Your Guide to the Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

Anyone else have a graveyard underneath their bathroom sink of shampoos they’ve tried but felt meh about? You don’t even want to think about adding up the wasted dollars. That’s why you want to be certain the next expensive bottle of color-enhancing shampoo you buy will do what you want it to do—actually preserve your color and leave your locks glossier than before. Well, we did the legwork (er—hairwork?) to find the 13 best shampoos for color-treated hair. Take note.

The Best Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair At a Glance:

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Best for Damaged Hair

Between the heat, dye and stress our hair is subjected to on a regular basis, we ask a whole lot of it every day. Give it a break with Olaplex’s sulfate-free No. 4 formula, which helps reduce breakage and frizz, while leaving your strands with a healthy shine. Its secret weapon lies in the “bond-building” technology, which repairs bonds in your strands to prevent damage and split ends.

Buy it ($30)

Best for Fine Hair

With thinning comes a lack of bounce and shape to your hair. This volumizing shampoo uses keratin, vitamin B5 and copolymers to bring your strands back to life, while sunflower seed extract protects your color from fading.

Buy it ($20)

Best Drugstore

As if we needed another reason to love Target, our latest hair-care obsession is a new exclusive to the retailer. Meet Odele (which, fun fact, is a riff on the Norwegian phrase “å dele,” which means “to share”). It’s a clean line featuring natural ingredients, neutral scents and understated packaging, and everyone in your family can use and enjoy it. The smoothing shampoo is our go-to for daily cleansing without stripping our strands.

Buy it ($12)

Best for Curly Hair

Frizz is public enemy number one for curly hair and the biggest cause of frizz is a lack of moisture. That’s why it’s important to keep moisture top of mind for each step of your haircare routine—starting with shampoo. This hydrating formula uses ethically-sourced Amazonian oils like Rahua, Sacha Inchi and Morete to nourish and smooth strands while you lather.

Buy it ($36)

Best Overall

This cute little bottle is just the size you need to sample out (and then totally fall in love with). Unlike some color-safe shampoos we’ve tried that certainly condition but never seem to really clean, this one does both. It lathers up really well and removes that deep grease from our latest sweat sesh while replenishing moisture so our locks are gorgeously smooth and shiny.

Buy it ($33)

Best Scent

Ah, who doesn’t have a soft spot for Herbal Essences? The memorable fragrances scented our strands throughout most of our adolescence (and who can forget those commercials?). But the storied brand has made some major upgrades to its formulas since the early aughts. Most notable is their Bio:Renew line, which is EWG-verified and features botanical ingredients that are responsibly sourced and endorsed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, no less. Our favorite is this rich, sulfate-free shampoo that cleanses even the coarsest and curliest of strands without stripping them dry, and true to the brand’s heritage, it smells absolutely divine.

Buy it ($6)

Best for Dandruff

Matrix’s Biolage line has always been a gentler and more natural alternative to harsh shampoos. It uses zinc pyrithione for dandruff fighting and mint leaf for anti-bacterial and calming properties. P.S. It smells amazing.

Buy it ($21)

Best Sulfate-Free

Created by master hairdresser, Garrett Markenson, this luxe shampoo delivers the perfect combo of cleansing and conditioning your strands (while also being cruelty-free). With zero color-stripping sulfates and instead packed with color-preserving amino acids, it’s the bottle we reach for whenever we want to keep our hair bright and vibrant. The neroli-tinged scent is especially delightful.

Buy it ($38)

Best Clean Formula

Fans of fancier shampoos (like Oribe or Kerastase) will like the decadence of this coconut oil infused alternative. Free of sulfates and full of botanical extracts, it boosts shine and locks in moisture so your hair feels smooth and strong. The chic minimalist packaging elevates any shower.

$48 at Amazon

Best for Brass

“Gray and blonde hair can tend to look yellow easily because of product buildup and minerals in water,” explains Sunnie Brook, a celebrity stylist. “Because of this, I always recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week, followed by Biolage ColorLast Purple Shampoo to really enhance those sparkly tones,” she adds.

Buy it ($21)

Best for Puffy Hair

We’ve been using this co-wash (that’s conditioning wash, btw) for years now. It all started when we bleached our hair to oblivion, and it was bone dry and brittle as a result. This 3-in-1 (it works as a shampoo, conditioner and treatment) was the only thing that kept our fluffy hair more manageable. Since then, we’ve gone back to our roots, but the co-wash has remained a staple in our shower. It helps that one pouch of this stuff lasts forever and it comes with a handy scalp brush for a deeper clean.

$54 at Amazon

Best for Travel

This water-activated powder shampoo is truly magical. Sprinkle and massage into wet strands to get the silkiest lather. Thanks to its milk surfactants (which are derived from coconut oil) it thoroughly cleanses your hair of excess dirt and oils. Plus, you can easily toss the portable bottle into any bag (and when you finish the bottle altogether, you can toss it in the recycling bin as the bottle, cap and even the label are all 100 percent recyclable).

Buy it ($29)

Best Splurge

You know when you’re sitting back, relaxed in the salon chair, and your hairstylist reiterates a list of hair care dos and don’ts? It’s long and alarming. Suddenly, you feel like you should be taking notes. Well, this shampoo lets you rest easy because not only is it specially formulated to enhance your color, but it also incorporates everything your hairstylist could ever want from you—UV protection (yep, the sun strips your color) and zero no-no ingredients. Just a small dab leaves even the driest, frizziest hair (like ours) looking soft and silky. Trust us, it’s a total game-changer.

$46 at Amazon

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