When it comes to shampoos for color-treated hair, nearly everyone has an opinion. While some stylists say color will last longer when cleansed with these special shampoos, many experts disagree. One example: While the editors at Good Housekeeping say specially designed shampoos for color treated hair can and did extend the life of dye in their tests, author Paula Begoun refutes this claim, saying these products neither hurt nor help.
As the chemists at TheBeautyBrains.com put it: "Protecting color from the damage caused by washing, heat and the environment is one of the hottest areas of research in the cosmetic industry. It seems there are papers published every month about the subject and no one has figured it out just yet."
One notable product is Redken Color Extend (*Est. $15 for 10.1 oz.), which did well in Good Housekeeping's tests. Editors say this shampoo did especially well on brown-gray hair that was dyed brown. Allure magazine editors also praise this shampoo for including UV filters that are said to prevent fading caused by the sun. Paula Begoun, however, says these ingredients don't adhere well to hair and are easily rinsed off during the cleansing process. In fact, she says Color Extend doesn't contain any ingredients that can protect color-treated hair. User reviews at MakeupAlley.com give Redken above-average ratings. Color Extend doesn't contain any silicone, a leading conditioning agent.
Redken All Soft (*Est. $14 for 10.1 oz.) may be a better choice for color-treated hair. That's because dimethicone (silicone) and several other conditioning agents are listed near the top of the ingredient list, all of which are responsible for giving hair a soft and manageable texture. Experts say color-treated hair needs extra conditioning due to the damage caused by chemical processing. Hundreds of reviewers at MakeupAlley.com think that Redken does, indeed, leave hair soft and manageable. One user reports that she could never style her severely damaged hair until she began using All Soft shampoo. Many say, however, that the shampoo works best when coupled with a conditioner. Others say Redken leaves residue that builds up on hair over time, but this is true of any good conditioning shampoo.