Clean or dirty hair before coloring or perming is something that women have been asking for years. The answer is that it is better to have clean hair before a chemical service, so that the product can penetrate the hair as effectively as possible, especially when you use styling aids such as hairspray, gel or mousse.
At times, you might even need to use a clarifying shampoo or do a Malibu treatment to strip hard to penetrate and remove residues like chlorine or well water mineral deposits.
These types of residues can also be damaging to the hair, therefore, you should proceed with caution when you are doing a hair color or perm at home on your own. In fact, I have seen hair fall off the rod during a perm because of extensive damage done by chlorine. Make no mistake about it, chlorine in pool water in still bleach and needs to be treated as such.
If you’re smart you’ll leave the coloring and perming to the professionals when you know that there is chlorine or well water damage done to your hair and even then they might recommend that you postpone hair chemical services until the damaged hair is cut off.
I have done highlights on hair that might be considered dirty simply because I know that hair bleach is much stronger than any hairstyling aid that has been applied to the hair and it will be able to penetrate right through it with no problem. However, this is the only exception I will make when it comes to clean or dirty hair before coloring or perming.
When you highlight hair, you are, in reality, taking color out of the hair not depositing it. Sometimes there is a toner deposited, if wanted or needed, in the hair afterward to achieve a more natural color and to cover up any brassy yellow or orange tint.
The weaker the hair coloring solution the cleaner the hair needs to be. For example, semi-permanent hair color is one of the weaker types of hair color, so you should make sure that hair is as clean as possible before application. This way there isn’t anything in the hair that will hinder color penetration. As a result, your hair color will be more vibrant and last longer.
Permanent hair color is considerably stronger than semi-permanent hair coloring, however, it still helps achieve a more uniform color, as well as extend the life of the color, when you make sure that hair is clean before application of hair chemicals.
Perm solution is strong as well and can penetrate through hairstyling aids almost as easy as hair bleach, but it is still better to have clean hair prior to perming. You basically want hair not to have various levels of porosity, which means the ability to absorb thoroughly.
I might be getting too technical, but I think you get what I’m saying. It’s good to know why it’s important to have clean or dirty hair before coloring or perming and now you do. Lastly, wait 2 to 3 days after color or perm to shampoo and do it with tepid water not hot.