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What is the best shampoo to keep hair color from fading?

Having beautiful, vibrant colored hair is a goal for many people. However, keeping dyed hair looking fresh and bright can be a challenge, as color often fades quickly. Choosing the right shampoo is one of the most important steps you can take to extend the life of your hair color and prevent fading.

Why Does Hair Color Fade?

There are a few key reasons why dyed hair tends to fade over time:

  • Washing – Frequent shampooing, and using harsh shampoos that strip color, can cause color to fade.
  • Sun exposure – The sun’s UV rays break down hair dye molecules.
  • Hard water – Mineral deposits in hard water coat the hair and fade color.
  • Heat styling – Heat from blow drying, straightening, etc. oxidizes and fades hair dye.
  • Swimming – The chlorine in pools acts as a bleaching agent.
  • Oils – Our scalp’s natural oils rub off on hair over time, taking color with it.

What to Look for in a Color-Protecting Shampoo

To help maximize your hair color’s vibrancy and longevity, look for these key ingredients when choosing a shampoo:

  • UV filters – Ingredients like benzophenone-4 help shield hair from fading due to sun exposure.
  • Vitamin C – Helps stabilize hair dye molecules and prevent oxidative fading.
  • Keratin – Strengthens and smooths hair cuticles to lock in color.
  • Jojoba oil – Nourishes hair and replenishes moisture and shine.
  • Chelating agents – Remove mineral deposits that dull hair color.
  • Surfactants – Gently cleanse hair without stripping color.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds – Soften and smooth hair to seal in color.

Reviews of the Top Color-Protecting Shampoos

Based on effectiveness, ratings, and reviews, here are the top shampoos for keeping dyed hair vibrant:

Shampoo Key Features Price
Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  • ContainsEDDS chelating agent to remove metals
  • Cationic conditioners smooth and lock in color
  • Gentle on hair
$25 for 10.1 oz
OLAPLEX No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
  • Patented Olaplex technology repairs bonds in hair
  • Restores strength and shine
  • Sulfate-free
$28 for 8.5 oz
Pureology Strength Cure Color Care Shampoo
  • Keravis protein strengthens hair
  • Argan oil nourishes and softens
  • Anti-fade complex
$29.50 for 8.5 oz
Living Proof Color Care Shampoo
  • Seals cuticles to lock in color
  • Contains no silicones, parabens, phthalates
  • Safe for color-treated hair
$29 for 8 oz

As you can see, some of the top color-protecting shampoos range from $25-$30 for an 8-10 ounce bottle. Investing in a high-quality shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair is worth the price tag considering how well these products protect hair color from fading.

DIY Tips for Maximizing Hair Color

In addition to using a color-protecting shampoo, there are some easy at-home tips you can follow to help keep dyed hair vibrant for longer:

  • Wash hair less frequently, aiming for every other day or every 2-3 days.
  • Rinse hair with cool water instead of hot, which can open cuticles and fade color.
  • Limit use of hot styling tools like blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners.
  • Apply a deep conditioning hair mask weekly to moisturize and nourish hair.
  • Spritz hair with a UV protection spray before going outside.
  • Pat dry hair gently with a towel instead of rubbing.
  • Trim ends regularly to remove dry, damaged sections prone to fading.

How Often to Get a Color Refresh

To keep your hair color looking fresh and vibrant, most experts recommend getting a touch-up or full color refresh every 4-6 weeks. However, how often you need to get your roots re-colored and hair re-toned depends on several factors:

  • Your natural hair color – Those with lighter hair can often go longer without a refresh than people with dark hair showing roots.
  • The particular color dye used – Permanent dyes tend to last longer than semi-permanent options.
  • Your hair type and texture – More porous or damaged hair may allow color to fade faster.
  • Your hair’s exposure to fading elements – Frequent swimming or sun exposure can accelerate fading.

The best way is to keep an eye on your color yourself and book a touch-up appointment when you notice significant fading or regrowth. That way you’ll maintain brilliant color in between salon visits.

Top Professional Color-Protecting Services

In addition to at-home products and tips, professional salon services can also help combat color fade. Some popular options include:

  • Hair gloss treatments – Clear semi-permanent glazes deposited over hair to refresh shine and seal in color.
  • Color sealing services – Special rinses or masques applied after coloring to lock in color.
  • Olaplex treatments – In-salon Olaplex applied during color services bonds and repairs hair to retain color.
  • Damage repair treatments – Protein or bond-building treatments to strengthen hair and prevent fading.

Discuss the add-on services your stylist recommends based on your hair’s specific needs. This can help give your color extra staying power.

Common Concerns When Maintaining Dyed Hair

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns people have about keeping their colored hair looking fresh:

Why does my hair still fade, even when I use color-protecting shampoo?

A color-protecting shampoo can help maximize retention but fully preventing fade is difficult. Heat styling, sun, hard water, and other factors still affect hair over time. Try limiting washing to every other day, using lower heat settings, and adding professional gloss treatments.

Can I use a clarifying shampoo on color-treated hair?

Clarifying shampoos should be used sparingly, no more than once a week at most. They deep clean but also tend to be stripping. Stick to gentler shampoos for daily washing.

What ingredients should I avoid?

Sulfates and salt/chloride ingredients tend to be harsh and can accelerate fading. Opt for gentle, sulfate-free cleansers without a lot of added salts or minerals.

Do I still need conditioner if I use a color-depositing shampoo?

Yes, it’s still important to use a separate conditioner. Color depositing shampoos cleanse hair but don’t provide much moisture or nourishment. Follow with a hydrating conditioner.

Should I wash with cold or hot water?

Cooler water is best as hot water can open cuticles and allow color to escape. Rinse hair with the coolest temperature you find tolerable.


Keeping your hair color vibrant and fade-free requires taking extra steps when cleansing and caring for your hair. Invest in a high-quality color-protecting shampoo as well as professional salon gloss services. Limit wash frequency, use lower temperature water, and avoid excessive heat styling. With diligent at-home care and regular touch-ups every 4-6 weeks, you can maintain rich, beautiful color and prevent fading.