how shampoo for coloured hair work

Are shampoos for coloured hair really different from regular shampoos? Or is that an “excuse” brands use to sell you another shampoo you don’t need?

I’ve tried my fair share of shampoos for coloured hair back in high school, back when I was a blonde. I can’t say they did anything special for me.

But times are a-changing. These days, some shampoos can help your new colour last longer. Here’s how shampoos for coloured hair work:

Most shampoos for coloured hair don’t claim to add color, just to enhance its appearance

The first thing to do when purchasing a shampoo for colored hair is to read the label carefully. You’ll see that most products claim to “enhance or revitalize richness and depth and add shine”, not to “add color to your hair”. What does this mean?!

Simply put, these products contain ingredients, like silicones and other conditioning agents, that’ll make your hair shiny and moisturized, keeping it looking and feeling great. And when hair is in good condition, your hair looks better and shinier.

They do what they say on the tin. Just not in the way you were expecting…

What about shampoos for coloured hair that contain dyes?

Some shampoos for coloured hair contain dyes that are supposed to stick to your hair, helping to renew your colour so that it lasts longer.

Obviously, the color of the dye matches that of the color the product is targeted to: yellow dyes are added to products for blondes and usually have a honeyed color, while brown dyes are included in shampoos for those that have brown hair and they are very dark in color.

But do these dyes work? Most of the time, they don’t. They are simply added to make the product look nicer and give it a certain colour, but won’t stick to your hair and provide any colour enhancing benefits for your locks.

The problem with dyes in shampoos is that these are in rinse-off products. When you rinse off your hair, the dye, instead of staying on your hair, will go down the drain.

Of course some shampoos can perform slightly better than others and contain stronger dyes so that a little bit of it may actually stuck to your hair and add a subtle hint of colour. The difference is barely noticeable.

One more thing: be careful when using these kind of products because even if the dyes don’t stick too well on your hair, their dark colour can stain your towels and bathroom.

P.S. Lakme Teknia has a range of shampoos enriched with dyes that really work. I use them to cover my grey hair. Problem is, it’s hard to apply it evenly – some silver strands still shine through.

Pay attention to harsh cleansing ingredients

Another trick to make your hair colour last longer is to pay attention to the cleansing ingredients in shampoos.

Truth is, even shampoos that are marketed for coloured hair can contain strong surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate and C14-16 olefin sulfonate that’ll strip your hair color off!

Instead opt for mild or extra mild shampoos with gentler cleansing ingredients like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

While you’re at it, shampoo your hair less often. The more frequently you wash your hair, the sooner the dye will fade.

The Bottom Line

Save your money. Shampoos for coloured hair aren’t different from regular shampoos. Even when they have added dyes, they won’t stick well enough to your hair to make your hair colour last longer. Worse, shampooing too often or with the wrong shampoo can fade away the colour faster!

Do you use shampoos for coloured hair? Share your experience in the comments below.