Should you wash your hair before getting highlights?

  • You should always wash your hair before getting highlights to help the bleach mixture work better.
  • Also, clean hair will be easier to handle whether you get highlights using plastic cap or foil technique.
  • The important thing is that you wash it without using conditioner, and that the hair is completely dry when starting the highlights.


before bleaching hair

If you’re thinking of getting highlights, the first thing you should know is that you need to wash your hair. And not just for hygienic reasons.

I know what you’re thinking, with a little sarcastic smile.

“Isn’t it that hair shouldn’t be washed when you dye it?”


Yes, you’re right. When you are going to dye your hair, it is best not to wash it for at least 48 hours, so that the natural oils produced by the scalp protect it from the effects of the chemicals used in dyeing.

 But, now, we’re talking about highlights. In this case, the bleaching mixture doesn’t come into contact with the scalp. That’s why it’s convenient to work with clean hair.  


In addition to this, there are other important reasons for you to wash your hair before getting some highlights. Do you want to know about them?


Then stay with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • Why it’s important to wash your hair before getting your highlights
  • How to wash your hair before highlights if it is very oily or dry

Do you want your highlights to be perfect? Then, continue reading

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Why it’s important to wash your hair before getting highlights

It is very common for some clients to show up in the salon with dirty hair before getting highlights.

Why do they do it?


It is just a waste of time, because I have to wash their hair and dry it. It is also a loss of money because, of course, the washing service has an extra cost.


  Hair should be clean and dry before getting highlights. It is as simple as one plus one is two. 

Do you know why?


  • Because clean hair can be handled much better when you have to work it through the perforated cap to apply the bleaching mixture.

When it is clean, it slides better, and there is no need to pull the hair, which can be very annoying, especially for the client.


  • If you want to get your highlights using foil, your hair should be clean too because, after all, the bleach mixture won’t touch your scalp.

Now, when and how should you wash your hair?


  You will have to wash it the day before, only with shampoo and without using any conditioner, so as to avoid leaving any remains.  This way, it won’t interfere with the effects of the bleaching mixture and your hair won’t get heavy.

After washing your hair, you should dry it. You can do this by using a hair dryer, or simply leave it to air dry.


By washing your hair, you ensure that the bleach mixture works evenly in the strands where you want to get your highlights.

But what if your hair is too oily? That’s what I’ll take care of next.


How to wash your hair before highlights if it is very oily or dry

apply it before getting highlights

It is very important that you evaluate the health of your hair before getting highlights. I know you won’t bleach the entire surface but, after all, some of your hair will be bleached.


  •  If you have very dry hair, it is essential that you do some intensive moisturizing treatment at least one month before having your highlights done. 

However, never do a moisturizing treatment the day before or the same day you will get your highlights.


The day you get your highlights, wash your hair simply by using a shampoo and, if your hair tends to be very dry, use a few drops of conditioner.

But remember, you must remove all traces so that they do not interfere with the effects of the bleaching mixture.


  • What about oily hair?

It is very important that you wash your hair the same day you get your highlights. Not one or two days before.  You must wash your hair the same day, and do it twice, to completely remove the oil from the hair. 

In this case, if too much oil remains, it can interfere with the effects of the bleaching mixture. And. when possible, avoid the use of conditioner.

If your hair becomes very tangled, remember that it is important to start by combing it from the ends upwards, to avoid breaking the hair fiber.

I always recommend doing treatments with masks a month before, but you should stop them at least three days before. It is vitally important that when you get highlights, you don’t do it on your scalp, but from mid lengths to ends.



In every case, it is essential to wash the hair before getting highlights

  • If your hair is regular or dry, you can wash it with shampoo and without conditioning the day before you get your highlights.
  • If your hair is very oily, the best thing to do is to wash it the same day you get your highlights to avoid the natural oils in your hair preventing the bleaching mixture from working.


Plan ahead for any intensive hydration treatment, because it can also cause bleaching to act unevenly.

According to your hair, when would you wash your hair before getting your highlights? Would you do it the same day or the day before?

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