Here’s the question:  “When you have colored hair, how important is it to use color care shampoo and conditioner?”  This person also mentioned that the goal would be to use Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Conditioner even with color treated hair.

You know how people say that once you drive a brand new car off the lot, it immediately loses value and will continue to depreciate in value for as long as you own it?  That is also true of hair color.  Your color will stay put until you get your hair wet, then it will immediately start to fade.  The only thing that makes it fade faster than water alone is normal shampoo, with its high concentration of sodium laureth (lauryl) sulfate (also the main ingredient of dish soap).  Color care shampoos can really help keep the fading at bay but won’t eliminate the need for touchups entirely, especially when transitioning to a difficult color like red.  Color care conditioners aren’t necessary but if you’re like me and don’t want a lot of fragrances mixing, go ahead and get the conditioner it comes with.

So the answer is yes, color care shampoos are essential for prolonging the life of your color but color care conditioner is not necessary (just check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain SLS).  I spoke with a stylist at an Aveda salon and she told me that according to Aveda, all of their shampoos are safe for color treated hair.  I would err on the side of caution, however, and stick with Aveda’s many other color safe alternatives such as the Color Conserve Line.  I personally use Blue Malva Shampoo and Color Conditioner and when I had red hair, I used Madder Root Color Conditioner and had great results with it.  Blue Malva and Madder Root work by depositing a little color with each wash to help keep your color looking as fresh and new as possible.

  • If getting your hair wet leads to fading, the obvious fix would be to not let your hair get wet.  You do need to wash your hair (please wash your hair) but not every day.  Next time you’re at the drugstore, pick up a shower cap to limit the amount of water that can reach your hair.  Only shampoo when absolutely necessary.
  • The amount of times per week that you need to wash your hair varies depending on hair texture and scalp oiliness.  Curly haired ladies can go the longest between washes while girls with pin-straight hair will need to shampoo more frequently.  I have wavy hair so it’s a day-by-day judgement call.
  • Aveda’s Color Conserve Line is pretty great but if you can’t afford this luxury brand, I dearly love L’Oreal Everpure Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner.
  • Sulfate-free shampoos do not lather but that’s ok.  You will still be clean, I promise.

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