We put 23 shampoos for coloured hair to the test. Which give a longer lasting colour?
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Supermarket shelves are full of shampoos for coloured hair making claims such as “helps fight fade out”, “keeps colour looking vibrant”, or “helps prolong colour”. Your hairdresser has probably recommended using an expensive colour-safe shampoo to prevent your colour fading. But do colour-care shampoos make a difference? You might be surprised at our results.
If you spend money on hiding those annoying grey hairs or want to liven up your do with a new hue, you want the colour to last as long as possible. So it makes sense to buy a shampoo specifically for coloured hair … and many of us do. According to figures from the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Kiwis spend at least $3.1 million a year buying shampoo for coloured hair.
To find which shampoo gives a longer lasting colour, we put 23 shampoos for coloured hair to the test. We also included TRESemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo (a shampoo for all hair types), Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and water.
Despite the marketing hype, we were surprised to discover washing your hair with water is the best option for maintaining freshly dyed hair. Our test using water – with no shampoo – caused the least colour change after 12 washes.
Allan Blackman, professor of chemistry at Auckland University of Technology, wasn’t surprised by our findings. “Shampoos contain surfactants (which clean your hair) and surfactants are designed to remove both water-soluble and organic-soluble compounds. Hair dyes, while water soluble, are also organic molecules so repeated washing with shampoo will remove small amounts of dye each time,” Professor Blackman says.
Of course, sometimes water won’t cut it when you need to clean your hair. But even then, coloured shampoos didn’t shine. After 12 washes, none performed better than the all-round TRESemme Deep Cleansing Shampoo or the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.
Paying more for shampoo doesn’t mean a better result. Whether you’re shelling out $10 per 100ml for a salon product or less than $1.50 at the supermarket, all were equivalent at preventing colour fade. If you really want a colour care shampoo, buy on price.
Coloured shampoos share a common ingredient – a UV filter – which slows down the rate the sun bleaches the hair dye. But even figuring in UV protection, none of the tested products appear to offer any specific benefits compared with water.
We asked some of the shampoo companies to provide evidence to support their claims. At time of publication, none had responded.
Report by Belinda Castles.
The lab tested each shampoo on samples of blonde human hair that were dyed using three commercial red hair dyes.
To test the effect of washing, each hair sample was washed 12 times with each shampoo or water. The colour intensity was measured using a spectrophotometer before and after washing.
To test the effect of UV exposure, each hair sample was exposed to the equivalent of six weeks’ summer daylight. The colour intensity was measured before and after exposure.
|Products[sort;asc]||Size (ml)[sort;asc]||Price/100ml ($)[sort;asc]|
|TRESemme Colour Revitalise Colour Vibrance Protection for Colour Treated Hair||900||1.33|
|Organic Care Colour Shield Ultra-Protection Shampoo||400||1.50|
|Sunsilk Co-creations Vibrant Colour Protection||400||2.00|
|Schwarzkopf Extra Care Hair Repair With Liquid Keratin Ultimate Colour Shampoo||400||2.00|
|Herbal Essences Colour Me Happy Vibrant Colour Shampoo||300||2.16|
|Pantene PRO-V Colour Therapy||350||2.17|
|Dove Hair Therapy Colour Radiance Shampoo||320||2.34|
|Garnier Fructis Fortifying Shampoo Colour Last Revives Colour||250||2.40|
|L'Oreal Elvive Colour-Protect Protecting Shampoo||250||3.20|
|Ecostore Dry, Damaged, Coloured Shampoo||220||5.11|
|DeLorenzo Instant Rejuven8 Shampoo||375||7.17|
|Matrix Biolage Colour Last Shampoo||400||7.50|
|Juuce Protect Colour Vamp Shampoo||345||7.54|
|Fudge Colour Lock Shampoo||300||7.67|
|John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturising Shampoo||250||8.00|
|Alchemy Ylang Ylang Shampoo||225||8.88|
|Pure Colour Angel Anti-Ageing Colour Fade Defence||300||9.60|
|Paul Mitchell Colour Care Colour Protect Daily Shampoo||300||10.00|
|Joico K-Pak Colour Therapy Shampoo||300||10.67|
|Wella Brilliance Shampoo for Coloured Hair||250||10.80|
|KMS California Colour Vitality Shampoo||300||10.83|
|Goldwell Dual Senses Colour Fade Stop Shampoo||250||11.20|
|SP System Professional Colour Save Shampoo||250||14.40|
Guide to the table
Price/100ml based on a price survey in August 2015.
Check out more of our tests, articles, news and surveys in our Family & health section.
This information is available to Consumer members only.