highlight aftercare blog - scizzorhands

How Soon After Highlights Can I Wash My Hair?

Highlights add depth, colour, and texture to hair, meaning they help bring out the best in your hair. To keep them looking on point, though, you might need to adjust your hair care routine, and this includes washing. After a highlight or balayage appointment, it’s good to wait between 48 and 72 hours before washing your hair. Here’s why!

Why Can’t I Wash My Hair After Getting Highlights?

woman blow drying hair with highlights - scizzorhandsThe reason you can’t wash your hair soon after getting highlights is because of how the highlight is administered. Highlights work by opening up the cuticle so that the pigment can colour the hair from the inside. In the first couple of days after your appointment, the hair cuticle will still be open, and shampoo can wash the colour out. This can cause the highlight to fade faster.

Washing highlights the day after only strips the hair, meaning all the beautiful colours will go down the drain (literally). By waiting for up to 72 hours before washing, you will give the hair cuticles time to close. The pigments will also be able to seep into the hair fibres. The longer you wait, the better the highlights will look!

Proper Hair Washing After Getting Highlights

Eventually, you will need to wash your hair. Different highlighting techniques have different instructions, so be careful to listen to your stylist and ask questions. Here are some general guidelines you can follow:

  • Don’t use hot water to wash or rinse your hair, even when you haven’t used a product. The heat will open up the outer layer of the hair, creating an opening out of which the colouring can be washed. Use lukewarm or cold water to rinse, and keep it covered when you’re not washing your hair.
  • Some shampoo and conditioner treatments are specifically made for certain hair colours but can come in a wide variety of tones; make sure to pick the one that’s right for your hair!
  • If you’ve found a great shampoo and conditioner, carefully read and follow the instructions because they can vary based on the formula. If you feel unsure about the product, don’t hesitate to contact your hairstylist.
  • Some more vibrant colours, like purple or red, will fade faster than more natural colours, so don’t be alarmed.
  • Don’t wash your hair too often. The highlights are affected by just water, too, and using the product too often can stress your hair beyond its limits. Also, avoid excessive rinsings; just tilt your head back and let the water run through your hair for several minutes to get the shampoo and conditioner out.

woman with hair highlights - scizzorhandsIf you’re in doubt about anything shower-related, you can ask us about it! There are no stupid questions, and if one inquiry helps keep your highlights looking great for longer, you’ll be glad you asked it.