Does Color Safe Shampoo Really Work?
What Makes Shampoo Color Safe? Does it Really Work? And Who is it For?
We’ve been told that color safe shampoos are a great way to extend the life of your freshly colored hair. But is that true? Do they really work? The short answer is, yes. Color safe shampoos are much gentler than typical shampoos as they are made with less or completely without any harsh ingredients and detergents. But, it’s important to understand that regardless of whether you use color safe shampoo or not, hair color will always fade away eventually. UV exposure, hair washing, brushing, etc. are apart of our everyday routines and naturally will fade our color however, a color safe shampoo can slow down the process, be more gentle on your scalp, AND can help make your color look more vibrant.
What Makes Shampoo Color Safe?
Color safe shampoos help prolong the life of your color by preventing it from fading quickly compared to regular shampoos. They are able to do this by having formulas without ingredients such as sulfates to ensure that the detergent isn’t removing your color while it’s cleansing your scalp and hair. Harsh detergents and ingredients commonly referred to as either sulfates or surfactants are commonly used in shampoos because they are inexpensive, good at removing buildup, oils, and hair products. However, it can also be drying, irritating, and color stripping! Therefore, color safe shampoos use much milder ingredients with conditioning properties and may even be PH balanced with color enhancing and neutralizing dyes. By not using sulfates such as sodium laureth sulfate, ammonia lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, your hair cuticles can more easily remain closed keeping your color sealed.
Is it Okay to Use Color Protection Shampoo if My Hair Isn’t Dyed?
YES! Even if your hair is not color- treated, color protection shampoos are safe and a great option. The same benefits that apply to those with colored hair, also apply to those without colored hair. Because they are gentler, it’s less irritating on the scalp, helps preserve moisture, and also can help combat frizz. However, the question comes down to is it necessary for someone without colored hair? That all depends on what you're looking to accomplish with your shampoo. For example, if you tend to use hair product often, it might be best to use a regular shampoo with ingredients like sulfates every once in a while to remove any build up. In this case, consider alternating!
Can You Use Regular Shampoo on Colored Hair?
Is it okay? Yes. Is it ideal? No. Your color is more likely to be stripped and fade faster. This can also cause unwanted changes in your color like your hair looking dull over time, brassiness, and change in color besides brassy tones. With change in your hair color, this can result in you needing to tone and invest in more time and products to help reverse the effects. Preventative care for your hair is best to keep your hair looking consistent between each appointment and touch up.
Ingredients to Look Out For:
Sulfates and Surfactants refer to a group of ingredients that are the culprit for color stripping. But specifically, sulfates, such as sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, break through the cuticles and allow color molecules to leak out. Check to see if your shampoo has these ingredients! If so, it is not ideal for your colored hair no matter the color.
How Long Will Color Safe Shampoo Extend My Color?
It’s hard to say because not all color safe shampoos are alike and it also depends on how often you shampoo, the dye or bleach product in your hair, and hair type. In general, color safe shampoos should help preserve your color from fading from a couple weeks to a month which is usually when you might consider a touch up.
Overall, if you're experiencing a lack of vibrancy and shine in your colored hair, or find that your coloring very often because it is fading quickly, it may not be the color or brand itself. Consider checking your shampoo to see if it is color safe! Especially if you wash your hair often, it is important to protect our processed hair and scalp not only because we've invested time and money in coloring, but because of other color safe shampoo benefits as we have mentioned. Often times, the inexpensive sulfate ingredients are great to stay on budget but when factoring in the cost of what it can do to your hair and scalp, it's worth considering upgrading.