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Best drugstore shampoo for colored hair

Finding the right drugstore shampoo for dyed hair

Colored hair requires considerable upkeep to maintain its vibrancy and longevity between touch-ups or treatments. Shampoo for colored hair, for example, is formulated to prevent fading and protect against coloring-related damage.

Salon shampoo formulas are often regarded as superior, but they’re expensive — with some running as high as $75 per bottle. Drugstore shampoos for colored hair, on the other hand, are affordable alternatives that may offer similar results. In fact, they may offer even better results when you invest in a formula specifically designed for your hair type.

What to consider before buying drugstore shampoo for colored hair

Salon vs. drugstore shampoo 

Salon shampoos, such as Redken Color Extend Magnetics, typically have higher concentrations of premium ingredients that may contribute to better results. They often may forgo low-quality or filler ingredients seen in drugstore formulas as well.

While many salon-quality shampoos have reputations for delivering major results, some people have comparable results with their affordable counterparts. There are also some drugstore shampoos for colored hair that are considered “dupes” of salon shampoos because they share similar formulas.

Top ingredients to look for in drugstore shampoo for colored hair

Because colored hair is more prone to damage, breakage and dryness than uncolored hair, look for these ingredients in drugstore shampoos.

  • Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, which protect hair from free radical damage. It contains fatty acids that boost shine and softness, as well as vitamin E, which moisturizes the scalp. 
  • Shea butter, which contains vitamins A and E, is a deep moisturizer suitable for dry, colored or sun-damaged hair. It’s a soothing ingredient for irritated or sensitive scalps because it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Keratin is a protein that promotes hair growth and improves its strength and elasticity. It has a smoothing effect that manages frizz and flyaways. Keratin also protects hair from heat damage from blow-dryers, flat irons or hot airbrushes. 
  • Aloe is chock-full of vitamins and fatty acids. It promotes healthy hair follicles and protects hair from UV damage. Like shea butter, aloe has soothing properties that may help calm flaky, dry or irritated scalps.

What is sulfate-free shampoo?

Many regular shampoos contain sulfates, which help create luxurious lathers. While they may contribute to an enjoyable hair-washing experience, sulfates strip hair’s natural moisture and may cause color to fade.

Several drugstore shampoos for colored hair, like L’Oreal EverPure Detox Shampoo, are sulfate-free. While these formulas may not lather up too much, they are effective at maintaining color, moisture, softness and shine. Sulfate-free shampoos are often less irritating to sensitive scalps, too.

What other products should I use to care for colored hair?

Drugstore shampoo for colored hair isn’t the only product you should use to maintain color. It should be paired with a nourishing conditioner in the shower and treated with a leave-in or thermal conditioner before styling. 

L’Oreal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner moisturizes parched, color-treated hair to restore its silky-soft texture. It’s free of sulfates, salts and surfactants, so it won’t dull or strip hair.

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream is infused with argan oil to coat and protect strands. It controls frizz for up to three days and leaves hair with a sleek, shiny finish.

TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray protects hair from heat damage caused by curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers. The heat-activated formula keeps hair soft and shiny with hydrolyzed silk and biotin.

How much is drugstore shampoo for colored hair?

Drugstore shampoo for colored hair starts at $4, though many of these formulas contain sulfates and alcohol. Mid-range options, priced $6-$8, are often sulfate-free, while more nourishing formulas are priced closer to $14.

Best drugstore shampoo for colored hair

Best strengthening shampoo

Aveeno Blackberry Quinoa Protein Shampoo

Made with plant-derived ingredients, this sulfate-free Aveeno shampoo prevents breakage and color fade. Oat is the formula’s first ingredient, which is effective at soothing sensitive, irritated scalps. 

Sold by: Amazon

Best purple shampoo

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Shampoo

Ideal for blonde and silver hair, this purple shampoo neutralizes brassy tones to maintain more balanced color. The 100% vegan formula, suitable for twice-weekly use, is considered a gentle alternative to harsher purple shampoos on the market. 

Sold by: Amazon and Ulta

Best sun-protective shampoo

OGX Fade-Defying Orchid Oil Shampoo

This OGX formula has a UVA/UVB filter blend that slows premature fading, especially with prolonged exposure to the sun. The popular summertime formula works on all hair types and leaves locks smooth, soft and easy to brush. 

Sold by: Amazon

Best daily shampoo for colored hair

Hempz Blushing Grapefruit & Raspberry Creme Color Protector Shampoo

The Hempz Color Protector Shampoo, a creamy sulfate-free formula, is gentle enough for daily use. Grapefruit and raspberry extracts preserve color vibrancy and balance tones. It leaves hair shiny and is an effective detangler. 

Sold by: Amazon

Best color-safe shampoo for red hair

John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo

It’s much easier to maintain red hair with this color-boosting shampoo that contains pomegranate extract and vitamin E. It’s a favorite among those with blue-based red color and is appreciated for its light, refreshing fragrance. 

Sold by: Amazon and Ulta

Best moisturizing shampoo for colored hair

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Moisture Shampoo

In addition to nourishing parched hair, this popular moisturizing shampoo maintains shine and has UV filters. While effective at deeper cleansing, it won’t strip hair or dry the scalp. The vegan formula is salt- and sulfate-free. 

Sold by: Amazon and Ulta

Best cruelty-free shampoo

Love Beauty and Planet Blooming Color Shampoo for Colored Hair

This Love Beauty and Planet formula leaves out harsh chemicals like dyes, parabens and silicones. Infused with coconut oil and murumuru butter, it leaves hair with a thick, glossy shine.  It’s said to maintain highlights and lowlights well.

Sold by: Amazon and Ulta

Best dry shampoo for colored hair

Batiste Dry Shampoo

A longstanding favorite for decades, this classic dry shampoo formula keeps hair fresh-smelling and easy to style. It lets you spread out days between washes, which may contribute to better long-term color retention. 

Sold by: Amazon and Ulta

Best gentle shampoo for colored hair

HASK Rose Oil & Peach Shampoo + Conditioner for Colored Hair

This award-winning shampoo and conditioner duo is made with organic rose oil and peaches, which revive dull or fading color. The set is considered a gentle everyday option because it’s free of alcohol, gluten, sulfates, parabens and phthalates. 

Sold by: Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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