F.A.Q. // “Do I need to wash my hair before my hair appointment?”

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I recently had an appointment to have my hair colored and shared that I used a purifying shampoo the morning of my appointment. I received so many questions about why I did that in my DM’s on Instagram that I decided to break it all down here.

“I thought oily hair made the color stick better?”

“My stylist always told me dirty hair was better for coloring?”

“Why would you wash it if it’s just going to get washed at the salon?”

Before I dive in, I feel like I need to remind you that you need to listen to your own stylist if he or she directs you otherwise. I am a professional with years of experience (even though I’m not behind the chair right now) and this is my opinion.

If you are going to see your stylist for a haircut, it’s not necessary to wash your hair. The only case that could justify washing your hair is if it’s loaded up with dry shampoo or texture spray and it will be too challenging to brush out. In that case, it could be really helpful for you to wash it and brush it out yourself.

If you are going to see your stylist for color, it’s better to arrive with clean, dry hair. The reason behind this is that it preps the hair to fully absorb whatever color service you are having done without the barrier of dry shampoo, texture powder, oil, etc. If your hair is covered in hair product (which is a chemical), how do you expect the hair color (also a chemical) to respond? In most cases, it’ll all work out fine, but arriving at your appointment with clean dry hair gives the color the greatest opportunity for success.

Imagine painting on a canvas covered in dust, grime, and other junk. You could get the job done, but it may not be as pure as it would have been if the canvas was totally clean.

So, if you’re able to wash your hair prior to getting it colored, even simply the night before, it’ll certainly help set your stylist and the color up for success. If you aren’t able, your stylist should know whether or not he or she needs to prep your hair with a wash or if it’s safe to simply apply the color directly to your hair.

In order to avoid confusion, if you’re going in for JUST a haircut, it’s okay to skip washing prior to your appointment. Your stylist may prefer to cut your hair dry, or simply want to wash it themselves. Also, washing your hair and showing up to your appointment with wet hair will not lead to a lower price of the service either!


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Catherine Patzner says · 08.11.22

My stylist’s salon just posted the same recommendation on their Instagram last week! I am looking forward to my overdue appointment! What a summer it has been!
I love your Instagram!

Missy Baker says · 08.11.22

Do you condition and use the Pureology spray or just wash?

Jess says · 08.12.22

Great info, makes sense! How long AFTER getting my color done can I wash it?

Kathy says · 11.01.23

What about using conditioner before getting your hair colored?

Kate says · 11.02.23

No problem to do so! Go for it!

Dana says · 12.05.23

Love this! Mind blown, but totally makes sense. I realized that I have followed you for 7-8 years. How crazy is that.