Should I Wash My Hair Before A Haircut: Answered!

When I head into the salon for my much-anticipated hair appointment, I try and make sure that I am the very best client that I can be.

I bring my stylist a seasonal latte from the local coffee shop, plenty of examples for the cut and color I want, and a squeaky clean head of hair. 

I’m not quite sure where there ‘don’t wash your hair before getting your hair cut’ rumor started, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not only is dirty hair icky for your stylist, but it can also affect the quality of your cut. 

Why You Should Always Wash Your Hair Before A Cut

1. The Ick Factor

When your hair is dirty, you are not very likely to be running your hands through it. Dirty, greasy hair is pretty gross, and your hairdresser is likely equally disgusted running their hands through your unwashed hair.

Before you head down to the salon for your styling appointment, the rule of thumb is to ensure that your hair is fresh and clean- even if you’re making a bee-line to the washbasin.

Entering the hair salon with a squeaky clean head of hair is common courtesy, and your hairdresser will thank you!

2. You’ll Get A Better Cut

Before your stylist busts out the scissors, they first consider your hair type, hair texture and how your hair naturally falls. When your hair is dirty or you’re suffering from bedhead, it doesn’t give your stylist much insight into how your hair behaves post-wash.

When you come in with your hair washed, your stylist can determine how your hair behaves and where your hair parts to give you a dry cut that works with the natural grain of your hair.

If it isn’t clean, you may find that your new haircut is impossible to style the following day. 

 How To Prepare For Your Appointment

  • Style Your Hair As Normal

Now is not the time to try out a side part if you always part your hair down the middle. Your stylist needs to know precisely where you typically part your hair to ensure that your cut is even and easy to style. 

  • Skip The Hair Products

Clean hair is the easiest to work with, and if you have a lot of product in your hair, it makes your stylist’s job a little bit harder. After washing your hair, it’s best to skip the post-wash mousse and hair spray that can bog your hair down.

Heat-protectant oil or conditioner is fine, but try and keep the hair spray to a minimum. 

  • Apply A Clarifying Treatment

If you use styling products daily, you need to get rid of the product build up on your hair. The night before my appointment, I like to apply Ion Crystal Clarifying Treatment on my locks to wash away that built-up product.

Ion Crystal Clarifying Treatment
Ion Crystal Clarifying Treatment


If you have hard water, this treatment also helps to wash away built-up sentiment and minerals that deposit on your hair from your water. 

Should I Wash My Hair After A Haircut?

should i wash my hair after a haircutIf you are headed to the salon for a haircut, washing your hair as soon as you get home won’t affect your new style. Washing your hair as soon as you get home may benefit you in the long run. 

Your stylist knows exactly what they are doing when they style your new cut. They know how the hair will react, and they have an entire arsenal of styling products to achieve perfectly manicured hair.

Since you are not a seasoned hairdresser, replicating that new style will take some time. 

Before you debut your new hair to friends or coworkers, I suggest practicing styling your new hair. Learning how to style your new cut will take a few sessions to get used to.

I recently cut off 8-inches of hair in favor of a sleek short bob, and it took me around a week to hammer down how to style my new look. 

 Struggles Styling Your New Cut

Don’t panic if you struggle to replicate your salon hairstyle at home.

If you are still having trouble nailing down your new hair look, you can always head back to the salon. Your hairdresser will be happy to give you a few tips on styling it and product suggestions that will make your hair easier to work with. 


Washing your hair before heading in for a haircut is just downright polite. No one likes working with dirty hair or oily hair, and that includes your hairstylist.

To make your stylist’s job easier, make sure that you skip the hair spray or dry shampoo and apply a clarifying treatment to your locks a few days before heading in for your appointment.  

If you are making a significant change to your hair (like changing hair color), make sure that you give yourself enough time to learn how to style your new cut.

Washing your hair immediately after your appointment won’t affect your cut, and it will provide you with a little more time to learn how to style your new cut before it makes its grand debut!