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How Long Should I Wait After Balayage to Wash Hair?

Balayage is a great alternative for highlighting or fully coloring your hair. They add personality to your hair without getting dye on the roots or scalp.

However, they require delicate care for the color to last and prevent hair damage. One of the key balayage hair care measures is washing and conditioning.

But how long you should wait after balayage before washing your hair? Wait for 48-72 hours at least. If you wash your hair too soon, the balayage color will fade away.

Why Should I Wait Before Washing Hair After Balayage?

When you get balayage, the hair color is applied directly onto your hair without using foils or heat. This allows the hair to absorb the color more slowly and evenly. So, the color looks more natural.

However, the color still needs time to set and bond to your hair. If you wash your hair too soon after getting balayage, the color may fade or become uneven.

How Long Should You Wait After Balayage to Wash Your Hair?

You should wait 48 to 72 hours before washing your hair after a balayage. Washing your hair sooner washes away the color causing it to fade.

Balayage and highlighting dyes work by opening the hair cuticles to deposit color. The cuticles remain open in the first 48-72 hours.

Therefore, if you wash your hair, the color washes off easily. Besides, the longer you wait before washing the hair, the better the color sets in the hair fiber.

How to Wash Hair After Balayage

How to Wash Hair After Balayage

After the 72 hours have lapsed, you can wash your hair. However, follow the following guidelines to prevent the color from fading too soon.

  • Do not use hot water to wash your hair. The heat will open the hair follicles, allowing the color to be washed away. Instead, use cold or lukewarm water to wash your hair after a balayage.
  • Use shampoos and conditioners suitable for colored hair. Avoid sulfate shampoos as they strip away the hair of color and moisture. Whenever possible, go for a shampoo conditioner that is indicated as favorable for colored hair. If you are unsure which shampoo or conditioner to use, ask your hair stylist for a recommendation.
  • Do not wash your hair too often. Inevitably, every wash cycle removes some color. Therefore, the more frequently you wash your hair, the faster the balayage fades. Instead, limit the washers to one to three times a week. Ensure to rinse out the shampoo and conditioner thoroughly. Use dry shampoo between washes to remove dirt and oil build-up.

Tips for Maintaining Your Balayage Hair Color

Here are some tips to make your balayage hair color last without fading and protecting it from looking bad.

Use a Deep Conditioner on the Hair

One of the top issues with colored hair—regardless of whether it is fully colored, highlighted, or balayage—is dryness. This not only makes your hair frizzy but also makes it prone to breakage and falling.

Therefore, one of the most crucial post-treatment care routines is ensuring that your balayage hair is well-conditioned. Use a high-quality hair mask to penetrate the hair cuticles and strands, saturating them with moisture.

Apply a Toner

apply toner to maintain Balayage Hair Color

If your balayage has undertones, applying a semi-permanent toner will remove the brassiness. The toner also restored the hair color for a vibrant look. The main advantage of semi-permanent toners is that they are safe on the hair, so you can use them every week.

Use the right toner color for your balayage color. The right color is influenced by colorimetry, which means you use a toner whose color is directly opposite your hair color on the color wheel.

For instance, use purple shampoo and conditioner for blonde and platinum balayage and blue shampoo and conditioner for red, orange, and yellow undertones.

Keep Off the Sun

UV-rays break down the hair color bonds, making it easy to wash off. They also cause the color to fade and cause dryness.

If you anticipate that your hair will be exposed to the sun for extended periods, apply coconut oil, castor oil, or shea butter oil to create a protective layer against the UV rays.

Also, ensure to condition your hair regularly to restore moisture and prevent breakage due to dryness.


It’s not recommended to wash your hair within the first 72 hours after balayage as it causes the color to fade. Even after the 72-hour, washing the hair too often is not recommended.

Limit the wash cycles to 1-3 times a week. When washing it, use a shampoo and conditioner suitable for colored hair.

Also, observe proper balayage hair maintenance, including deep conditioning, avoiding sulfate shampoos, using a toner, and keeping off direct sunlight.

Note that even with proper balayage hair care, some colors fade fast. For example, red and crimson pigments wash away easily and fade faster.


Can you use dry shampoo after balayage?

Yes, you can use dry shampoo after getting balayage.

How often should I get balayage?

It depends on a number of factors. Generally, it’s recommended to get balayage every 3-6 months.

Can I swim after getting balayage?

Yes, you can swim after getting balayage. Just make sure your hair is protected from chlorine and salt water.

How can you make your balayage last longer?

Use sulfate-free products, avoid frequent washing, and protect your hair from environmental factors. These can all help your balayage last longer.

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