How long after balayage to wash hair? What shampoo to use?


hairdresser combing balayage

  • You must wait 72 hours to wash your hair after balayage.
  • If you don’t, your balayage will look dull and faded because the pigments will wash away with washing.
  • After balayage, you should wait for the hair dye pigments to settle in your hair.



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Let’s put things in place.

It doesn’t matter if you had your balayage done at a salon or decided to put your hair in your bestie’s hands to get it done.

 You should never wash your hair up to 72 hours after balayage. 

Besides, why would you want to?


If you had your balayage done at the salon, your stylist washed and rinsed your hair to remove any remaining dye or toner.

Alternatively, if you did it at home, I imagine you also rinsed your hair to remove any residue.

So, why would you want to wash your hair?



You shouldn’t. You shouldn’t do it 24 or 48 hours after balayage.

Ideally, and I would say imperative, you should wait for 72 hours to wash it.


Otherwise, you’ll lose pigments from the hair dye or toner you used for the balayage. And the bad news continues.

Your hair will be dry with a lot of frizz. Do you know why?


If you wash your hair less than 72hs after balayage, you’ll lose the color, and your hair will have a lot of frizz

toning yellow hair

I warned you that the bad news continued. And the reason is simple.

To apply balayage, you always bleach your hair. Then, you apply toner or hair dye according to the color you’re looking for.


In other words,  you apply two chemical processes in the same day: bleaching some sections for the balayage and toning or dyeing to color it. 



Regardless of your hair health, it’ll always suffer. Unless you spend a fortune including Olaplex in the process.

However, if your bank account doesn’t allow including Olaplex, your hair will be drier and weaker.


So far, so good because your hair withstood both processes. However, the coloring job doesn’t end when you leave the salon.

Although your stylist washed your hair to remove hair dye or toner residue and seal the cuticles, not all cuticles are sealed.


 And if you wash your hair when you get home after balayage, you’ll lose color, nutrients, and moisture because the cuticles aren’t yet closed. 

The result?


An uneven balayage and frizzy hair.

Hair is like skin. It needs care. So, you need to be extra careful if you apply any kind of chemical process to it.

If you went to the beach, sunbathed, and your skin became irritated, would you continue sunbathing without protection?



I hope your answer is no. Otherwise, you’re a kamikaze.

If you don’t want to ruin either your balayage or your hair, you should wait for 72 hours for your hair to finish absorbing the hair dye and recover.

I don’t think you want to invest time and money at the salon and then lose it in just three or four minutes by washing your hair.


How to wash hair for the first time after balayage

uses dry shampoo between washes

Has it been 72 hours since your balayage?



Eureka, it’s been 72 hours, and your hair hasn’t fallen out from not washing it. Also, you don’t have an army of flies following you around.

As you can see, it wasn’t that hard to wait that long to wash your hair and protect your balayage.

Now comes the second part of the story. Don’t panic. I won’t ask you not to wash your hair for another 72 hours.


 Instead, I’ll ask you to use sulfate-free products to wash your balayage. 

Do you know what sulfates are?



shampoo to wash hair with highlights

Think for a few moments.

When you wash your hair, does your shampoo lather up a lot?


 I suppose it might even be funny, and you might even think that your hair will be cleaner the more lather your shampoo produces.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.


Sulfates are simply detergents. Yes, just like the detergent you use to clean the dishes or in the washing machine.

How do your hands look after washing dishes?


I’m sure you feel them rougher, and your skin is tight. Even your nail polish will have come off.

Imagine what shampoo or conditioner with sulfates can do to your hair. The same thing detergent does to your hands.


 A sulfate shampoo will remove pigment from balayage just like detergent removes polish from your nails. 


It’ll also leave your hair dry the way dish soap leaves your hands rough.

That’s why you need to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to wash your balayage hair.


You’ll find many options on the market.


But so that you don’t go crazy searching, here are some of the most used ones:

  • Nexxus Color Assure: sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner that moisturizes your hair while taking care of your color.
  • ArtNaturals Blonde: shampoo and conditioner ideal for those who have their balayage in blonde tones and don’t want colors like yellow or orange to appear.
  • Herbalosophy Keratin & Coconut Oil: shampoo and conditioner for damaged or chemically treated hair. Ideal for oily hair.
  • L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend: sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner developed to prevent color fading.
  • Pantene Illuminating Sulfate Freecon biotin: shampoo and conditioner that protects your color and provides vitamin B8 (biotin) that is responsible for hair growth


 So, if 72 hours have passed since your balayage, you can wash your hair. But first, make sure you have a sulfate-free shampoo at hand. 


Another of my recommendations is to use lukewarm to cold water every time you wash your balayage hair

drying keratin treated hair

Remember that hot water opens the hair cuticles and causes the balayage pigments to escape.


You can also wash your hair with a color depositing shampoo every two weeks or when unwanted colors appear.


If you want to remove yellow, you should use a violet shampoo. Alternatively, if you want to remove orange undertones, you should opt for a blue shampoo.


Finally, protect your balayage from heat, whether it is heat from flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, or sun rays.



You should always wait for 72 hours to wash your hair after balayage. This will protect your hair’s color and health.

Finally, remember to use sulfate-free products and reduce the use of heat tools.


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