Washing Hair After Coloring – Everything You Need to Know About It

washing hair after coloringI have good news – after reading this article you will never need to suffer from certain kind of confusion again. What kind of confusion? You know, the one which strikes you right after coloring your hair when you realize that tomorrow there is an important meeting at work or a romantic dinner with your loved one and you feel like you absolutely need to thoroughly wash your dirty and greasy hair but aren’t sure if you’re allowed to. You know, the usual worries like “OMG, the color will fade out immediately if I touch my hair with a shampoo now” or “oh, no, I only have this cheap shampoo, it will screw up my new hair color big time”. If you have found yourself in a situation like this where you are afraid and unsure if and when you can wash your hair because you just got it colored, then read on and find all the answers you need.


Can I Wash My Hair After Coloring?

This is a question which gets asked quite a lot and the opinions differ. The best answer would probably be – yes, you can wash your hair after coloring but in most cases you actually shouldn’t do it.

It may sound as an odd and unsatisfying answer but it makes sense when you think about it. The explanation could go something like this – there is no guarantee that your hair color will fade out even if you wash your hair right after the coloring treatment, however, if you want to be safe and really care about keeping your new tone then you should wait.

Why Should I Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring?

Here’s a simple explanation I just came up with which doesn’t include too many scientific terms – your hair is protected by a layer called the hair cuticle and it controls the appearance of your hair. Hair colors contain substances which open up the cuticle and when the cuticle is open, your hair is more liable to damage and fading. That’s the simple reason why you should wait.

So, if you want your hair to fully absorb the dye, then it is usually suggested to avoid washing it with a shampoo right away but after rinsing you should definitely apply the conditioner which almost always comes with the color kit.

How Soon to Wash Hair After Coloring?

There is no definite answer to this question. 24 hours should be enough in most cases, however, hair care specialists usually suggest to avoid washing hair after coloring for as long as possible – the longer the better.

Want to wash your hair as soon as possible? Check out these shampoos for colored hair!

Additional Tips

  • When washing colored hair definitely look for a shampoo intended for colored hair. There are even some shampoos that are specifically made for certain hair colors and if you can find one for your tone then it’s a keeper.

    This one has proved to be very helpful to make your hair color last longer – Shampoo for Lasting Color.

  • Don’t use hot water when rinsing or washing your colored hair because it will open up the hair cuticle similarly to the chemicals found in hair dye.
  • There are certain colors that usually fade out faster than others. Those who fall in this category are mostly “wild colors”, most notably red and purple.


So, there you go, the question has been answered – in most cases you shouldn’t wash your hair with a shampoo right after coloring it, whether the coloring was done in a salon or at home. It’s because the hair cuticle opens up after dyeing and when it’s open, the color can fade out faster.

However, the first thing you should always do is to read the instructions and see what they say because there are different shampoos and different formulas. If after that you still feel unsure then don’t hesitate and contact your hair stylist right away.



Do you usually wait before washing hair after coloring? We are excited to hear about your personal experience!


Want to wash your hair as soon as possible? Check out these shampoos for colored hair!

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34 Comments on "Washing Hair After Coloring – Everything You Need to Know About It"

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Nice informative post!! Everyone wants to be able to prevent damage to their hair when making a
change, whether it’s to cover greys or reinvent your look, over
processing your hair by bleaching or dying it, it’s best to understand
ways to help prevent the damage.


I wait until my hair is greasy to wash it….I like to keep my color for as long as possible, and red tends to fade  on my hair faster than any other color….So I wash anywhere from once to 3 times per week….depends on what I’m doing during the week….I do, however, wet my hair and condition it every other day


Washing hair does not ‘wash out’ color. Color chemistry acts with one’s own chemistry; it acts on and with the protein on the hair. Yes, keeping the cuticle closed means your hair will reflect more light and it will have shine; and it will also be far less likely to snarl. The cuticles on each shaft are far less likely to ‘grab’ one another and bring about knot-like holds on adjacent shafts of hair.

If you properly color your hair, whether or not you shampoo after processing is complete should not make a difference, unlike when you’ve just had a perm.


Actually I rinsed well in cold water and sealed the color with a color sealer conditioner in cold water as well and it looks fabulous!. I for one am going to wait as long as possible to wash my hair since my hair looks shinier and healthier than ever. I have a professional color grade in red.

I just dyed my hair Friday (2 days ago) for the first time in my life. I went with a deep red. After dying, I rinsed with warm water. I didn’t think it mattered. After reading this, I will definitely do cool water next time.  I hope it didn’t hurt it too much. I have work tomorrow (monday), So I wanted to wash my hair tonight. I usually wash my hair every other day, as it gets oily fast. I was thinking I might just wet it a bit to help get out some of the oils, then maybe I… Read more »

I shampoos my hair a lot to get the dye out of my scalp and hair it’s been 2-3 days can’t remember since I shampood but my hair is friggin bright blue I love it guess my hair was made for dye I may have thick hair don’t know if that has to do with it but dang it look good


I shampooed a lot after I just dyed my hair it is a bright dark blue and there wasn’t any difference when I washed again so


I never knew the reason to not wash your hair after coloring was in relation to the hair cuticle; I think this tip is one that is discussed a lot but we typically don’t understand the science behind it. . I will have to inform my friends! Have yall found a brand of shampoo that works best after coloring? http://www.thecutnedge.com/Trendy_Hairstyling_Virginia_Beach_VA.html


Is Tresemmé okay to use?


Stylist  Whatever! I just had a wonderful auburn with copper highlights. beautiful and vibrant.  the FIRST time I washed it( in color safe shampoo and tepid water) it looked as though I’d killed a small animal in the shower.  Now my hair is a muddy red-brown.  AND color continues to wash out and stains my towels/


I colored my hair once and washed my hair after 2-3 hours I guess. But it didn’t do any damage. After reading this article, I think I will more careful next time.


RachaelKirkpatrick Stylist reds and blacks will do that. It has nothing to do with shampooing or not. Talk to a stylist about it. I did and got a great solution.


I was always told to wait at least 3 days to wash my hair after a coloring. And no chlorine for at least 3 days. Other than that, after 24 hours, it’s ok to get damp. Not soaking wet. Not sure how true this is. It’s just what I’ve been told.

There is absolutely no right or wrong answer to this. Its how well you know your hair, and if your not sure, do your research throughly. For me however, I usually wait one or two day before washing my hair again after dying my hair. The reason why is because I want to keep the dye in my hair as much as possible to soak in the hair dye before washing. And when I do, I use the purple color safe shampoo and conditioner from Sally. There are several type so it depends on your budget. Most importantly, keep up… Read more »

ambitiousnygrl did a salon professional tell you this


If I dye my hair and wash it with shampoo while I’m still in the shower after rinsing, will that make it not as dark? I can’t find that in-between I’m looking for. Between dark blonde and light brown is my natural color – almost caramel. Any ideas? I just dyed my hair, it came out the wrong color, and now it’s light a dark copper blonde when I would like to go for my natural color again..


It Has To Be A Blonde Like The Color 27 It Would Really Show With That Color No Darker Than That Cause The Color Will Not Come Out How You Want It


I went to a hair salon and got my hair dyed and she said to wait three days before washing my hair.


I colored my hair blonde no bleach just black to blonde and I’m ethnic and I was my hairl two times a month might sound gross and stinky but I realty it does not smell it’s a lol oily but it’s natural oils which us great for my hair I just love being black.


I wouldn’t, it’s best to use a sulfate free shampoo, read the ingredients. I opted out of buying expensive color shampoo and I buy organx brand (ogx now it’s called I think) but I still check the back of their bottles cause like two of their scents use sulfates I think


i went to a salon and they said to wait 3 days before washing but is 2 days enough. I need to wash my hair!!


Im so glad that i googled this before i rinsed my hair. Before that i always washed it out with sampoo. This time only rinse and puted on conditioner. This time will wait with washing my hair with sampoo. Thx for the advice.


Have you ever tried Dry Shampoo? I dye my hair a Rose Gold color and need to wait 48 hours after before washing, I have found even with my oily hair using Garnier Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodiifier Dry Shampoo, keeps my hair oil and “dirty looking” free till I can use shampoo!


While rinsing my hair I didn’t put on the conditioner before rinsing it. What’s gonna happen to my hair? It my first time dying my hair.


Can you use toner shampoo after you’ve just highlighted your hair?


I just got my hair dyed at a salon three days ago, it’s an ombre from my natural brown hair to a teal blue color. She told me to wait as long as possible to wash my hair but when I do to wash it with cold water and if I absolutely need to wash my greasy hair sooner to just wash my roots and not fully saturate the ends of my hair with soap


Are you serious. This isn’t post your best picture.com is it? No one asked for your opinion, so before you act like a low life to others look at yourself. Last time I checked you didn’t post a “cute” picture so back up.


@Sheila it looks absolutely gorgeous on you!


My daughter just colored her hair. She wanted Rose Gold but the one they had at Sally didn’t seem like the color she was looking for so she picked another one. I think it was called “Lightest Red Brown,” Her hair looks good but could use some light brown or dark blonde color with it to make it look like what she wanted. Any suggestions?


I need advice so I just got my hair professionally dyed last Friday and was wondering when is it a good time to actually wash my hair again it’s been about 6 days now and not sure when I should really wash it I just hate the feeling of my hair right now to be honest.. if anyone knows feel free to leave your comments thank you and have a wonderful night!


I just had my hair fully colored for the first time yesterday and it’s FRIZZY! I’ve read everywhere not to shampoo right away, but what about using Conditioner?
I want to at least put some coconut or argan oil in my hair.


I understand it’s best not to shampoo after dying it, but does rinsing or conditioning your hair do anything?

I’ve been using overtone color depositing conditioner for my hair, which I dyed purple about a month ago. I take hot showers every day, and my hair is as vibrant and pigmented as the day I had it colored. I swear the stuff is magic! (I am not affiliated with overtone in any way, shape or form. I’m just *really* happy with how well my hair color has held up) overtone.co I’m sure there are other color depositing conditioners out there that also work well. The other trick I heard is to mix hair dye like manic panic (for “fantasy”… Read more »

@Sheila you are beautiful. Don’t listen to the haters.