The best shampoo for coloured hair, according to hair care experts
Colour-treated locks? We’ve got you covered with the best shampoos to keep your hair healthy and vibrant, with recommendations for hair care experts.
Whether fully dyed hair, an ombre style, highlights or lowlights, colour-treated hair requires special care and attention. Once you’ve had your colour topped up or altered, you want it to stay - looking after it properly is highly important to maintain its vibrant colour and keep it in a healthy condition.
Shampoo specially formulated for coloured hair is a great starting point. At The Recommended, we've rounded up some of the best shampoos for colour-treated hair and included a super handy guide on how to look after coloured hair.
We’ve got you covered with the ingredients to look out for (and the ingredients to avoid) and included some top tips from haircare experts, including how often you should wash your tinted or fully dyed hair. Read on for the low-down.
The best shampoo for coloured hair at a glance:
- Best for locking in moisture: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo, £23.80 at LookFantastic
- Best for UV protection: Keune Care Colour Brillianz Shampoo, £20.99 at Amazon
- Best for balancing pH levels: Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo, £20.90 at Sephora
- Best for enhancing shine: Wella Invigo Colour Brilliance Shampoo, £14.25 at LookFantastic
- Best for long-lasting results: L’Oreal Vitamino Colour Shampoo, £16.30 at LookFantastic
- Best for cleansing the scalp: Aveda Colour Control Shampoo, £24.94 at LookFantastic
- Best for eliminating impurities: Color WOW Color Security Shampoo, £21.50 at LookFantastic
- Best lightweight shampoo: Daniel Galvin Love Your Hair Shampoo, £18 at Daniel Galvin
Meet our experts
Luke Benson is a celebrity hairdresser with more than 20 years of experience. His famous A-list clients include Billie Eilish, Liam Payne, Michelle Keegan, Anna Friel, and Roman Kemp. He has styled iconic hair moments at events such as the BRITS and Bond premiere, as well as being a top stylist for brands Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Hugo Boss. He has won awards for his cutting, styling and grooming talent, such as the Session Stylist of The Year Finalist for the 2022 Fellowship for British Hairdressing Awards.
David Felstead is the resident Trichologist and long-standing stylist at the renowned Daniel Galvin salon. He has more than 40 years of experience in the hairdressing industry and has worked with Daniel Galvin for over 25 years. David heads up the Hair and Scalp Clinic and is in high demand with his A-list clientele.
The best shampoos for coloured hair
We’ve rounded up some of the top shampoos for colour-treated hair, including recommended products from our hair care experts.
Best for locking in moisture: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
Designed for colour-treated hair, this shampoo’s creamy texture will lock in moisture and protect your colour, leaving your hair hydrated, soft and glossy. It’s 100% vegan friendly, containing sage, green tea and jojoba, with a refreshing fragrance of lavender, patchouli and bergamot.
Best for UV protection: Keune Care Colour Brillianz Shampoo
Our expert Luke Benson recommends this as a ‘great colour shampoo option’. It will provide a protective barrier for colour-treated hair by locking in its pigment and is formulated with UVA and UVB filters to block out UV rays and prevent fading. Its silk proteins will give added moisture and shine to deeply nourish your hair.
Best for balancing pH levels: Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo
This specially formulated acidic shampoo will help balance the pH levels of your hair, keeping its vibrancy and preventing your colour from fading. Use for a salon-finished look, soft and smooth to the touch.
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Best for enhancing shine: Wella Invigo Colour Brilliance Shampoo
Keep your colour-treated hair shining with this shampoo, enriched with antioxidant-rich lime caviar for the ultimate cleanse. This shampoo is pH-optimised to balance the levels in your hair, locking in the colour while washing out any impurities and build-up for super fresh results.
Best for long-lasting results: L’Oreal Vitamino Colour Shampoo
Keep your hair looking radiant with this shampoo, enriched with resveratrol, an antioxidant to nourish and protect the locks. This shampoo will replenish your hair with shine, providing long-lasting, professional-looking results for up to eight weeks.
Best for cleansing the scalp: Aveda Colour Control Shampoo
Boost your colour with this shampoo, enhanced with colour-protecting ingredients to brighten and freshen up your locks. This shampoo gently cleanses the scalp and lengths without affecting the colour and features pure flower and plant extracts to give a very pleasant fragrance.
Best for eliminating impurities: Color WOW Color Security Shampoo
Lather this shampoo into your hair to preserve its colour for longer, keeping your locks healthy and radiant. Made using a Japanese amino-fortified complex, this lightweight and sulphate-free shampoo works to eliminate impurities without affecting the colour or drying out hair.
Best lightweight shampoo: Daniel Galvin Love Your Hair Shampoo
Created by experienced hair care guru Daniel Galvin, this shampoo uses natural ingredients to maintain your hair’s colour and shine. Our hair expert David Felstead recommends this hair range as ‘nourishing yet light’ and ‘free from harmful chemicals such as SLS and Parabens’.
What is colour-treated hair?
Colour-treated hair is hair that has been chemically treated with colour, whether fully dyed or styled with highlights. Treating hair with these chemicals can often cause your locks to become more brittle and weak and more prone to breakage. Colour-treated hair, therefore, requires special care to ensure hair is kept healthy while maintaining its vibrancy. Using the right shampoo can help keep hair looking and feeling its best.
The ingredients to look for in shampoos for coloured hair
Our expert Luke Benson recommends a ‘combination of moisture, pigment locking agents and UV protection to ensure your colour lasts longer, is shinier and easier to maintain.’ Here are some of the ingredients which are best for helping maintain the vibrancy of your hair colour while thoroughly cleaning and nourishing your locks:
- Sulphate-free surfactants: These help your hair maintain its colour, preventing it from fading and protecting it from damage.
- UV filters: These will protect hair from any damage caused by UV rays, which can cause hair colour to fade.
- Antioxidants: These ingredients can help protect the hair and prolong its colour.
- Natural oils: These will nourish and moisturise your hair, keeping it healthy and locking in the colour.
The ingredients to avoid in shampoos for coloured hair
On the flip side of the ingredients to look out for, there are also certain ones you should try to avoid if you have colour-treated hair. These include:
- Sulphates: These can strip hair from natural oils and affect the colour, causing it to fade quicker.
- Harsh chemicals: As colour-treated hair can be more sensitive, you should avoid any harsh chemicals in shampoos which could cause breakage or damage.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can dry out the hair and cause it to become weaker and more brittle. It can also contribute to colour fading.
How often should you wash coloured hair?
How often you wash your hair depends on several factors, such as thickness, length, and the type of colour treatment you have. On the whole, it is generally recommended not to overwash colour-treated hair, as this can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause the colour to fade. Hair care experts at L’Oreal recommend washing your hair ‘only twice or thrice a week - then soak up the oil from those roots with dry shampoo when needed’.
What are the best practices for looking after colour-treated hair?
Want to keep your coloured hair in tip-top condition, from root to ends? To avoid damaging or causing the colour to fade, here are some top tips on how to prevent hair from becoming dry and brittle:
- Use specifically formulated products: Choose gentle shampoos and conditioners designed for colour-treated hair, to minimise damage and optimise healthy, vibrant locks.
- Be gentle: Carefully massage the shampoo into your scalp and hair, being mindful not to be too rough and making sure to rinse it out thoroughly.
- Avoid hot hair products: Using hot tools such as hair dryers and straighteners can be damaging to coloured hair. Minimise usage where possible to avoid your colour fading or hair becoming dry and damaged.
- Deep condition hair weekly: Use a conditioning treatment once a week to help moisturise and strengthen the hair.
Can you use regular shampoo on coloured hair?
You can use regular shampoo on coloured hair, but it’s best to stick to those designed for colour-treated hair. Regular shampoo can sometimes be too harsh on coloured hair, causing the colour to fade or become dull in its hue. Go for specifically formulated shampoos designed for colour-treated hair. These will offer a more gentle wash which will protect the hair, maintain and prolong the colour, prevent it from fading, and keep hair in its optimum sparkling condition.
Want to read more expert-recommended haircare and beauty round-ups? Check out our Haircare and Cosmetic pages for a full list of recommendations and advice, including our guide to the best shampoos, the best conditioners and the ultimate summer skincare checklist.
Cordelia Aspinall is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media, working across brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeForMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. She has previously worked and written for digital publications including Condé Nast Traveller, The Evening Standard, Cosmopolitan, and several other lifestyle brands.