Washing hair before a balayage appointment is always confused, people. Whether to wash or not to wash before going for your balayage appointment. I was used to stopping washing my hair like 3 days before I had to go to my stylist, they are going to wash after all. But it is said, due to multiple reasons that you shouldn’t wash your hair before dyeing your hair. 

When it comes to balayage appointments, people say that you should stop washing your hair one or two days before your appointment. Some say that hair products might mess with your color to get it the wrong way. 

Others say that your scalp might be itchy and could hurt because you scratch your scalp while shampooing, so in that case, bleach would be hurtful for your head. About all these conspiracies and myths, what’s the truth? Don’t worry, I am here to help you with that. Keep reading, and you will get the answers you are looking for, before your balayage appointment. 

What is meant by balayage? 

Some people might not have an exact idea about what balayage is. they couldn’t find the difference between coloring and balayage. Well, there’s not much of a difference, but there are reasons why this is called balayage instead of simply called “hair color”.  

Balayage is a special color applying technique, which gets the blended color to your roots, bright color around the face, lighter color at the tips and all of this looks a lot more natural than simple hair dye. Balayage is a French word, which means sweep or paint. And it has all these qualities and benefits, which shows why you should go for balayage instead of at-home hair dye.  

The Balayage technique is used to provide a naturally blended and lightened look. Balayage is associated with blonde, but this very technique can be used for more colors like pastel, espresso, or caramel. balayge, just like the word means, is a painting process, instead of folding hair to achieve color. This gives colorists a free hand and they are more creative. 

Balayage is for people, who opt for more natural color, and low maintenance. Even if you opt for balayage, ask your stylist first, he/she might have other options for you, or other color application techniques they might think could be better for you. although, there is nothing wrong if I say that balayage is trending these days and it’s more demanding now. 

Should I wash my hair before balayage? 

Now comes the important question; should you wash your hair or not before a balayage appointment. Famous colorist Fe said “your hair shouldn’t be washed because the natural oils give protection to your scalp against harsh chemicals being used in the process. 

It might look inconvenient and gross to you that you go to your stylist with a dirty head but it is best for both of you. unless you have had a lot of hair products recently in your hair like hair sprays, serums, etc, you shouldn’t wash your hair before going for balayage. It makes it easy for the colorist as well.

They have to paint your hair, and when your hair is too clean, there is baby hair that couldn’t be settled and colored properly. Also, there might be an itching, irritating scalp due to bleaching and other chemicals.

When your hair isn’t washed for 2-3 days, they produce natural oils, which might look greasy and gross, but they provide an extra layer of protection for your scalp so that your scalp isn’t hurt or damaged directly by the color. When the cuticle’s open, this coating of grease works like barriers that minimize the damage to the scalp and hair breakage. 

Although it doesn’t matter much when you ask the question that if I washed my hair, can I dye them the same day. the answer would be “yes, you can”. But why would you? when there are fewer benefits and more drawbacks to it. your hair isn’t going to absorb the color properly if they are too clean. And you are going to be open to irritation and staining if you don’t leave natural oils in your hair by leaving them dirty before your balayage appointment.  

And the benefit of washing your head before your balayage appointment is just your satisfaction that you are a hygienic person, and no one is going to judge you for your dirty hair. They are not going to judge you, either way, trust me. 

How to get my hair ready before balayage? 

Other than “not washing your hair”, what other things you should keep in mind before going for your balayage appointment. There are several things you should know about balayage. Let’s take a look at a few points you should keep in mind before going for your balayage appointment. 

1. Know what you want

The first and important thing is to have your goal set go with a clear mind, what kind of look are you looking for. Take a few pictures along with you to make it easy for you and your colorist to choose from. What you are looking for and what will look good on you? showing pictures to your colorist will help you both decide. 

2. Hot oil treatment

A few days before you go for your balayage appointment, try hot oil treatment at home. It is beneficial all the way, and when you use it to massage your hair and scalp gently a few days before going for your color, it would help stimulate the scalp and open the cuticles so the color will be absorbed properly and your hair will be least damaged. 

3. Don’t go with clean hair

Sounds weird? But this is exactly what’s said by most of the stylists that they can treat unwashed hair better when it comes to balayage. Because of your natural oils, that build up in hair a day or two after washing them.

These oils help with the protection of your scalp when it comes to harsh chemicals being used during the balayage process. Natural oils work like a protective layer over the scalp, which stops bleach and other chemicals from being damaged. 

4. Discuss with your stylist

If you have colored your hair previously, make sure to discuss it with your stylist before fixing an appointment. Some people who have colored their hair in the past with something like henna could be sensitive to harsh chemicals and could cause an allergic reaction.  

5. Try to keep your casual hairstyle

When you arrive salon for your balayage appointment, try leaving your home with the hairstyle you normally wear. Because your stylist will paint your hair differently depending on the hairstyle you like to wear usually, like sleek straight, wavy, or curled.  If your hair would be painted accordingly, it would look even better. 

Should I Wash My Hair Before Balayage: Guide

What should you be expecting on your first balayage appointment? 

If you are looking out for your first-ever balayage, then you might be a little nervous about the process. Don’t worry, it’s natural, whenever you are going for something for the first time, it happens. You don’t know what is going to happen and how are they going to treat you, so you get a little hesitant. But trust me, there is nothing you should be worried about.  

I know that it is tempting that you leave your hair the same way they were when you got out of bed because if you are going to the salon, they are going to fix it anyways. Indeed, they say it’s better if you haven’t washed them in a day or two before your balayage but that doesn’t mean that your hair shouldn’t be combed or styled.

You should wear your favorite hairstyle to your appointment, so your hair is treated accordingly. When you reach there, here is what’s going to happen to you: 

1. Prepping your hair

There is no need for you to wash your hair before you go to a salon, washed one or two days ago is fine. But don’t have them unwashed for too long. Because that would create extra layers of natural oils and it would resist the color from working properly. You can or cannot come with a hairstyle. That would be on the stylist. 

2. Discussion

The most important part is when they discuss with you what you want. You should bring some pictures with you to give them a clue about what you want your hair to look like.  

3. Painting process

After finding your chosen color and prepping it, they will start painting it. it would take 30-60 minutes depending on your hair and the color we want. After painting your hair, they might wrap them in foil. And now, it’s time for you to relax. 

4. Toner 

Here comes the shiny part. Toner helps to give the gloss, glaze, or shine to your hair. The hair was lightened due to highlighting pigments. Toner will put back the color and help your color to give a specific tone to your hair. This process will only take 10-15 minutes. 

5. Reviving treatment 

After the toner, an olaplex treatment will be done to revive your hair to cover up the damage done by painting them. it will take only 5-10 minutes. 

6. Strand test 

They will dry one set to check that if they have got the desired color and then if stylists and customers are happy with the results, then they will finish up the blow-dry and put your favorite hairstyle in. 

7. All done 

Now that you have got your dream hair, it’s time for an Instagram selfie. Nothing can beat the fresh selfie right after colored, cut, and blow-dried hair. So get yourself this treat. 

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to should I wash my hair before balayage

Should my hair be washed before balayage? 

Nope, that’s not necessary. If you only want highlights, you can come with clean hair. But if you want to complete the process, you should stop washing your hair two days beforehand. 

When to wash your hair before balayage? 

Wash your hair at least 12-24 hours before balayage. That would produce some natural oils and your hair would look clean as well if that’s what you are worried about. 

How to prep your hair before balayage? 

You can start using hot oil treatment a few days before your appointment. And select a few photos of what you want your hair to look like.  

Is balayage expensive? 

Yes, it is. not because it’s a lot of work. Although it’s less work and low maintenance, this service is quite trendy yet not offered by all the salons, that’s what makes it expensive. 

Can you go for balayage if you have thin hair? 

Yes, balayage is perfect for you if you have thin hair. 


Balayage should be your next target if you are looking for blonde, caramel, or hazel hair. As compared to other coloring techniques, this one is low maintenance and less damaging. Try not to wash your hair at least a day before your appointment. That would help your scalp to resist the damage. It’s time for you to relax and fix your appointment because there’s nothing to worry about. 

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