10 Shampoos That Will Keep Your Color Looking Vibrant Between Appointments
We asked a hair stylist for her expert opinion.
Anyone who’s dyed their hair knows — nothing beats the feeling of leaving the salon with your new vibrant hue or fresh set of highlights. However, with the current need for social distancing, going to the salon just doesn’t feel feasible or responsible. First things first, put down the box dye. Instead, protect your investment (yes, dying your hair is certainly an investment) by stocking up on the right at-home products, such as color-friendly shampoo. Not sure where to start? We tapped Caroline Muller, a stylist from Rhode Island specializing in color-treated and balayage hair, for her expertise on the best shampoos to keep your dyed locks looking their most vibrant.
Why shampoo you ask? “Unlike conditioner, shampoo is made to cleanse the hair of dirt and oil so you want to be extra careful about choosing a product that doesn’t strip your hair of its color — or of its natural moisture,” says Muller. “You want a shampoo that’s free of harsh stripping agents like sulfate and that actually works to keep your color intact.” Scroll to read her favorite products for color-treated hair whether you’re trying to maintain your bombshell blonde or simply keep up with your color for less.
- Best Overall: Paul Mitchell Neuro Lather Shampoo
- Best Affordable Find: Kristin Ess Daily Cleansing Shampoo
- Best Clean Brand: Rahua Color Full Shampoo
- Best Splurge: Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color
- Best for Redheads: Bumble and Bumble Color Minded Shampoo
- Best for Blondes: Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo for Blonde and Silver Hair
- Best for Brunettes: DPHUE Cool Brunette
- Best for Mature Hair: Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo
- Best for Dry Scalps: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Color Shampoo
- Best Clarifying Shampoo: Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo
Best Overall: Paul Mitchell Neuro Lather Shampoo
If you could only bring one product to a desert island to protect your color-treated locks, Caroline suggests Paul Mitchell’s Neuro Shampoo. The color-safe formula is made to relieve stressed-out strands, whether it’s from blow-outs or bleaching. In addition to cleansing your hair from dirt, oil, and residue, it creates the perfect protective foundation for heat styling — which is extra important when your hair is color-treated as it's more susceptible to the potential damage and fading caused by hot tools. Bonus: The shampoo’s refreshing scent will make you smell like you just left the hair salon after every use.
Shop now: $47; ulta.com
Best Affordable Find: Kristin Ess Daily Cleansing Shampoo
While using salon-quality products is key to extending the life of your color, it’s not always affordable or attainable. Opt for the next best thing with this drugstore find created by celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess. The Daily Cleansing Shampoo is sulfate, paraben, phthalate, and cruelty-free with no added fragrances. In other words, it’s everything your color-treated hair needs in a gentle, shine enhancing shampoo and nothing it doesn't. Plus, the highly rated find is almost the same price as your fancy morning latte.
Shop now: $12; target.com
Best Clean Brand: Rahua Color Full Shampoo
Made of plant-based ingredients sourced from the Amazon, Rahua Color Full Shampoo was created to preserve, enhance, and extend the life of all color-treated hair. The clean formula also works to strengthen and nourish strands thanks to hydrating morete and rahua oils. The exotic-smelling fragrance will keep your color vibrant and your scalp happy.
Shop now: $38; sephora.com
Best Splurge: Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color
If you’re serious about extending the life of your dyed locks, then it may be worth investing in a product that’s expensive, yet effective. Oribe’s Shampoo for Beautiful Color is an advanced, gentle formula that defends your hair from color-depleting factors such as stress, environmental damage, and keratin deterioration. It’s infused with bioflavonoids, a plant-derived compound known for giving fruit their vibrant color, to protect your own color from fading, and hydrating baobab-tree extract to moisturize your hair from root to end. Plus, the multi-layered UV protection ensures environmental stressors or some damage never dull your locks.
Shop now: $46–$147; nordstrom.com
Best for Redheads: Bumble and Bumble Color Minded Shampoo
“Color-treated red heads can have some of the most vibrant and bold hues out there,” says Muller. “But unfortunately, they can also lose their pigment the quickest, causing the color to dull and fade.” To combat this, she suggests an ultra-mild cleanser like Bumble and Bumble’s Color Minded Shampoo. It uses a color-preserving complex to act like a finishing coat, keeping your colored hair healthy, vibrant, and free of frizz. Stylist tip: For vibrant, Rhianna-red hues, Muller suggests going beyond shampoo and also adding in a gloss to keep your color fresh.
Shop now: $31; nordstrom.com
Best for Blondes: Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo for Blonde and Silver Hair
The best way to keep blonde strands bleached? Adding purple shampoo into the mix once or twice a week — and Muller favors the formula that started the purple trend: Matrix’s Total Results So Silver. Unlike other purple shampoos that can be difficult to lather and penetrate the hair shaft, this professionally developed formula doubles as a clarifying shampoo to rid blondes of dull, yellow, and brassy tones while also cleansing the scalp. It also works well on highlighted blondes and naturally aging hair, adding brightness and shine to highlights or mature gray and white shades.
Shop now: $26; ulta.com
Best for Brunettes: DPHUE Cool Brunette
What purple shampoo does for blondes, blue shampoo does for brunettes. “Blue shampoo helps to eliminate any brassy or unwanted red and orange tones for my brunette clients,” says Muller. She suggests DPHue’s Cool Brunette Shampoo, co-created by celeb stylist Justin Anderson. In addition to neutralizing unwanted brassy shades, this formula is infused with hibiscus-flower extract and silk proteins to improve hair’s strength, shine, and brightness.
Shop now: $26; sephora.com
Best for Mature Hair: Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo
Unfortunately, signs of aging are not solely noticeable in the wrinkles on our face — they can show up in our hair, too. Stressed and aging hair appears brittle, lack-luster, dry, and prone to damage, which can also be exacerbated by coloring your locks. Thankfully, Caviar Anti-Aging Moisture Shampoo is here to help. The formula is infused with caviar extracts that are rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids to help hydrate, strengthen, and reverse the damage in your color-treated hair. Muller also suggests this formula for anyone with dry or coarse locks.
Shop now: $34; sephora.com
Best for Dry Scalps: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Color Shampoo
Soothe your dry, itchy scalp with the refreshing ingredients found in Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Color Shampoo. Created with rooibos-tea botanicals to keep your color from fading, and tea-tree oil and peppermint to soothe the scalp, this formula is gentle on your color but leaves the scalp feeling clean.
Shop now: $39; ulta.com
Best Clarifying Shampoo: Verb Reset Clarifying Shampoo
Muller suggests using a clarifying shampoo in your hair-care regimen every few washes, as long as the option is gentle enough for color-treated hair. Verb’s Clarifying Shampoo is sulphate-free so it won’t dull your color while it helps to remove product build-up, oils, and dirt for a more balanced scalp — and when your scalp is happy so is your hair. It invigorates and soothes the scalp to reduce itchiness and flakes while restoring essential minerals back to damaged hair, enhancing its overall elasticity. Finally, honey locks in the moisture, giving you hair that feels brand new.
Shop now: $18; sephora.com