Afro hair

Should I wash my hair before a haircut?

Published By: Kennedy

Last Updated: June 20, 2022

If you are not used to going to the salon, it may be a little nerve-racking to figure out if you should come to a stylist with your dirty head. Today we will answer your burning question on whether or not washing your hair before a haircut is actually necessary. 

Should I wash my hair before a haircut? 

Washing your hair before a haircut appointment is recommended for good reasons.  When getting a haircut, it is sometimes a procedure for the stylist to wash your hair. However, if you are grossed out by the dirtiness of  your hair – by touch or smell – you should probably wash it before your haircut appointment. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.  

Washing before your appointment is most necessary if there is product in the hair such as leave-in conditioner for example. In addition, it would not hurt to communicate with the stylist. If you are unsure of what exactly is needed before your haircut, do not be afraid to ask.

If you get your hair washed by a stylist you get a professional wash. Usually stylists are very open about the proper way to wash your hair, and the best products to use for your hair type – which you should take advantage of! Having your hair washed by a stylist also ensures your hair is thoroughly washed.

There are various styles that require different preparation, and chances are, you are not going to have all the answers you need at first. Which is why communicating with your stylist is important. If your hair is very short and you are getting your haircut by a barber with clippers, you most likely won’t need to wash your hair before. 

Whether you should get a wash or not before a haircut is mainly based on communicating with your stylist and knowing what is needed for the style.

Is it rude to get a haircut with dirty hair? 

Opinions may differ on the topic of being rude to come to a stylist with dirty hair. The main reason is consideration for the stylist. 

Most people would not want to deal with dirty hair. However, hair stylists know that this comes within their territory. A wash is also usually included in the price for a haircut. 

Unless your hair is caked with dirt or unusually smelly, they most likely would not think twice about how dirty your hair is. Although it is the stylists’ job to do the service, some consideration is always appreciated.  

How should I prepare for a haircut? 

Understanding the style you want as a customer is important. It avoids a potential bad service review and helps the stylist have a clear understanding of what you will be happy with. Having a picture of the haircut is a good way to prepare. Clear communication with the stylist is also very important before arriving for the haircut.

Prepare to arrive at your appointment at the scheduled time. Stylists usually don’t prefer that you arrive early because even if they finish with their previous client early, they may want to use that time to take a break or prepare for the next client. 

Is it better to get a wet or dry haircut? 

Getting a wet or dry haircut would depend on the style of the haircut. A wet haircut is better for cutting hair straight across for a blunt cut. 

When getting a haircut with wet hair, the hair does appear longer. However, dry haircuts will give you a better feeling of the actual length of the hair in the final result of the haircut. Cutting bangs on curly hair when it’s dry has better results than wet, because curls shrink when wet. Dry haircuts are better for trims because it is easier to see dead ends. 


It usually is not necessary to get your haircut before a wash, but asking to make sure will not only benefit you but the stylist as well. 


I have always had a love for writing and have been blogging for about 3 years now. I have a passion for teaching what I have learned over the years, especially about hair. I have had almost every hairstyle - typical of a cosmetologist’s daughter- including the big chop in 2015. With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel it is my duty to help others on their healthy hair journey. I believe education can be fun, and I strive to make it fun to learn about beautiful black hair.

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