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Do I need to wash dry shampoo out before dying my hair?

Dry shampoo has become a popular haircare product for refreshing hair between washes. It absorbs excess oils and adds volume to limp hair. But many people wonder if they need to wash dry shampoo out before coloring their hair. Here’s what you need to know.

How Dry Shampoo Works

Dry shampoo typically contains starches like rice starch or tapioca as well as a propellant to spray it onto the hair. The starches absorb excess oils on the scalp and hair strands, helping to refresh hair and add volume. Some brands also contain additional ingredients like silica to help absorb oils or fragrances for scent.

When you spray dry shampoo onto your hair, the starches cling to the oils and dirt on your hair. This makes hair look and feel cleaner. But the dry shampoo does not actually wash the oils and dirt away. It just covers it up temporarily.

Does Dry Shampoo Need to Be Washed Out Before Coloring?

When coloring hair, it’s important to start with clean hair free of dirt, oil, and product buildup. This helps the color adhere evenly for optimal results. Dry shampoo leaves behind a residue of starch and oils on the hair that can interfere with hair dye.

Most professional colorists recommend washing your hair with shampoo before a color service, even if you’ve used dry shampoo. The shampoo will remove all traces of dirt, oil, and dry shampoo so the hair is in the best condition for the color to deposit evenly.

Potential Issues If Dry Shampoo Isn’t Removed

Here are some potential issues that can occur if you don’t wash out dry shampoo before coloring your hair:

  • Uneven color results – Dry shampoo residue can block dye from depositing evenly on the hair.
  • Splotchy or dull color – Areas with more dry shampoo may take the color differently.
  • Color fades faster – The color won’t adhere as well over any coating on the hair.
  • Brassy tones – Dye may not deposit correctly over coated hair leading to unwanted brassiness.

Washing with shampoo before coloring removes any barrier for the dye and allows for even, long-lasting color results.

How to Wash Out Dry Shampoo Before Coloring

Here are some tips for effectively washing dry shampoo out of your hair before a color service:

  • Shampoo twice – Lather, rinse and repeat to ensure you’ve removed all dry shampoo residue.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo – These are formulated to deep clean and remove buildup.
  • Focus on the roots – Apply shampoo directly to your roots which tend to need it most.
  • Massage your scalp – Take time working the shampoo in to dissolve dry shampoo and oils.
  • Rinse thoroughly – Make sure no shampoo or buildup remains after rinsing.
  • Avoid conditioner – Stick to shampoo only to avoid leaving behind another layer of coating.

You want your hair to feel super clean and product-free before applying hair color for best results.

How Soon Before Coloring Should Dry Shampoo Be Washed Out?

It’s best to wash dry shampoo out 1-2 days before your scheduled color service. This allows your scalp to restore its natural oil balance after the deep cleanse. Right before coloring, you can use a clarifying shampoo again if any oiliness has returned.

Don’t apply any more dry shampoo once you’ve washed it out pre-color. Going in with clean, product-free hair is key.

What About Other Hair Products?

In addition to dry shampoo, be sure to wash out any other hair products before coloring for best results. Here are some tips:

  • Hairspray & styling products – Wash out 1-2 days pre-color. Avoid use day-of.
  • Leave-in treatments – Discontinue use 1 week before coloring.
  • Hair oil – Don’t apply for 2-3 days prior to your appointment.
  • Conditioner – Use a clarifying shampoo to remove residue.

Can I Use Dry Shampoo After Coloring?

Yes, you can resume using dry shampoo once your color has been completed and shampooed out. Dry shampoo is safe for color-treated hair. Just be sure to shampoo a couple times per week to prevent excessive buildup.

Professional vs. At-Home Coloring

It’s especially crucial to wash out dry shampoo before a professional salon coloring service. Salon hair dye uses a stronger developer and will better reveal any uneven results from product residue. An at-home box kit may be a bit more forgiving.

However, pre-coloring wash is still recommended for any type of dye application. Removing dry shampoo allows the most even, lasting color results.

The Bottom Line

Dry shampoo provides a quick way to refresh hair between washes. But before a color service, be sure to wash your hair with shampoo at least 1-2 days prior. This removes any residue so hair dye can adhere evenly for optimal results.

Going in with clean, product-free hair and scalp is the best way to achieve beautiful, even color that lasts.

Dry Shampoo Hair Dye
Absorbs oils Deposits color
Leaves residue Needs clean hair
Temporarily refreshes Permanently colors
Sprayed on top of hair Applied evenly from roots to ends
Should be washed out pre-color May develop unevenly over residue

The Impact of Washing Out Dry Shampoo Before Coloring

Wash Out Dry Shampoo Don’t Wash Out
Even, consistent color Potential splotchy or uneven results
Hair dye adheres better Hair dye may not deposit as well
Longer lasting color Color may fade faster
True tones achieved Could develop unwanted brassy tones
Looks freshly colored Can look dull or coated

Tips for Washing Dry Shampoo Out Before Coloring

When What How
1-2 days before coloring Clarifying shampoo Shampoo twice, focus on roots
Day before coloring Regular shampoo One lather, thorough rinse
Day of color service None Arrive with clean, product-free hair


Although dry shampoo extends the time between washes, it should always be thoroughly washed out before applying permanent or semi-permanent hair dye. The residue left behind can lead to uneven color results or prevent the dye from taking correctly. Remove dry shampoo at least 1-2 days pre-color with a clarifying shampoo for optimal color deposit and saturation.