So you just got your hair colored.

Now you’re looking for the best ways to keep it clean without stripping out your new color. Finding the best shampoo for colored hair isn’t a “one size fits all formula.” So we’ve taken the time to do the research for you. But since every person’s hair is different, we’ve listed a variety of amazing shampoos for color treated hair. You choose which is the best for you.

Levels of Hair Coloring

As you may know there are different ways of applying color to hair. These range from coating the surface of the strands with a coloring agent to infusing the color into the cuticle. We won’t go into detail here. But we will give a brief overview just to provide a point of reference.

Permanent Coloring

  • Longest lasting
  • Uses ammonia and other chemicals to help color penetrate the cuticle
  • Fades over time
  • Alters the original color

Demi-Permanent Coloring

  • Washes out over time (20-30 shampoos)
  • Uses chemicals other than ammonia
  • Cannot lighten color
  • Less damaging than permanent coloring

Semi-Permanent Coloring

  • Lasts 4 to 5 weeks (may vary depending on product)
  • Uses no peroxide or ammonia
  • Cannot lighten hair

Temporary Coloring (Deposit Only)

  • Only lasts for 1 or 2 washings
  • Color coats the hair strands
  • Comes in a variety of forms (rinses, sprays, foams, gels, etc.)

Top 5 Best Shampoos for Colored Hair

Without further ado, here are our top five choices for those of you looking for the best shampoo for colored hair. Find the one that’s best for your hair type!

#1 – ColorProof TruCurl Curl Perfecting Shampoo

#1 best shampoo for curly color treated hairThis offering by ColorProof is designed specifically for curly hair types. (In case you didn’t pick that up from the name.) It contains no sulfates and offers heat protections. And if that isn’t enough, it will also protect those curly locks from the effects of humidity.

Amazon Rating: 4.9 stars

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#2 – AG Hair Cosmetics Colour Savour Sulfate-Free Shampoo

AG Hair shampoo protect hair coloringAG Hair’s CARE complex gives their Colour Savour Shampoo protection both from UV rays and free radicals. In addition to being pleased with it ability to protect color treated hair, reviewers found that it left their hair soft, helped with frizz and dryness.

Amazon Rating: 4.3 stars

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#3 – Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Blonde Shampoo

best color safe shampoo for blondesIf you’re looking to protect either natural, colored, or bleached blonde hair, Alterna’s Brightening Blonde Shampoo is tough to beat. Brassiness won’t stand a chance. UV rays will be powerless against you.

Reviewers raved over its results and great smell. Many commented that it also protected gray hair. The main negative was that it could dry out hair. So use carefully if your hair is prone to dryness.

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

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#4 – L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo

best color safe shampooThis budget conscious offering from L’Oreal Paris makes color protection a long term option for everyone. It’s unique aroma of rosemary and juniper made a positive impression on most reviewers.

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

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#5 – Tigi Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil – Infused Shampoo

#5 best shampoo for colored hairThis oil-infused shampoo by Tigi is an amazing option for dryer hair types. The oil in Bed Head Color Goddess will moisturize while the low sulfate formula cleans. Reviewers without dry hair commented that it weighed down their hair or left a greasy feel.

Amazon Rating: 4.8 stars

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Honorable Mentions

There were a couple of options that came so close to our list of best shampoos for colored hair that we felt we had to mention them. If none of those listed above are a good fit for you, check these out.

What Does It Take to Be the Best Shampoo for Colored Hair?

There are no shortage of “color-safe” shampoo choices on the market. But what makes a shampoo safer for color treated hair?

To answer this question, we must understand what factors in general contribute to color loss. We can then see how a shampoo formula can help to protect your hair. Here are the three main offenders of vibrant hair color:

Washing

One of the biggest offenders of a long lasting hue is water. Washing your hair, regardless of the type of shampoo, causes your hair cuticles to swell with water. This allows some of the color molecules to escape.

In other words, shampooing, even with the best shampoo for colored hair, will slowly cause your color to fade.

Most professional stylists will advise you to use a shampoo that is “sulfate free.” Sulfates typically make up the detergent element of a shampoo formula. They work to clean the dirt and oil off your hair. It is generally considered better to avoid sulfates. Instead look for shampoos that use milder detergents. These are less likely to strip the color along with the dirt and excess oils.

However, there is a strong sentiment amongst the more scientific minded side of the beauty industry that sulfate free shampoos offer no benefit in terms of color loss. Experts at websites such as The Beauty Brain and Paula’s Choice maintain that color safe claims made by sulfate free shampoo brands are more of a “marketing ruse” than scientific fact.

In terms of our search for the best shampoo for colored hair, we chose to include sulfate free as a positive factor, since a lack of sulfates will certainly not be worse for you hair color.

Dry shampoos can also be used to prolong time between washes.

Heat

A second offender is heat. Heat from hair dryers and flat irons can damage hair and weaken its color. This factor doesn’t really affect your choice of shampoo for your color treated hair. But it is definitely important to know the value of heat protectant products.

Also try to use lower settings on your blow dryer and flat iron if possible. Temperatures of over 325 degrees Fahrenheit can actually discolor lighter colored hair.

Using a thermal protectant for those unavoidable moments when you must use your curling iron or hair dryer will help your color last.

Ultraviolet Rays

The sun is no friend to your colored hair. UV rays from the sun causes the molecules of color in your hair to oxidize and fade. It can cause blonde hair to turn a brassy color.

Here are a few options to help protect your hair this invisible threat:

UV protection was another major factor in our shampoo comparison.

Quick Reference for Our Recommendations:

  1. Curly hair – ColorProof TruCurl Curl Perfecting Shampoo
  2. Any hair type – AG Hair Cosmetics Colour Savour Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  3. Blonde hair – Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Blonde Shampoo
  4. Any hair type – L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo
  5. Dry hair – Tigi Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil – Infused Shampoo
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