If you have to get hair color a lot (thanks, grays) and if you have really sensitive skin, it can be a recipe for a mega scalp disaster—complete with burning, itching , redness and flaking—every time you visit the salon.

It may sound simple, but Peter Oon of New York’s Oon Arvelo salon says the first step in stopping the cycle is to go to the salon with dirty, more-than-day-old (he recommends not washing for three-plus days prior) hair. “The natural oils will help protect the sensitive skin on the scalp.”

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Likewise, holding off on a wash post-color can also be helpful.

“If you go lighter, you should refrain from washing your hair for at least five days,” he adds. “Ask your colorist to use a hair-dye product that is made specifically for sensitive scalps, for example, I like L'Oréal INOA.”