Should You Wash Your Hair After a Haircut or Before?

Beautiful smiling young woman washing her long hair with shampoo.
LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Haircuts are a key way to keep your hairstyle under control. They control your style, promote hair growth, and help clean the scalp. But, should you wash your hair before or after getting it cut?

What happens if the hair isn’t washed before or after the cut? 

Well, getting a haircut should be a fun and relaxing experience. You should not be concerned about whether you should wash your hair before or after the cut, and how the timing of your washing interacts with your cut.

The following discussions will shed more light on these and many other related issues by delving deeper into the relationship between washing and cutting hair.


Should You Wash Your Hair Before a Haircut?

It is advisable to wash your hair before getting a haircut. One of the only reasons most people wash their hair before getting haircuts is to save on shampoo charges at salons and barbershops. However, here are some potential benefits of washing your hair before a haircut.

Gets Rid of Dirt, Dandruff, and Buildup

Getting a haircut on hair clogged with dirt, dandruff, and buildup from hair products can be messy and embarrassing. Before getting a haircut, wash your hair to remove all dirt and dandruff, making the cutting process smooth and relaxing.

It also facilitates shaping and styling during the haircut.

Weakens the Hair Strands

Hair strands absorb water during washing, weakening them. Weak hair strands facilitate and speed up haircutting.

Allows Sweat Pores to Open

Washing hair before cutting opens sweat pores, weakening the roots of hair strands. This enables the machine to cut smoothly and with greater ease.

Minimizes Resistance to the Blades of Machines

All of the above benefits of washing your hair before cutting help reduce resistance to the movements of the razor or cutter blades. Reduced resistance makes hair cutting easier, faster, and more efficient.

When Should You Wash Your Hair Before Getting a Haircut?

Here are the situations when you should consider washing your hair before your haircut.

If Your Hair Has Product Buildup

Hair products are important for maintaining healthy hair. However, these products cause buildups, affecting layers and hair length at the end of the cut if not washed.

It’s important to wash your hair properly before getting a haircut to make it easy for your stylist to cut and style it properly.

If Your Hair Is Prone to Oiliness

If you know your hair and your scalp gets oily quickly, you may need to shampoo it to avoid getting a haircut on greasy hair. While you can get your haircut while it is oily, the result may not be pleasing.

If Your Haircut Does Not Include Shampoo

Shampooing is usually included in haircut services at most salons.

Others charge an additional fee for the same service. If you want to save money, you can shampoo and wash your hair at home before your haircut appointment.

If You Are Getting a Dry Cut

Do you prefer wet or dry hair cuts? Whether or not to wash your hair first is entirely up to you.

Dry cuts produce the best results. If you prefer dry cuts, you should shampoo your hair at least 48 hours before your appointment. 

This results in a nice haircut because it gives your stylist a new working platform. If you prefer having your hair cut while it is still wet, there is no need to wash it before your appointment. Just make sure it’s clean.

If You Are Donating Your Hair

Donated hair should be clean, natural, and free of chemical products. If you want to donate your hair, you should wash it first before getting a haircut. This ensures that the recipients get clean hair.

When Should You NOT Wash Your Hair Before Getting a Haircut? 

In some cases, washing your hair before a haircut appointment may be unnecessary. Here are some of the most common situations where you can go to the salon without first washing your hair.

If They Will Shampoo Your Hair

You do not need to wash your hair before your appointment if your haircut fee includes shampoo service. As a matter of fact, your hairstylist may do a better job washing and massaging your hair than you would.

They may also be able to advise you on the best shampoo to use on your hair for the best results.

If You’re Going To Get It Dyed or Colored

You don’t want to wash your hair right before coloring it, as that can impact the dyeing process. Wait about 24 hours before going to the salon, if you’re going to dye your hair.

If Your Hair Looks, Feels, and Smells Clean

You might skip washing your hair before your haircut appointment if you have low-maintenance hair that can go for a few days without shampoo and still look fresh and clean.

Pay attention to the feel, smell, and look to determine whether you should wash it or not before getting your haircut.

Should You Wash Your Hair Before or After Getting it Cut?

After getting a haircut, you should wash your hair.

This aids in removing hair particles leftover from a haircut and chemicals sprayed or applied to the hair before the haircut.

Nobody wants to eat dinner with a side of the hair you shed because you didn’t wash your hair after your haircut.

Nobody wants to eat dinner with a side of the hair you shed because you didn’t wash your hair after your haircut.

It keeps your hair neat and fresh after a haircut. It’s a good idea to use cool to lukewarm water and gentle detergents to remove all impurities and chaff from your hair.

Is It Rude to Go to the Salon With Dirty Hair?

Not at all.

Many salons provide shampooing services, so clients with dirty hair frequently visit. Why would they consider it impolite when they are usually happy to wash those hairs and earn extra money?

As a result, going to the salon with dirty hair isn’t a big deal for them.

Overall, if it bothers you, simply wash your hair before going to the salon.

If it bothers you, simply wash your hair before going to the salon.


So, if you’re wondering whether you should wash your hair before getting a haircut, the answer is yes. You should shampoo your hair 48 hours before your haircut appointment to ensure that it is clean enough for the hairstylist to work freely on.

There are some occasions when you do not need to wash your hair before getting a haircut. If your hair feels or looks clean 48 hours before your haircut appointment, you can skip the shampoo.

You can also skip washing if your favorite haircut salon or barber shop includes shampooing as part of their haircut services.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).