How Long To Wait To Wash Hair After Color, According To An Expert

Stylists Say: How Long Should You Wait After Color To Wash Your Hair?

photo of Jessie Amato
22 April 2019
how long to wait to wash hair after color
photo of Jessie Amato

Jessie Amato

Junior Beauty Editor

22 April 2019

Introducing Stylists Say, where the top hairstylists in the industry answer your most pressing salon etiquette questions. Whether you’re concerned about answering your phone mid-hair appointment or you never know how much to tip the person who shampoos your mane, our hair experts break down all the do’s and don’ts.

Like a new car or a pair of shoes you’ve been dying to purchase, your hair color is an investment. Once you’ve spent all of that time and money achieving the hue of your dreams, you’re going to want to do your best to make it last—and that means avoiding certain aftercare no-nos. One of the most common hair color questions circulating the internet is: How long should you wait after color to wash your hair?

We chatted with Brittany VanDyke, Redken artist, to find out. Whether you’ve recently opted for dark brown hair or ash blonde balayage, you’re going to want to keep scrolling.


How long should you wait to wash your hair after a color service?

If you lather your strands with shampoo immediately after a color service, it may take a toll on the vibrancy of your hue. That’s why VanDyke recommends giving your hair a bit of a post-salon breather.

“I generally tell my clients to wait 48 hours before they wash their hair,” VanDyke says.

During the first 48 hours after a color service, the pigments of the salon color are still settling—meaning if you shampoo your hair too soon after an appointment, it can cause your hue to fade quicker.

Whether you opt to lighten and brighten your mane or go a few shades darker, VanDyke still suggests waiting the same amount of time before shampooing. After the first wash, blondes should take extra caution when scrubbing their strands.

“I definitely prefer my blondes to take it easy when it comes to shampooing after color services, while my single-process brunettes can handle shampooing more often,” VanDyke says.


How often should you shampoo color-treated hair?

If you’re worried that overshampooing is stripping your color, try washing your hair only two or three times a week.

“Washing too often and heat styling is killer for maintaining color and the integrity of the hair and over-shampooing can strip the hair of its natural oils,” Vandyke says.

When you do decide to wash, be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner system formulated to protect color-treated hair. VanDyke recommends the Redken Color Extend Magnetics system to gently cleanse and strengthen color-treated hair.

If you’re working with fine hair or strands that tend to get oily, Vandyke suggests using a dry shampoo like Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02 to hold you over between washes. This non-aerosol dry shampoo powder absorbs oil and provides light, clean volume while the oil-absorbing charcoal extends and refreshes styles.

Now that have VanDyke’s expert advice on washing hair after color, you’ll be able to keep your color-treated mane looking its best.

Interested in more professional hair color advice? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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