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How Do I Choose the Best Shampoo for Red Hair?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated May 21, 2024
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Selecting the best shampoo for red hair can depend on whether or not it is your natural color. If you have color treated red hair, then it is important to select a shampoo that will not strip the color. There are a number of products that are specifically designed for color treated red hair, though you can start by looking for shampoos that lack sodium lauryl sulfate and other similar chemicals. If you have hair that is naturally red, then you will need to consider other factors to select the best shampoo. Creamy shampoos are good for red hair that is curly or course, and you may want to look for products that include panthenol if you have oily or fine hair.

Red hair dye is typically considered to be the most difficult color to keep from fading. If you are looking for the best shampoo for red hair, there are a number of products that are specifically designed to address that concern. Products that are labeled for use with color treated hair, or specifically for red hair coloring, are usually good choices. You should also examine the ingredients carefully though, since some supposedly color-safe shampoos include compounds that might cause your red color to fade.

The most important factor when looking for shampoo for red hair that has been dyed is to avoid products that will strip the color. Some common shampoo ingredients, such as ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate, can effectively strip away the red color from your hair each time you wash it. Sodium laureth sulfate is a surfactant ingredient that is less likely to harm the color, so you might want to look for a shampoo for red hair that contains it.

Unlike shampoo for red hair that has been colored, the best choice for natural red hair depends on other characteristics. Many redheads have curly hair, which typically results in the natural oils produced in each hair follicle not fully covering the hair shafts. For natural red hair that is course, curly, or dry for any other reason, you should choose a creamy shampoo.

If you have hair that is oily, then creamy shampoos should be avoided. Dry shampoos can be used if you need to wash your hair a lot, and you may even consider using talcum powder. You should also avoid conditioners if you have this type of hair, though mild spray-on products can typically be used. Fine red hair will typically do well with shampoos that include panthenol, which can help make it appear fuller.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Ocelot60 — On Sep 08, 2014

Stylists usually have the best ideas for their clients who are looking for shampoo that makes dyed red hair color last. Most salons carry products that are specially formulated for locking in color. If you get your hair colored red, it's a good idea to check at your salon before buying a shampoo, because chances are that you will find what you need right there.

By Spotiche5 — On Sep 07, 2014

My grandmother has red hair, and she swears by natural shampoos that contain herb oils to make her red highlights sparkle.

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