The right formula can keep your shade stunning and shiny.
After spending time and money on your hair color, you don't want to see it disappear down the drain. Using a color-safe shampoo that's intended for dyed hair is key to keeping your shade fresh and vibrant, whether it's brunette, black, blonde, red, or beyond (hello, purple and rose gold!). Our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts share why using a special shampoo for colored hair is so important to keep that fresh color intact.
Shampoos of any kind are designed to clean away oil and dirt, and color-protecting formulas use the same general techniques, but also aim to minimize the amount of dye that washes down the drain. “Shampoos for colored hair usually have lower concentrations of cleansing surfactants,” Wizemann explains. “The formulas also use special conditioning agents that coat your hair’s surface to prevent dye molecules from escaping.” Not only do they work to preserve your color, they help mask any damage by making strands feel soft and smoother, too.
The GH Beauty Lab tests shampoos for colored hair with the matching conditioners, putting the pairs through a number of rigorous evaluations to see how well they perform. In their most recent test, Lab scientists prescreened over 160 shampoo and conditioner duos, narrowing them down to the ten top formulas.
In the Lab, our chemists performed repeated fade-resistance testing on human hair swatches to mimic real-world conditions, including shampooing, conditioning, blow-drying, and repeatedly exposing them to UV light. They also distributed the label-masked products to consumer testers around the country, who used them for two weeks, then evaluated the product's attributes and the look of their color and feel of their hair after use.
Now that you have the lowdown on color-protecting shampoos, check out the GH Beauty Lab experts' (and real-world beauty pros') top picks for the best shampoos for colored hair, including drugstore, sulfate-free, and clean formulas: