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.
Related: The 13 Best Hair Brushes [Designed With Fine Hair In Mind]
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.
1. L’Oreal Everpure Sulfate-Free Moisture Conditioner
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.
2. Rita Hazan True Color Conditioner
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.
3. Christophe Robin Antioxidant Conditioner
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!
4. Nexxus Color Assure Conditioner
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.
5. Color WOW Color Security Conditioner
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.
6. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Conditioner
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.
7. Pantene Illuminating Color Conditioner
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.
8. Redken Color Extend Magnetics Conditioner
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 an RCT protein complex to make your hair stronger and healthier overall.
9. Tresemme Keratin Smooth Color Conditioner
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.
10. Olaplex No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner
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.
11. Fekkai Technician Color Conditioner
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.
12. Garnier Fructis Color Shield Conditioner
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!
13. Rene Furterer Okara Color Protection Conditioner
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.
14. RAINCRY Repairing Conditioner
The RAINCRY Repairing Conditioner is made with CBD oil and jasmine extract to help repair your hair as well as protect it from future damage. It is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and THC. You can also use this conditioner on colored treated as well as Keratin treated hair, and lock in all of the hydration to keep your hair healthy from roots to ends.
An eight-ounce bottle is $38, so it is definitely not the cheapest option on our list, but can you really put a price on rejuvenated hair?
15. Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner
This Virtue Labs shampoo and conditioner combo is on the pricier side, but it is at least available on Amazon, so there’s no special trip to the salon required. Reviewers report that it doesn’t take a lot of product to see results, so one bottle will go a long way.
While the shampoo and conditioner aren’t necessarily designed specifically with color-treated hair in mind, the ingredients make both the shampoo and conditioner a great fit for those with frequently-dyed or otherwise damaged hair. Both actively add keratin to your hair, to help repair strands under stress.
16. Unite 7Seconds Conditioner
Another conditioner available on Amazon and that’s received super-positive reviews is this option from Unite 7Second. It isn’t designed specifically for color-treated hair, but its ingredients make it a worthwhile addition to your shower rack if you’ve changed up your look recently.
The conditioner is packed with coconut oil and vitamin B12 and, unlike many conditioners, won’t weigh down fine hair. In fact, most reviewers report that this is THE conditioner you’ll want to use if you have fine, thin hair, as it adds volume and thickness, while nourishing your hair, but without making your hair feel greasy or heavy.
17. Prose Custom Conditioner
If you’re not really finding any conditioner that will work for you, whether you order a lot of options on Amazon, pick up tiny samples of conditioner at your salon, or browse the beauty aisle at your big-box store, then you might need something that’s not available off the shelf.
Prose offers customized conditioners that are designed to meet your specific hair needs. No two conditioners are the same. All you have to do to be matched with the conditioner that’s right for your locks is complete a quick, online consultation.
18. Pureology Hydrate Conditioner for Dry, Color-Treated Hair
This hydrating conditioner option is available at Ulta and is 100% vegan. The conditioner is made specifically for dry and color-treated hair and receives rave reviews thanks to key ingredients like jojoba for moisture, green tea for scalp health and sage for follicle health. Reviewers specifically mention how smooth and soft the conditioner makes their hair, as well as how it improves overall hair health and texture while also detangling. Plus, it smells great!
19. Hask Rose Oil & Peach Color Protection Conditioner
This Allure Magazine award-winning conditioner is one of your more affordable options, but that doesn’t make it any lesser in quality. The conditioner is packed with organic rose oil and peach to reduce frizz, add shine, prevent color fading and provide moisture. The conditioner is made without any sulfates, paragons, gluten or alcohol.
20. Superfoods Banana + Coconut Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo for Dry Hair
This superfood conditioner and shampoo combo is like a healthful smoothie for your hair. Both are packed with banana, acai and coconut, for a mixture of potassium, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. It all results in healthy, bouncy, fluffy hair, perfect for those with dry, thin hair, as well as those with color-treated hair.
21. Joyce Colorful Anti-Fade Conditioner for Long-Lasting Color Vibrancy
Available in two sizes, 8.5 ounces or 33.8 ounces, this anti-fade conditioner is ready to tackle your fading hair color woes. It’s specifically designed to protect your hair’s new hue, while also giving you added shine and smoothness. The conditioner is light enough to be used daily, so it’s easy to incorporate into your existing beauty routine.
Reviewers say the conditioner really does help your color last between treatments, helps to prevent breakage and smells great, too.
22. Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, Supreme Color Protect with Argan Oil and Manuka Honey
Think that you can’t find a suitable color-protecting conditioner on the grocery store shelf? Think again. This option from Head & Shoulders has you covered at a steal of a price.
The conditioner is packed with deep moisturizing ingredients, naturally-derived argan oil and honey, and is clinically proven to also help with itch, oil, flakes and dryness.
23. SPACE.NK.apothecary Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color
This conditioner for color-treated hair is as luxurious as it gets. Available at Nordstrom and packaged away in a box not unlike what a designer brand might use for a favorite perfume, Oribe’s conditioner is available in two sizes and is designed to restore hair through a rich, thick formula filled with watermelon extract, keratin and amber.
The conditioner protects your hair from damaging UV rays and oxidative stress, while also rebuilding protein and strengthening strands.
24. Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Sulfate-Free Strengthening Conditioner
While this color-treated conditioner from Matrix is branded as “for blondes,” it’s really for anyone with lightened hair, no matter what hue you went with when you were last at the salon. The conditioner is designed to give your hair a heavy dose of moisture while intensely repairing, and the brand says that continued use will leave your hair three times as strong as it was prior.
Reviewers report the conditioner adds vibrance and life to an array of hair colors and that it makes locks feel silky-smooth. Others report a decrease in hair static, too.
25. Sienna Naturals Wash Day Duo Shampoo & Conditioner
If you’d prefer an option that you can simply pick up during your weekly Target run, Sienna Naturals has you covered with its wash day duo set of shampoo and conditioner. The Black-owned brand offers a silicone-free and antioxidant-packed conditioner, but you’ll want to use the shampoo that comes in the kit, too. It’s great for cleaning away build-up and grease but doesn’t strip your hair of all its natural, good-for-you oils.
26. Hair Food Sulfate Free Conditioner, Dye Free Smoothing Treatment with Argan Oil and Avocado
This particular Hair Food conditioner isn’t designed specifically for color-treated hair, but reviewers do love its affordable price, gentle touch and smell. All of the Hair Food formulas are color-safe and sulfate-free, as well as paraben-free, dye-free and mineral oil-free. The result is healthy, volumized, thoroughly conditioned hair.
27. Sachajuan Colour Protect Conditioner
Sachajuan conditioner uses a patented Ocean Silk Technology to infuse your hair with moisture without weighing it down. You get UV protection, strengthening action, silkier hair and softer locks, but none of the product buildup you might see with similar products. It’s all thanks to that patented technology that makes use of unique Scandinavian marine extracts.
28. Briogeo Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Color Protect Conditioner
Formulated with 97% naturally derived ingredients, Briogeo’s color-lock complex helps to coat dyed hair and leave it silky soft. The plant-based formula includes turkey tail mushroom to prevent color fade, bamboo leaf extract to promote healthy strands and pomegranate extract to boost vibrancy.
It’s also free of silicons, sulfates, parabens, phthalates and has the leaping bunny cruelty-free certification. For those looking for a more natural approach to hair care, Briogeo is a great option.
29. dpHue Color Fresh Conditioner
dpHue Color Fresh conditioner is formulated to nourish your hair without weighing it down. Made with kumquat extract to increase shine and sunflower seed oil to protect from fading and UV damage, it’s appropriate for blondes, brunettes and the rainbow of colors in between.
What you won’t find on the ingredient list are sulfates, parabens, silicones or phthalates. We also like that this conditioner is vegan and cruelty-free.
30. Loma Moisturizing Treatment
Although this color-safe conditioner is not specifically formulated for dyed hair, a combination of ingredients helps it to strengthen and soften locks that have been damaged from any kind of overprocessing (while helping to prevent frizz and preserve color).
Aloe vera gel, avocado seed oil and castor oil help to soothe and moisturize thirsty strands, while the addition of creatine and baobab protein help to strengthen the hair’s internal structure. This conditioner is also free of parabens, sodium chloride and phthalates.
31. Biolage Color Last Conditioner
Biolage Color Last harnesses the power of orchid extract to preserve the depth of color for up to 9 weeks. This silicon and paraben-free formula also adds shine and prevents tangling with a low Ph balance. And for those who want to preserve the planet as well as their hair color, the bottle is made from 100% recycled materials (excluding the cap).
32. Paul Mitchell Color Protect Conditioner
This lightweight formula from Paul Mitchell won’t weigh your hair down, yet it still prevents fade and deeply moisturizes thanks to sunflower extract, jojoba oil and soothing aloe vera. In addition to hydrating your locks, it also stimulates the hair follicles with white ginger extract and helps to strengthen strands with hydrolyzed wheat protein.
Added bonus: it smells amazing with notes of orange, bergamot and apple!
33. L’ANZA Healing Color Care
L’ANZA harnesses flower power to keep your color-treated hair vibrant and silky soft. And we mean that literally! An extract from the echinacea flower prevents fade and smooths the hair by providing beneficial flavonoids.
In addition, extracts from calendula and rose preserve warm hair tones, while cooler tones are enhanced with the aid of cornflower extract. This lightweight formula is also paraben, sulfate and sodium chloride-free.
34. Aveda Color Conserve Conditioner
Aveda has long been a go-to brand for many hair fanatics, and they also make a conditioner for color-treated hair. With the help of sunflower extract and micronized titanium oxide, this color-conserving formula prevents fade and protects your hair from damaging UV rays.
Other star ingredients include organic aloe vera to soothe and nourish the hair and scalp, as well as organic corn glucose to moisturize and prevent damage.
35. Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse Conditioner
Kevin Murphy’s lightweight Angel Rinse formula will add much-needed moisture to fine, color-processed hair without weighing it down.
Key ingredients include angelica archangelica root extract to nourish and hydrate the hair and scalp, mango seed butter to maintain the hair’s natural moisture balance, and cocoa seed butter to soothe the scalp and improve the elasticity and suppleness of your locks.
36. R+Co Gemstone Color Conditioner
This conditioner from R+Co protects your color-treated strands from fading with pea extract. But the benefits of its plant-powered formula don’t stop there. Lychee extract improves the tensile strength of your strands and adds shine, while okra seed and sunflower sprout extract tame frizz, add softness and give your strands a glossy quality.
This conditioner is also paraben, sulfate and cruelty-free.
Related: The 31 Best Leave-In Conditioners [For All Hair Types]
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 Need More Than Just a Best Shampoo and Conditioner?
While, yes, you do want a shampoo and conditioner with moisturizing properties, even if you don’t go with a color-treated hair-specific shampoo and conditioner, do you need more than just what these two products can give you, to ensure your color looks its best?
In some cases, you may want to add a few other products to your hair care routine, to best protect your new ’do. For example, a conditioning mask might be a good weekly addition to your routine. Not only is a conditioning mask a lovely little form of self-care, but it can also help seriously save dry, damaged hair. A deep conditioner hair oil or leave-in conditioner can provide similar benefits.
If you find that a normal conditioner isn’t giving you enough love, but a conditioning mask is a little too heavy for your tastes, you can find a good middle ground with a gloss-formula conditioner that adds shine and helps seal your hair cuticles, protecting your color for the long haul.
If you’re hoping to revive color-treated hair that’s fading, you might want to consider a color preservation booster or toning drops. These can help boost your color between salon treatments, while also protecting your hair in a way that a typical dye job just can’t.
If you use other styling products normally, beyond shampoo and conditioner, such as hair sprays or mousses, you may want to reevaluate your options after you’ve newly dyed your hair. Look for hair sprays, mousses, volumizing sprays and other products that actively add moisture to your hair, to continue your crusade against damage and color fading. You may also just find that your old products no longer work as well as they did, now that your hair is a bit dryer and prone to frizz and static, due to the harsh nature of any color treatment.
If you use hot tools regularly, from hair straighteners to curling irons to hair dryers, you need a heat protectant. A heat protectant spray, used between showering and drying, keeps your color-treated hair free from heat-related damage and extra dryness. (Even if you don’t have color-treated hair, a heat protectant spray is a good idea, as continual hot tool use can really wreak havoc on any type of hair.)
What Should You Avoid if You Have Color Treated Hair?
Beyond stocking up on a great color-treated shampoo and conditioner, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid if you have color-treated hair, to reduce damage, retain your color and overall protect your hair’s health.
As you shop for hair care products, avoid any products that include sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals or sodium chloride. Natalie Palomino, founder of North Authentic, adds, “Alcohols like isopropyl and alcohol denat are extremely drying and harsh on the hair. When the hair is dried out, the cuticles lift, allowing hair color to escape. That means more trips to the salon to maintain color.”
You also want to avoid over-cleaning or over-styling your hair. Don’t lather up your hair every single day and don’t use a lot of hot tools. (And when you first get home from the salon, don’t wash your hair for at least three days!) Don’t think your normally oily or thin hair can wait that long? Use a dry shampoo designed for your hair type, which will keep things looking fresh without stripping away moisture and color.
When you do use hot tools, such as straighteners or hair dryers, turn them down to their lowest heat setting. Additionally, every time you do shower or use hot tools on your hair, be sure to counteract any damage you may have caused by using a moisturizing product, like a conditioner or spray-in treatment.
It’s also smart to avoid prolonged sun or chlorine and salt water exposure. If you plan on taking a trip to the beach or lounging a lot by the pool in the near future, just make sure that you are conditioning even more frequently, to help prevent damage caused by salt, chlorine and UV rays.
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.
You might also like: Our 11 Favorite Luxury Beauty Products From Amazon [For Men And Women]
The 36 Best Conditioners For Color-Treated Hair:
- L’Oreal Everpure Sulfate-Free Moisture Conditioner
- Rita Hazan True Color Conditioner
- Christophe Robin Antioxidant 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
- RAINCRY Repairing Conditioner
- Virtue Labs Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner
- Unite 7Seconds Conditioner
- Prose Custom Conditioner
- Pureology Hydrate Conditioner for Dry, Color-Treated Hair
- Hask Rose Oil & Peach Color Protection Conditioner
- Superfoods Banana + Coconut Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo for Dry Hair
- Joyce Colorful Anti-Fade Conditioner for Long-Lasting Color Vibrancy
- Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, Supreme Color Protect with Argan Oil and Manuka Honey
- Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Sulfate-Free Strengthening Conditioner
- Sienna Naturals Wash Day Duo Shampoo & Conditioner
- Hair Food Sulfate Free Conditioner, Dye Free Smoothing Treatment with Argan Oil and Avocado
- Sachajuan Colour Protect Conditioner
- Briogeo Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Color Protect Conditioner
- dpHue Color Fresh Conditioner
- Loma Moisturizing Treatment
- Biolage Color Last Conditioner
- Paul Mitchell Color Protect Conditioner
- L’ANZA Healing Color Care
- Aveda Color Conserve Conditioner
- Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse Conditioner
- R+Co Gemstone Color Conditioner
Holly Riddleview post
Holly Riddle is a travel, food and lifestyle writer, and a full-time freelance content creator after several years on editorial staffs for a multitude of publications ranging in topic and audience demographic. She currently acts as the editor at large for Global Traveler magazine and is a regular contributor at Trazee Travel, WhereverFamily, TravelMag, CruiseHive and more. Ghostwritten work for travel clients has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc. and other top publications. She also manages blogs for tour providers, hotels and tourism boards.view post