Anyone in the spray tanning biz knows that this is one of our most asked questions. However, there is no single right answer, confused? Let me explain. 

Spray tans are not a one size fits all, everyone has different skin textures, skin tones and desires for their dream colour. Depending on what colour you want your tan to be, this factors massively into how long after a spray tan you can shower.  

Don’t worry, we’ll explain further down about the recommended times you need to leave your tan on based on what you want your desired colour to be. We’ve also answered a few of our other most asked questions regarding the shower and spray tans. Take a read below!  

First things first, why do I need to shower? 

When you get a spray tan, the solution is a mixture of the tanning ingredient (what ACTUALLY gives you your tan) and a bronzer. The bronzer is important to show our spray tan professionals where they have tanned, and it also gives you that instant glow. 

The tanning ingredient reacts with the outer layer of your skin and causes that bronzed colour to develop but the bronzer does need to be washed off. So don’t panic if you see some of your golden glow going down the drain! 

Can I use any products for my first shower? 

If they are tan friendly then yes, you can use a bodywash or shower gel! Tan friendly products would be products that are not oily, use all natural ingredients and have no exfoliating properties. 

Avoid using oily products as these will harm your lovely fresh tan and stay away from bar soaps. 

When you have that first shower, you need to wash just enough that the water runs clear. Skip your long luxurious shower this time and opt for a warm and quick wash. 

We all love getting clean, at least I do, but this is NOT the time for a scrub or exfoliation. Save that for the end of your tan. Doing it now could cause some serious harm to your glow. And please, please, PLEASE do not shave! Shaving will remove the top layer of skin cells where the tan is sitting and cause uneven or patchy results. 

Top Tip: Pat yourself dry instead of rubbing! 

Can I wash my hair after a spray tan? 

We would advise against washing your hair in that first shower. Try to wait 24 hours after your tan to allow it to fully develop and set before washing your hair. 

When you do need to wash your hair here are some quick tips to help your tan survive. 

  • If you have long hair, don’t leave it wet on your skin whilst washing, this helps to avoid your tan fading faster in some areas. 
  • Check your hair products as sulphates, alcohol and fragrances can be damaging to your spray tan.  
  • If you MUST wash your hair in that first shower, try to avoid it dripping onto your body and lean over to reduce chances of streaking. 

So how long do I have to wait to shower after a spray tan?  

How long you wait before your shower is totally dependent on how dark you want your tan to be! We have a few recommendations down below based on how dark you want it to be.  

For a Light Tan  

  • We recommend showering after 2-4 hours.  

For a Medium Tan 

  • We would recommend showering 4-6 hours after your tan.  

For a Dark Tan 

  • Shower after 6-8 hours.  

These times are different as about 40% of the colour development occurs in the first 2 hours. The longer you leave the tan on before you wash it off, the darker your final tan will be. 

On the day, your spray tan professional can advise you on how long to leave your tan depending on your desired result.  

If you have more questions, then click here to visit our frequently asked questions page! 

Have we convinced you to book in for your next spray tan? I bet we have! Click here to book in now using our easy online booking system.