If my hair is greasy, should I wash it before I dye it? I don’t advise it!

wash oily hair 24 hours before dyeing

  • No, you shouldn’t wash your hair before you dye it even if it’s greasy.
  • Washing your hair before you dye it is a bad idea because washing removes the layer of scalp oil that protects it against the aggressive agents of the dye.
  • The dye could make your scalp itch and burn if you removed that protective layer.
  • If your hair is greasy, you should wash it 24-48 hours before coloring.


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How to calm irritation and itchiness on the scalp caused by dyes


Do you have to touch up your hair dye, and you’re wondering if you should wash your hair before dyeing even if it’s oily?


  As I said before, you shouldn’t wash your hair before applying the dye.   Before we discuss this issue, let’s first analyze the characteristics of greasy hair.

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All about greasy hair

Greasy hair often looks oily and wet, especially on the scalp. This occurs because the sebaceous glands in the scalp produce excessive sebum.

Fine hair is the most prone to greasiness.


  Hair feels heavy and looks flattened. It looks dirty because sebum traps dust in the air.  

As you may know from your own experience, having greasy hair can be a bummer because even when you wash it, it’s likely to feel greasy, flat, and dull again.

Believe me, I don’t envy you. But don’t worry. I’ll give you tips to wash your greasy hair the right way later.


What could happen if I wash my hair before applying hair color?

handle dye with gloves

This answer is the same whether you have greasy, mixed, dry, or normal hair.


Shampoo removes residue and dirt from your hair and scalp and cleans it. Therefore,   your scalp is exposed to any kind of aggression such as products or treatments.  


Dye and bleach can cause unbearable burning or itching if you apply them to freshly washed hair. If you use very high volume peroxides, you can even damage your scalp.


How far in advance should I wash my hair so that I can color it safely?

remove hair dye

If you have greasy hair and want to color it,   it’s best to wash it from 24 to 48 hours beforehand.  


This way,   you ensure that a small layer of sebum, which is necessary for your scalp to be protected from the dye, is formed again.  


  Alternatively, if you washed your hair less than 24 hours ago and need to color it anyway, you should let your hairdresser know.  

They’ll take the necessary precautions to ensure that you don’t feel any burning while the hair color is being applied.

It’s favorable to apply a few drops of soothing gel to the dye and peroxide mixture. This gel gives a fresh sensation to the scalp during chemical processes such as dyeing, perming, or bleaching.


Should you ever wash your hair before coloring?

The only reason to wash your hair before coloring is if your hairdresser (or you) thinks you have too much excess sebum.


Remember that   if you apply the product with very dirty hair, the result of the dye may not be as expected.  

We are talking about extreme situations, but if you have very dirty hair, you can wash it and wait 24 hours to dye it.

Or, as I explained before, use soothing gel to avoid burning when applying the dye on a clean scalp.


  Tip: If you’re going to apply the dye yourself and you don’t have the gel, you can add a small spoonful of sugar to the dye and peroxide mixture.  

This homemade recipe will soothe the burning scalp.


Does hair dye help greasy hair?

It’s a myth that greasy hair improves after applying hair dye.


In my years as a professional hairdresser,   I have seen many people with greasy hair who decided to dye their hair to improve it. But this isn’t real. The dye can’t change this problem.  


Hair dye creates an alkaline field that opens the hair cuticles.

Once the chemical process is done, these cuticles close but don’t return to their original state. That could give you a feeling of increased dryness.


However, this is only a visual effect. Actually, sebum production takes place on the scalp and isn’t altered by the use of hair dyes. Therefore, sebum production remains exactly the same in colored hair.


Did you know that you should use special products for colored hair after dyeing it?

shampoos produce residue on the hair

In general, they help keep your hair moisturized and nourished. But if your hair has a tendency to be greasy, my advice is to look for products that don’t increase the greasiness of your hair and guarantee the shine, duration, and beauty of the color.


How do I wash my greasy hair after coloring?

The 2 most common mistakes made by people with greasy hair are:

  • Not washing their oily hair often enough.

Some people think that if they wash their hair often, it produces more oil. This is another myth. If you don’t wash your greasy hair, you’ll only cause sebum to build up and suffocate the follicle. As a result, you’ll have severe hair problems.


Solution: If you want to wash your hair less frequently, you can use shampoos for oily hair to control and reduce sebum production.


  • Washing your hair with shampoos that are too aggressive and too often.

When you use these types of products, the scalp’s nutrient mantle doesn’t have time to replenish after washing. It could cause scalp irritation or flaking.


Solution: If you want to wash your hair daily, use neutral shampoo to prevent altering the balance of the scalp.


Don’t wash your greasy hair before coloring it. After the process, use the right products.

In this article, I told you why you shouldn’t wash your oily hair before coloring it.

Then, we looked at how to wash it after coloring it. I’ve given you tips and advice on the type of shampoo to use according to how often you want to wash your hair.


Greasy hair can be a hassle, but it’s not an uncontrollable condition. So, it doesn’t require a particular process when it comes to coloring.

As usual, make an appointment at your usual salon and take this concern to your trusted hairdresser. They’ll be able to advise you on how to get your hair looking spectacular!

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