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  • Writer's pictureErin Timme

To Wash or Not To Wash.

Ah yes... one of the most frequent questions I hear before most color services. I’m sure at some point in your life you have been told by a friend or hairstylist to come with dirty hair for your color service. Did you ever ask why?

Back in the day it was thought that color “stuck” better to dirty hair. Clean hair was just too slippery, the dirtier the better some might say. Not only that, it was believed that not washing your hair left behind the natural oils your bodies produce to protect your scalp so then the color wouldn’t irritate or burn your scalp. While there is some truth there, it’s not 100% accurate.

Color has evolved greatly over the years to be safer, healthier and more gentle than ever before. Some color lines have lowered the ammonia levels or removed it completely. Most color lines aren’t as harsh as they once were and can’t cut through dirt, sweat and buildup like it once could.

So, should you wash your hair before your color service? If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you should wash your hair 12-24 hours before your color service.

1. Do you use excessive hair products such as a lot of hairspray, silicones or oil based products?

2. Do you use Color Wow or other Grey coverage products to blend your greys inbetween salon visits?

3. Did you go to your favorite yoga or spin class and work up a sweat?

4. Do you have at least one day of dry shampoo on your hair?

5. Are you on any medications?

6. Do you have well water at home or have gone swimming since your last shampoo?

Sweat, hair products, grey cover up powder or sprays can all leave a residue on the hair preventing color from penetrating. All color has an “Active” stage, this is where most of the magic happens. In the first 15 minutes color is mixed it is at its strongest. So if the color is trying to bust through product buildup and sweat it’s using all its power before even getting to those stubborn greys you want covered. This could leave you with a less-than-stellar hair color.

You might be wondering why medications was on that list above. Did you know some medications can build up on your hair shaft and have chemical reactions with hair color? Most common types are thyroid and hormonal based medications. It’s always best to let your stylist know of any changes or issues before a chemical service.

Now, if you have been in to see me since I switched to Lanza Healing Haircolor then you might already be familiar with The Ultimate Treatment. The Ultimate Treatment is a customizable conditioning treatment that can be done prior to a color service. The treatment starts with a Chelating wash which removes any minerals or product build up on the hair shaft. This will leave the hair in prime condition to receive the moisture and protein from the conditioning treatment that is then put on. The Ultimate Treatment is prepping your hair for the perfect color experience, while removing build up and strengthening your hair strands it will allow color to penetrate better and last longer! Win/win!

Now with color being more gentle, I would say the new rule of thumb is to come with clean dry hair to your color appointments...unless you plan on treating your locks to the Ultimate Treatment, then I will be washing it for you! 😊

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