5 Must-Have Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Colored Hair

5 Must-Have Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Colored Hair

If you love experimenting with your hair, you probably already know the struggle of maintaining that vibrant hair color. Colored hair can be high maintenance, but it's totally worth it when your locks are looking fly. One essential part of the equation is choosing the right shampoo, and that's where sulfate-free shampoos come into play. 

In this blog, we'll dive into the world of sulfate-free shampoos for colored hair, why they're a game-changer, and even give you some top product recommendations to keep your hair looking fabulous.

What are Sulfates?

First things first, let's break down what sulfates actually are. Sulfates are a class of cleansing agents, and you'll often find them listed as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) on the ingredient list of your shampoo. These guys are responsible for creating that satisfying lather when you shampoo your hair, but they have a bad reputation.

Sulfates are excellent at cleaning your hair, but they can be a bit too aggressive. Think of them as the bullies in the haircare world – they strip away natural oils, leaving your hair dry and prone to damage. When you've got that fabulous hair color you want to maintain, sulfates can be a real buzzkill.

How Do Sulfates Harm Colored Hair?

Now, you might be wondering why sulfates are a big no-no for colored hair. Well, here's the deal – they can mess with your hair color big time. Sulfates are so efficient at stripping away oils and dirt that they'll also strip away some of your precious hair dye, leading to faster fading. Plus, they can make your hair more porous, allowing your color to escape even faster.

If you're going for a pastel unicorn vibe or a bold neon look, you definitely don't want your color washing down the drain every time you shower. That's where sulfate-free shampoos swoop in to save the day.

How to Maintain Colored Hair

Keeping your colored hair looking fresh and fabulous is like taking care of a delicate garden. You've got to nurture it and protect it from harm. Here are some tips to maintain your colored hair:

Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo, of Course!

We're diving deeper into this, but let's just say it's the MVP of your hair care routine when you're rocking colored locks.

Invest in a Good Conditioner

Color-treated hair tends to be drier, so a quality conditioner is your best friend. It helps lock in moisture and keep your hair soft and smooth.

Cool Down the Water Temperature

Hot showers feel amazing, but there are better options for your hair color. Hot water can open up the hair cuticle and allow color to escape. So, opt for lukewarm water when you're washing your hair.

Say no to Chlorine

If you're a swimmer, be cautious about chlorine. It can wreak havoc on your hair color. Consider using a swimming cap or a color-protecting hair product if you're hitting the pool.

Limit Heat Styling

Excessive use of hot tools like straighteners and curling irons can speed up color fading. Embrace your natural texture more often and save the heat styling for special occasions.

Get Regular Touch-Ups

Color-treated hair isn't a one-and-done deal. To keep your hue looking fresh, schedule regular touch-ups with your stylist.

What to Avoid Doing with Colored Hair

Now, let's talk about a few more things to avoid doing with your colored hair. These tips can save you from a color disaster!

Washing with Hot Water

We already mentioned this, but it's worth repeating – hot water can be your color's worst enemy. It opens up the hair cuticle and releases the dye. Stick to cooler temperatures.

Avoid Overwashing

You don't need to wash your hair every day, especially if it's colored. Overwashing can strip away your natural oils and color. Aim for 2-3 times a week instead.

Don't skip UV Protection

The sun can be quite harsh on your hair color, causing it to fade. Use hair products with UV protection, or wear a hat when you're out in the sun.

Ditch harsh shampoos

Apart from sulfates, look out for shampoos with high alcohol levels and other harsh chemicals. Opt for gentler, sulfate-free options.

Watch out for Hard Water

If your tap water is hard, it can contain minerals that deposit on your hair and alter your color. Consider using a water filter or special clarifying shampoo.

5 Best Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Colored Hair

Now, onto the good stuff – the top sulfate-free shampoos to keep your colored hair looking on point. We've got some fantastic recommendations for you, so check these out!

1.Virtue Recovery Shampoo

The Virtue Recovery Shampoo is an absolute gem for colored hair. It not only cleans gently but also helps repair and strengthen damaged strands. Plus, it's free of sulfates, parabens, and other nasties.

2.Virtue Smooth Shampoo

Another winner from Virtue is their Smooth Shampoo. This one is fantastic for taming frizz and maintaining your color's vibrancy. It'll leave your hair looking silky and sleek.

3.Virtue Refresh Dry Shampoo

Yes, Virtue again! They're really known for their quality. The Refresh Dry Shampoo is specially designed with colored hair in mind. It helps lock in your color and keep it from fading.

4.Virtue Purifying Shampoo

Virtue Labs is back for one more hurrah with their purifying shampoo. It's great for those with fine or thinning hair, and it'll keep your color looking vibrant and fresh.

5.Kenra Platinum Color Charge Shampoo

The Kenra Platinum Color Charge Shampoo is another excellent option for preserving your colored hair! It's sulfate-free and packed with antioxidants to protect your hair.


There you have it! Colored hair is a work of art, and it deserves the best care possible. Ditch those harsh sulfates, opt for sulfate-free shampoos, and follow our tips to maintain your fabulous hair color. With the right products and a little TLC, you can enjoy your vibrant locks for longer. Rock that balayage, ombre, or any color you desire, and let your hair be the canvas of your creativity!

Are you looking to revamp your hair care routine? Check outTotality Skincare for top-notch products that will leave your hair looking to the nines! Explore our range and treat yourself to some hair care magic.

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