Five Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Colored Hair

Everybody wants to keep their luscious dyed hair color for as long as possible while saving money on frequent salon visits. Unfortunately, all artificial hair colors are prone to fading over time.

While the hair color industry is looking for a solution that provides permanent protection for dyed hair, most hair care brands have developed products that extend the life of hair color, including color-safe shampoos and conditioners.

Color Fading Due to Shampoo

The main factors that contribute to color fading on permanently died hair are washing, sunlight, heat, and both salt and chlorine water, but they’re not the only ones.

Red colors are more prone to fading due to hair washing than brown colors because their pigments have a smaller molecular weight and easily leak out of the hair shaft with shampooing.

Damaged hair also loses color faster than healthy hair due to washing. Repeated coloring and bleaching leaves cuticles damaged and inflexible, and the shampooing process lifts the cuticles, which causes the color molecules to wash out.

Most commercial shampoos contain anionic surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which have exceptional foaming and cleansing abilities. However, they speed up the fading process. Anionic surfactants are negatively charged during shampooing, just like hair fibers. They repel each other, raising hair cuticles and allowing color molecules to escape easily. 

How Can Shampoo Help with Color Retention?

The right combination of surfactants in a shampoo formula can minimize color fading due to washing and lead to improved color retention.

Polymers and silicones provide a protective coating on the hair shaft to prevent the dye from dissolving in water.

Antioxidants protect cuticle lipids from oxidation, which keeps the cuticles healthy for improved color retention. They also protect the hair from environmental factors that cause fading.

UV inhibitors in shampoo reduce the effects of harmful UV rays that cause fading.

pH level adjustments to the shampoo keep the cuticle layer sealed to hold pigments in the hair.

Hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids help repair damaged hair and decrease high porosity to enable hair to hold the color better.

Sulfate-Free Color Safe Shampoos

Studies have shown that using sulfate-free shampoos can slow down the color fading process. Sulfate-free shampoos don’t disturb the cuticles at the same rate as ordinary shampoos because they use mild, non-ionic surfactants.

Most sulfate-free shampoos have a poor foaming capacity compared to sulfate-containing shampoo formulations, but they provide better color protection.

Sulfate-free shampoos also help maintain the natural protective oils in the scalp and hair. In addition, these shampoos keep the cuticle sealed, enhance shine, and leave hair touchably soft.

If you read the ingredient list, you can see that some of the popular „color-safe shampoo“ brands are actually laden with chemicals. Following is a list of several gentle color-friendly shampoos made with natural ingredients to keep your hair hydrated and healthy while protecting your color from premature fading.

Sojourn Shampoo Colour Preserve

This gentle formula is free of harsh surfactants, so it’s safer for your hair and its color.

Its low pH (4.5-5.5) keeps the cuticle closed to keep color molecules inside the hair and extend the life of your color.

This shampoo contains plant-delivered sunscreens to protect hair from sunlight damage and reduce color fading.

It contains green tea extract, which has strong antioxidant properties that help prevent free radical damage and premature color fading.

Hydrolyzed keratin and amino acids repair damage, reduce porosity, and keep hair fibers strong.

Tri Hydrating Shampoo Color Protector

This shampoo is advertised to repair hair and ensure vibrant and long-lasting color.

The formula uses sunflower extract and vitamins C and E to protect hair from damaging UV rays and prolong color vibrancy.

Targeted natural ingredients moisturize and strengthen the hair shaft for better color maintenance.

This color-friendly shampoo is suitable for daily use.

Framesi Color Lover Curl Define Shampoo

This moisturizing shampoo is especially suitable for curly, color treated hair. It claims to protect color vibrancy up to 95% longer.

The formula uses Hydrolyzed Quinoa protein and Keratin Amino Acids to repair damaged hair and deliver moisture and shine.

The antioxidative properties of vitamins C and E prevent free radical damage and protect hair color.

Aloe Vera Leaf Juice offers scalp-soothing properties and gives softness and shine to curly hair.

Juice Organics Color Protect Shampoo

This color-friendly shampoo may be the perfect choice for those who prefer chemical-free products. The formula uses plant-based certified organic ingredients to revitalize hair, add shine, and prolong color vibrancy. Organic botanical oils and plant extracts rich in antioxidants protect color-treated hair from damaging UV rays and prevent color fading.

ShiKai – Natural Color Care Shampoo

This shampoo uses shikakai extract to provide gentle cleansing to the hair. Shikakai extract is obtained from the fruit of an East Asian acacia tree and has been used for centuries for hair cleansing. It is an effective natural alternative to harsh detergents in commercial hair shampoos.

ShiKai – Natural Color Care Shampoo washes away impurities without stripping natural oils or fading the color. It also contains sunscreens to protect your dye job from the sun’s rays.








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