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Should I Take a Shower and Wash My Hair Before a Haircut?

One of the common questions that is asked before getting a haircut is: should you take a shower before a haircut? Unless you’re the type of person who takes showers daily, you might not always have fresh hair on your way to the salon.

The simple answer is, if it’s a simple haircut, you don’t have to take a shower if you don’t want to. But there are also benefits to showering before getting a haircut. Plus, it’s a proper salon and barbershop etiquette.

Still unsure whether to wash or not wash your hair before getting a haircut or a styling appointment? Here are a couple of things that will help you make an informed decision before you next go to the salon or barber.

hair washing

Reasons It’s Not Necessary to Shower Before a Haircut

Keeping your hair clean is a must for many reasons. But that doesn’t mean you should feel embarrassed for going to a salon for a haircut if you didn’t wash your hair that morning after a hectic couple of days.

The thing is, it’s not necessary to wash your hair before a haircut. So, if you don’t want to shower before getting a trim, no one can force you. Plus, how clean or dirty your hair is will not affect how the finished product will look after the haircut.

To shower or not to shower before a haircut also depends on what haircut you’ll get. Mostly, the stylist will wash your hair at the salon prior to cutting your hair. In this case, showering before your appointment would be redundant.

Why Should You Shower Before a Haircut?

In many cases, one of the most important measures to make your overall salon or barbershop experience as smooth as possible is to shower before a haircut.

For instance, you came from the gym and decided to stop at the barbershop to get a trim. Going to the barber or stylist while you’re all sweaty is not really cool. In this case, showering before a haircut is definitely a good idea.

Showering before getting a haircut has a few perks.

1. It’s Proper Hygiene and Etiquette

One of the main reasons to shower before getting a haircut is because it’s good hygiene. Plus, your barber or stylist will appreciate not having to remove tons of product from your hair. Also, going into the salon smelling like you’ve just run for 10 miles is disrespectful too and sometimes offensive to stylists and barbers who are working very close to you.

2. Showering Is Better If You’re Getting a Dry Haircut

The typical haircut process is wash, cut, dry, and style, but that isn’t the only process that can go down. For instance, if you’re getting a dry cut, which is best for hairstyles that need precision, the stylist won’t wash your hair prior to cutting it. That means you’ll want to come to the salon with freshly washed hair.

Fresh and clean hair lay differently than when you haven’t washed it for days, as build-up can weigh down your hair. In short, showering before a haircut isn’t only hygienic but can also help you get that perfect cut.

3. Showering Removes Hair Products

If you’re getting a dry cut or other hair treatments other than a haircut, it’s never a good idea to show up at the salon with your hair heavy with oil or product build-up. After all, the stylist needs to be able to evaluate your hair type and texture prior to cutting your hair.

Too many hair products in your hair, like hairspray, won’t give the stylist a proper look at what your hair normally looks like. Hence, a shower would make an excellent pre-haircut routine.

4. It Makes the Haircut Process More Comfortable

You know that when you haven’t showered or washed your hair for days, it can get all tangled up and difficult to brush or comb. If you want to avoid any pain or discomfort during a haircut, you might want to freshen up your hair with a shower prior to going to the salon.

Showering before getting a haircut lets the comb or clipper move smoothly and not cause you any pain or unnecessary hair loss.

5. It Saves You from Extra Fees

Usually, stylists will either wash your hair or spray it with water to dampen it before cutting at no extra cost. But not all salons are like that. Some will charge you extra for washing and shampooing your hair prior to a haircut. If you want to save money, you might want to shower at home instead and tell the stylist to get right into the haircut.

If you’re going to a new salon and are quite unsure whether they will charge you extra for washing your hair, showering before a haircut is the safest bet.

Exceptions to the Showering Before Haircut Rule

Sometimes you get a simple trim or haircut. Other times, you get a haircut plus coloring. In that case, showering before a haircut isn’t necessary because rinsing and washing your hair will be part of the process: coloring, rinsing, haircutting.

But there’s also an exception to that rule. For example, if you haven’t taken a shower for a week. That means your hair probably has tons of grease already, which will affect how the color will adhere to your hair. But avoid showing up to your haircut and coloring appointment with damp hair. The stylist needs to apply the color to dry hair.

As a simple rule: if you’ve taken a shower within the past 48 hours or if your hair isn’t too greasy at all, you’re good to go.

But what about a haircut and styling appointment? Do you need to shower before that? 

If you want fresh hair before a big event, you can shower, but it’s not necessary for a haircut + styling. You’ll still need to show up at the salon with clean hair, but second-day hair is often the easiest to work with when it comes to styling, and it also holds the style better than freshly cleaned hair.

Should You Shower After a Haircut?

No matter how much you brush loose hair from your neck or clothes after getting a haircut, there will always be some stray hairs left. It won’t look good and will also make you itchy throughout the day.

Showering and shampooing will help you get rid of stray hairs left after the cut and wash out any hair particles that may have come off.

Chantelle Farrell

Chantelle is a professional cosmetologist who runs her own skin care clinic Amaranthine Aesthetics. She specializes in anti-aging treatment and natural skin care procedures that restore skin beauty and keep it healthy over time.

As a skin care expert, Chantelle enjoys sharing her advice about reliable skin care products, techniques, and aftercare procedures. She believes that everyone should take care of their body and skin and can do that effectively when armed with proper knowledge.

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