These shampoos for color-treated hair are your best defense against fading hair color.
Shampoo for Beautiful Color, $46 at Bluemercury
This ultra gentle shampoo is not only safe to use on color-enhanced strands, but its hydration game rivals a conditioner. Enriched with fruit derivatives to give your shade a boost and free radical-fighting antioxidants, this best shampoo for colored hair will extend your color’s staying power while upping shine. Oh, it also leaves hair smooth and soft.
Meg from Bluemercury: "This shampoo is incredible. Not only does my hair color look BETTER than it did a few weeks ago (balayage a few times a year), but it also smells amazing thanks to this shampoo!"
Stephanie from Bluemercury: "After trying this product I immediately received comments from people on how healthy my hair looked! Leaves hair soft with a great shine. I have colored my hair my entire life and have finally found the product I have been looking for to keep my hair healthy and looking great!"
Recovery Shampoo, $38 at Virtue
An Allure Best of Beauty Award winner for 2017, Virtue’s shampoo for colored hair rebuilds damaged locks while safeguarding your shade. How does it get the job done? Well, it gently dissolves buildup as it replenishes vital nutrients courtesy of color-enhancing hydrolyzed quinoa, damaged hair’s natural enemy baobab seed oil and revitalizing grapefruit extract. Plus, it’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and dyes.
Nika from Virtue: "My hair is a combination of thin and damaged from chemical dyeing. It is nice to find a shampoo that repairs your hair and doesn't weigh it down too much so I can keep my volume. The shampoo leaves your hair super soft!"
Julia from Virtue: "This shampoo gave me such a good clean and washed out all the buildup and product I had sitting on top of my strands. Feel like I'm getting a great wash and the scent is perfect!"
CAVIAR Infinite Color Hold Shampoo, $34 at Sephora
While you probably already stockpile sunscreen for your skin, you may not realize that your color-treated locks also need protection from the sun’s rays. Luckily, this best shampoo for color-treated hair has got you covered with its dual capture complex to provide UV protection. The complex also minimizes color fading and replenishes moisture. Its namesake ingredient helps smooth hair and increase shine thanks to amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Red raspberry leaf and sunflower seed oils replenish your strands’ natural lipid layer to hold in color and moisture better.
Amazingash from Sephora: "I dye my hair a black with blue undertones color and I have some purple and blue in my bangs. I only use caviar products. I fell in love with this immediately. The smell is wonderful and my hair was so soft after washing it. I noticed a huge difference compared to other caviar products that weren't designed to be used with color treated hair. And my hair was so shiny! I would highly recommend this product."
LJinAZ from Sephora: "Since I’ve been using this my hairdresser says my color looks like it doesn’t need to be done so often. It really saves the color and my hair looks clean and very shiny. I use the serum and shine spray too. Don’t forget the conditioner too. It lasts forever too."
Gemstone Color Shampoo, $24 at Birchbox
Keep your color intense by washing with this best shampoo for colored hair. It’ll nourish and soften strands as well and it offers a fresh fragrance with notes of citrus, eucalyptus and amber. Boasting four potent extracts (hibiscus, pea, rice, golden root), the formula protects against discoloration, provides antioxidant protection and combats thermal stress. It’s also safe for all shades.
LynnF from Birchbox: "I love this product. I have color treated hair (red) which can fade quickly. The R+Co Gemstone Color Shampoo helps maintain the color longer and gives my hair a nice shine. It is a rich shampoo with a nice lather and the smell is luxurious!"
Kellie from Birchbox: "Loved this product. Was great on my colored hair. Smelled great too."
Color Assure Shampoo for Color Treated Hair, $19.99 at Ulta Beauty
Nexxus’ color-safe shampoo "reawakens" your color as it gently cleanses your mane. Bolstered by white orchid extract, the poo replenishes nutrients and helps hair retain natural movement. It’s also infused with a conditioning polymer to make locks extra manageable.
janie from Ulta Beauty: "I have used lots of different shampoos and this is by far my favorite. MY hair is so clean and shiny and the color is not faded!"
D Rodriguez from Ulta Beauty: "Love this shampoo!! Less color fade!!! Hair is healthier."
Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Enhancing Shampoo, $8.49 at Ulta Beauty
For gals with blond hair or highlights, this shampoo is a lifesaver. It keeps blond tones bright, not brassy.
Conservative Blonde from Ulta Beauty: "I use this shampoo year round and get compliments on the beautiful shade of my blonde. I think this shampoo brings out highlights that would otherwise be kind of dingy."
from Ulta Beauty: "I wash my hair daily with this shampoo and love the results; shiny, bright hair."
Nevo Reparative Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $19.99 at Ulta Beauty
This shampoo for color-treated hair contains quinoa and soy proteins to repair and strengthen hair and a blend of natural oils that make hair super soft and shiny.
PM from Ulta Beauty: "Gentle on my color treated hair! Made my hair soft without weighing it down!"
RH1996 from Ulta Beauty: "Absolutely love this line. Lathers well and my hair is noticeably softer and tangle free. Best vegan shampoo/conditioner I've used to date...and I've tried a lot of them."
Blonde Idol Shampoo, $25.50 at JCPenney
This sulfate-free, ultra gentle shampoo for colored hair is pH balanced to protect blond hair and enhance shine.
Susie q from Ulta Beauty: "I just recently dyed my hair and this product is helping me keep the color. It also smells wonderful which is a huge plus!"
Kristine from Ulta Beauty: "I love this for my hair! It makes my blonde pop!"
SuperFruit Shampoo, $11.49 at Ulta Beauty
Packed with antioxidants, this shampoo protects hair from the sun's damaging rays. It also contains oils for extra moisture.
Tammy S. from Ulta Beauty: "Love the smell and it lathers great and rinses thoroughly. I also use the conditioner and my hair is so soft with added volume. It's great for color treated hair as well!!"
C. Brooks from Ulta Beauty: "Perfect, not too heavy, not drying, smells great. Perfect solution for oily scalp and dry ends. Sulfate free means your color won't fade."
Phytocitrus Color Protect Radiance Shampoo, $24 at DermStore
This shampoo is packed with color-enhancing extracts and moisturizing ingredients so hair looks vibrant and feels soft.
Sbstis from Sephora: "Most shampoos for color treated hair leave mine a flat, greasy mess. This stuff, NEVER!!! Has a subtle smell, lathers well, helps maintain my color and keeps it from looking weighed down and greasy. I'm hooked!"
Rosieday from Sephora: "This shampoo is great for fine, colored hair. (It probably is great for any texture, I just have fine hair!) It has a lovely citrus scent, suds wells and does not make my hair weigh down. My color shines!"
EverPure Moisture Shampoo, $7.99 at Ulta Beauty
Natural botanicals cleanse hair gently, preserving hair color and keeping hair shiny.
SPAZ from Ulta Beauty: "I have wavy thick color treated hair. This is the only shampoo I have found that really cleans my hair without damaging it! Not greasy, no weird smells and lathers well. Works better than more expensive shampoos I have tried."
Carol in Frisco Tx from Ulta Beauty: "This is a great product and seems to keep my deep color vibrant. The smell is divine."
Nothing’s worse than plunking down your hard-earned money on some gorgeous balayage or babylights only to have your hair color fade or turn brassy a mere week later. That’s why you need a shampoo formulated to protect your hair color.
How can I make my hair color last longer?
While picking up the best shampoo for colored hair is vital, there are other steps you can take to prevent color from fading away. First up, hold off on shampooing for 24 to 48 hours after you get your new hue. When you’re ready to wash, skip hot showers since the heat can open up the cuticle, releasing your new shade (you may also want to wash every other day to keep that hair color in top form). On a similar note, only use styling tools deemed suitable for color-treated hair and prep strands with a heat protectant before getting down to business. And don’t forget the sunscreen. Look for a shampoo for colored hair designed to block UVA/UVB rays, as they can spell disaster for colored hair.
What does color-safe shampoo mean?
Your regular ol’ shampoo just won’t cut it on colored hair. That’s because typical poos contain salts and sulfates that can wreak havoc on colored strands. The best shampoo for colored hair is formulated without those damaging additives. Also, look for options that feature antioxidants to fight free radical damage (and, again, sun protection).
Can you use shampoo for color-treated hair on normal hair?
Yes, you can use shampoo for colored hair on virgin locks. But the reverse isn’t true (see above).
Are sulfates bad for color-treated hair?
No, they’re not bad, they’re downright evil. Consider sulfates the archenemy of colored hair. That’s why it’s super important to seek out shampoos that leave out the dangerous ingredient. Bonus: Sulfate-free shampoos are also great for curly hair because they help retain the curl.
Ready to shop? Here are the 11 best shampoos for color-treated hair.
- Alterna Haircare
- John Frieda
- L’Oréal Paris
Click through the slideshow above for more information on the 11 best shampoos to keep your color shiny, bright and looking brand new.