Salon Etiquette: How to Prep Your Hair for Your Appointment
Nirvana's "Come As You Are" may be a staple on your '90s throwback playlist on Spotify, but don't take the message to heart if you're heading to the salon, and haven't washed your hair in about a week. Many assume since you'll be getting the lather, rinse, and repeat prior to getting your hair done, that it's fine to roll in with dirty strands, but this actually makes the consultation process harder, says hairstylist Mirna Jose.
"When you're having a consultation and we're talking about what you want to do with your hair, I can't wash it—I have to look at it dry when you come in," she tells InStyle. "Unless I already know you and I know what you want, I have to see it dry, and I have to be able to feel it." Of course, second or third-day hair is totally fine, but Jose recommends not going over a week, easing up on the product before coming in, and brushing through any stubborn tangles. "Try to come with your hair detangled. The knots take forever for your stylist to remove, and it's painful for both of you to deal with," she says, laughing. "You're gonna be crying, and it takes time away from the appointment, which shuold be spent styling your hair or giving you a great haircut."
The same rules apply when it comes to getting your color done. "The reason you need to come with your hair unwashed when it comes to color is that you can sometimes scratch your scalp," she explains. "Color is a chemical treatment, and anytime a chemical treatment touches a sore or scratch on your scalp, it will burn. The color itself doesn't burn, but if it makes contact with a scratch, it's going to hurt." Skip the shampoo a few days prior, but again, make sure it's manageable enough for your stylist. "You personally know when your hair is too dirty, so if you touch your hair and feel anything other than dry shampoo, wash it out a few days before your appointment," Jose advises. We get it—sometimes life gets the best of you, and you don't have time to lather up prior to your salon visit, but if your strands are bordering on X-Tina levels of "Dirrty," consider giving the person shampoing you a slightly larger tip than you normally would.