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Should I Wash My Hair Before I Color It?

Hair Color Application

Should I Wash My Hair Before I Color It? Should I Wash My Hair Before I Color It? Should I Wash My Hair Before I Color It?

If you’re a hair color newbie, you may be wondering where to start. From choosing between going to the salon or using an at-home hair color kit to finding the right hair care products for color-treated hair, there’s a lot to consider. And of course, there’s also the age-old question: Should you wash your hair before you color it? Lucky for you—we have all the answers!


Most hair dyes are formulated to work better on hair that isn’t freshly washed, so it’s best not to use your shampoo and conditioner directly before you color your hair. Not to mention, hair dye is meant to be applied to dry hair, so if you did choose to wash yours, you’d have to dry it right away. Sounds like a big old waste of time!

Editor’s note: Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to let your locks get oily, you’ll simply want to wash your hair the night before dyeing instead of immediately beforehand.


If you’ve decided you want to DIY your new hair color, you may be overwhelmed with the number of hair color products out there. Here’s a breakdown of all your options:

If you want your hair color to wash out…use a temporary hair color. This is the perfect hair color product if you’re looking for a quick, one-day change or if you’re on the fence about a certain hair color. For your temporary hue, use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray. This hair color spray washes out in just one shampoo, so you can experiment with different colors without bleaching or committing to a single color.

If you want your hair color to last a few washes…use a semi-permanent hair color. A semi-permanent hair color is a great option if you don’t want to change your hair color permanently but you’d like your new color to last longer than just one day. Try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Semi-Permanent Hair Color, which lasts four to ten shampoos.

If you want your hair color to last a few weeks…use a permanent hair color. If you’re sold on your hair color of choice and want to have it for as long as possible, opt for a permanent hair color. Try L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference for fade-defying color that lasts up to eight weeks.

If you want to hide your roots…use temporary root cover up. When you aren’t in need of a full dye job but want to hide your roots, a root cover up spray will be your new best friend. The L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up is a root touch up spray that conceals grays in seconds with seamless coverage.

If you want to lighten your hair…use a hair color bleach. If you have naturally dark locks and want to go lighter, you’re going to have to use a hair color bleach. Make sure to give your hair a break by waiting at least 14 days to color your hair after bleaching. Try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach in All Over.


Once you have newly colored hair, you want your mane to stay vibrant and healthy, right? It’s important to swap your go-to hair care products for products that are safe for color-treated hair. Try a hair care system like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair and Defend Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Repair Remedy Balm.

If you’re rocking a new blonde hair color, consider using a hair care line specifically for blondes. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shade Reviving Treatment to balance blonde hair and neutralize brassiness.


Of course, you’ll want to show off your newly colored locks with a fabulous hairstyle. Give your hair a break from the heat and opt for heat free hairstyles. Use the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray to define your hair’s natural shape and texture or the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty to give your mane a boost of texture and thickness.

Ready to jump on the hair coloring bandwagon? Check out our article, How to Find the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone.