Hair Before Dyeing it?

Yes and no. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer. It really all depends on what color you want. Most hair stylists will recommend that you come in with dirty hair. While others will say that’s from the old days when dyes had ammonia in them and the natural oils from your hair helped to protect your scalp. The color of your hair really matters. 

If you’re going to your salon to do a touch-up on your roots, oily strands could affect the color results. The natural oils in dirty hair make your hair look a shade or two darker than it truly is. Stylists say to wash your hair 24 hours before your appointment as clean hair offers the most accurate reading of your natural color while still maintaining a bit of natural oil to protect your scalp. 

However, if you are one who uses a lot of styling products like hairspray, coconut oil, or even dry shampoo, then you’ll need to wash away this build-up the night before with a moisturizing shampoo. NEVER use a clarifying shampoo as this will strip your hair and scalp of any oils. It will make your hair drier and dying may cause more damage on top of that. 

Also, don’t use any leave-in conditioner as they will make your hair too slippery and the dye won’t sink in. You may still get some color but probably won’t be as dark as you expect it to be. So it’s best to use just a normal conditioner and rinse your hair well. 

If you are going for bleach-blond locks or a fantasy look, then skipping a wash or two before hitting the salon won’t hurt. Bleaching contains ammonia so you will want those extra oils on your scalp to prevent irritation. 

Should I Show up With Wet Hair?

No. Most permanent hair coloring formulas must be applied to dry hair.  Though the color will still work, it can be unpredictable. Water can create a barrier on the hair, complicating the color process. If you must arrive with wet hair, come in earlier to sit under the hairdryer otherwise it could result in wasted time and extra costs to dry your hair. 

Can I Wash My Hair After a Color Treatment?

No, wait about 3 days. Most hair color treatments work by penetrating the outermost layer of the hair, known as the cuticle. The dye molecules push in to react with the pigment in each strand. It takes about 72 hours for the cuticle to close completely. Washing your hair before your cuticles close means that the color molecules are going to escape your strands and the color will fade quickly.

When the three days are up, use a color-safe shampoo. You’ll also want to avoid using clarifying shampoos often, along with clay shampoos made with bentonite.

So, it turns out it’s a lot more complicated to dye your hair than imagined. Well, not really, but it could be inconvenient for some. It sure will be worth it if you want fresh, lustrous, and long-lasting color the first time around. 

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