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Should I Wash My Hair Before A Hair Appointment?

Did you know that dirty hair can slow your hair growth, cause ingrown hairs, and lead to a bad odor? Many people visit hair stylists for different purposes, but what is the standard practice? Should you wash your hair before a hair appointment?

If you’re curious about the proper etiquette for visiting the salon, we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about what to do before arriving at the hair salon.

Should You Wash Your Hair Before A Hair Appointment?

Generally speaking, it’s best to wash your hair before going to the hairstylist. But why should you bother? Many hair stylists will wash your hair before beginning their styling, after all.

There are several reasons to wash your hair before attending your hair appointment. For starters, your hair stylist will need to see your hair clean to best decide what to do with it.

If your hair is dirty, it may be oilier than it is while clean. Your hairstylist may assume your hair was cleaned and that it’s exceptionally oily. Dirtiness can also make your hair appear darker, which can make your stylist brighten it too much.

Additionally, dirty hair can lead to several health risks. You may develop dandruff from the oil buildup or damage your roots.

However, there are some reasons to visit the salon that may make it best to leave your hair unwashed. For example, most hair dyes work better on an oily scalp, as the oils defend against irritation.

Overall, it’s best to wash your hair beforehand. If you’re in doubt, ask your stylist while setting up your appointment. Some may not mind, while others may require clean hair for your salon appointment.

Do Salons Wash Hair Before Coloring It?

washing hair before a hair appointment

It depends on the salon, and you should talk to your hairstylist beforehand. The best move is to talk to your stylist and see what their process is.

Most salons will likely wash your hair before coloring it. Doing so helps the hair pick up color better and ensures that no dirt is being dyed into your hair. The process also keeps your hair healthy.

Furthermore, your stylist can dye your hair safely and without skin irritation. While some dyes will likely still irritate your skin, your hair stylist can minimize this problem. If you’re visiting a salon for dyeing job, read how to prepare for the color appointment.

Is It Rude to Attend Your Hair Appointment with Dirty Hair?

dirty hair

This, again, depends on the stylist – but it also depends on just how dirty your hair is. If you’ve skipped a wash and your hair is oilier than usual, you shouldn’t think of it as rude.

Your hair stylist has almost certainly worked with dirtier hair than yours. If you’re going in specifically for a professional washing, then showing up with freshly-washed hair isn’t necessary. It also can cause damage to wash your hair too frequently, so skipping a wash the week of your salon trip is fine.

But if your hair is exceptionally dirty, it may come off as rude. You shouldn’t skip several weeks of washes on the same visit as your hair salon appointment.

Dirty hair can have a foul odor and a high amount of oil. These features can make it unpleasant to work on your hair as well as make it significantly more work.

In rare cases, some salons may charge more if your hair took more effort than expected.

The best thing to do is to discuss washing your hair with your salon stylist. Ask what their policy or preferences are for your appointment. They may not mind washing unwashed hair at all, or it may be against their policies. If nothing else, you’re a considerate customer for asking about these details!

Pros and Cons of Washing Hair Before Going to the Salon

pros and cons of washing hair before hair appointment

For pros, it’s best to keep clean hair for health reasons. You’ll also make sure there’s no dirt or particulates in your hair that can disrupt dyeing. Clean hair is generally easier to work with as well.

For cons, washing hair can remove protective oils from your scalp. Many dyes are harsh and can irritate your skin. Protective oil on your hair may also help defend it from damage, though it can also cause the color not to stick as well.


It’s generally better to wash your hair before going to the salon. Talk to your stylist beforehand to see what the salon’s preference or guidelines on hair care are. You should also make your decision based on what treatment you’re undergoing at the hair salon.

When in doubt, wash your hair and discuss what you should do for the future if you intend to visit the salon again.