Should I wash my hair before I come to the salon?

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I'm not trying to gross you out, but I have to admit: I love dirty hair. Ok, there is a limit to how many days you can go without shampooing, but you should NEVER* shampoo your hair before you come to the salon.

Going to get your color done? Dirty hair (second day, third day is fine) makes it easier for the colorist to place foils in your hair. The natural oils also help protect your scalp from possible irritation the color could cause. Pro Tip: Come into the salon with DRY hair - reason? It saves time for you and your colorist (who will have to blowdry your hair before you get started).

How about a haircut? When you come to the salon with your hair styled how you normally wear it, that makes it easier for the stylist to determine what haircut is right for you. Besides, why spend the time washing and drying your hair when we're going to do it for you!

What about Updos and Curling-Iron services? It's best to wash your hair the night before and blowdry your hair upside-down with styling products such as Phomollient and Volumizing Tonic for extra volume. Then when you come in the next day, the stylist will have a good base to work with for your fancy hairstyle!

*EXCEPTION - The only exception to my NEVER shampoo rule is chlorine. If you go swimming in a chlorinated pool the day of your color appointment, you must shampoo the chlorine out or there could be some funky results when the color reacts with the chlorine!

Your stylist will love you and your dirty hair!

Your turn: What other situations have you often wondered about when visiting the salon or spa that we can answer. Leave a comment, we'll address it on our next article!

8 comments (Add your own)

1. Mackenzie wrote:
Why do stylists wash and dry your hair before cutting it? This confuses me, since stylists are the ones who'll tell you that blow-drying is terrible for your hair. The only heat damage my hair has received in 6 years was at the hands of a stylist!

Wed, January 30, 2013 @ 5:15 PM

2. Jessica Morris wrote:
Mackenzie - Do stylists normally cut your hair after it's dry? Most often stylists cut hair wet, just after washing. In the case of "dry cutting", the stylist is cutting or texturizing your hair to see how it will fall after you style it at home. So, cutting your hair after it's dry allows your stylist to personalize your style! Sorry to hear about the heat damage. A great stylist will always use a heat protectant on your hair before using hot tools. You should always use heat protecting products before blowdrying... that keeps it from being "terrible" for your hair! :)

Wed, January 30, 2013 @ 6:03 PM

3. Lisa wrote:
I always wondered is it helpful for the colorist if I straighten my hair prior to the appointment?

Wed, May 8, 2013 @ 7:50 AM

4. Jessica Morris wrote:
Hi Lisa! It is helpful if you straighten your hair everyday as your regular style. If you sometimes wear your hair curly or wavy, skip the straightening! We like to see how your hair lays naturally.

Wed, May 8, 2013 @ 9:46 PM

5. Marie wrote:
This is a pet peeve of mine that people are told to not wash their hair before they go to the salon for hair color. I am a stylist and I can tell you that it is best to come in before hair color with clean hair. The color will take better on clean hair, and it's just gross to work on dirty hair, and smelly. Please ladies come in with clean hair.

Tue, January 28, 2014 @ 9:27 PM

6. Jessica Morris wrote:
Let's agree to disagree. :)

Tue, January 28, 2014 @ 9:55 PM

7. Elizabeth wrote:
What about before you go in to have color remover? Washed or unwashed?

Mon, February 3, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

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