The Best Shampoos for Colored Hair That Keep Your Color Fresh

Olaplex's No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is our favorite

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The 11 Best Shampoos for Colored Hair in 2022

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

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.

Final Verdict

We’re giving top honors to Olaplex's No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, which helps repair damaged hair bonds broken during the coloring process, keeping the hair strong and shiny. For a more affordable option, Love Beauty and Planet's Murumuru Butter and Rose Blooming Color Shampoo is a solid choice for keeping your color (and your bank account) in tip-top condition.

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. However, not all color-safe shampoos are created equal, so we put in the work to determine which ones are truly worth your purchase. To compile this list, we tapped our editors to tell us which products they’ve tested and loved and then combined these picks with our own research of the top-rated color-safe shampoos.

Keep reading to learn more about the best shampoos for colored hair.

In This Article

Best Overall: Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

5
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
What We Like
  • Helps repair damaged hair

  • Effective formula

  • Lathers well

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

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 Editorial Director 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. That alone earns it top honors on this list, but we can’t fail to mention that while it’s sulfate-free—essential criteria for any type of color-safe shampoo—it still foams up nicely and rinses completely cleanly.

Byrdie contributor Ashley Rubell tried out Olaplex’s Bond Maintenance System Kit (which includes the Bond Maintenance Shampoo along with the Bond Maintenance Conditioner and Hair Perfector mask) and gave it a perfect five-star rating, noting that the shampoo thoroughly cleansed her hair without leaving it feeling stripped and kept her hair feeling fresher, longer.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 3.3 / 8.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

Color Wow Color Security Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Rinses clean

  • Strengthens hair

  • Leaves scalp feeling fresh and clean

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a little drying

Former Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue recommends this pick, which is free of not only sulfates but also formulated sans silicones, oils, 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.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Mild | Size: 8.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Fine Hair: L'Oreal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo

EVERSTRONG Thickening Shampoo
What We Like
  • Boosts volume and thickness

  • Invigorating, fresh scent

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

For those who color their hair but are also constantly trying to bulk up fine strands, this pick is choice. Sulfate-free, it cleanses beautifully (and yes, foams up great) while the formula also helps to boost 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.

Hair Type: Fine, thin | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Mint | Size: 8.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Dry Hair: R+Co Gemstone Color Shampoo

R+Co Gemstone Color Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Tames frizz

  • Moisturizes

  • Boosts shine

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to lather

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—namely antioxidant-rich lychee extract, okra seed extract, vitamin E, and sunflower seed extract—and will help to add shine and fight frizz, all while conditioning and moisturizing your color-treated locks. We’ve seen a noticeable difference after only one wash, just saying.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Earthy | Size: 8.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Curly Hair: Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Hydrating Co-Wash for Curly Hair

Only at Ulta Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Hydrating Co-Wash for Curly Hair

Courtesy of Briogeo

What We Like
  • Moisturizes curls and coils

  • Strengthens hair

  • Large bottle

  • Byrdie Clean

What We Don't Like
  • Contains alcohol

Co-washes (AKA conditioning washes) have long been lauded for thick and curly textures since the formulas are naturally more moisturizing, and they’re also a good option for colored hair since they’re not as stripping. This gentle, sulfate-free formula from Briogeo was developed with waves, curls, and coiled textures in mind, fortified with hair-loving ingredients like rice amino acids, tomato fruit ferment, shea butter, and avocado oil. The hair is left nourished and hydrated, and the natural curl pattern is more defined.

Hair Type: Curly, coily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 16 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Thick Hair: OUAI Thick Hair Shampoo

OUAI Thick Hair Shampoo

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Softening formula

  • Boosts shine

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Not for very oily hair

Formulated with thicker hair textures in mind, this shampoo from OUAI is rich in hydrating ingredients like marshmallow root extract, shea butter, and avocado oil. The ultra-nourishing formula works to detangle and boost shine while keeping frizz at bay, plus it’s sulfate-free, meaning it’s safe for color-treated hair, to boot.

Hair Type: Thick | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Floral | Size: 10 / 32 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Natural Hair: GIRL+HAIR CLEANSE+ Water-To-Foam Moisturizing Sulfate Free Shampoo For Curly Hair

Girl + Hair Cleanse+ Water-to-Foam Moisturizing Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Curly Hair

 Courtesy of Sally Beauty

What We Like
  • Rich, foaming texture

  • Soothes the scalp

  • Invigorating, fresh scent

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

Natural hair requires a whole different kind of washing and styling protocol, so for colored kinky, coiled hair, reach for this mega-gentle cleanser. It starts as water, turns into a rich foam, and leaves curls (which, FYI, are innately drier and more prone to damage than straight strands) with plenty of moisture. In short, it doesn't strip natural oils, nor color. There's also shea butter and tea tree oil in the mix, and it'll help nourish both your locks and your scalp.

Hair Type: Curly, coily | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Minty | Size: 10.1 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Damaged Hair: Living Proof Restore Shampoo

Living Proof Restore Shampoo

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Smooths hair

  • No silicones

  • Value size available

What We Don't Like
  • May contribute to buildup over time

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 formula aims to restore dry and damaged hair cuticles right away while 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.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 8 / 24 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Blonde Hair: Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo

Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Boosts and preserves blonde shades

  • Vegan

  • Boosts shine

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

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.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 8 / 33.8 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Splurge: Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo

Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Nourishing formula

  • Boosts shine

  • Strengthens hair

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more moisturizing

Color-treated hair is prone to damage, which is where this luxe, sulfate-free pick comes in. Gentle and reparative, this rejuvenating shampoo helps combat dryness, split ends, and breakage and even addresses a dry and flaky scalp. It’s splurgy, yes, but the brand’s Bio-Restorative Complex and Signature Complex—packed with ingredients like biotin, plant collagen, and niacinamide—make it well worth the investment. Plus, it smells incredible, thanks to bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Floral | Size: 2.5 / 8.5 / 33.8 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Drugstore: Pantene Illuminating Color Care Shampoo with Biotin

Pantene Sulfate Free Illuminating Color Care Shampoo

 Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Contains biotin

  • Great for fine and thin hair

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

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), the formula aims to strengthen and support hair health. Plus, the floral and citrus fragrance is sophisticated, yet never cloying.

Hair Type: Fine, thin | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Floral/citrus | Size: 9.6 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget: Love Beauty And Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Color Shampoo

Love Beauty & Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Color Shampoo

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Smells great

  • Helps preserve color

  • No silicones

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

From a color perspective, it’s really more about using a color-safe shampoo than conditioner. That being said, this wallet-friendly option is a must. The sulfate-free formula keeps hair super shiny so the color looks super fresh, and it also has plant-based detangling ingredients to ward off snarls, which is never a bad thing. But honestly, the best part may be the rose fragrance that elicits tons of compliments every time we use it.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Rose | Size: 22 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Natural: Innersense Color Awakening Hairbath

Innersense Color Awakening Hair Bath

 Courtesy of Innersense 

What We Like
  • Contains certified organic ingredients

  • Smooths hair

  • Hydrating formula

What We Don't Like
  • A little expensive

Completely color-safe, this clean formula is full of natural ingredients (coconut and pumpkin seed oils and shea butter, just to name a few) and safeguards your shade and leave your strands looking—and feeling—strong and healthy. It'll help boost hydration, shine, smoothness, manageability, and all the other things you want your hair to have.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Citrus | Size: 10 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Dry Shampoo: MoroccanOil Dry Shampoo for Dark Tones

Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark Tones

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • No residue

  • Smells great

  • Hydrates

What We Don't Like
  • Not for very oily hair or scalp

As 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 it's also infused with argan oil and leaves the hair hydrated and 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.

Hair Type: All | Sulfate-Free: Yes | Scent: Original | Size: 1.7 / 5.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

When it comes to maintaining color-treated hair, we're reaching for Olaplex's No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo come wash time, hands down. The beloved formula helps repair damaged hair bonds broken during the coloring process, keeping the hair strong and shiny. Curly types will benefit from the nourishing powers of Briogeo's Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Hydrating Co-Wash, while the drugstore favorite L'Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo will keep fine hair types healthy and vibrant. Speaking of wallet-friendly picks, Love Beauty and Planet's Murumuru Butter and Rose Blooming Color Shampoo is another great option for keeping your color—and your bank account—in tip-top condition.

Meet the Expert

Mark Debolt is a celebrity colorist and co-founder of Mark Ryan Salon. A protégé of celebrity colorist Marie Robinson, his areas of expertise include his signature blend of foil highlighting, balayage, and specialty color placement techniques. Currently, he’s an ambassador, educator, and hair color expert for Wella Professionals.

What to Look For in a Shampoo for Colored Hair

Color-Safe Formulas

When it comes to shampooing color-treated hair, celebrity colorist Mark Debolt stresses the importance of only using a product designed to prolong the life of color-treated hair. This will ensure that there aren’t any potentially dulling or stripping ingredients in the formula.

Avoid Harsh Sulfates

Debolt also recommends avoiding some sulfates, though it’s worth noting that not all are necessarily bad for your color. “There is often conversation about sulfates in hair care, but it’s a complex topic because there are different grades of sulfates,” he says. “Salon-professional hair care often contains sulfates that are perfectly okay for color-treated hair, while drugstore brands contain harsher sulfates that can remove color.” Our advice? Look for sulfate-free options unless the formula is recommended directly by your colorist.

Avoid "Clarifying" and "Detoxifying" Formulas

Debolt also says to avoid shampoos that are labeled as “clarifying” or “detoxifying.” “These products often contain ingredients that will remove artificial pigment from the hair,” he says. Another ingredient to look out for is chamomile, which he says will also remove pigment from color-treated hair.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Zhou Y, Foltis L, Moore DJ, Rigoletto R. Protection of oxidative hair color fading from shampoo washing by hydrophobically modified cationic polymersJ Cosmet Sci. 2009;60(2):217-238.

  2. Cloete E, Khumalo NP, Ngoepe MN. The what, why and how of curly hair: a reviewProc R Soc A. 2019;475(2231):20190516. doi: 10.1098/rspa.2019.0516

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