When it comes to hair care, a good conditioner is a must!
Moisturizing conditioners help to hydrate your locks. They fight frizz. They detangle. They protect against breakage and help to minimize the appearance of split ends. And depending on your type of hair and texture, they can also make styling your hair more manageable.
Some people don't have a preferred conditioner — they just grab what's on sale and hope it will work on their dry hair, fine hair, curly hair or long tresses. But if you have color-treated hair, you have to be a bit more selective.
Why You Need a Conditioner for Color Treated Hair
Colored hair needs a color-safe conditioner. Why? Because conditioners made for color-treated hair will keep your color looking fresher, longer.
They're made to add vibrancy to your hair, designed so that your color won't fade too fast, and they include special conditioning agents so that the dye molecules can't escape your hair every time you wash it.
When you put dye or bleach on hair, you're not just coloring the hair you can see. You're actually breaking through the cuticle of the hair.
Hydrogen peroxide and color pigments are then added to the hair and settle into the hair's deepest layer so that the color can't wash out. The more you color your hair, the more damage you'll do to the hair cuticle and hair shaft over time.
And that's what makes conditioner so important. Conditioners actually help smooth the hair cuticle, and without conditioning regularly, your hair would break and split.
Most conditioners are good at nourishing the hair with added hydration. But hydrating the hair is only one part of the process. If your hair is colored and it feels a little damaged, you need a conditioner designed specifically for fixing that.
The Best Conditioners for Color-Treated Hair
Whether you have highlights, lowlights or a full head of dyed hair, check out these conditioner options from some of the top brands in hair care.
The L'Oreal Everpure Sulfate-Free Moisture Conditioner is perfect if you have dry hair treated with color. It's free of sulfates and parabens, so you won't have to worry about stripping your color or making your dye job fade any faster than it would on its own.
L'Oreal is a trusted name, and the affordable price makes it a definite must-try! Team it with the L'Oreal Everpure Sulfate Free Shampoo for even better results.
Available at Amazon, $6.99
If it's silky and smooth hair you want, check out the Rita Hazan True Color Conditioner. Moringa seed extract and Japanese Camelia oil make it super hydrating for all hair types, including dry hair, frizzy hair, and thick hair.
This product features a fade-defying complex that offers UV protection to keep your color safe when you're out in the sun. It also protects the hair when you're using curling irons, flat irons, and other heat-inducing tools.
Available at Amazon, $26
The Christophe Robin Antioxidant Conditioner is ideal for people with highlights or bleached hair. This product contains some unexpected ingredients, such as blueberry and almond and sunflower oils. It's super hydrating and has a rich, creamy texture.
If regular bleaching is your thing, this is the conditioner for you. If you're on a tight budget, this one's a little pricey at $43, but it definitely gets the job done!
Available at Amazon, $43
Is your color-treated hair on the brittle side? The Kerastase Reflection Fondant Chromatique Conditioner is the answer to your problems. This formula includes rice bran oil to nourish and protect the hair and zinc gluconate that helps trap the color pigments in your tresses.
This conditioner isn't as thick or creamy as others, but its thinner consistency makes it a good option for people with thin, fine hair.
Available at Amazon, $28
Designed to seal in color and provide nourishment, the Nexxus Color Assure Conditioner leaves hair shiny and smooth, as any good conditioner should. Nexxus is one of those salon-loved brands that colorists and hairstylists rely on to deliver results. And this conditioner is no exception.
The white orchid extract helps prevent your color from fading while adding vibrancy and much-wanted shine.
Available at Ulta, $19.99
Make your hair smoother and prevent breakage with the Color WOW Color Security Conditioner. This product doesn't contain any ingredients that can oxidize on the hair, meaning you'll never have to worry about brassiness or dullness.
This is an excellent conditioner for fine to normal hair, but if your hair is very thick or dry, it won't deliver that deep conditioner feel you need.
Available at Amazon, $24
Protect your color and make your tresses as shiny as possible with the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Conditioner. This lightweight conditioner includes a unique assortment of ingredients. It moisturizes your locks, strengthens your hair, and prevents your color from fading.
If you're looking to double down on your beauty routine, give your hair an added boost with the Shu Uemura Color Lustre Hair Mask deep conditioning treatment.
Available at Shu Uemura, $59
The Pantene Illuminating Color Conditioner is formulated with Biotin and offers nourishing protection to keep your color locked in. It's a super affordable option for anyone looking to make their color vibrant and give their hair more shine.
This conditioner includes pro-vitamin B5 and antioxidants to protect against free radicals. It's also sulfate-free so that it won't strip the color from your hair.
Available at Target, $15
Redken is one of those salon hair care brands that you can always rely on to deliver results. And that's precisely the case with the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner. This conditioner will leave your hair shiny and smooth, protect your color and detangle to make it more manageable.
It also includes amino-ions and a RCT protein complex to make your hair stronger and healthier overall.
Available at Ulta, $38
Don't let its affordable price fool you – the Tresemme Keratin Smooth Color Conditioner is powerful!
This product includes Moroccan Argan oil that helps control frizz. It's an excellent option for people with dry, thick and color-treated hair. Its highly nourishing formula will moisturize your hair while protecting and preserving your color. It also gives your hair a healthy, natural shine.
Available at Amazon, $16
The Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner is designed to protect all hair types from further damage while it works hard to repair your already colored hair.
Steven Waldman, the Director of Technical Training for Hair Cuttery, shared with us, “This conditioner from Olaplex moisturizes and repairs all hair types, makes hair healthier and easier to manage while imparting incredible shine and helps hair that's been stressed or damaged. It can also help repair split ends, controlling frizz and re-linking broken bonds.”
Not only does this conditioner do wonders for your hair, but it also has sustainability certifications that prove it’s not harming the environment nor its creatures. Overall, this will have your hair feeling fresh and looking its best, all while helping prevent harm to the environment.
Available at Amazon, $28
The Fekkai Technician Color Conditioner is made to protect color-treated hair that's also in need of repair. But another reason to love it is that it smells terrific.
This Fekkai conditioner is made with jojoba oil and silicone alternatives to protect against sun exposure and free radicals. It doesn't leave any excess residue on the hair – it just shines, smooths, and helps to lock your color in so that you can enjoy your dye job longer.
Available at Ulta, $20
The Garnier Fructis Color Shield Conditioner will keep your color looking fresh and vibrant for up to eight weeks. This conditioner helps prevent your hair color from rinsing out and fading away with UV filters and acai berry as antioxidants.
Even at its affordable price, this conditioner is 100% vegan, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It just proves that you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for an effective, high-quality product!
Available at Amazon, $15
Made with witch hazel and Okara extract, the Rene Furterer Okara Color Protection Conditioner will detangle, hydrate, and repair hair that's been color-treated. It's silicone-free and formulated to add vibrancy and give your hair color more radiance.
This one's on the pricey side at $32 per tube, but it will leave your hair with a luxurious and silky look and feel.
Available at SkinStore, $32
Don't Forget the Color Treated Shampoo
For those who color treat their hair, having the right conditioner is essential. But it's just as important to use the right shampoo.
Every haircare brand listed above makes a shampoo that goes along with their color-treated conditioner. To make your beauty routine more effective, use your conditioner in conjunction with the same shampoo. That's the best way to ensure stunning, vibrant results.
Just remember, if you have color-treated hair, shampooing and conditioning should not be part of your daily routine. Experts recommend that you wash your hair two to three times per week at the most! The longer you can go in between washes, the longer your color will last.
Do You Really Need a Conditioner for Color Treated Hair?
If you want your color to look richer for a longer time, the answer is yes! Color-treated hair requires a conditioner (as well as a shampoo) formulated to lock your color in and prevent it from washing away.
Whether you're a fiery redhead, a platinum blonde or a dark brunette, do yourself a favor and invest in products that will protect your color. Otherwise, you'll just need to go to the salon for a new color that much more often.
Frequent and consistent hair coloring will only damage and stress the hair. You can save yourself time, money, and damage by merely making a color-treated conditioner part of your hair care routine.
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The 14 Best Conditioners For Color-Treated Hair:
- L'Oreal Everpure Sulfate-Free Moisture Conditioner
- Rita Hazan True Color Conditioner
- Christophe Robin Antioxidant Conditioner
- Kerastase Reflection Fondant Chromatique Conditioner
- Nexxus Color Assure Conditioner
- Color WOW Color Security Conditioner
- Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Conditioner
- Pantene Illuminating Color Conditioner
- Redken Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner
- Tresemme Keratin Smooth Color Conditioner
- Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
- Fekkai Technician Color Conditioner
- Garnier Fructis Color Shield Conditioner
- Rene Furterer Okara Color Protection Conditioner