Should Your Client Come in with Clean Hair for Your Color Service?

Beauty Hub Magazine speaks with Master Colorist Dana Simnovec

Dana Simnovec is a 4th generation hairstylist.  After two decades of doing hair, her clients have become family.  Her biggest passion (when not behind the chair) is her role as the Artistic Educator for Matrix Canada. 

We spoke with Simnovec about best hair practices for your clients when they are prepping for their new color treatment.                      

Should your client come in with clean hair for your color service?

“My answer all depends on what service you are getting. There is an ongoing myth that you should never wash your hair the day you have it colored. I’m here to break this one down for you.” says Simnovec.

“Grey coverage can be a major concern if you come in with unwashed hair, the color has to work extra hard to penetrate the cuticle which could cause a higher chance of your grey not having 100% coverage. 

Root sprays/cover-ups, a majority of them tend to have a wax buildup making it almost impossible for the color to penetrate.

Medical root spray needs to be washed out before any service. Some medical sprays can cause a chemical reaction.

Dry shampoo/hair spray, having any excess product on your hair creates a barrier for your color this could cause the color to take unevenly or not at all. 

When applying foils they could potentially have the risk of sliding more on greasy hair causing bleeding and banding.” claims Simnovec. 

When and why should your client come with unclean hair?

“On-scalp lightning is best if you don’t wash your hair 48 hours before your service. Your natural oil helps to keep a light barrier keeping the lightener from irritating and stinging during your service. 

If you are easily irritated from colour and don’t use much product on your hair you could go in with unwashed hair. Don’t wash for approximately 24 hours before your service. Make sure to tell your hairdresser if you do have irritation to the colour they may be able to change your formula to something with a lower ammonia base.” says Simnovec.


While a bit of natural oil on the scalp can help create a protective barrier from the hair colour, excessively greasy hair can slow down the colour’s process. This is why it is important to come in with clean hair unless you are receiving on-scalp bleaching.

Be sure to share this with your clients for their next colour appointment!

Where to find Simnovec:

IG: @danashairbubble

“I don’t think there’s anything better than being able to share my experience with fellow hairdressers and inspiring them to create their own magic.” Dana Simnovec.