The best shampoos for coloured hair to preserve your freshly-dyed strands

Whether you colour your hair yourself or have it done in the salon, the best shampoo for coloured hair is an absolute must in your hair care regime, as any hairdresser will tell you. You’ve invested time and money in that fresh colour, so you want it to last for as long as possible. Amiright?

In short, you need a tailored formula so that you don’t strip away your colour and protect it against fading, as well as providing nourishment to counter some of the damage associated with colouring your hair. “It is so important to make sure you’re using the correct shampoo to keep your colour looking fresh and vibrant while also cleansing the scalp,” Zoë Irwin, renowned colourist and Wella Professionals UK colour trend expert, stresses.

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31 best shampoos for every hair type and texture, according to the GLAMOUR editors who use them

We know that the best shampoo is one of the foundation blocks of a good hair routine, so what should you look for on the bottle to ensure your formula will protect and maintain colour specifically?  “You want to make sure that the product clearly states that it’s a colour protecting or colour-safe formula, ideally without parabens or sulphates,” says Justin Anderson, colourist to the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Margot Robbie and co-founder of new-to-the-UK dpHUE

“Keep an eye out and try to avoid products with sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), which are likely to cause colour wash out and leave you with faded strands.”

Toning shampoos are another great option to maintain your colour and neutralise any brassy or yellow tones, or to keep your shade warm or cool depending on your tone of choice. Plex systems are also a good sign, as they work to improve the condition of your hair. But avoid clarifying shampoos, which are designed to remove build-up in the hair. “They are great for cleansing the scalp, they are also most likely to remove colour molecules from hair strands,” Zoë warns. 

Just before we dive into the top shampoo buys for coloured hair, our hair experts have a couple of other tips for prolonging your colour: “Rule number one, shampoo less often,” says Justin. “Over-shampooing is one of the number one ways to cause that beautiful new hair colour of yours to fade more quickly. It’s like washing your favourite black t-shirt repeatedly to the point of the colour dulling and fading out!”

Zoë adds that heat protection is an absolute must when drying or styling your hair, as heat damage increases how quickly your colour will fade. In the same way, you should avoid scalding water temperatures when washing your hair to keep your colour vibrant. “Hot water can open the cuticles, allowing the colour pigments to escape,” she says.

The best shampoos for coloured hair at a glance:

After something more specific? We’ve got shampoo for dry hair, shampoo for thin hair, clarifying shampoo, dry shampoo, shampoo bars, shampoo for red hair, purple shampoo, shampoo for curly hair, shampoo for frizzy hair and soothing shampoos for itchy scalps. 

For more from freelance beauty writer and editor Lucy, follow her on Instagram at @lucyabbers. 

Scroll for the best shampoos for coloured hair explained.


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