Whether you’ve been able to get back in the salon or you’re still touching up those grays at home, protecting your hair from fading is an important part of both color maintenance and general hair health. Over-coloring can result in dry, damaged hair, and is best avoided by keeping that color bright and fresh for as long as possible.
There are plenty of products on the market geared toward color protection, but they definitely aren’t all created equal. As someone who isn’t even sure what my original hair color is at this point in my life, I’ve tried my share of shampoos for color treated hair, and have a few favorites that I keep in regular rotation.
Bonus Points for Wonderful Scent
Color artist and stylist Marco Pelusi, owner of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in West Hollywood, CA, created his own line of shampoos and conditioners after being unable to find a salon shampoo that extended the life of hair color in the way he wanted. His collagen colorguard technology combines collagen, keratin, silk amino acids and wheat proteins in a formula that not only protects color, but also strengthens hair. Both the shampoo and conditioner smell amazing, and most importantly, I can see a visible difference in how long my color lasts.
Bonus Points for Budget
If you’re looking for a drugstore shampoo that works as well as salon brands, Loreal EverPure shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair extends that freshly done look well into your next color session. Their sulfate-free color care line includes products for moisture, volume and frizz reduction, as well as a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for blonde hair. I like this line because it’s very gentle and never irritates my scalp. Keep in mind, because it’s sulfate-free, it isn’t going to lather up as much as traditional shampoo, but it still leaves hair clean and smooth.
Bonus Points for Earth-Friendly Care
One of the OG’s of luxury hair care, Aveda’s Color Conserve shampoo and conditioner is a bit more expensive than other brands, but for me, it’s well worth the cost. Both the shampoo and conditioner contained plant-based ingredients, with delicious scents of lavender, geranium and grapefruit. The Color Conserve line also has a strengthening treatment for those of us with dry, fragile hair, and a leave-in treatment that helps extend color even longer.
Bonus Points for a Little Going a Long Way
I love Amika because it not only lives up to its promise of extending and protecting my color, it’s also cruelty-free and vegan. Both the shampoo and the conditioner contain soybean oil, which helps prevent fading, and all their products are sulfate and petroleum free. This is another product that smells incredible, and leaves hair smooth and shiny. A little goes a long way, so one bottle will last quite awhile.
Jody Ellis is a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, health, travel, fashion and style. Her work has appeared in publications such as LennyLetter, Huffington Post, BBC Future Planet, Civil Eats and Eater.