It’s complicated. It depends on your hair, your hairdresser, and the service you are receiving.
Your hair… Is your scalp sensitive? If it is too clean is your scalp going to be irritated more than usual?
Your hairdresser… Their preference. Some stylists like dirty hair for up-do’s because it has more grip than slip. Some stylists prefer clean and dry hair that they can create grip with hair products.
Your service… Are you getting color, cut, or style? Are you doing anything dramatic like a major color change or a substantial amount of length off?
Color- Some stylists do a pre-color treatment before coloring to apply the hair color on a clean slate. What is a pre-color service? It is a 2 or 3 step system where the hair is washed with a clarifying or chelating shampoo then conditioned before a chemical service. We use L’anza Hair Care Ultimate Treatment or Joico K-pak Reconstructor. For example, when you are getting your nails done the manicurist removes old nail polish, buffs, exfoliates, moisturizes, and puts a base coat on the nails. Doing this with your hair will result in similar results to a manicure; the color stays on longer without chipping, goes on smoother by evening out the porosity, and looks better overall. This is also a great opportunity to go ahead and cut the clients hair while it is already wet. The stylist has the advantage to color the cut and not cut the color off that you just did.
Personally, I usually do this on people who get one-step color, or they are going from one extreme to another (for example, blonde to brown), cutting a lot of length off, or their hair is in poor shape. I have noticed It makes a huge difference in the long run. Times in which I do not perform this pre-color service are if I am doing highlights and I can do the pre-color treatment later in their service, or if I want to add color to hair that is in it’s natural state, or if someone has a particularly sensitive scalp.
Cut or Style- Most times we wash the hair before these treatments anyway. If you want your stylist to see your hair the way you fix it then I would come to your hair appointment with clean hair. If you have a picture or can verbalize what you want out of the service then go ahead and come in with dirty hair.
Wait, what if I am getting an up-do? If it was my wedding day I would probably want clean hair. If I am going for a second day style because I don’t want to wash my hair 2 days in a row, one day dirty is perfect. If your hair doesn’t look dirty on day 3 or 5 that works perfectly. Does that make sense?
To put it simply, come to your hair appointment with dirty hair because it is most likely we are going to wash it for you. Just please don’t come in with too dirty of hair. Nobody wants to put their hands in that.