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Whether you’re a regular at the salon or take the DIY route, there’s one thing that anyone and everyone who colors their hair can agree on—once your hair is dyed, maintaining that fresh color is a must. Unfortunately, water is hair color’s worst enemy, so the best thing you can do to safeguard your new hue is simply to minimize how often you wash your hair. That being said, when you do suds up, using a color-safe shampoo is critical. Specially formulated to *not* strip color molecules, it’s a surefire way to keep your strands shiny and vibrant, and stretch out how long you can go in between DIY dye jobs or salon appointments.
Keep reading to learn more about the best shampoos for colored hair.
Olaplex is a mainstay in the hair coloring world; there’s both a reparative in-salon treatment that many colorists use while coloring, as well as a beloved at-home version. The shampoo, a go-to for Byrdie Senior Editor Hallie Gould, offers similar benefits, working to rebuild the hair bonds that are broken during the color process so that strands stay ultra-strong and healthy. And while it is sulfate-free—essential criteria for any type of color-safe shampoo—it still foams up nicely and rinses completely cleanly.
Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue recommends this pick, which is free of not only sulfates, but also oils, silicones, and parabens (just to name a few). It leaves behind not even a trace of residue so you’re never left with any build-up, works on all hair types, and is keratin- and extension-safe, too.
For those who color their hair but are also constantly trying to bulk up fine stands, this pick is choice. Sulfate-free, it cleanses beautifully (and yes, foams up great) while also imparting plenty of needed volume. The minty-rosemary scent is fresh and invigorating—great for sleepy mornings—and we’d be remiss not to mention the affordable price, too.
To keep your shade vibrant and your mane nice and moisturized, reach for this sudser. It boasts a litany of good-for-your hair ingredients, think antioxidant-rich lychee extract to add shine, okra seed extract to fight frizz, conditioning vitamin E, and moisturizing sunflower seed extract. We’ve seen a noticeable difference after only one wash, just saying.
Best for Curly Hair: GIRL+HAIR CLEANSE+ Water-To-Foam Moisturizing Sulfate Free Shampoo For Curly Hair
Curly hair requires a whole different kind of washing and styling protocol. So for colored curls, reach for this mega-gentle cleanser. It starts as water, turns into a rich foam, and leaves curls (which FYI, are innately drier than straight strands) with plenty of moisture. In short, it doesn’t strip natural oils, nor color. There’s also hydrating shea butter and good-for-your-scalp tea tree oil in the mix.
The proprietary ingredient this brand relies on—a “Patented Healthy Hair Molecule”—was created by MIT scientists, so you know it’s going to be legit. The little molecule packs a powerful punch, restoring dry and damaged hair cuticles right away, but also helping to ward off future damage. Yes, please. Not to mention that it also repels dirt and oil so that you can stretch out washes further, always a boon when you have colored hair.
Blondes may have more fun, but they’re also more susceptible to dealing with all kinds of color fading and changes, namely unwanted brassy tones that can make cooler blonde shades appear dingy. Enter this option, a violet-based shampoo that works to instantly counteract those orange and brassy undertones and leaves any cool blonde shade refreshed and revived. It’s a great choice for those with gray hair, too.
Complete color safe, this clean formula relies on all kinds of natural ingredients to safeguard your shade and leave your strands looking—and feeling—strong and healthy. Think things such as coconut and pumpkin seed oils and shea butter that impart hydration, shine, smoothness, manageability, and all the other things you want your hair to have.
Devoted drugstore shampoo users will love this formula, but it’s so good that even those who use salon-brands exclusively should give it a try. Color-safe and sulfate-free (obvi) it also has the added benefit of including strengthening biotin, a nice bonus if too many dye jobs have left your hair a little beat up. Plus, the floral and citrus fragrance is sophisticated, yet never cloying.
From a color perspective, it’s really more about using a color-safe shampoo than conditioner. That being said, this wallet-friendly set comes with both, so you get plenty of bang for your buck. The sulfate-free option keeps hair super shiny so the color looks super fresh and it also has plant-based detangling ingredients to ward off snarls, never a bad thing. But honestly, the best part may be the rose fragrance that elicits tons of compliments every time we use this duo.
Like we said, the longer you can go without washing your hair, the longer your color will last. That’s where the beauty of a great dry shampoo, like this guy, comes in. It uses rice starch to do the dry shampoo thing—AKA remove excess oil—but also has hydrating argan oil so that your mane stays shiny, not dull. This variant is made for dark tones (so don’t worry, it won’t leave behind a chalky residue), but there’s also an option for light tones with subtle violet pigments that knock out brassiness and keep your blonde fresh.