6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

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Spray tan is one of the things you should keep far away from your hair, but who can control accidents? Even though it doesn’t cause any severe damage, the discoloration and the stain are very annoying to deal with. And here are the tips for washing hair after spray tan if you ever end up with spray tan on your precious strands.

How to Avoid Getting Spray Tan in Your Hair?

6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

No matter how useful the tips are, it is much better if we never get into trouble in the first place. A spray tan can be very messy, but you have various ways to succeed with it.

Get professional advice

A spray tan can be a hassle if you are doing everything by yourself, but if you are willing to spend money for a salon, the experts will take care of it for you. They know how to spray thoroughly without smearing the substance all over.

For a DIY spray tan kit, you would be on the right track if you read the instructions carefully. The reviews on the internet might also be helpful as they come from users like you and not professionals. Read on to find out how to choose the best spray tan for you among the bunch of products on the market!

Don’t wash your hair in advance

Washing your hair before getting spray tan might seem like a good idea as you won’t need to worry about it for a couple of days, but it has a downside too.

When you wash your hair, you will also strip the natural oils off. These compounds act as a shield against factors from outside and absorb little to no stain from the spray.

Use leave-in conditioners

If you have dry hair, you should consider applying a leave-in conditioner for more protection. Also known as leave-on or no-rinse conditioners, they are used after washing and towel-drying the hair, and they will stay on instead of being rinsed off, giving your hair moisture and keeping the strands detangled.

Although it is the best fit for dry and frizzy hair, other types of hair can also benefit from it. Many people use leave-in conditioners before styling their hair with tools such as straightening irons and heated curlers.

As part of a tanning session, they should be applied to the hairline and behind the ears thoroughly, for these spots are very noticeable if tanned.

Pay attention to the risks of leave-in conditioners:

  • They can burn if getting in your eyes. If you happen to go through this case, cleansing the eyes with cool water instead of rubbing them.
  • Keep them away from your skin if you have acne issues.
  • Allergies to conditioner ingredients are rare yet still there. Should you feel any irritation or burn on your scalp, you would want to stop using that product instantly.

Keep your hair neat

What is a better way to cover your hair from stains than wrapping it in a net? The full coverage works exceptionally well for people whose hair is light. Remember to secure the net and make sure no strands slip out of the bun!

If you have dark hair, a simple hair tie will do the trick!

Protect the hair lines

You would want to add extra protection to the hairlines because they are close to the scalp. Petroleum jelly and moisturizers have the function of a barrier blocking outer factors.

6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

How to Wash Your Hair after Spray Tan?

Wait patiently

If you are getting your first tanning session, spray tan on the hair (or anywhere on your body) can be unsettling, and a nice wash is more tempting than anything. However, it will affect the result negatively.

Sunless tanning lotions darken your skin tone with DHA, and this process takes a while for maximum effect. After the session ends, the solution will continue to do its job for the next 3 – 4 hours. If you are not in a rush, it is better to let the spray tan settle before washing your hair and taking a shower.

Pick the right shampoo

As mentioned previously, SLS is a component you should avoid after getting a tan. Although it is helpful as a foaming agent, it is unhelpful for spray tan solutions. Not only does it ruin the even tone with streaks, but it also causes irritation.

There are not many projects studying the risks of SLS, yet the threat it poses to the tan is enough for us to steer clear from cleansing products containing this compound.

You can find SLS-free shampoos and soaps on shopping websites. They usually don’t produce much lather and foam, allowing us to have a quick and clean wash.

Don’t hesitate to bend over

Now, you have waited patiently and already got the best shampoo for washing hair after spray tan, how to do it right?

If you have the habit of washing your hair while standing under the shower or sitting in the bathtub, it is time to get out of your comfort zone and bend over a bit!

People with short hair tend to have an easier time rinsing their hair in the sink and keeping the wet strands away from your body. If not, you’d better prepare for some cramps after.

Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

Avoid bathtub & hot water

Have you noticed how all tanning articles mention a shower after tanning instead of a bath? It is because dipping yourself in a large waterbody is not a good idea. Remember that the DHA is still working on adding gold and bronze to your skin, and soaking your body so soon means your money and time are going to waste.

Additionally, you will find your skin and hair dried out. Hot water sounds like a great idea for relaxation, but it doesn’t give you the needed nourishment. Keep the temperature lukewarm and finish showering in less than 5 minutes!

If you ask an expert, they will tell you to wait two days before washing your hair. Many shampoos consist of SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), which can leave faded streaks on your new tan.

Use a tan remover

With the hairlines, you can rely on removers if you don’t trust your clumsy hands! You can simply rub the chemical on the desired spot and safely remove the spray tan.

However, be sure to do a patch test and see if there is any allergic reaction. We don’t recommend applying tan removal near your eyes either!

For a gentle alternative, you can consider extra virgin olive oil. It is very efficient in exfoliating and cleansing dead skin cells as well as color stains.

Try touch-up self-tanners

If you end up making mistakes and getting streaks on your skin, you can always find a self-tanner with touch-ups. They usually have a spray formula with tanning mist to make up for the faded lines on your body.

6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan

Tips for Showering after Spray Tan

If you are looking for haircare tips after your tanning session, might as well take notes of these shower tips:

  • Keep the water lukewarm instead of too hot or too cold.
  • Make sure your shampoo, conditioner, soap, and shower gel don’t contain SLS.
  • Avoid rough treatments such as exfoliating or deep-cleansing.
  • Dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Moisturize your skin after showering and repeat the step at least once every day.

If you see the water down the drain turning brown, don’t panic! It is completely normal. After your long wait, your skin should have absorbed all the DHA, only the bronze pigments are being washed off.

See more: Shower After Tanning? Your Must-Know Tips!

More Post-Tanning Aftercare Tips

When you have had a nice tanning session, waited it out, and washed thoroughly, it would be a waste if you couldn’t achieve the perfect tan due to unfortunate mishaps. Here are some tips for a long-lasting skin tone:

  • Manicure, massage, and other beauty services should be done before you get a spray tan.
  • Wax can linger on your skin like a shield, making it harder for the tanning solution to absorb. You can either avoid it or complete it a day prior.
  • Exfoliation helps to remove dead cells and spares the room for the tanning solution to take over, but it also opens your pores, possibly leading to uneven skin color. Give your skin 4 – 6 hours after exfoliating and choose oil-free agents. The same applies to shaving.
  • Remove all makeups, including lotion and perfume.
  • Avoid long showers, bathtubs, swimming, steam rooms, and saunas to preserve your tan.
  • Moisturize your whole body at least once a day, preferably after a shower.
  • For a better appearance, don’t be shy to put some tinted moisturizers on. The more similar to your tan tone it is, the more pleasant.
  • Only exfoliate again when you are ready to bid your tan goodbye.
6 Ultimate Tips for Washing Hair after Spray Tan


Do I need to wait for 24 hours to shower after tanning?

It is far longer than necessary, but if you have time and want to be completely at ease with the result, give the spray tan a whole day to absorb.

You can control the skin tone by showering at the right time. For example, taking an early shower will give the solution less time to affect your skin, resulting in a slightly bronze texture. The longer you wait, the darken your skin will become.

What happens if spray tan gets in your hair?

Tanning solutions don’t cause any harm other than leaving unfavorable stains on your strands. However, be careful not to ruin your skin tone while trying to get rid of the stains.

What if my spray tan is too dark?

If the tone seems too dark for you right after the session, head home immediately and take a quick shower to lighten the tan.

If you only notice it is darker than expected, get a dip in the pool or the bathtub will also make the tan fade off a little.

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Getting a sunless tan is all about looking beautiful while remaining healthy, and it would be such a shame if you spend hours on it and end up with less than you expect. These tips for showering and washing hair after spray tan will help you achieve the best outcome, and we are eager to hear your feedback. See you in the upcoming articles!

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