Can I wash my hair 24 hours after highlights?

wait to wash highlights

  • If you need to wash your hair 24 hours after getting highlights, you have two options.
  • Wash it with a sulfate-free shampoo and cold water to avoid ruining the color and frizz. Alternatively, use dry shampoo. I’ll tell you more details later.
  • However, the best thing to do is wait for at least 72 hours for the color to settle and the cuticles to close.


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Let’s say you have an event, a romantic dinner, or something similar, and you feel like you have to wash your hair. However, there’s a small problem.

 Less than 24 hours ago, you had your highlights done in a salon. The stylist was very clear: “don’t wash your hair for at least 72 hours.” 


You look at the calendar on your cell phone again and confirm that it has only been 24 hours. Your world collapses.

You can’t go to your appointment feeling that everyone will be looking at you because of your dirty hair not because of your beauty.

Stop the movie!


I don’t want your life to turn into a horror story just because it’s been 24 hours since you did your highlights, and you can’t wash your hair.

Actually, the hair rule says, “you shouldn’t wash your hair 24 hours after getting highlights.” Why?


I’ll explain.

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Why you shouldn’t wash your hair 24 hours after getting highlights

from dark to light blonde hair

Let’s continue for a few more moments with the stop-motion film. Just for a few moments.


  • Right now, your highlighted hair is recovering from the aggressive process of bleaching.

Although the bleach applied during the highlighting technique is less aggressive than a traditional bleach, it’s still damaging.

It’s less aggressive in terms of the amount of bleached hair because it’s only 70% of your mane.


But if you wait for at least 72 hours after getting your highlights done, you’ll have given the cuticles enough time to close. Therefore, your hair will be smooth and frizz-free.


If you wash your hair 24 hours after any color application, you won’t give your hair cuticles time to close.

 Therefore, the color that your hair absorbs during the application will start to be expelled. 


  • Toner and permanent hair dyes take approximately 72 hours to finish absorbing the color. So, you shouldn’t wash your hair before that time.

Finally, when your hair was washed at the salon, it received nutrition care products.


Your colorist washes your hair after coloring or bleaching. The aim is to remove color and chemical residue and to nourish and moisturize the hair.

However, most importantly, in addition to shampooing, they’ll apply conditioner to moisturize and close the cuticles.


If you wash your hair the day after the highlights, the cuticles that were closed will open. Also, those that have not closed yet will expel the color.

So, here we are.

Debating between what you should do and what you can do.

It’s when the movie gets interesting. Therefore, I’m going to ask you to press play, and let’s continue.


You can wash your hair 24 hours after getting highlights, but with some conditions.

Do you want to know what they are? Keep on reading.


How to wash your hair 24 hours after applying highlights if you have no other choice

shampoo wears out hair color

Let’s continue with the movie where our protagonist, that is you, needs to wash your hair even if it hasn’t been 24 hours after getting highlights.


 The first thing you should do is wash your hair with cold water and a sulfate-free shampoo. 

The sulfate-free shampoo will protect the color of your highlights because sulfates are corrosive chemicals that wear out the hair dye or toner quickly.

Many brands on the market contain premium ingredients and leave hair soft and shiny.


The major hair product brands have these shampoos and conditioners.

  • PANTENE PRO-V ROSEWATER (shampoo and conditioner)
  • HERBAL ESSENCES ALOE POTENTE + HEMP (shampoo and conditioner)
  • NEXXUS HAIR COLOR ASSURE (shampoo and conditioner)


Whenever you wash your hair with these products, you’ll be taking care of your highlights, nourishing your hair, and preventing frizz.

Why should you wash your hair with cold water?


Because hot water opens the cuticles allowing pigments to escape. Cold water, on the other hand, seals them and retains the pigments.


olive oil

It’s also a good idea to apply a few drops of anti-frizz oil to damp hair or after blow-drying.

You can apply it as soon as you get out of the shower if you want to let your hair air dry. This will prevent your hair from frizzing.


If you want to blow-dry your hair, you can apply the anti-frizz oil after using the heat tool.

Once your hair is completely dry, apply the oil from lengths to ends and avoid the roots not to grease them.


Do you want maximum safety to care for your highlights when washing them after 24 hours?

desgastar el tratamiento de keratina

Use dry shampoo. It’s a spray that encapsulates dirt, grease, dust, and residues that your hair may have.

It’s easy to apply, and you can do it anywhere and at any time of the day.


Just spray it six inches from your scalp, leave it on for five minutes, and brush your hair.




So, we come to the happy ending of the movie.

While it’s not advisable to wash your hair after getting highlights for 72 hours, there are always some options to protect your color.

Try them only if you find yourself in an emergency. In that case, wash it with cold water and a sulfate-free shampoo.

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