Color-treated hair is stressed and can become dry and brittle, so it needs to be treated with extra care. Luckily, ingredient-conscious hair care brands are formulating shampoos and conditioners that can nourish and repair color-treated hair while retaining a vibrant hue—whether you went blond or brunette, or are rocking pink highlights. Some leave-in hair products even add antioxidant or mineral sun protection to defend your locks against environmental elements.
Over time, red and brunette hair color can fade, and blond can turn yellow or brassy. The best way to keep hair color from fading or oxidizing is to avoid shampooing for 72 hours after treatment. That’s because washing just-processed hair can open the cuticles and dry strands, especially if you’re using a shampoo that contains sulfates.
To get strong, soft, shiny hair, choose natural shampoos and conditioners that shun sodium lauryl sulfates, petroleum-derived parabens, preservatives, and synthetic perfumes. Instead, treat your hair and scalp to products that contain moisturizing aloe and natural oils, as well as hair-strengthening plant proteins and pro-vitamin B (panthenol). Essential oils provide fragrance and help preserve the shelf life of the hair products.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
Widely used as preservatives in mass-market shampoos, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) are reportedly causing an alarming number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis, an itchy skin rash. Both chemicals are listed under a variety of names on product labels, including Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), 2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one, Neolone 950 preservative, MI, OriStar MIT, Microcare MT, Methyl-chloroisothiazolinone (CMIT), 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one, MCI, and Kathon CG.
1. Like skin-care for your hair
Desert Essence Italian Red Grape Shampoo and Conditioner nourish, moisturize, and protect. Organic kelp and nettle extract contain vitamins and minerals that help strengthen each strand. Resveratrol-rich organic grapes provide antioxidants that act as UV filters to protect both color-treated and non-treated hair. And the sweet scent of grapes is intoxicating.
2. Detangle, add shine, and boost your ’do
With ShiKai Color Reflect Mist & Go Conditioner. This spray-on, leave-in conditioner prevents dryness and frizz while fortifying hair with soy protein, glycerin, and panthenol. Sunflower extract adds moisture without feeling greasy or weighing hair down. UV filters extend the life of your color. Use it on wet hair for manageability or dry hair to refresh mid-day.
3. Daily use won’t dull your color
With Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Complex Color Care Shampoo. It’s sulfate-free, and made with Alpine rose stem cells that strengthen and protect strands as you lather. Rosehip and pomegranate oils repair damaged hair, shield it from fading, and add shine.
4. Prevent color-treated hair from fading
With Mineral Fusion Lasting Color Shampoo and Conditioner. Mineral-rich clay in the shampoo gently cleanses and removes impurities without stripping color. Aloe vera in the conditioner adds moisture. In both, malachite and other minerals preserve color, argan oil and mongongo seed from the African manketti tree soften and protect hair, and sunflower oil and panthenol enhance shine.
5. Heal and nourish color-treated hair
With Herbatint Normalizing Shampoo and Royal Cream Regenerating Conditioner. The shampoo gently cleanses, adds shine, and restores the hair’s natural pH. Jojoba oil and wheat germ in the intensive conditioning treatment add softness and shine, and seal the hair cuticles to preserve color. Both contain aloe vera and moringa seed extract to strengthen and rejuvenate the hair follicles.