Cosmetic hair color fades, but depending on what color you choose, and how you care for it, it can fade fast. If you’ve just had your hair done, and are looking to make sure your 4-hour stay at the salon was well worth it, we say it's the wisest thing to invest in sulfate-free shampoo. Find out why below.
Why does cosmetic hair color fade?
So, you’ve been washing your hair with sulfates all this time, and hadn’t noticed a problem, so why shift? With colored hair, your hair needs change, and it all starts in your hair shaft.
Without lulling you to sleep with the details, coloring hair, in a nutshell, involves opening up the cuticle layer of your hair strand, applying a lifting agent to remove your natural hair colors (assuming you’re going a lighter shade), and depositing new color pigments in place of the color removed. The lifting agent, say bleaching, tends to make hair more porous and opens up hair cuticles. Increased porosity means faster color fading, and, likely, dryer hair. Although there are treatments that can help seal color in and moisture, over time this too can wash away.
Here’s why sulfates are bad for your colored hair. Whether it’s a bleached rose blonde or a chocolate brunette, sulfates will eventually strip hair of cosmetic color. Sulfates, like SLS and SLES, are surfactant chemicals that effectively strip impurities, oils, etc. This is why it’s a common ingredient in dishwashing liquids, detergents, and soaps. Although there are varying degrees of strength, sulfates hasten the fading of hair color. You may not notice it at first, but the more you wash your hair, the more it removes the pigments that are desperately trying to hang on.
Here is where color-protecting sulfate-free shampoos come in. These types of sulfate-free cleansers are specially designed to help color hang and be mild on your thirsty locks. It’s also why your salon professional keeps recommending it to you. They know their work of art will stay longer on your hair with the right shampoo.
Sulfate-free shampoos are specially designed to effectively clean hair without overdoing the cleaning. It will help to keep color lasting longer and ensure you’ve extended the life of your hair color by helping to seal in pigments through moisturization and adding special ingredients like UV protection or vitamin E.
So which one should you get?
The great thing about color-protecting sulfate-free shampoos is that there are many professional options to pick out.
Looking for a sulfate-free color-protecting shampoo with damage repair properties? Consider trying Kérastase Chroma Absolu Sulfate-Free Shampoo, ₱ 1,750. It boasts of a lightweight formula that gently cleanses and hydrates hair while deeply restoring fiber to protect color from stripping or fading away. Plus, it can leave your strands healthy and enlivened with a shiny bounce!
If you’re looking for a vegan sulfate-free shampoo, we recommend AVEDA Color Conserve™ Shampoo, ₱ 1,800, a cleanser that’s easy on your strands, packed with natural actives like certified organic Babassu betaine for gentle cleansing.
We also love the sulfate-free cleansing care of Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure pH 4.5 Color Freeze Sulfate-Free Micellar Shampoo, ₱ 1,150. Formulated with micellar it’s able to help balance the hair to its ideal 4.5 acidity & moisture, so your hair is clean but still healthy and feeling moisturized. Just what your colored hair needs.
For a mild cleanser that works nicely even on thin hair, try Davines MINU Shampoo: Illuminating Protective Shampoo for Colored Hair, ₱ 1,090. It has a rich full-bodied foam, which offers some mild suds -- don’t worry, it’s completely sulfate-free. Best of all, it leaves your hair feeling refreshed with a fresh citrus blossom scent.
For blonde hair with a bit of ash color, you’ve certainly got many options for purple shampoos and cleansers. But if you prefer a hydrating, sulfate-free toning shampoo, we recommend the Davines Heart of Glass Silkening Shampoo: Enhancing Blue Shampoo for Blonde Hair, ₱ 1,300. Its got mild brass-reducing pigments that are great for daily use.
Now that you know more about the science of hair color fading and the tools to protect based on your specific hair needs, time to face the world with a fearless vibrant hair color that lasts longer.