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Having bleached hair can be a lot of work. Besides spending some regular quality time at the salon, you'll also need to do some serious maintenance at home. Bleached tresses can easily go from white to a yellow tint over time. Thankfully, just adding a simple shampoo with a purple hue can keep your color as fresh as the day you left the hairdresser.
These purple shampoos work to combat brassiness, but in most cases should only be used once a week. Since bleaching your hair can also cause hair damage, we've picked some favorites that address various concerns like split-ends, frizz, and more.
Read on for the best shampoos for bleached hair.
Best Overall: Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Color
This gentle toning formula from Oribe is literally perfect for bottle blondes. Containing violet and pearl pigments, lemon, chamomile, lavender extract, natural keratin, and a UV filter, this product protects, brightens, and corrects like nothing else. It leaves the hair feeling clean, but it's nourishing enough to repair and restore that silky hair feeling that’s often lost in the lightning process. The formula also lathers beautifully and has that signature Oribe fragrance, too.
Best Drugstore: Hair Food White Nectarine & Pear Color Protect Shampoo
This cheap and cheerful drugstore buy is really something special. It’s sulfate and paraben-free, gently cleanses the hair, but won’t strip or dull bleached strands. Expect a soft, voluminous finish and hair that smells like ripe, juicy fruit. Bonus points for the giant pump bottle that seems to last forever.
Best Strengthening: Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo
Because bleach can leave the hair weak and brittle, a good strengthening shampoo is key for both repairing damage and preventing more down the road each time you wash. This rosemary mint blend from Mielle Organics totally revives your locks with intense moisture while biotin helps to strengthen and encourage growth (which is great for all of that frustrating breakage). Hot tip? Start using this one before you head to the salon to help lessen the blow of bleach.
Best for Damaged Hair: Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Platinum hair is beautiful, but it comes at a cost. Bleaching the hair can lead to dry, brittle strands that are practically begging for some TLC. This is especially true if they're already damaged from daily heat styling or brushing. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy icy blonde, bleached hair while keeping damage at a minimum. This strengthening and reparative shampoo works at the molecular level by re-linking broken bonds for smooth and strong strands. A dime-sized amount of the highly-moisturizing formula can reduce breakage, frizz, and flyaways—paving the way towards the shiny hair you deserve.
Best Toning Shampoo: dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo
After investing time, energy, and money into achieving platinum hair, the last thing you want is for unwanted brassiness to ruin your look. To keep yellow and brassy tones at bay—and neutralize any that are already present—look to a purple shampoo for help.
This formula contains purple pigments and silk proteins to keep your platinum hair looking and feeling its best. It’s the perfect choice for color-treated or naturally blonde hair of all textures—fine, medium, and thick—and takes care of brassiness and color fading while cleansing. As a bonus, this shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens.
Best for Conditioning: Verb Ghost Shampoo
If you're looking to condition rather than brighten while still protecting your color, go the way of this ultra-nourishing shampoo. The formula makes use of plant-based ingredients like moisturizing moringa seed oil, sunflower seed extract (which naturally protects color from UV damage and combats brassiness), and quinoa protein to strengthen and repair over-processed strands.
Best for Frizz: Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo
Yes, it is possible to bleach hair that has some texture, but if you’re a curly girl who’s dying to go blonde, be prepared for some maintenance to keep your strands safe. Amika’s toning shampoo enhances blonde, silver, and gray tones (both dyed and natural), and the protein- and vitamin-packed formulas help to strengthen hair. However, those proteins can also be drying, which is where Amika’s signature ingredient comes in.
The brand is known for its use of sea buckthorn berry (also known as obliphica) which they claim contains over 190 biologically active compounds. It's said to have more vitamin C than oranges, more vitamin A than carrots, and high concentrations of the rare Omega-7, normally found in fish oil (but without the smell). Omega-7 keeps free radicals at bay and promotes the production of collagen, which is the foundation of strong hair, skin, and nails. It’s also formulated to be free of any nasty synthetics or chemicals and has no artificial fragrance.
Best for Dry Hair: Kerastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Conditioner
This innovative formula works to illuminate blonde, bleached or lightened hair without any violet toning pigment, so it’s a really great option for everyday use. It’s frothy and light and plumps up dry, limp hair strands thanks to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid (like filler for your hair). You’ll be left with strands that are bright and bouncy and full of shine.
Best Natural Formula: Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo
This innovative launch from Aveda contains a plant-derived bond repair technology to strengthen and rebuild broken, damaged hair. Think of it as a plant-based Olaplex that’s free from all sulfates, silicones, mineral oil, parabens, and synthetic fragrance. It’s safe for all types and works especially well to nourish blonde, bleached strands prone to snapping. It gives the hair a really airy feeling and smells like an expensive day spa thanks to Aveda’s exclusive essential oil blend, too.
When it comes to a shampoo for bleached hair that simultaneously tones, Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo is as good as it gets. It’s hydrating, smells incredible, and will brighten warm, brassy, dull strands. For damaged hair, team Byrdie highly suggests Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo to really repair and rebuild breakage, whereas the Kerastase Blond Absolu Strengthening Conditioner is the perfect, everyday, in-between option.
What to look for when buying a shampoo for bleached hair
Bleached hair is often more porous and damaged than regular hair due to the lightening process, so it’s important to consider the formulation. According to hairstylist and salon owner Anthony Nader, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium chloride, and parabens can strip the hair of nutrients, so are best avoided when possible. Instead, he suggests looking for shampoos that contain wheat germ, protein, antioxidants, avocado oil, or shea butter to gently cleanse without stripping.
Do you need a toning shampoo?
Those with bleached hair might be familiar with the concept of toning shampoos, or formulas with a blue, silver, or violet tint to counteract the warmth and brassiness that can come from lightening the hair. They’re fantastic to use between salon appointments to keep color fresh, but Nader points out they need to be used properly, or you can risk over-toning.
“The rule I go by is the more warm or brassy your strands are, the higher in pigment your colored toning shampoo should be,” explains Nader. “Also keep in mind that toning formulas should be used to correct warmth—if you’re happy with your color and tone, stick to a gentle cleansing shampoo. Otherwise, you’ll end up with accidental mauve locks.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Team Byrdie is home to a few blondes. Writer, Emily Algar, actually just stopped bleaching her bob after six years, so rest assured we’ve tried some of the best shampoos for bleached hair out there.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any shampoos for bleached hair from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.