Coloring your hair can cost you a great deal of time and money. But is it worth it if your bright color washes down the drain every time you wash your hair? Of course not! That’s why you need to use hair products that protect your hair color rather than those that strip it away. The best shampoo for color treated hair can help. These formulas are designed to keep your hair color looking bright and shiny. Because they use less of the harsh chemicals found in other shampoos, they also cause less damage. There are even organic color-safe shampoos for those who prefer to live naturally. To learn more about shampoos for color treated hair and the best ways to use them, please read on.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:
- The Best Drugstore Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Color Safe Shampoo
- The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
- The Best Salon Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo
- The Best Organic Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: The Wonder Seed Hemp Shampoo
- The Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair With Dandruff: Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
- The Best Shampoo for Blonde Color Treated Hair: Winsome & Wisdom #BlondeMoment Shampoo
- Best Shampoo for Red Color Treated Hair: No products found.
- The Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair for Swimmers: Ultra Swim Chlorine Removal Shampoo
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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Why Use a Shampoo for Color Treated Hair
Despite what color you’ve chosen, you may have noticed it fading after a few weeks, no matter how careful you are. But why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons.
Surfactants are the foaming agents in your shampoo that make it later up nice and foamy. But they really aren’t very good for your hair. This is because sulfates and other chemicals are used to create this lather. These ingredients strip your hair of its natural moisture. Your hair is left with no protection from the elements and becomes brittle and prone to breakage. This is also why color fades. Since the oils smooth down the hair’s cuticle, the lack of oil raises them, letting the color wash away.
Water alone can strip away the color since it can cause the cuticle to swell. The color will then wash down the drain. Adding a regular shampoo just increases the fading.
Heat styling once in awhile shouldn’t have a negative effect on your hair color. But if you blow dry, curl, or straighten your hair regularly, your color may lose its shine. This again relates to the cuticle. With repeated heat styling, the cuticle will no longer be able to lay flat. This will cause chipping and damage, which results in faster fading.
The sun can heat up your hair the same way a heat styler will. Those harmful UV rays lift the cuticle, causing oxidation. This lightens the color tone within the cortex, dulling it and leaving it prone to breakage.
Unfortunately, shampoos for colored hair aren’t miracle products. But they can help to keep your color brighter for a bit longer than a regular shampoo. This is because color safe shampoos are usually sulfate-free. They also use less of the other harsh ingredients found in normal shampoos. This makes them a gentler product that won’t strip away the oils as they remove the dirt. Many of them are even designed to hydrate your hair, adding proteins and vitamins to keep it strong. Your hair will be better protected from dryness and damage for longer-lasting color.
What Shampoo Ingredients are Bad for Color Treated Hair?
When buying your color protection shampoo, be sure to check the ingredients list. There are a few you need to avoid to keep your color bright and your hair looking and feeling its best.
There are a few of these that could be listed on your shampoo. They are sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium Laureth sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate. All three are harsh detergents that strip away your hair’s natural oils. They also break down the protein in your hair, causing damage to your strands.
These are added to lengthen the shelf life of your shampoo. But they can cause scalp irritation and may affect your hormonal balance. This could lead to hair loss, so it’s best to avoid parabens.
PEG is added to shampoos to give them their thick texture. But they can dry out your hair and any skin they come in contact with.
Diethanolamine or Triethanolamine
DEA and TEA destroy your hair’s keratin, drying out your hair and causing brittleness. It can also irritate your scalp. Some people have even suffered from allergic reactions from these ingredients.
Small amounts of alcohol can be found in many beauty products. But higher amounts can dry out your hair. If it is listed as one of the first few ingredients, put that shampoo back on the shelf and keep looking.
This synthetic polymer and silicone are used to coat your hair, sealing in moisture. It also smooths out the strands. Though this could help keep your color from fading, it could cause some skin issues. Some people have reported such irritations as rashes, itching, burning, or chapped skin. There have even been some who claim it caused cystic acne. This happens when the pores are clogged, sealing in oils or bacteria. Acne and irritation follow and may lead to increased shedding.
For those with color treated hair, these ingredients are the worst of the bunch. But you should also steer clear of synthetic colors and fragrances. Propylene glycol, petroleum, and triclosan are also no good for your hair and skin. These ingredients can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and dryness. In fact, the more natural ingredients you can find in your shampoo, the better it will be for your hair and its color.
The Best Ways to Make Your Color Last
Just avoiding harsh ingredients isn’t enough to keep your color fresh. But the following tips can help prolong its beautiful tone.
- #1 – Wait to Wash: Don’t wash your hair for the first two days after coloring it. This will allow the color to set before you first shampoo it.
- #2 – Shampoo Less Often: Even if you are using a color protection shampoo, your hair can still fade from frequent washing. The natural oils protect your hair, so washing them away will speed up the fading. By shampooing only a couple times a week, you can keep your color brighter for longer.
- #3 – Condition: Color-safe shampoos are formulated to be gentle on your hair, but can still wash away some of the moisture. That’s why you need to condition it every time you wash. Start near your head and work your way down to the tips. This will keep your hair healthy and strong. Many brands even have shampoo and conditioner pairs, making it easy to choose the right one.
- #4 – No Hot Water: Hot water opens up the surface of your hair, which allows the color to wash away. To keep this from happening, use lukewarm or cool water when you are shampooing your hair.
- #5 – Dry Shampoo: On the off-shampoo days, you can use a color-safe dry shampoo to soak up any excess oils in your scalp and hair. This will keep your hair shiny and light instead of greasy-looking.
- #6 – Keep it Dry: Even though you aren’t washing your hair, you still need to bathe. But you can protect your hair from the water by using a shower cap, or tie it up high on your head in a bun or ponytail. This will help prolong your color.
- #7 – At Home Treatments: You can use deep conditioning or hot oil treatments on your hair once a week to keep it hydrated and soft. Leave-in conditioners can also add protection, especially if you use heat stylers regularly. They can also keep the sun damage to a minimum.
- #8 – Eat Healthy: The better you eat the healthier your hair will be. Foods rich in protein and iron strengthens your hair and encourages healthy growth. The stronger your hair is, the longer your color will last.
Best Shampoos for Color Treated Hair on the Market
The Best Drugstore Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Color Safe Shampoo
Color Me Happy by Herbal Essences is formulated to keep your hair color looking as bright as the day you dyed it. It is formulated with Moroccan rose and passion fruit nectar. Together these nourish your hair, replenishing its moisture to keep dryness at bay. This shampoo also protects your strands, keeping them strong and healthy. This will help reduce damage and split ends. And with healthy hair comes gorgeous, vibrant color that shines. The fresh scent of this shampoo will lift your mood, keeping you as happy as its name all day long. Best of all, it has a low price for a large bottle, so it won’t empty your wallet.
- A large 33.8-ounce bottle costs less than $6.00, making it a great option for those on a budget
- You only need to use a small amount, even with long hair
- It has the lovely scent of roses
- It has a matching conditioner for added convenience
- It leaves hair shiny and healthy-looking
- This shampoo is not sulfate free
- It may dry out some hair types
The Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo
This shampoo gives you the lather you want without the harmful dryness of sulfates. It is also paraben free, making this formula a safer choice for your hair. Inside the bottle, you’ll find a mixture of coconut milk, coconut oil, and whipped egg white protein. Together, these ingredients strengthen and hydrate every strand of your color treated hair. The elasticity is also improved, reducing the risk of breakage and split ends. OGX‘s shampoo gives you salon-quality hair in the comfort of your own home, but at a fraction of the cost. And the coconut scent is subtle and soft, giving you a hint of fragrance that lasts all day.
- It thoroughly cleans your hair without fading your color
- It is priced less than $10.00 for a large bottle
- This shampoo leaves hair soft, shiny and healthy-looking
- It is free of sulfates and parabens
- It has a matching conditioner
- This shampoo be a bit drying for some hair types if used every day
- The consistency is a bit thick, making it difficult to get it out of the bottle
The Best Salon Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo
This shampoo from Fekkai is designed to protect your color and resist fading. It is gentle enough to use every day without drying out your hair or dulling its shine. The formula is rich in antioxidants, which can keep your hair healthy and strong. It can also promote hair growth by keeping the follicle from shrinking. Fekkai’s color care system is also infused with pure grapeseed oil. Vitamin E, proteins, minerals, and linoleic acid are all found in this shampoo. These ingredients strengthen your hair, adding shine without the greasy feel. Though the price is a bit higher than some other brands, the quality of this shampoo may well be worth the cost.
- The gentle formula won’t strip the color out of your hair
- You only need a small amount, so the bottle should last for months
- The grapeseed fragrance is light and refreshing
- There is a matching Fekkai Color Care Conditioner for added moisture
- This shampoo works well on all hair types and lengths
- This shampoo is not sulfate free
- It is a bit expensive at about $20.00 for a 16-ounce bottle
The Best Organic Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: The Wonder Seed Hemp Shampoo
Wonder Seed‘s sweet orange hemp shampoo uses a wide blend of natural ingredients. This includes aloe vera, jojoba oil, ginseng extract, coconut oil, and nettle extract, just to name a few. These organic ingredients hydrate your hair, sealing in the moisture. These make your hair stronger, healthier, with better elasticity. This shampoo also balances out your oil production, no matter how oily or dry your hair is. Wonder Seed can even treat dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis. Because this is an organic shampoo, it is free of sulfates, parabens, or other chemicals. It is also made completely cruelty free and is gentle enough for the whole family to use.
- The organic formula is safe to use daily on color treated hair
- It has the mild scent of orange and jasmine
- This shampoo can balance out oil production in all hair types
- It may reduce the itching and flaking that come from some skin conditions
- It is a bit expensive, at about $15.00 for a small 8-ounce bottle
- The shampoo is a bit thin and could result in some waste
The Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair With Dandruff: Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
You don’t spend your money on color treatments only to cover it up because of embarrassing flakes. Maple Holistic‘s special formula relieves your dandruff, clearing out the flakes. It does this by combining tea tree oil with plenty of other natural ingredients. Some of these include jojoba oil, argan oil, lavender oil and even botanical keratin. This strengthens your hair while it soothes the irritation and clears up the flakes. These pure additions also add some much-needed moisture to your colored hair. This will keep it strong and free of split ends. As well as being good for your hair, this product is also made cruelty-free.
- This shampoo is made from 100% all-natural ingredients
- It can help to treat dandruff and other skin issues in just one day
- It has a nice scent
- This shampoo shouldn’t strip away the color in your hair
- You may be able to go 1-2 days between shampooing with this product
- It may leave your hair a bit dry and in need of conditioning
- This small 8-ounce bottle costs over $10.00
The Best Shampoo for Blonde Color Treated Hair: Winsome & Wisdom #BlondeMoment Shampoo
Whether your blonde hair is natural or comes from a bottle, a purple shampoo is the best choice. This shampoo from Winsome & Wisdom combines Mica and natural balancing extracts. These work to clean your hair while neutralizing the brassiness for a more natural shade. A natural guar gum derivative added in has a few extra benefits. It smooths out the strands for less frizziness. It also adds some body while conditioning your hair for extra softness. This shampoo also keeps your color from fading, giving you brighter, shinier tones. #BlondeMoment also contains a UV protectant to keep your hair safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
- This shampoo is made cruelty-free
- It contains a UV protectant to keep hair safe from the sun
- It can lighten your hair, removing the brassiness and yellow tones
- This shampoo doesn’t contain parabens
- It works quickly, lightening the color in only a few washes
- This shampoo is not sulfate free
- It may be a bit drying on your hair, requiring extra conditioning
- The price is quite high for such a small bottle
Best Shampoo for Red Color Treated Hair: No products found.No products found.
Watching your red color fade between visits to the salon will be a thing of the past when using Water Colors. It gently cleanses your hair of dirt and oil to keep your hair feeling fresh. But it also enhances your color. If you have medium red hair, it infuses it with fiery red-orange tones. Those with darker crimson or deeper browns will notice more seductive black cherry colors. If you would like a more intense color, add a little more of the shampoo and let it work its magic. This shampoo from Tressa is also sulfate-free, so it won’t strip away the color you already have.
- It is decently priced for a small 8.5-ounce bottle
- It refreshes red hair between colorings
- This shampoo is gentle enough for daily use
- There is a nice, yet subtle, scent
- It can add some volume to some hair types
- It may discolor acrylic nails during the lathering process
- It may dry out your hair, and require extra conditioning
- The color can stain your shower and skin if not washed off immediately
No products found.
The Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair for Swimmers: Ultra Swim Chlorine Removal Shampoo
If you’re a swimmer, you know the damage chlorine can do to your hair. It leaves it brittle and dry and can alter the color in natural and color treated hair. Ultra Swim can counter these issues. This shampoo is formulated to remove the chlorine from your hair, as well as any odor it leaves behind. It contains ingredients to protect your hair from further damage. These include Aloe, Vitamin E, humectants, and conditioners. The added moisture softens your hair with every wash. This shampoo also keeps copper and other oxidized metals from altering lighter shades. Best of all, this shampoo is gentle enough for the whole family.
- This shampoo is decently priced at about $8.00 for a 7-ounce bottle
- It has a nice, soft scent
- Ultra Swim removes the chlorine and the odor from your hair
- It won’t strip the color from your hair
- This shampoo has a matching conditioner for added convenience
- This shampoo is not free of sulfates
- You may need to wash your hair more than once to remove all the chlorine
Best Shampoo for Color Treated Hair Final Thoughts
Coloring your hair is expensive and time-consuming. That’s why keeping your color fresh and bright is so important. Using the best shampoo for color treated hair can help. Since coloring your hair can also dry it out, you’ll need to find a moisture shampoo that will hydrate it, too. And one with few chemicals will keep your chosen shampoo from stripping away that color. Many of our shampoos have similar qualities that you may be looking for. But our top shampoo for color treated hair is OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo. Like some of the other products, it is free of sulfates and parabens. It also has a matching conditioner, which many people find is much more convenient. But what puts this shampoo over the top is its low price for a salon-sized bottle. The fact that it keeps your colored hair soft and protected from damage is also necessary for a good shampoo. And the lovely scent is an added bonus. Thanks for reading!
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