The 12 Best Shampoos for Colored Hair in 2024

Cop your best color yet.

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As anyone's who's ever colored their hair knows, once dye has been added to the mix, your regular haircare becomes a little more complicated. Colored hair—especially when it's been bleached—can become dry, limp, or brassy, turning your dream 'do into an occasion to hide under a hat. But with the right products, from shampoos and conditioners to leave-in conditioners, you can foster a healthy mane and keep your dream color as vibrant as the day you left the salon. The right shampoo, in particular, can ensure that your hair stays clean, buildup-free, and moisturized—it all starts with looking for the right ingredients. 

"The best thing you can do for your colored hair is to avoid shampoo with sulfates," advises Connor Daniels, professional hairstylist with Mirror Mirror Salon in Austin. "Sulfates are meant to cut through grease and create a foamy lather, but this will also strip the color from your hair much quicker than shampoos that are free from sulfates." 

Thus, sulfate-free shampoos are often the way to go for those with colored hair. But there are also a number of other special formulas, from purple shampoos for blondes to blue shampoos for brunettes, that go a long way in terms of cleansing, preserving, and enhancing color. Below, how to identify the best shampoo for your colored hair, along with the most effective options that will preserve that straight-from-the-salon look for as long as possible.

What to Look For in Shampoo for Colored Hair

Daniels reiterates that sulfate-free formulas are best for those with colored hair. In addition, he says, "Someone with dyed/colored hair should look for more natural ingredients in shampoos such as bond-repairing agents coconut oil or oat extract." These ingredients—particularly coconut oil—moisturize hair as well, which can help repair bleached hair

"An additional ingredient that is good to look for is Phytantriol," Daniels adds, "which preserves the color of hair and reduces damage."

Washing Colored Hair

But once you have your perfect shampoo, you may still need guidance on how to wash your hair without stripping or fading your color. Depending on your hair type and color, you may need to adjust the manner and frequency with which you wash your hair.

"If someone has artificially colored hair, every time that person washes their hair a little color will be lost," Daniels explains. "This means the more often that you wash with shampoo, the quicker the color will fade."

So how often should you wash your colored hair? "Two to three times a week is often a good goal in order to maintain color," he answers. "Fewer washes is ideal, but you want to make sure you aren't neglecting your hygiene for the benefit of your color." And if you're worried about an oily scalp, he says, "Dry shampoo is a great choice if you are trying to lower the amount of washes per week."

As far as your in-shower routine itself, Daniels instructs, "Wash your hair first and then condition right after. Shampoo will open the cuticles of the hair where the color is held which will, in turn fade your color. The more water hitting your hair while the cuticles are opened, the more color is lost—so close the cuticles back up using conditioner." In other words, a traditional hair wash rather than a reverse wash is preferable for those with colored hair.

Finally, Daniels says that when it comes to temperature, you're better off keeping it cool.

"There is no specific or optimal temperature to best maintain the color in your hair," he concedes, "but a good rule of thumb is the colder the better. Since hair color is absorbed into the cuticle of your hair, cold water will keep the cuticles of your hair closed which will keep the color of your hair where you want it."

The Best Shampoos for Colored Hair

Meet the Experts

Connor Daniels
Connor Daniels

Connor Daniels is a hairstylist originally from San Diego who specializes in dimensional color, with an interest in unique cuts. Currently, he works with Mirror Mirror Salon and is based in Austin, Texas. 

Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is a hairstylist specializing in color and hair extensions. He runs his own salon in Keyport, New Jersey, and also works as a partner with Glam Seamless Hair  Extensions.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at