The Best Shampoos for Red Hair, According to Pro Stylists
Whether you're a natural redhead or a redhead by choice, you'll want that glorious color to last as long as humanly possible. And one way to do that, according to stylists, is by investing in one of the best shampoos for red hair. "Whether or not your hair is naturally red, it’s important to use color-safe shampoos in order to keep the color from fading," says Jamila Powell, founder of Naturally Drenched and owner of Maggie Rose Salon. "The shampooing step is fundamental for maintaining your natural color, because it eliminates excess oils from the hair, reduces sebum build-up, and creates a clean canvas for the conditioning step."
The wrong shampoo can strip your color and leave strands looking brassy and dull, which is why it's extra important to choose the right one.
To help you do that, we asked Powell and Kelly Noonan, a colorist at FEKKAI SoHo in New York City, to share their picks for the best shampoos to keep red hair looking bold and bright. Keep scrolling to shop 'em for yourself.
Best shampoo for color-treated red hair
Powell loves this “hairbath” so much, she uses it on her own color-treated red hair. She notes that it’s “incredibly gentle,” and is made with coconut and shea butters to improve texture, honey to lock in moisture, and pumpkin seed oil to enhance the vibrancy of your color.
Designed to cleanse hair without stripping it of color, this Powell-approved shampoo is formulated with shine-enhancing kumquat extract and fade-reducing sunflower seed extract.
There’s a reason why stylists are constantly recommending Olaplex for color-treated hair, red and otherwise. “Olaplex is one of a kind, and that’s why it’s so popular,” Danielle Lint, an expert colorist at Warren Tricomi salon, previously told Well+Good. “It protects the hair from professional color. It’s the only additive we have to protect the hair from breakage with color.” It’s one of only a handful of bonding products on the market, and works to restructure the bonds in your hair that may have been damaged by color treatments, leaving your strands healthier (and more vibrant) overall.
If you want to amp up your red, this shampoo has got you covered with its vibrancy-enhancing properties. It’s got anti-fade technology plus antioxidant technology thanks to linseed elixir, and will nourish color-treated hair to make it look freshly dyed after every wash.
Sulfate-free and gentle, this Redken shampoo will help extend your color in between salon visits or touch-ups. The shampoo has a pH balanced formula with amino acids that help seal in color, and a protein complex to nourish hair from roots to ends.
Freshen up your hair with this shampoo, which helps enhance red color and shine through 12 washes. Ingredients include reg pigments, anti-oxidant green tea extract, and UV absorbers to help prevent color fading. The shampoo also uses SmartRelease technology to continuously release rosehip oil, keratin, and arginine, so your hair stays healthy and strong day after day.
Best shampoo for natural red hair
Noonan recommends this shampoo for natural redheads, thanks to the fact that it will protect your natural color while giving strands a smooth, glossy finish. It’s free of all of the ingredients that redheads want to avoid, and formulated with ingredients like vitamin B5 and rice protein to strengthen hair and protect it from damage.
Celebrity stylist Laura Gibson suggests primarily focusing on your texture when it comes to choosing your shampoo. She’s a fan of Rusk’s PUREMIX line, and recommends Puremix Wild Honey Shampoo for people with dry hair and Puremix Sunflower Shampoo for people with fine hair.
Designed specifically with red hair in mind, this drugstore option will boost your natural color and leave your hair looking, well, radiant. It’s made with anti-fade technology plus strand-protecting vitamin E and pomegranate extract.
Perfect for color maintenance, reviewers love this shampoo for how well it enhances their natural color. “It keeps my color true and makes my highlights blend better,” says one fan. “In just four uses, this shampoo and conditioner had brightened up my red hair beautifully. I couldn’t believe it, not a drop of dye,” says another. It’s got protective properties, too, which means it will keep your color from fading over time.
What ingredients should people with red hair look for in their shampoo?
For natural red hair
"People with red hair should look for shampoos with oils which will nourish your hair such as Mirabelle Plum Seed Oil for vibrancy," says Noonan. "I also love Edelweiss Flower Extract for anti-pollution and environmental protection." And of course, just as important as the ingredients that are in the formula are the ones that are not. To further keep your red hair in all its glory, Noonan suggests opting for shampoos without sulfates, silicones, parabens, and phthalates—all of which she says "can damage your hair and fade your natural color."
For color-treated red hair
As is the case with all color-treated hair, dye-induced redheads will want to look for color-safe shampoos that won't strip your shade. "Look for shampoos that include moisturizing properties such as aloe vera or argan oil to keep the hair healthy and minimize the chances of the hair becoming dry and brittle," says Powell. In this case, too, you'll want to avoid sulfates, parabens, and alcohols in your formulas.
Hack your hairstyling routine for health with the help of a derm and a hairstylist by watching the video below.
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