Looking for the best shampoo for colored hair? You’re in the right place. My mom is a cosmetologist, and she’s taught me a thing or two about which products work and which don’t. Read on to see our recommendations.
Looking for the Best Shampoo for Colored Hair? Start Here.
Colored hair needs gentle cleansing that preserves hair color to prevent it from fading or dulling. A good shampoo formulated specifically for color-treated hair is the solution.
A handful of salon-quality options stood out in our search for the best shampoo for colored hair – see them all (including their pros and cons) in our shopping guide below.
When you’re looking for a good shampoo labeled as safe for color-treated hair, you’re definitely not short on options.
Nearly every shampoo manufacturer has a color-safe formula for sale, from the cheapest drugstore brands to the finer salon brands. But if you think just any brand of color-safe shampoo will work the way you want it to, think again.
Drugstore vs. Salon Shampoo for Colored Hair
A debate has been raging for years over drugstore versus salon shampoo – especially for colored hair. If budget is one of your main considerations when you shop for hair care products, it’s easy to get stuck in a loop of buying drugstore hair products that are cheap without considering how well (or how poorly) they actually work.
Many times, you can get away with using the cheapest, most accessible option. If you’re just looking for a fruity-smelling shampoo that strips excess oil from your hair and gives you a squeaky-clean feeling, a drugstore shampoo may serve your purpose well enough.
But when you’re dealing with colored hair, your shampoo choice becomes much more important. Color-treated hair has been chemically processed to allow permanent or semi-permanent dye to seep into each hair strand.
This process causes damage to each and every hair strand, which is why switching to a shampoo formulated for colored hair is so important. Shampoo for colored hair should be made with ingredients that:
- Gently cleanse the hair
- Keep color vibrant and dimensional week after week
- Won’t strip away your scalp’s healing natural oils
Drugstore brands make shampoos for color-treated hair, but these harsh formulas made with cheap ingredients can wreak havoc on freshly-dyed hair.
Why Professional Quality Matters
If you want your hair color to stay vibrant, refrain from dulling and fading, and feel clean, soft, and hydrated, you can’t rely on a drugstore shampoo for colored hair. You’ve got to reach for professional quality instead.
“But drugstore shampoos are a lot cheaper than salon or professional-quality shampoos.” We know, and this is really the only selling point for cheap shampoo.
If you’ve ever wondered why there’s such a wide price gap between drugstore shampoos and salon shampoos, you might be surprised to learn that it’s all about what’s inside – or not inside, in the case of drugstore shampoos – the bottle.
Drugstore shampoos are diluted versions of salon shampoos. They contain a fraction of the effective ingredients that higher-quality salon brands use. They use lower-quality ingredients that perform poorly and harshly strip the hair with every wash.
Salon and professional-quality shampoos, on the other hand, contain higher amounts of premium ingredients that nourish, rebuild, and gently cleanse your hair without stripping it. And it’s impossible to use salon-quality shampoo without noticing the radical difference it makes in your hair.
If you’ve ever noticed how your hair looks and feels amazing when you leave the salon. But you can’t seem to recreate the softness, shine, and stylability at home, you’ve experienced the difference between drugstore and salon shampoo first-hand.
Who wants to shell out big bucks for hair color only to have it fade in a week due to cheap drugstore shampoo? No one.
You can avoid this problem by choosing a premium shampoo for colored hair that protects and preserves color with the highest quality and concentration of ingredients.
Best Shampoo for Colored Hair: Our Top 7 Picks
With this in mind, we decided to search for the best shampoo for colored hair. We found 7 premium shampoos with excellent customer reviews, proven ingredients, and powerful-yet-gentle cleansing abilities that make them perfect for colored hair.
Ready to see our top 7 picks for colored hair? Keep reading below!
Biolage Colorlast Shampoo
- Excellent value for the dollar
- Low-pH helps maximize color
- Thousands of positive reviews
- Not sulfate free
- A bit more expensive than normal shampoo
- Not very versatile (not worth the cost on uncolored hair)
Biolage Colorlast Shampoo is made by one of the most trusted salon haircare brands and does not disappoint. This color-safe shampoo is one of the most gentle and effective options out there for colored hair. Use it to keep your hair color vibrant and protected from fading for up to 9 weeks.
Why does it work so well? This low pH shampoo is formulated to be a natural fit for the pH of your hair and scalp to avoid damage and early color fading. The gentle formula preserves your new hair color from the start – keeping the color tone, glossy shine, and rich depth intact for weeks longer.
Users rate Biolage Colorlast with an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars for a reason. It really does preserve color to make it last longer. Using this shampoo can help you space your color appointments further apart.
That means less chemical damage to your hair over time and better overall hair and scalp health. It’s purely a bonus that this shampoo smells so incredible.
But we think the signature Biolage scent will be one of your favorite parts of using it. Don’t hesitate to give this shampoo a try if you want long-lasting, vibrant color!
Redken Color Extend Shampoo
More of a Redken girl? We’ve got a great, color-safe option for you. We called Redken Color Extend Shampoo “the holy grail for color-treated hair” in a previous guide and we meant it.
This shampoo is made with Redken’s patented Color Care Complex to prevent fading and dullness, increase hydration and shine, and protect against the most common causes of accelerated fading (like hard water, UV damage, mineral buildup, and cuticle damage).
Redken Color Extend even works to repair damage from coloring your hair in the first place. Hydrolyzed soy and vegetable protein help fill in the protein gaps that can form in strands after any type of color or chemical processing.
The formula also contains cranberry oil packed with plant nutrients that nourish and repair your hair.
All Redken shampoos have a huge fanbase, but the gentle, fragrant, and color-enhancing Color Extend shampoo has a cult following. Users rate it 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 93% of reviewers saying they’d recommend it to others with color-treated hair.
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
Pureology Hydrate Moisturizing Vegan Shampoo is one of the best-kept salon secrets for protecting and preserving color-treated hair (if you can call a shampoo with 12,500+ Amazon reviews a secret).
This formula is intensely moisturizing, making it our favorite pick for thick, coarse, or coily/kinky hair. The formula is sulfate-free to gently cleanse away oil, dirt, and impurities without fading or stripping color.
It’s packed with hydrating ingredients (like jojoba oil, green tea extract, and sage) that protect hair from physical damage, prevent frizz, and improve curl and wave definition. With over 12,500 reviews online, Pureology Hydrate gets an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Users rate it particularly high for making hair touchably soft, intense moisturization, and the rich fragrance. If your hair is thirsty post-color and you want to keep the color rich and vibrant for a longer time, this is a great option.
Davines MINU Shampoo
Davines MINU Shampoo is a salon-quality formula containing gentle, natural ingredients that really pack a punch. The MINU shampoo formula is specifically designed for use on colored hair because it contains a blend of both gently-cleansing and color-retaining natural ingredients.
Davines MINU shampoo contains rich ingredients that nourish the hair and scalp for longer-lasting color, like castor oil and caper blossom extract from Salina Island, Messina, Italy.
These are important ingredients. Castor oil has long been used as a natural treatment to yield stronger hair and prevent hair loss.
Caper blossom extract has been shown to be an effective treatment for loss of pigmentation in skin and hair, so this is a particularly powerful ingredient to find in a shampoo for color-treated hair. It can help your new color last longer and appear more vibrant for weeks.
With the unique and proven-effective ingredients in this shampoo, it’s not only safe for color-treated hair, but it’s one of the best options around to keep your hair color preserved, vibrant, and dimensional for up to 9 weeks.
Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color
Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color contains no color-fading sulfates or parabens. The gentle sulfate alternatives in the formula remove oil, dirt, product buildup, and impurities to keep your color looking vibrant without being dulled by buildup.
Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color is top-notch quality shampoo that manages to be gentle on hair while repairing damage and protecting color. It’s made with strengthening, hair-fortifying ingredients that help rectify the damage done during the color process and smell delicious.
You’ll find the famous protein-preserving Oribe Signature Complex in this antioxidant-rich shampoo (containing watermelon, lychee fruit, and edelweiss flower extracts).
But it also contains color-protecting plant pigments, hydrating Baobab tree extract, and UV-protecting Kaempferia root extract to protect your color from fading with sunlight exposure.
For more vibrant, longer-lasting color and stronger hair that better withstands damage, this shampoo is one of the best options you’ll find.
TIGI Bed Head Color Goddess
TIGI Bed Head Color Goddess Shampoo is a pH-balanced formula that helps repair the damage done during processing for healthier hair that naturally preserves color longer. This formula is all about keeping the hair hydrated and sealed to prevent color and moisture loss.
With a low pH closer to the scalp and hair’s natural pH, this shampoo helps close the outermost cuticle layer of the hair to securely seal color molecules in place and prevent excessive moisture loss.
You’ll find tons of natural, nourishing ingredients packed into this nutrient-rich shampoo for colored hair.
Vitamin E, an effective antioxidant, preserves scalp and follicle health to prevent accelerated fading. Sweet almond oil and coconut oil provide rich moisture and fatty acids that lubricate and protect every strand.
For richer, more vibrant color that looks glossy and shiny, it’s hard to find a better option than Color Goddess shampoo. Reviews are excellent, and users really love the scent, moisturization, and how soft this formula leaves their hair.
Color WOW Color Security Shampoo
Color WOW Color Security Shampoo is a residue-less shampoo for colored hair that is all about leaving hair lightweight, cleansed, and soft without fading color prematurely.
No silicones, sulfates, or parabens are in this gentle formula so you can be sure it won’t strip away your natural oils or prematurely fade your new hair color.
Unlike other color-safe shampoos, this one does not contain any conditioners, thickeners, or pearlizing ingredients – it’s just pure and gentle cleansing.
The lack of heavy conditioners and thickeners makes this shampoo the perfect choice for very fine or thin hair or hair that gets oily fast. The lightweight formula leaves no residue behind, so you get more movement, longer-lasting color, and protection against dullness and fading.
The patented Sealicon complex in the formula leaves hair with a glossy, soft finish without the use of heavy silicones. If other color-safe shampoos leave too much residue on your fine, thin, or oily hair, this is the formula for you!
Things to Consider
You’ve seen our top picks for the best shampoo for colored hair. We’ve selected 7 of the best-reviewed salon quality formulas packed with nourishing, color-preserving ingredients.
But narrowing your choice down to the best shampoo for your specific needs can be a challenge. Here’s what you should think about to make the best decision for your colored hair:
- Understand the cost difference. Are salon brands and professional-quality shampoos more expensive than their drugstore counterparts? Yes. But it’s important to understand the reason for the cost difference. Salon and professional brands contain premium ingredients in higher concentrations. Drugstore brands are often seriously-diluted formulas that use harsh sulfates – proven to fade color faster. You’ll pay more for better shampoo, but when it comes to preserving your costly new hair color, you’ll find that the cost difference is more than worth it.
- Choose based on your hair type. Some shampoo formulas are better suited for your hair type than others. For example, if you have thick, coarse hair, you’ll want to opt for an intensely moisturizing shampoo for colored hair like Pureology Hydrate. For fine hair that’s easily weighed down by heavy moisturizers, you’ll want to opt for a lightweight shampoo like Color WOW Color Security shampoo. This will ensure you get the color-protecting benefits while meeting the hydration needs of your hair type.
- Get the matching hair products. Most of the shampoos on our list are part of a line of color-safe hair care products. If there’s a matching conditioner, leave-in, serum, etc. for your new shampoo, grab the other products to maximize the color-protecting benefits. You’ll be able to make your color last even longer when every step of your hair care routine is focused on preserving your color.
- Be willing to experiment. While the goal is finding the best shampoo for colored hair on the first try, the reality is that you may need to try a few formulas before you find The One. Any of the shampoos on our list will be a great choice and most are universally beneficial for all hair types. If you find that the formula you try isn’t quite hydrating or lightweight enough for your hair, bookmark this list so you can try another formula for the next go-around.
So, What’s the Best Shampoo for Colored Hair?
So there you have it — the best shampoo for colored hair. Getting a new hair color is always exciting. If you’re loving your new look and don’t want to prematurely fade the color, grabbing a good shampoo for colored hair is essential.
By sticking with salon brands and professional-quality formulas recommended by stylists, you get higher ingredient concentrations and more effective color protection. As a result, your color will last longer and appear more vibrant than if you used a cheap drugstore shampoo.
Your $100+ hair color deserves the best shampoo for colored hair – not a cheap knockoff product that dulls and fades color with every wash. Choose any shampoo from our list to keep your new color’s tone, shade, depth, and dimension intact for weeks longer!