How Long Should I Wait to Dye My Hair After Washing it?

  • Professional hairdressers recommend waiting 48 hours (two days) to dye your hair after washing it.
  • This way, the hair will be neither too clean nor too dirty at the time of coloring. It’ll ensure that the color is perfect.
  • It’s important to wash your hair before coloring it. I’ll tell you how to do it correctly.


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“How long should i wait to dye my hair after washing it?”

This must be one of the questions I get asked the most at the salon.

Generally, I recommend waiting two days after washing to color your hair.


However, is that always the case? What if I go to the gym and I can’t stand not washing my hair? What if I wash it and, the next day, I have a hair appointment?

That’s why I decided to write this article and answer all your questions.

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Why is it important to wait 48 hours to color the hair after washing it?

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What happens in those 48 hours is something magical that transforms your hair into the best in the world, and you’ll never have to dye it again.

Did you believe it?


The truth is that nothing magical happens in 48 hours. It’s only that your hair needs that time to secrete a natural oil to protect it from the subsequent coloring.

 The natural oils secreted by our scalp form a protective shield that prevents the hair dye chemicals from irritating or causing discomfort 


It’s estimated that 48 hours after shampooing, normal hair starts to get greasy. It could happen much sooner on an oily scalp, or if you do any physical activity.


Waiting 48 hours to color your hair isn’t a rule. It’s a recommendation. You should follow it, especially if you have a sensitive scalp.

However, what happens if you don’t follow it?

I’ll explain it to you below.


What could happen if you don’t follow the 48-hour wait to color your hair?

after coloring the hair

Whether you color your hair at home or at the salon, the recommendation is to wait two days after shampooing to color your hair.

However, we know you can’t always comply. You just don’t want to spend that many days without washing your hair.


Maybe your hair appointment is the same day as the gym classes, and you can’t stand the state of your hair. Alternatively, you’ve been exposed to smells or smoke and can still smell them.

There is a famous saying: “every person is a world unto himself.” I say that the same is true for hair, that “every hair is a world unto itself.

Why do I say this?


Because the recommendation to wait 48 hours is general and may not apply to you and your hair. Don’t worry if you have to wash it before because nothing bad will happen to you.

Your hair won’t fall out, and your color won’t look bad either.

It’ll just be too clean, and you may feel a little extra sensitivity from the hair dye chemicals because your scalp didn’t have time to secrete the natural oils that protect it.


Some people must comply with this waiting time because they have a sensitive scalp and need that protective oil to avoid irritation or discomfort.

Some of you may be wondering: how do I know if I have a sensitive scalp?


If you often feel discomfort, burning, itching, or tightness, and if brushing your hair is a bit annoying, it’s because your scalp is sensitive.

There’s nothing to worry about!  It’s just the type of skin nature gave you, and it requires other care because it’s more sensitive to the chemicals in hair dye. 


Now you know how long you should wait to dye your hair after washing, depending on your hair type. Also, why stylists recommend you wait two days.

Do you want to know the best way to wash your hair before coloring?


That’s what I’ll talk about next.


What’s the best way to wash your hair before coloring?

washing removes color

If you get a good wash, you’ll have the best result when you apply your hair color. What is a good wash?

It’s not a magic formula. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don’t spend enough time washing our hair properly.


A good wash is done with ph-balanced shampoo and your usual conditioner.

 Only instead of doing one wash with ph-balanced shampoo, you should do two washes massaging the scalp with your fingertips. 

You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure. Instead, the massage should be pleasant for you.


There’s a simple trick to know how much shampoo you need for each wash. It consists of cupping the palm of your hand and filling it with shampoo.

You should place shampoo in five points of your head:

  • Left side
  • Right side
  • Front
  • Cusp
  • Nape


If you place shampoo in these five points, you’ll be able to distribute it better throughout your head and pay more attention to the areas that need it.

This way, your scalp will receive a good wash.


As for the conditioner,  don’t forget to apply it from the ears down and rinse super well 

Remember that rinsing is just as important as washing. Take the time to do it the right way, and don’t leave any excess conditioner in your hair.


Do you think you can incorporate this wash into your hair care routine?

It wouldn’t hurt to start making it a habit whenever you can to remove all the dead cells from your scalp.

If you can’t continue with this routine, don’t worry! At least try it before you color your hair. This way, you’ll make sure the color stays perfect.


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