Should I shampoo my hair after bleaching and before coloring?

  • You should always shampoo your hair after bleaching and before coloring.
  • If you don’t thoroughly remove all traces of bleach, the hair coloring process will be interrupted. In that case, your hair may turn an uneven color.
  • Therefore, after bleaching and before coloring, you should first rinse your hair with plenty of water to remove the bleach. Then, shampoo it twice.


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Yes, you should shampoo your hair after bleaching it and before coloring it.

If your friend is a salon regular, don’t let her convince you out of my advice.

The reason is simple.


 The big difference between you and your friend is that she bleached and colored her hair at the salon. Whereas you’ll do it on your own at home. 

And that changes things radically. Why?


Because your friend didn’t wash her hair at the salon.

It was the colorist or the colorist’s assistant. They can watch your hair closely while they rinse out the bleach mixture.

Professionals know exactly how and where to run the water over the hair for the bleach to disappear.

They even know how to rub the hair to optimize the rinse.


That’s why   we don’t shampoo the hair before coloring at the salon.  We know some tricks, such as the ideal water temperature to rinse the bleach.


Now, I’m going to ask you a question, and I need you to be honest:

  • What is your knowledge of coloring?
  • Do you know how to spot bleach residue that may remain in your hair while rinsing it?


If you answered no to either of these two questions, you have two options:

  • Follow your friend’s advice by not shampooing your hair after bleaching and coloring.
  • Follow my professional advice and trust my several years of salon experience.


If you follow your friend’s advice, the color you’ll get on your hair will be uncertain, probably disastrous.

And here’s why.

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Why you should shampoo your hair after bleaching

with clarifying shampoo

During the bleaching process, chemicals penetrate the hair core to expel the artificial and natural color.

What happens if you apply the hair dye over some of the bleach mixture?


 The hair dye you apply to your unwashed bleached hair won’t settle. 



Because the bleach powder removes the color. Remember those residues you didn’t rinse out properly?

Also, the developer, which is also still there, has a lightening effect.

On top of that, you add the hair dye, but it won’t have enough strength to penetrate the hair and deposit the color evenly.

The result?


Faded color and damaged hair.

So, at this point, who will you listen to?

Will you follow your friend’s opinion, who has no coloring experience or a professional stylist’s?


I think I’ve made my point.

And since I’m sure you’ve made the right decision, i.e. shampoo your hair after bleaching and before coloring, I’ll tell you how to do it like a real pro.


How to wash your hair to remove the bleach mixture and prepare it for the coloring process

  • First recommendation: don’t wash your hair in the shower after bleaching.

If you do, some residues from the bleach may get into your eyes and cause irritation.


 It’s best to wash your hair in the kitchen sink/laundry room or in the bathroom sink after bleaching.  You can choose whichever is more convenient for you.

It’s even better to have help.


  • Second recommendation: use gloves to protect your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, from the irritation that can be caused by the bleach mixture.


  • Third recommendation: use cold water to rinse your hair after bleaching.


Having given you these suggestions, let’s start with washing the hair after the exposure time.


How to shampoo your hair after bleaching and before coloring it

  • Pull all your hair forward. Lean over the faucet and run cold water on your mane for 5 minutes.
  • Massage your hair from the scalp to the ends with your hands.
  • The bleach mixture has some small lumps like grains of sand. After rinsing for five minutes with cold water, check if you can feel any of those little grains. If you can’t, it’s time to shampoo.
  • Place shampoo in the palm of your hand and apply it from roots to ends.
  • Lather and concentrate on the nape of your neck, which is the area that usually accumulates the most bleach.
  • Rinse your hair with cold water until it runs clear.
  • Remove excess water from your hair and reapply shampoo.
  • Massage your entire scalp and lengths as well.
  • Rinse and dry


Don’t apply conditioner or any other moisturizing product. At least, not at this time.

 It’s normal for your hair to feel stiff, rough, and frizzy. After all, you’ve just had your hair bleached. 


Now, before you moisturize it, you need to color it. First, you must dry it because the hair dye is applied to dry hair.

Don’t use a blow-dryer. The extreme heat of the dryer will take away more moisture from your hair.

Be patient and let your hair air dry. Take the opportunity to read a chapter of your favorite novel or check your social media.

Once your hair is dry, you can apply the hair dye.


Which hair dye should you apply?

some hairdressers hate box dyes

It all depends on your preferences. If you’re looking for some advice, here are two pieces of advice:

  • If your hair is too damaged, choose a semi-permanent hair dye. It damages the hair less than permanent hair dyes.
  • If your hair is not too frizzy and the ends are not split, you can opt for a permanent hair dye. Also, most coloring kits include moisturizing post-color treatments.


After coloring your hair, wait 72 hours to shampoo it again. That’s how long it takes for the hair to absorb the pigments from the hair dye.

Plus, you’ll give your scalp time to produce sebum, which is a super moisturizing natural source of moisture that’s so necessary for your hair.



If you’re going to bleach and color your hair at home, you should always shampoo it before coloring it to remove all traces of the bleach mixture.

If you don’t shampoo it, or if you do it improperly, you’ll get an uneven and faded color.

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