Why do hairdressers color before cutting? For this simple reason

girl doubts and touches the head

  • Hairdressers color the hair before cutting because the ends get damaged after applying the dye. That way, the damaged ends are trimmed after coloring.
  • In this article, I’ll tell you in-depth why it’s preferable to cut the hair after coloring it and the steps you should follow when coloring your hair.
  • We’ll also see when it’s advisable to do it the other way: first cut and then dye, and the factors that influence this, such as health problems, product savings, and styling.
  • I’ll also tell you about a real case in my salon and much more!


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Are you about to visit the salon to get your hair cut and colored?

Were you wondering why hairdressers usually cut hair after coloring it?


I think it’s great that you’re going for those touch-ups.

As I said at the beginning, hairdressers cut after coloring because this way   we can evaluate damaged ends. Then, we cut the hair,   and the result is flawless.


But this isn’t the end of the story.

In this article, I’ll also tell you when you could reverse the order, for example. cut and then dye.

On the other hand, we’ll see if it’s always necessary to cut the hair when applying dyes. Ready?

Let’s go!

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Why should you first color and then cut the hair?

Pink-haired girl shows a scissors

As I told you before, in my experience, whenever a client comes to the salon for coloring, what we do is:

  • First, color the hair.
  • Second, apply a nourishing treatment or mask.
  • Third, trim the ends.
  • Fourth, dry and style their hair.


The reason I follow these steps is very simple. During coloring, the hair suffers: it’s the sad reality.

  The ends, which have already undergone several of these processes, are damaged.  


So, once the coloring and treatment are finished, it’s possible to evaluate which ends are already badly damaged and need a trim.

Is this always the case?


Good question.

No, we don’t always cut after coloring.

  Hairdressers cut after dyeing ONLY when you want to maintain your style.  

On the other hand, if you want to get a change of look, we’ll have to take a different route. Continue reading to find out.

If you want to color your hair at home, try to keep these tips in mind before coloring your hair.


When do you cut your hair before coloring it?

hairdresser cuts a young woman's hair before dyeing it

There are ALWAYS exceptions in life, and this is also the case:   hairdressers sometimes have to cut first and then color.  Why?

3 factors why your hairdresser may need to cut your hair before applying the dye

  • Your hair’s health
  • What haircut are you going to request?/li>
  • What other chemical processes or salon treatments are you planning to do on your hair?

Let’s take a look at each one!

Your hair’s health

Many times clients arrive at the salon with several chemical processes done previously.

In these cases, their hair looks very “burned” after so many dyes.

Inevitably, this hair won’t be able to recover, not even with treatments.

  If your hair is seriously damaged, the best thing to do is to cut your hair before   applying color or any other treatment.

What haircut are you going to request?

Imagine you arrive at the salon with your hair down to your waist and you’re craving a super change. After flipping through a few magazines, you decide you want to get a bob cut.

When you’re thinking about going for a radical change, if you first apply color,   you’ll waste a lot of product.  

So, to   save time and not waste product   the wisest decision is to cut first and then dye, right?


This is also true for other types of cuts, such as layered cuts.

  When you get a layered cut, the layers determine where the color or highlights will be applied, so you should cut and then dye.  

On the other hand, whenever we make a major change in terms of the cut on our hair, the color choices can change.

What do I mean?


Maybe you came in with the idea of applying a dark brown to your hair, but the cut inspired you to go for highlights?

Of course, in this case   it’ll be better to apply the color after cutting your hair,   to allow for these course changes.


What other chemical processes or salon treatments do you plan to apply to your hair?

Let me tell you the story of Belen, a client of my salon.

  Belen came to the salon with her brown hair: every month we would touch up her hair color and, every now and then, we would cut her ends. But this time she wanted something different.  

She wanted to look blonder, but not so blonde.


So, we decided to do a soft balayage: we lightened just a few strands so that the change would be noticeable, without being as abrupt as looking completely blonde.

I finished the balayage and when Belen saw me, she told me that she also wanted to cut her hair shorter, with a half bob style.

Can you imagine my reaction?



It was really too late for that decision and there was no turning back. Do you want to know why?


Doing a full color isn’t the same as doing, for example, a balayage. What do I mean?

  The balayage is a worn-out effect from mid-lengths to ends:   what would happen if we cut the hair as my client requested?


Bye-bye, balayage!

Imagine wasting hours and hours at the salon to come out without that fade you wanted so badly, what a waste!

  That’s why whenever you want balayage, fade, or highlights,   it’s best to cut your hair first and then just color it.

Do you want to know how Belen’s story ended?


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Well, it’s a story with a happy ending.

Maybe the ending didn’t happen the way she would have wanted it, but after explaining to her that if we cut her hair, we would lose the balayage,   we decided together to cut her bangs so she would get a different cut.  

I dried her hair and styled it, and she was happy because she loved the result!


Is it always necessary to cut the hair when coloring?

hairdresser cuts damaged ends after color

Hair grows about 0.4 millimeters per day and about 1.12 centimeters in a month.

But   hair ages and the aging rate depends on external and internal agents   that interfere with the structure of the hair fiber causing weakening.

Do I have to cut my hair every month?

How much should I cut it?


No, you shouldn’t cut your hair every month or every time you color it.

Instead, cut your hair every two months, at least 1 centimeter.  

If you cut your hair every month, you’ll be taking away what little you’ve grown, and you’ll never get to show off your truly long hair. So, if you want to have your mane down to your waist, you know!


   Cut your hair a little bit every two months, whether you color it or not.  


Conclusion: cutting your hair after coloring ensures a better result

Deciding whether to cut your hair before or after coloring is usually confusing.

  As we have seen, if you plan to keep the style you already had, it’s best to dye your hair and then cut   the ends so you can remove any damaged ends during coloring.


On the other hand,   if you plan to radically change your look,   it’s best to have your hairdresser cut your hair first and then apply the dye.

What is important is that you always feel good at the end with the result. Hair is a mirror of the soul, don’t you think?

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