- Washing your hair the same day you’re getting highlights is not bad.
- Your hair won’t suffer any extra damage, and the color of your highlights won’t be affected.
- Now, if your scalp is sensitive, or you suspect it might be, my advice is not to wash your hair the same day you get highlights. I recommend you wash your hair 48 hours before you do the highlights.
- This way, the natural oil from your scalp will protect your hair from the harsh bleach mixture you use to do highlights.
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I know your thoughts. That’s what many clients say when I tell them it’s not bad to wash their hair the same day they get highlights.
Inside your head, you’re muttering: “If it’s not bad to wash your hair the same day you get highlights, why does almost everyone keep repeating that your hair has to be dirty to get highlights?”
There’s a little confusion between “what’s bad” and “what’s recommended.”
And the “RECOMMENDATION” not to wash your hair the same day you get highlights” rolled and went around until it became a giant snowball that turned into “WHAT’S WRONG.”
Many people repeat that you shouldn’t wash your hair before getting highlights. And they repeat it because they heard it around. Their neighbor assured it with confidence. Or their great-aunt did it that way back in the Dark Ages.
But I can assure you of this reality after my many hours of studying in hairdressing school and my long years of experience in different beauty salons. If you wash your hair the same day you get highlights, your hair won’t fall out. And you won’t ruin it either.
Nor will your highlights turn out streaky or a different color than you intended. And your highlights will even make your hair look thicker.
But there is an exception, as in every rule. Let’s see what the exception is.
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If your scalp is sensitive, you shouldn’t wash your hair on the same day as your highlights
Why not? The bleach mixture you use or that the salon uses to do your highlights may irritate or hurt your scalp.
The developer and bleach powder mixture is quite aggressive as it’s made of two chemicals. Additionally, applying the mixture to your hair generates a chemical reaction that raises the temperature on your scalp. This can cause itching and irritation.
Therefore, if your scalp is sensitive, or you suspect that it may be sensitive, as a colorist, I recommend you don’t wash your hair before getting highlights.
If this is your case, I advise you to wash your hair 48 hours before getting highlights. Now if you need to wash your hair the same day you get your highlights because your scalp is sensitive, DON’T use:
- Leave-in or rinse-out conditioners
- Natural oils
- Shampoo for extra dry hair
Simply wash your hair with only shampoo and rinse it for five minutes with warm to cold water.
You can wash your hair the same day you get highlights, and the only time I would advise you not to do this is if you have a sensitive scalp. In that case, you should wash your hair 48 hours before you get highlights.