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Why Do Salons Wash Your Hair After Coloring? Should They?

African American female with a blue and orange hair color after dyeing her naturally darker hair with Splat hair dye.

When you get your hair dyed at a salon, you may notice that your stylist ends the coloring service with a thorough wash. Why do salons wash your hair after coloring it?

Washing dyed hair fades it, so why would a stylist wash your hair so soon after they just spent all that time getting it perfectly colored? If you’ve ever wondered why this is, we’ve got the answers you’re searching for!

This article will walk you through the reasons why salons wash your hair after coloring and help you decide whether you should do it when you dye your hair at home. 

Why Do Salons Wash Your Hair After Coloring?

Surprisingly, there are a number of different reasons why salon stylists wash your hair after coloring it. We’ll take a look at them below. 

1. To Remove Excess Dye

Washing hair after coloring helps ensure that the dye spreads evenly and removes excess pigments. That way, your hair won’t bleed during the rest of your appointment.

Additionally, salon-quality dye is significantly stronger than what you’ll find in at-home dye kits. Removing the excess pigments will help ensure your hair doesn’t absorb too many pigments and end up darker than intended. 

A young black girl after deciding to wash hair with a purple shampoo to keep her hair color vibrant.

2. To Prepare Your Hair for the Next Treatment

Whether you’re getting a haircut, keratin treatment, or blowout, washing your hair prepares it for the rest of your salon services.

Most styling services are best performed on clean hair, so washing your hair helps your stylist do your next service or treatment the right way.

While washing your hair after color isn’t typically recommended, salons have access to a wide variety of specialty products that help seal your cuticles.

Washing your hair post-color also prevents your color from transferring onto their expensive styling tools and ruining them. 

3. To Relax You

Regardless of the service, getting a luxurious shampoo is an integral part of the salon experience. Your stylist may wash your hair after coloring it to make you feel more comfortable and enjoy your visit.

It’s a moment to sit back, unwind and let your cares melt away while the stylist massages your scalp. 

A black female with a blonde hair section (like a mohawk) and lite blue/purple color fading strands on the sides.

4. To Introduce You to New Products

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that many stylists make a commission for every product they sell. The more products your stylist uses during your service, the more likely you will find one you want to buy.

Washing your hair after coloring it is essentially a marketing opportunity.

Salon shampoos and conditioners smell amazing and leave your strands feeling extra smooth and silky. So it’s only natural that you’d want to take them home!

Should You Wash Your Hair After Coloring It at Home?

Although stylists may wash your hair immediately after coloring it, doing the same isn’t recommended for at-home colorists. Washing your hair after you color it will fade and shorten the lifespan of your color.

Instead, you can simply rinse the excess pigments from your strands with cool or cold water. While you shouldn’t shampoo your hair after you color it, using a color-safe conditioner immediately after you dye is fine.

In fact, many dye kits come with a small container of color-enhancing conditioner!

Conditioning your hair after coloring gives you a head start on repairing damage and keeps your freshly colored hair shiny, smooth, and healthy. 

A curious lady wearing her hair blonde, orange and blue after undergoing a DIY dyeing process with brassy tones.

How Long Should You Wait to Wash Your Hair After Coloring It?

Washing your hair immediately after you color it makes your hair fade much more quickly. For the best results, you should wait to wash your hair for at least 72 hours after you color it.

That way, your hair cuticles have more than enough time to close fully.

They’ll trap more of the dye pigments inside your strands and keep them brightly colored for much longer. After the first three days have passed, you can continue washing your hair pretty much like normal.

Washing your hair fades it, so try stretching out your wash days.

You should also use a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo to clean your strands. The gentler your shampoo is, the less color you’ll lose. And finally, make sure you always wash and rinse your hair with cool or cold water. 

Hot water opens your hair’s cuticles.

While this is excellent at getting your shampoo and conditioner to sink into your strands, it will lead to much faster fading. On the other hand, cold water helps keep your cuticles sealed, so your color is less likely to bleed. 

A black female looking to protect colored hair every day after using a particular dye made for a curly hair cuticle.

Dos and Don’ts of Washing Your Hair After Color

Properly washing your hair is essential if you want your color to last. So, in this section, we’ll walk you through a list of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. 

Dos

  • Do use color-safe shampoo and conditioner. 
  • Do focus on your scalp when you wash your hair.
  • Do rinse your hair with cool or cold water to keep your color fresh.
  • Do use color-boosting products to refresh your color. 
  • Do use a showerhead filter to keep your color vibrant. 
  • Do use a dry shampoo to absorb excess oils, so you don’t have to wash your hair right away. 

Don’ts

  • Don’t wash your hair with hot water, or your color will fade. 
  • Don’t use harsh or stripping products on your hair. 
  • Don’t use a clarifying shampoo until you’re ready to fade your color. 
  • Don’t forget to deep condition your locks after coloring them. 
  • Don’t do hot oil treatments on freshly colored hair. 
  • Don’t wash your hair immediately after coloring it.
  • Don’t use products that contain sulfates or drying alcohols. 
  • Don’t wash your hair more than two or three times a week. 
A happy young black female that has been using heat styling tools on her hair everyday on her 3B natural hair type.

Best Shampoos for Washing Color-Treated Hair

The shampoo you use to wash your color-treated hair is just as important as how you wash it. But with so many different options on the market, it’s hard to know which one is right for you.

So, in this section, we decided to do the hard work for you! Here are some of the best shampoos for color-treated hair. 

FEKKAI Technician Color Shampoo

FEKKAI’s salon-quality color-preserving shampoo is packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, including plum seed oil, rice protein, and coconut.

FEKKAI Technician Color Shampoo
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It helps extend the life of your color while protecting your strands from the damaging effects of sunlight, air pollution, and heat.

milk_shake Color Care Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

This color-enhancing shampoo contains a potent mix of ingredients that cleanse and hydrate your hair for vivid, long-lasting color.

milk_shake Color Care Shampoo for Color Treated Hair
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The wholesome formula contains beneficial plant-based ingredients that cleanse, repair and protect color-treated hair. 

A young lady looking for color-safe products for washing colored hair to remove natural oils and excess color.

Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Like the rest of Olaplex’s product line, the No.4 shampoo contains reparative ingredients that help fortify fragile, color-treated strands. It’s infused with nourishing botanicals, like rosemary, oregano, and noni, that cleanse and calm your hair.

Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
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Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo

This gentle, sulfate-free shampoo enhances color and shine as it prevents your color from fading.

Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair
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It contains rice proteins, which penetrate your strands and help rebuild them from root to tip. Simply massage into damp hair and rinse with cold water, and your hair will be vibrant and super shiny! 

Related Articles

There are a few different reasons hair stylists wash your hair after they color it, but rest assured knowing that your stylist knows what they’re doing.

So just sit back, relax, and enjoy that luscious post-color shampoo session! We hope this article has helped you understand why stylists wash your hair after coloring it and shown you how to get the most out of your color. Good luck!