What Clarifying Shampoos Are Safe for Color-Treated Hair?

Typical shampoos, conditioners, dry shampoos, and other styling products can create buildup on your hair over time. Additionally, hard water minerals and chemicals found in swimming pools also tend to build up. This gunk from styling products, minerals, and environmental pollutants causes hair to appear dull, greasy, and lifeless. When your hair gets like this, it is hard to comb and style. If you relate to this feeling, it means that your hair needs a fresh start.

Why you may Need a Clarifying Shampoo?

The most effective way to get rid of buildup from styling products is to use a clarifying shampoo.

If you have hard water in your house, you need a chelating shampoo that, in addition to washing away styling product buildup, can also eliminate unwanted mineral deposits that cause “well-water orange” hair.

If your hair is exposed to chemicals in swimming pools, you also need a chelating shampoo that will eliminate “swimmer’s green” and stop the chlorine from fading your color.

Beautiful woman with blond curly hair in elegant clothes

Shampoos that are advertised as clarifying may also include chelating ingredients, so you need to read the description to find out which types of build-up your clarifying shampoo is supposed to remove. Both deep cleansing shampoo types – clarifying and chelating – are meant to be used periodically, depending on the amount and the type of hair products you use and the type of water your hair is exposed to.

Regular, sulfate-containing clarifying shampoos are effective at deep cleansing and will leave your hair feeling squeaky clean. Unfortunately, sulfate-based clarifying shampoos suck the moisture out of your hair and scalp and can fade your color.

Clarifying Shampoos for Colored Hair

Color-safe clarifying shampoos are developed to gently wash away hair-dulling buildup while retaining the vibrancy of your color. Those shampoos use mild cleansers that can provide deep cleansing without fading your color. Color-safe clarifying shampoos leave your hair clean and soft, giving it a beautiful natural shine.

Following is a list of several color-safe clarifying shampoos formulated to remove all color-dulling residue, including buildup caused by styling products, hard water minerals, and chemicals in swimming pools.

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1. Lanza Healing Colorcare Clarifying Shampoo icon

This clarifying shampoo is designed to deeply cleanse your hair without stripping color. It helps remove product buildup, hard water deposits, and “swimmer’s green” when normal shampoos don’t do the job. It leaves your hair feeling clean, soft, and luminous.

The formula is free of harsh sulfates, parabens, gluten, and sodium chloride and is gentle enough to be used daily.

This chelating shampoo is infused with Flower Shield Complex to protect your hair color from dulling.

2. Pureology Purify Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

(Available at Walmart)

This color-preserving clarifying shampoo is formulated to remove buildup from styling products, hard water, and chlorine while protecting hair color and vibrancy. 

This shampoo is 100% vegan and is free of sulfates, parabens, animal products, and animal cruelty. 

The formula uses gentle cleansing agents derived from corn, sugar, and coconut oil which are gentle enough for washing color-treated hair. Baking soda, tea tree oil, and witch hazel help remove buildup and detoxify hair. Botanical extracts and hair oils invigorate and nourish your scalp.  Natural conditioning ingredients prevent color oxidation and leave your hair feeling clean, soft, and healthy.

To eliminate extreme build-up or “swimmers’ green,” you need to shampoo twice and apply heat for about 20 minutes. 

Beautiful young girl with blond curly hair in cozy clothes

3. Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0089NVH5W

This deep-cleansing formula is designed to remove everyday buildup from hair products, hard water minerals, chlorine, and environmental pollutants that can cause dull and limp hair.

Argan and avocado oils and natural plant extracts nourish your hair and help restore moisture balance.

Hydrolyzed keratin and keratin amino acids repair and strengthen damaged strands. 

The formula is free of sulfates and parabens and is safe for use on colored hair.

4. Activated Charcoal Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B078HCCMDP

(If unavailable, so you check this one at Walmart: Hask Charcoal With Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo).

This chelating shampoo uses activated charcoal to thoroughly cleanse and detoxify your scalp and hair. Charcoal has been used for centuries for cleansing the scalp and hair.

Charcoal can attract impurities from the hair, leaving your hair clean, soft, and shiny. Activated charcoal pulls out excess oils, dirt, product buildup, minerals, chlorine, toxins, and environmental pollution. It also helps fight free radicals and repairs damaged hair.

Charcoal removes dead skin cells from the scalp, soothes dandruff and itchy scalp, and helps balance sebum production.

This natural shampoo contains a blend of herbal oils, including Argan, Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado, and Almond oils. The Bamboo extract has powerful anti-frizz properties and adds volume to fine hair.

Botanical keratin strengthens and repairs chemically damaged hair.

Despite being black, this shampoo won’t stain or mess with your hair color. It is free of sulfates and salt-free and is safe for use on colored and keratin-treated hair.

5. Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo

This clarifying shampoo is made to dissolve excess product buildup, pool chlorine, and medication buildup from the hair. It helps remove sebum from clogged hair follicles and can be used before deep conditioning to make the treatment more effective. Being free of harsh sulfate cleansers, it is safe to use on color-treated hair.   

hair washed with a color-safe clarifying shampoo

6 Color-Safe Dandruff Shampoos

If you’re plagued by an itchy, flaky scalp, you have surely wondered how to treat it without damaging everything else you’ve worked so hard to achieve with your hair. You’re not alone in dealing with this problem; dandruff affects almost half of the world’s population. 

The most common causes of dandruff include fungal infections, overactive oil glands, excessively dry skin, and other skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.

To determine the cause of your scalp issues, it is best to consult a specialist who will help you manage the condition.

Anti-dandruff shampoos are the most commonly used product for managing dandruff. Special medicated anti-dandruff shampoos are available with a prescription, while over-the-counter dandruff shampoos can be purchased freely in pharmacies and drugstores.

Woman washing her colored hair with dandruff shampoo

Medicated Dandruff Shampoos

The active anti-dandruff ingredients found in medicated dandruff shampoos are synthetic anti-microbial agents: selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, sulfur, zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine, and ketoconazole.

Although effective for dandruff, medicated shampoos can be harsh on colored hair. Selenium sulfide, coal tar, sulfur, and piroctone olamine may stain light hair or cause discoloration of hair dyes. They also don’t smell great.

Most over-the-counter dandruff shampoos are also packed with harsh cleansing agents and other chemical ingredients that can leave your hair dry and may cause your color to fade faster.

If you want to keep your color vibrant and shiny, you must avoid chemical-based antidandruff shampoos.

Your goal is to effectively treat your dandruff while maintaining the luster of your color, which can be quite tricky. Pay attention to the ingredients on the product label to ensure that the shampoo is formulated to improve your condition without stripping the color.

Beautiful young woman washing her colored hair

Color-Safe Dandruff Shampoo Brands

Plant-based dandruff shampoos are a safe alternative to the various synthetic additives currently used in prescription shampoos and over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. They can help to control dandruff without unwanted effects.

Color-Safe dandruff shampoos contain naturally-delivered antifungal agents and scalp-soothing ingredients such as plant extracts and essential oils. Herbal ingredients in hair shampoos that have anti-dandruff properties are henna, neem extract, tea tree oil, rosemary oil, licorice, sage extract, eucalyptus, jojoba oil, basil extract, witch hazel, soap nuts, sandalwood, and Aloe Vera.

Here are some natural anti-dandruff shampoos that are color-friendly and won’t leave your hair overly dry.

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1. Maple Holistics Sage Shampoo (also available at Walmart) is filled with essential oils that can help naturally manage dandruff. This sulfate-free shampoo contains a blend of essential oils and is gentle on color-treated hair.

Active anti-dandruff ingredients:

  • Salvia officinalis: Sage oil has amazing anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties to combat dermatitis, a common cause of dandruff.
  • Rosmarinus officinalis: Rosemary essential oil has potent anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a perfect remedy for controlling dermatitis, dandruff, and eczema.
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia: Tea tree oil has powerful antimicrobial, antiseptic, and skin healing properties that help eliminate yeast infections and soothe a dry, itchy scalp.
  • Simmondsia Chinensis: Jojoba oil balances your natural oil production and helps dissolve accumulated dead skin cells.

2. Scalp Rescue Shampoo by Max Green Alchemy is formulated to support scalp health and make your hair stronger and more manageable.

Botanical extracts such as licorice root, burdock root, tea tree, calendula, rosemary, geranium, lavender, and aloe vera help soothe the itchy, flaky and irritable scalp and relieve dandruff.

This pH-balanced shampoo is gentle and safe for color-treated hair.

3. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo contains a potent blend of dandruff-fighting ingredients including Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus oil, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice.

It is designed to deeply cleanse hair and scalp, alleviate dry scalp flaking, and boost blood circulation to the scalp.

It leaves your scalp clean and invigorated. The minty smell doesn’t linger in your hair.

4. 100% Pure Burdock and Neem Healthy Scalp Shampoo is developed to cleanse the scalp and hair, boost circulation, and help control dryness, itching, and flaking.

Active herbal ingredients that help maintain a healthy scalp include neem extract, aloe leaf juice, burdock root, rosemary leaf, peppermint leaf extract, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil.

This shampoo is gentle on your hair and scalp and suitable for all hair types, including color-treated hair.

Check for availability in DermStore.

Young woman holding shampoo in supermarket

5. The Wonder Seed Hemp Shampoo is made to help manage a dry scalp, provide dandruff control, and relieve an itchy scalp.

Ingredients with antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties include Aloe Vera, Camphor Essential Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Echinacea Extract, Licorice Root Extract, and Ivy Extract.

This hemp oil shampoo also contains a blend of botanical ingredients to prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth.

This organic formula is safe for color-treated hair.

 6. T’zikal Deep Hydrating, All-Natural, Organic Shampoo is formulated with 30 natural, plant-based ingredients that possess reparative and protective properties. It is pH-balanced, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and safe for colored hair.

The formula uses Sodium Coco-Sulfate– a gentle coconut oil-delivered surfactant that is a safe alternative to harsh sulfates and is also biodegradable. This cleansing agent can create a rich foam, while gently cleansing your hair and scalp without stripping natural oils.

Lavender extract has antiseptic properties that help keep the scalp soothed and refreshed with a refreshing aroma.

Botanical extracts and powerful essential oils moisturize the scalp and hair and keep the cuticle healthy and subtle. This helps keep the color inside the hair shaft and improves softness and shine.

How to Properly Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Make sure to read the directions before using your shampoo, but here are some general guidelines on how to get the most out of your anti-dandruff shampoo treatment while preserving the luster of your color:

  1. Apply the recommended amount of the shampoo to wet hair and massage gently into your scalp using circular motions for about two minutes.
  2. Use a shampoo massage brush to help distribute the treatment evenly. The scalp massage loosens the dead skin cells, lessening the number of white flakes in your hair.
  3. Keep the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly.
  4. Rinse your hair with warm or cool water to keep your color vibrant for longer.
woman with long colored hair in white dress 1

Blonde Hair Care: Best Products and Treatments for Blondes

Blonde hair can look stunning, but blonde dyed hair requires extra effort to keep it looking its best. If you don’t care for your blonde hair properly, it can become dry and brittle or may turn yellow or brassy.

The bleaching process leaves blonde hair more fragile and delicate than other colorings. That’s why blonde-dyed hair needs extra protection from heat, harsh products, and environmental factors that can cause discoloration and damage. In this post, you can learn some good methods to minimize damage when dying your hair blonde and some useful tips on how to maintain your blonde color fresh and bright.

There is a range of related products you can find, to protect your new blonde hair from further damage and prevent your beautiful color from fading and brassiness.

happy smiling blond girl touches her hair

How to Keep Blonde Hair Healthy

  1. Shampoo Your Hair Less Often: Don’t wash your hair daily because excessive shampooing will remove the protective coating of natural oils and can strip the color pigments. Don’t wash your hair at least two days before bleaching because the bleach will burn your freshly clean scalp. After the coloring process, wait at least two days before shampooing to allow the color to set properly. Wear a shower cap to keep your hair dry, while you are in the shower.
  2. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos: Switch to sulfate-free shampoos and gently massage the scalp with your fingertips. Follow with a final rinse of cool water, to seal the cuticles and slow down the fading process.
  3. Use Dry Shampoo for Blondes: If your hair starts looking greasy, refresh it using a dry shampoo. Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Light Tones is formulated with rice starches to keep blonde hair refreshed between washes while neutralizing brassiness. Additionally, this dry shampoo adds volume and helps curls stay in good shape.
  4. Avoid Heat Damage: Never use flat iron until your hair is completely dry. Allow your hair to air dry if possible. Make sure to apply a heat protectant before using hot tools. Keep your flat iron below 350 degrees and avoid pressing it tightly. Make sure to detangle hair well before flat ironing.
  5. Avoid Excess Sun Exposure: Blonde hair is more sensitive to sun exposure than dark hair because it lacks protective dark pigments. Additionally, the chemicals used in the coloring process raise the cuticle and leave the hair susceptible to UV damage and color fading. When going out in the sun, use a spray with UV protection and reapply it regularly. Cover your head with a scarf or hat to guard the hair against harmful ultraviolet rays.
  6. Use a Conditioner After each Wash: Conditioning rinses are a necessary part of the hair care regimen for blonde dyed hair. Conditioners infuse hair with moisture and close the cuticle, which helps color stay inside the hair.
  7. Do Deep Conditioning: Since colored hair needs lots of moisture and protection, apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Deep conditioners moisturize the scalp and hair, restore shine, and keep your color looking fresh and beautiful.
Blonde cute woman with toned hair

Blonde Hair Products and Treatments

1. Purple Shampoos for Blonde Hair

Over time, unwanted warm tones can show up in blonde-dyed hair. It is the right time to include a violet shampoo in your hair-washing regimen. Purple shampoos are designed to brighten blonde hair and neutralize brassy tones. These shampoos work by depositing violet pigment to neutralize yellow tones.  Look for a plant-based blonde shampoo with a dark purple color.

Use purple shampoo once weekly and leave it on your hair for the recommended time.  Using a purple shampoo too often or leaving it on longer than directed can leave purple hues. Meanwhile, use a sulfate-free and/or color-safe shampoo.

If you find purple shampoos to drying to your hair, you don’t have to change your favorite daily shampoo. Instead,  you can use Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Drops.  Just add a few drops of this highly effective purple pigment to your shampoo, conditioner, or any styling product you currently use. This will get the brassy tones out of your hair and keep your blonde cool-toned.

Purple hair masks are less drying than purple shampoos and will reduce brassiness in blonde hair.

charming blonde woman  wearing yellow raincoat

2. Chelating Shampoos 

Before you go swimming, soak your hair with a protective leave-in conditioner. Use shampoo for swimmers to prevent build-up and discoloration from chlorine.

If you live in an area with hard water, use a chelating shampoo periodically to remove mineral deposits that can make your hair appear dull and brittle. Consider purchasing a shower filter to prevent hard water minerals from reaching your hair. 

3. Hair Lightening Shampoos

If you want to go a shade lighter without using bleach, a lightening shampoo might work for you. This kind of shampoo progressively lightens your blonde hair by reducing the color pigments. Hair lightening shampoos are free of ammonia and peroxide and use natural ingredients like chamomile, citrus extracts, and honey to make your locks lighter. To intensify the effects, use it in conjunction with the matching conditioner.

pleasant looking blonde woman with sun kissed hair

4. Hair Lightening Sprays

A lightening spray is designed to lighten highlighted, bleached, color-treated, naturally blond, and light-brown hair. This product uses citrus, chamomile, and honey, and works in the conjunction with heat to gradually lighten the hair. Certain formulas include bleaching agents, while others use natural, plant-based ingredients. The effects are noticeable after 3-5 uses.

5. Leave-in Conditioners for Blondes

These products are formulated to help reverse damage from bleaching, cancel out brassy tones, and extend vibrancy. Apply the product to your clean, towel-dried hair. It makes combing easier and leaves your hair silky and shiny.

Related products: John Frieda Blonde Hydration Leave-In Conditioner, Equave by Revlon Professional Detangling Blonde Conditioner, and It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In for Blondes.

6. Hair Glaze/Gloss Treatments

Get hair gloss or hair glaze treatment two weeks after your coloring session. This treatment refreshes the color, tones down brassiness, and adds shine. You can apply an at-home glaze treatment every 2-4 weeks to maintain color vibrancy and shine.

Beautiful smiling young blonde haired woman

7. Hair Oil for Blondes

To restore moisture and shine to your damaged hair, apply Moroccanoil Light Oil to the ends. This oil helps with styling and protects your ends from dryness. This lighter version of Moroccanoil oil is developed to avoid any discoloration that applying hair oils can leave on lighter blonde shades. To avoid frequent washing, you shouldn’t apply the oil close to the scalp.

More related products: Joico Blonde Life Brilliant Glow Brightening Oil and UNITE Hair BLONDA Oil – Argan for Blondes.

8. Toners for Blonde Hair

A hair toner is used to neutralize yellow and orange tones and to create delicate shades on pre-lightened hair. The toners usually need to be mixed with either a 10 or 20-volume developer. Some toners are meant to be mixed with 5 volume developer, which is a gentler option to achieve the desired tone of your blonde hair.

9. Bond Reinforcing Products

To minimize the damaging effects of bleaching, find a salon that carries Olaplex. This product enables colorists to lift your color to a lighter level, without significant hair damage. It repairs the structure of previously damaged hair from the inside and helps reduce breakage after color service.

There are also several Olaplex alternatives available such as Bond Angel Plex Effect, Bond Multiplier Treatment Kit for Bleaching, and Coloring. Consult your stylist on which color additive to include in your color service.

Bond Maintenance System also includes Olaplex Hair Perfector – an at-home maintenance product that helps restore hair’s healthy appearance between salon treatments.

Olaplex has recently released two new products. Bond Maintenance Shampoo and conditioner are supposed to strengthen bonds, tame frizz, and improve the manageability of processed hair.

gorgeous young woman with glazed blonde hair

10. Protein Fillers

The Neutral Protein Filler is a pre-color treatment that normalizes hair porosity after bleaching. This product helps your hair to absorb color more evenly. It repairs previously damaged protein bonds and protects hair against new chemical damage.

11. Keratin-Infused Hair Products

Include keratin-enriched hair products in your hair care regimen. Shampoos, conditioners, or leave-in conditioners that contain hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed keratin, and amino acids will replenish your hair with missing keratin, making it stronger, fuller, and shinner.  

12. Coloring Blonde Hair

It is highly recommended to consult a well-trained colorist to help you achieve and maintain your desired level of blonde, with minimal damage to your hair. When touching up the color, you should only lighten your roots without overlapping on previously lightened hair.

13. Root Touch-Ups

Around one month after coloring your grown-out roots are a sign that your colored hair needs refreshing. Although hiding your roots is not necessary, you still have some options to easily get rid of the dark roots.

Color touch-up kits are particularly suitable for touching up your roots at home. These permanent color kits come in multiple shades designed to match different colors. The product is easy to use and it takes only ten minutes to apply.

Another way to extend the time between regular coloring sessions is by using temporary root concealers, which will hide your roots until the next shampoo.

14. Regular Trims

Routine trims are necessary to remove split ends. Trimming regularly (every four to six weeks) prevents the ends from splitting and helps maintain healthy-looking hair.

Gorgeous woman with blond hair in casual clothes

How to Keep Red Hair Color from Fading

Although your red-colored hair can look stunning, red is the second hardest hair color to maintain, next to blue. Before taking the plunge, you need to understand that red is a high-maintenance color that is highly prone to fading. It takes time and effort to keep it looking fresh and vibrant.

If you get your hair dyed at the salon, the color will last longer than when you use home dye kits. Still, it may take only a month for red hair color to become noticeably less intense. Sometimes, the unwanted fading process can start soon after the hair has been dyed, making it seem like investing in the dye job was just a waste of money. Red pigments fade over time regardless of what brand of hair dye you use.

a pensive redhead woman sitting at a table with a notebook in a coffee shop

You may be asking if there is a miracle product that will help you achieve the perfect shade of red and help to keep it vibrant for longer. The answer, fortunately, is YES. This product is a protein filler and it is effective, safe, and inexpensive.

How Protein Fillers Can Help You to Achieve Marvelous Color Results?

Two kinds of protein fillers can greatly benefit individuals who dye their hair red.

1. Neutral Protein Filler by Colorful Products

Neutral Protein Filler helps to even out your hair’s porosity to ensure even color absorption. It repairs protein bonds damaged by over-processing and protects the hair against chemical damage.

The Neutral Protein Filler can be used before coloring to even out hair’s porosity and help the dye go in evenly. It fills in porous strands, making hair stronger and more receptive to dyes. It also strengthens and repairs the cuticles, enabling hair to hold color better and longer. The product should be applied to damp hair and allowed to sit for 20 minutes. The color is then applied without washing out the filler from the hair.

This magic ingredient can be added to a hair color mixture to help seal color within the cortex and get a more uniform shade of red. It helps over-processed hair to take color more evenly and more permanently. The color will blend nicely, while your hair looks fuller, shinier, and much healthier.

Happy redhead girl using laptop in cafe

2. Red Colorful Protein Filler

In addition to all benefits provided by using a Neutral Protein Filler, Red Protein Filler can also be used to refresh the color between coloring sessions. To revive fading hair color and extend the time between coloring, apply the Red Protein Filler to your wet hair. Massage the product into your hair, leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

The Red Protein Filler also can be used as an additive when you apply red color over previously bleached hair. When added to hair dye the Red Colorful Protein Filler ensures a more even and longer-lasting shade of red.  The product reduces bleeding during washing, slows color fading, and makes hair fuller and less prone to frizz.

After you’ve achieved your desired shade of red, there are a few more tips on how to maintain your favorite color fresh and vibrant and minimize fading to ensure its longevity.  

How to Maintain Dyed Red Hair   

How to Wash Dyed Red Hair

After getting your hair dyed, avoid washing it for at least 48 hours to ensure that the cuticles stay closed. Dye molecules diffuse out of the hair when the hair is exposed to water. Water itself can take away the pigment because hair dyes are mostly water-soluble. The absence of water allows the cuticles to stay in place, so they can hold the color longer.

Wash your dyed red hair no more than twice a week. The more you wash your hair, the faster the color washes away. When you take a shower and don’t want to shampoo, be sure to pull the hair up into a bun or wear a shower cap to keep your locks dry.

Avoid using hot water when washing your hair, and make sure to use cool water for the final rinse. Hot water slightly opens the cuticles, allowing the color molecules to slip out. On the contrary, cold water seals the cuticles, keeping the dye molecules locked in.

A smiling redhead woman with cup of coffee talking on smartphone

What Shampoos and Conditioners to Use for Red-Colored Hair

Ordinary shampoos and conditioners often contain harsh cleansing agents which cause hair color to fade prematurely. Only use shampoos and conditioners labeled as “sulfate-free” since these formulas are gentler on your hair and won’t strip the hair’s natural oils or color pigments.

There is a wide range of shampoos and conditioners formulated for color-treated hair, and some of those products are specifically designed for red-colored hair. Best shampoos for red-colored hair contain antioxidants, anti-fading agents, and UV protectors which help keep your red hair vibrant for longer.

Making Red Hair Redder: Color Depositing Shampoos

One of the easiest ways to refresh the color and keep red shades vibrant is to use a color-depositing shampoo. A color-infused shampoo is formulated to deposit temporary color onto the hair shaft with each wash. This adds vibrancy back into your color and prolongs the time between your trips to the salon. You might want to wear gloves to protect your skin and nails from stains.

The popular brands of red color depositing shampoos include John Frieda Red Boosting Shampoo, Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo, and Celeb Luxury Viral Colorwash.

Red-enhancing conditioners work the same way as color-depositing shampoos, instantly refreshing the vibrancy of red tones every time you condition your hair.

attractive redhaired woman in eyeglasses with newspaper

Tips for Better Color Retention

  1. High heat can also cause red hair color to fade fast. If you must use heat styling tools, make sure to apply a thermal protectant first.
  2. Protect your hair when going out in the sun, because prolonged sun exposure can damage dyed hair and cause the color to fade. Stay out of the midday sun and wear a hat to cover your head. Use a UV protectant spray on your hair if you plan on spending time outside.
  3. When swimming, never forget to put on a swimming cap. The chlorine in pool water strips red hair dye, so don’t even think about entering a pool for the first two weeks after the coloring service.
  4. Get a gloss hair treatment approximately one week after a coloring service. A cellophane treatment adds shine and refreshes permanent color between color appointments.
  5. Add Hydrolysed Silk Protein to your conditioner in concentrations up to 5% to reduce color fading. Also, use hair care and styling products that are enriched with silk proteins.
  6. Consider using a leave-in spray for color-treated hair. This multi-tasking hair treatment helps even out porosity, locks color pigments into the hair, and protects the color from harmful UV rays.
a thoughtful redhead woman sitting at table in cafe

How to Keep Your Bleached Hair in Good Condition

The bleaching process can have negative effects on your hair’s health, leaving your strands fragile and susceptible to split ends and breakage.

To prevent further damage and an unwanted haircut, you need to take special care of your processed blonde hair. Below are some effective tips on how to handle regular bleaching/coloring sessions and keep your blonde hair in good condition.

After washing, don’t rub your hair with a towel, as this will roughen up the hair cuticle, causing tangles, frizz, and breakage. Instead, use a soft microfiber hair towel to pat dry your hair and soak up excess water without causing friction and damage.

Allow your hair to air dry as often as possible. Avoid excess brushing, as bleached hair is not strong enough to withstand too much manipulation without breaking off. Also, limit the use of hot styling tools. Use a heat protectant and keep your dryer in the lowest heat setting.

a sensual woman with bleach damaged hair

Before swimming in a pool, make sure to wet your hair with non-chlorinated water and wear a swimming cap. This way your hair will soak up fewer chemicals from the pool water. Also, make sure to rinse your hair soon after swimming.

Sunlight may escalate dryness and turn your hair brassy. Cover your head with a hat when spending long periods in the sun. Use sunscreen spray to protect your locks from overdrying and to prevent color fading.

Best Products for Bleached Hair

1. Shampoo and Conditioner for Bleached Hair

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To prevent overdrying, don’t shampoo immediately after a bleaching session. Instead, condition hair to get back some of its natural moisture. Wait a few days before going back to your regular washing routine and make sure to use a good moisturizing and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

Your lightened hair needs products packed with natural, highly moisturizing ingredients. Use products that are specially designed for dry, colored, or damaged hair. Avoid shampoos and conditioners that contain sulfates, as sulfate-based cleansers can be very harsh on fragile processed hair.

To retain moisture inside the hair, avoid frequent shampooing. Overwashing can strip the hair of its natural, protective oils and leave it feeling dry and brittle. Wash your hair no more than twice a week to allow the natural oils to form a protective coating around hair strands. Use conditioner generously every time you wash your hair.

Always use lukewarm water, as hot water can dry out your locks and make the color fade faster. If your hair feels greasy, use a dry shampoo to stretch out the time between washes.

To prevent the drying effects of frequent shampooing and to bring your hair back to its healthy condition, consider a pre-shampoo treatment. Many pre-wash formulas are made to preserve moisture and restore the elasticity and softness of your dry, overly-porous hair.

Olaplex Bond Maintenance Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07D37PQGL and Conditioner set is formulated to repair bonds within the hair to undo the damage from chemical treatments and protect overly processed hair from further damage. This helps restore internal strength and reduce hair breakage after multiple bleaching/coloring sessions. This shampoo and conditioner set also eliminates frizz, improves manageability, and enhances hair shine.

beautiful blonde woman with healthy bleached hair

2. Purple Shampoos for Bleached Hair

Bleached hair is quite porous and prone to discoloration and turning brassy soon after coloring. To get rid of yellow undertones and combat unwanted brassiness, you need to use a purple toning shampoo once a week. Here are some good products that can be of great help.

Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Hair Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01DFK47EQ is a highly pigmented and very effective purple shampoo formulated to counteract yellow and brassy tones in lightened blonde hair. This sulfate-free purple shampoo gently removes excess oil and enhances brightness and shine, while keeping your blonde locks brass-free.

To prolong the time between coloring sessions, use temporary color products. The gentlest way to refresh the color of your bleached hair or temporary color very lightened hair is to use color-depositing shampoos, color-depositing conditioners, and hair color rinses.

3. Hair Masks for Bleached Hair

Regular deep conditioning will compensate for the loss of moisture, rebuild hair strength, and restore its original sheen and softness. To maintain softness and elasticity, make sure to deep condition your hair once a week.

1. Mon Platin Professional Black Caviar Total Blonde Hair Mask for blonde, bleached, or lightened hair is formulated to deeply condition, hydrate, detangle, and revive hair damaged by bleaching, coloring, and other chemical treatments.

2. amika The Kure Intense Repair Maskir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07H33XCTK is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids, that repair damage from frequent bleaching and make hair stronger, shinier, and more manageable. It is free of harsh ingredients and is safe for color-treated and keratin-treated hair.

4. Leave-In Conditioners

You need to be especially gentle when combing your hair.  A few drops of moisturizing leave-in conditioner applied to damp hair help untangle strands and keep the breakage to a minimum. A good leave-in conditioner also provides the right amount of hydration to dry, overworked hair and may offer protection from the sun.

5. Protein Fillers

A protein filler is another must-have product if you regularly lighten your hair. This hair-repairing treatment will make your over-processed and porous hair feel healthy and smooth again.

Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Miracle Filler ir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07GBGYJFTis a daily leave-in treatment for highlighted blonde hair. This product claims to make salon blonde hair 78% stronger with continuous use while making a noticeable difference after the first application. It works as a detangler, adds volume to fine hair, and reduces frizzing.

The Keravis –a vegetable protein in the formula, fills in gaps in hair’s cuticle, leaving your overprocessed, brittle hair feeling softer and healthier. The filler should be applied to damp hair before blow-drying and styling.

fashion blonde girl wearing a ponytail

6. Bond Multipliers

Olaplex Hair Perfector

Olaplex Step No 1 Bond Multiplier added directly to the lightener before application helps prevent damage during the bleaching process.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 ir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00SNM5US4 helps reverse damage from chemical processing and protects hair from further damage and breakage. It is suitable for use at home between coloring seasons. Use this product once a week to rebuild and reconnect broken disulfide bonds and keep your hair strong and healthy.

Apply Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 to towel-dried hair, comb it through, and leave it in the hair for at least 10 minutes. The treatment can be left on the hair for longer periods to provide even better results, but it must be shampooed and rinsed out of the hair due to some chemical compounds in its formula.

Bonding systems are gaining popularity as more and more people are playing with trendy colors and need protection from damage during their color adventures.

Having such potent damage-repairing products doesn’t mean that you should stop caring about harsh environmental factors that can work against your hair health.

A beautiful blonde woman with healthy hair wearing a hat

Is a Color-Safe Shampoo Worth the Extra Money?

Hair color is made up of small molecules. Once the color is applied to the hair, a chemical alkalizer opens the cuticle layer to enable the dye molecules to penetrate the cortex and deposit a new color. Following this process, the hair is rinsed with cool water and conditioned, which helps the cuticle to close, keeping the color molecules inside the hair.

When you find the hair color that is your perfect type, you will want it to stay looking vibrant for as long as possible. Once your hair has been colored, it needs to be treated with special care. Artificial color pigments tend to gradually disappear and your hair may become dull and lifeless after a few washes. Hard water, harsh cleansers, heat styling tools, and prolonged sun exposure can take out the color pigments deposited in the hair, causing fading and dullness. To keep your color looking fresh and prolong its life, you need to use special products and take the proper care of your locks.

A woman with freshly shampooed red colored hair

Washing Hair After Dying

Before purchasing any color care product, make sure to follow a few basic rules when it comes to washing your colored hair.

1. Wait to Wash Hair After Coloring

The hair cuticle is the outside protective layer of a hair strand that helps prevent damage to the cortex and controls the look and appearance of the hair. When you dye your hair, the cuticles must first be opened, so that the color can deposit effectively. It takes up to 72 hours for the cuticles to fully close, sealing the color inside. Shampooing hair too soon after coloring will wash out color pigments. If you would like your hair to completely absorb and lock in the new color, skip shampooing for the first two days after dyeing your hair.

2. Avoid Frequent Washing

To prevent your vibrant color from being washed away, stretch out the time between washes. The shampooing process removes a little bit of color every time you wash your hair. It’s a good practice to shampoo only as often as necessary. If possible, shampoo your hair no more than three times per week. Protect your hair from the water in the shower on no-wash days.

3. Lower the Water Temperature 

When you wash your hair, it’s important not to expose it to hot water. Hot water tends to raise the hair cuticle, allowing the color molecules to escape. On the contrary, cool water seals the cuticle, which helps reduce color fading.

4. Avoid Using a Chemical-Laden Shampoo

It doesn’t matter if you have a temporary, semi, or permanent hair color: it is vital to avoid shampoos that can cause hair color to fade. Ordinary shampoos may contain strong detergents that will fade the brilliance of your color.

Read the label on the shampoo bottle before purchasing. Make sure that your shampoo is labeled “sulfate-free”. Sulfates are powerful detergents that will cut grease and create a nice, soapy lather but they will also reduce the vibrancy and sheen of your hair color. Hair cuticles need to stay closed, to ensure color longevity. Sulfate detergents rough up the cuticle layer, allowing color molecules to leak out. Stronger clarifying shampoos can even remove the color completely from your hair in a few washes.

The most common harsh sulfates in hair shampoos are sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium lauryl sulfate. Study the ingredients and go for sulfate-free shampoos and those that are labeled “color safe”. Sulfate-free shampoos use milder cleansers to carry out the cleaning task. You may see fewer foamy bubbles that are associated with cleansing action, but you will still get effective cleansing.

Color-safe products also shouldn’t contain alcohol, parabens, salt, and artificial fragrances.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair

Hair shampoos formulated for colored hair shouldn’t contain ingredients that can negatively affect the color. They are supposed to maintain proper pH balance and cleanse hair without stripping the color. There are three main benefits that color care shampoos offer:

  1. In addition to being sulfate-free, color-protective shampoos and conditioners are formulated with extra moisturizing ingredients that deliver extra hydration and protect your over-processed hair from breaking.
  2. Color-protecting shampoos contain antioxidants, proteins, and amino acids that help strengthen the hair cuticle which prevents the pigment from leaking out and provides long-lasting color retention.
  3. Color-enhancing shampoos also contain pH adjusters and sunscreens that provide color-treated hair with a radiant shine which helps the color stay vibrant.

Keep in mind that color-safe shampoos will help you slow down color fading, but they will not stop it altogether.

A conditioner specially formulated for color-treated hair helps keep the cuticles smooth to lock the color pigments deep inside the hair. These products contain UV filters to shield strands against UV rays and environmental pollutants that can cause damage and color fading.

There is also the category of color-depositing shampoos and conditioners available on the market. These products deposit a small amount of dye with each wash to revive color and help you go longer between touch-ups.

Dry Shampoos for Long-Lasting Color

Young woman applying dry shampoo to colored hair

A great way to save color and prevent premature fading is to keep hair dry as long as you can. Dry shampoos help reduce your hair’s contact with water which helps extend the life of hair color. These products soak up excess oil from your scalp and strands and give you more time in between your washes. Dry shampoos also add texture and bounce, making your hair look fuller.

a beautiful Asian girl with pastel hair color