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How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring?

So, you’re super excited to color your hair; you’re ready for a change and you can’t wait to show off your new hair color when it’s done. Still, you know that hair color can fade prematurely if you shampoo your hair too soon after coloring, so you’re trying to figure out just how long to wait to wash hair after coloring. Fortunately, there are some tips you can keep in mind that’ll help you reach the right decision.

How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring?

Recommended Wait Times

First of all, understand that there’s no “universal” wait time between coloring and washing your hair. This will vary depending on a number of factors. However, if you read the instructions on most at-home hair coloring kits, you’ll find that it’s recommended that you wait at least 24 hours after you color your hair to actually wash it with shampoo. Ideally, however, you should wait as long as possible to wash your hair after coloring. The longer you wait, the more time the color pigment will have to soak into the hair cuticle, which will result in longer-lasting color overall.

How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring?

Hair-Washing Tips

Whether you wait the minimum 24 hours to wash your hair or are planning on waiting a few days, there are some tips you’ll want to follow when you do decide to wash your hair that will help preserve your color. For starters, always rinse your hair in cold or lukewarm water as opposed to hot water. Unfortunately, hot water can strip color from your hair. Cold water has the opposite effect, sealing the hair cuticle and keeping color from leaking out.

It can also be helpful to wash your hair with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner. These are specifically formulated for use on color-treated hair and will help to preserve color much better than your traditional shampoo and conditioner would.
Still, even with the right shampoo and conditioner, it’s best to avoid washing your hair daily when you’ve recently colored it. By skipping a day or two in between washing your hair, you can keep the color looking as vibrant as possible. In between washes, consider using a quality dry shampoo, which will remove a lot of the grease and buildup from your hair without the need to wash.

How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring?

A Note on “Wild” Hair Colors

Also, keep in mind that if you’ve chosen a less natural color for your hair (such as a red or purple shade), you’ll want to be especially careful, as these shades tend to fade and wash out much more easily than more natural shades. So if you’re wondering how long to wait to wash hair after coloring with a bold, vibrant shade, your best bet is to wait as long as possible—at least three days. You can always use a dry shampoo in the meantime to keep your hair from looking like an oily mess, but by waiting to wash your hair, you can prevent your vibrant new color from washing out after the first couple of shampoos. 

These are just some general guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to washing your hair after coloring it. Overall, the best thing you can do is to wait as long as possible to wash after coloring. If you have naturally oily and greasy hair, try to wait at least 24 hours. Dry shampoo is also a great way to keep your contemporary color from fading! From there, you can enjoy your new color and not have to worry about it fading as quickly.

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