Can we wash hair before an MRI?

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Can we wash hair before an MRI?

What do medical experts say: Can we wash hair before an MRI? 


No one can stop you from washing your hair before an MRI scan, but you need to know whether it stands suitable or not!

An MRI test, also called Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test, reserves certain obligations to abide by! It is because the process of MRI constitutes strong magnetic fields & radiofrequency waves to construct the imaging of your internal body parts. All this while, metallic elements are required to be kept away from the MRI machine to avoid interruption in body scanning and eliminate the possibility of distorted imaging.

For the very same reason, medical experts lay out certain instructions & norms for you, such as –

  • Ditching all jewelry, piercings, or other lifestyle accessories before entering the test lab for an MRI,
  • Removing makeup before up-taking an MRI scan, even your nail polish & nail art,
  • Not applying deodorants or antiperspirant sprays before an MRI scan,
  • Availing of some other body scan if you have metallic implants in your body like metallic dental fillings or metallic plates in the joints & metallic coils in your blood vessel, a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator, cochlear ear implant, or metallic clips attached to the nerves, etc.


Medical experts also suggest not washing your hair before an MRI and delaying it for the time being!

Are you thinking, what is the reason behind such a suggestion? Discover right below!

Why do doctors suggest not washing hair before an MRI scan?

There are multiple reasons for medical experts & doctors to suggest avoiding hair washing before an MRI & they are as follows.

  1. Undertaking an MRI with wet hair can be a problem! Yes. Water molecules in your hair can send magnetic signals to the MRI scanner, thereby deteriorating the image quality.
  2. The interaction between MRI magnets & water molecules can lead to immerse hair loss as a post-diagnosis effect when you pursue the scan with wet hair.
  3. The hair products you use to wash your hair can contain metal contents that are likely to cause disruption in the MRI scan and tamper with the result.
  4. Sometimes, if the metal content in your hair products is excessive and they remain in your hair while you go inside the scanner machine, you may suffer from burns on your head skin.

None of the above get appealing to a patient who undergoes an MRI. You already have much on your plate; dealing with another problem is something you would not enjoy at all! Can relate!


It is why you should avoid washing your hair before an MRI scan and delay it for a few hours!

What kind of hair products contain metal contents?


This would be too abstract to translate into words. But let me tell you, more or less, all hair products contain metallic compounds, precisely aluminum compounds, copper, magnesium, sulfate, parabens, zinc, mercury, and so forth!

  • Your Shampoo,
  • Your Conditioner,
  • Your Hair Gel,
  • Your Hair Spray,
  • Your Hair Dye,
  • Your Hair Concealer,
  • Hair Relaxers,
  • Hair Oils,

And many other newly invented hair products can pose a problem for your MRI test!

Can you opt for an MRI scan with Dyed Hair?

Of course, you can opt for an MRI with Dyed Hair, but it is better to pursue the scan when the dye is almost gone! You have to consult with your doctor regarding this because a life-threatening disease underlying your body, if any, shall not wait for the hair dye to disappear; you may require an MRI scan as soon as possible.

If you are up-taking a self-referred MRI scan, then I must say you should consider this factor. In this regard, you can certainly wait a few weeks to carry forward your self-investigation on the latest health condition!

If not, you have to ask your doctor whether any props can suffice or not, like hair masks or hats!

It is because when you dye your hair in beautiful green & blue and red & pink, the pores of your hair get clogged with metal particles that lay embedded in the Hair Dyes. As a result, when you are inside the MRI scanner, the metal particles residing in the pores shall get triggered and start reacting to the strong magnetic resonance. That is when the MRI imaging may not turn out to be as detailed as expected!

Can you wear hair wigs during an MRI scan to compensate for the dyed hair?

Yeah, you can do that!


At the same time, you must ensure that the wig you wear does not have any kind of clips, hairpins, or adjusted straps made of metal. You need to get a wig that sits naturally over your hair without using any clips or pins.

You know why, right?

To mention it again,

Various types of hair extensions are available these days that contain metal, and you may be absolutely unaware of them.


On the other,

The clips or hairpins attached to a wig may interact with the MRI magnets and distort the imaging. In fact, there are instances where these clips or pins, being unsecured on your wig, rip out due to a strong force from the scanner and fly off, hitting & injuring other people present in the test lab!

I don’t think you want any of it! Do you?

Bottom Line:

By now, you must have understood that you should not wash your hair before an MRI scan! Even if you do so, you have to make sure that –

  • You do not use any kind of hair products,
  • You dry your hair perfectly without leaving any traces of water before entering the test lab!

That’s the bottom Line, the exact solution you were looking for!

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About author
Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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10 months ago

This article was very informative and answered all my questions about dying hair prior to a brain MRI. Doctors won’t usually tell you this but it makes sense that we must refrain from wet/dyed/gelled or any hair products until after the MRI.

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