TPDTY: Why You Should Wait to Shampoo after Color

Have you ever gotten your hair colored only to wonder why your stylist warns against washing your hair the next morning? Her instruction to wait to shampoo after color isn’t an arbitrary edict. You might be more inclined to heed her instruction, though, if you knew why.

There are plenty of valid reasons not to shampoo daily for those who don’t meddle with chemical services. Scalp health, keeping oil production under control, damage reduction (due to drying less often), and time-saving are all reasons for anyone to skip a day or two. If you do color, however, you should heed your stylist’s advice.

The Recommendation

Conventional advice suggests waiting 48 to 72 hours after any chemical service before lathering up. This gives your hair time to settle down and get back to that normal state before hitting it with something

Why You Should Wait to Shampoo after Color

The cuticle of the hair can open up through several routine processes:

  • Shampoo
  • Heat
  • Chemical Services (color, perms, etc)

Opening the cuticle isn’t a bad thing. It’s necessary in order to deep condition, deposit color, or in the case of a perm, get the hair’s structure to change.

For simplicity’s sake, imagine that your hair’s cuticle has three phases: Normal (Closed), Porous (Open), and Very Porous. In reality, there’s a lot of grey area here but for the sake of an example:

Hair Cuticles & Why You Should Wait to Shampoo after Color

Hair is more vulnerable while the cuticle is open and porous. After a color service, the cuticles of your hair aren’t left in their, “normal,” state. Your hair is generally a little weaker than it was when you went in. Choosing not to wait to shampoo after color increases the risk for breakage. Furthermore, since your cuticles have already been left ajar, shampoo will open them further…and your freshly-deposited color will be more prone to fading.

The Bottom Line

Haircolor isn’t cheap. Even if you prefer to shampoo daily, listen to your stylist. Protect your investment and wait a couple days.