Best shampoo for red hair

Red is one of the most iconic, and timeless hair colors that never seem to go out of style. Being a naturally-born redhead is literally one of the rarest possibilities, so there’s no wonder why it’s such a sought-after color when it comes to dyes. 

It’s also such a versatile color that can flatter just about any skin tone. It can range from a light wash of ginger to a deeper auburn, a more wine-y deep shade, or even a true bright red. 

However, coloring your hair red does come with its own set of responsibilities if you want to keep it true-to-color. 

Over time, your perfect red can fade, turn brassy or just dull with time.

But do not despair!

One of the easiest ways to maintain red hair is simply using the right shampoo to keep that color vibrant and bright. 


Do you need special shampoo for red hair?

Red hair is always gorgeous until brassiness sets in. Brassiness turns your red into more of a dull, lifeless orange and is never a flattering look. 

This is often caused by sulfates which help shampoos lather up.

But the lather really isn’t worth the dullness when it comes to red hair. This is why it’s best to opt for a sulfate-free shampoo for red dyed hair to prevent discoloration. 

Also, depending on the kind of dye you use, sometimes, reds can also wash out of your hair, or fade over time.

The best remedy to this is by using a shampoo that specifically targets red hair through color depositing. 

These shampoos come red straight out of the bottle and reinforce the pigment in your hair as you wash, instead of stripping them and letting the color go down the drain. 


Best Shampoo for Red Hair: Our Top 8 Picks

So, what options are out there for red hair?

Well, you would be surprised to see that there are lots of different shampoos tailor-fit for red hair just about anywhere.

Whether you want  drugstore option, something more high end or even more natural options, there’s bound to be something for you. 

Best shampoo and conditioner for red hair - Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo & Conditioner Set

For a complete red hair wash day regimen, the Joico Blue shampoo and conditioner are a powerful combo. 

While blue might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to red, it’s actually great for cancelling out the brown, brassy tones. 

The shampoo cleanses the hair while neutralizing orangey tones, while the conditioner nourishes the hair, restores moisture and shine while also keeping it as red as can be. 

This duo works best with cool-toned red, as in warmer tones, the blue might take the warmth away. However, if you’re looking for a similar shampoo that can maintain the red color and the warmth as well, there’s also a Joico red shampoo in their line that can fit the bill. 

Pros: 

  • Neutralizes brassiness in red and brunette hair 

Cons: 

  • Can stain intensely 
  • May dull warm tones in red hair 

Best color shampoo for red hair - Punky Redilicious 3-in-1 Color Depositing Shampoo

If you feel like your color is in need of a refresh, don’t grab the dye and brushes just yet! The Punky Color Depositing shampoo is right there for a quick and simple way to re-intensify red hair that might have faded or dulled over time. 

Plus, it cancels out any unsightly brassiness deposited into hair. 

Not only does it make the color pop like new, it also has a blend of proteins and natural extracts that can protect the hair from future damage while also keeping it nice and shiny. 

All you need to do is to leave this shampoo in your hair for 10 to 15 minutes, for the best good as new results. What’s even better is that the color gets more and more intense with every wash! 

Pros: 

  • Deposits intense red pigment 
  • Nourishing ingredients 

Cons:

  • Stains heavily and can stain skin

Best color depositing shampoo for red hair - Infuse My. Colour -Ruby Shampoo 

When it comes to color depositing, avoiding harmful ingredients, and incorporating nourishing ones instead, the Infuse Ruby Shampoo is a triple threat. 

This vegan formula tones reds to cut down on brassiness and replaces it with pure, rich red that gives your hair a healthy glow. 

This shampoo also stays clear of sulfates which notoriously turn red hair into a dull coppery shade. Aside from that, it’s also free from silicones and parabens as well. 

Brown hair can even benefit from this shampoo if you want an added depth of red, or just some extra warmth. If you start with blonde, using this shampoo can yield a cute strawberry blonde or pink without much effort!

Pros

  • Silicon, sulfate and paraben-free 
  • Intense color depositing 

Cons

  • May not show intensely on very dark unbleached hair 

Best dry shampoo for red hair - Amika Dry Shampoo

The best dry shampoo for red hair is the kind you can’t see. Often, dry shampoos either come in white, leaving a white cast on darker hair, or brown to minimize the effects mentioned before in original dry shampoo formulas. 

However, whether it casts white or brown, neither of these are good news for red hair. Red hair needs clear dry shampoo as white or brown dry shampoos will definitely dull the color of your hair for as long as the product is in it. 

This is why the Amika dry shampoo is perfect for red hair. It gives you a really quick refresh in a spray bottle without leaving a white or brown cast that would make your red hair look dull or brassy. 

It easily rubs into the hair and goes completely invisible. Plus this formula is super lightweight, you won’t even notice it there. 

Pros: 

  • Lightweight, invisible rice starch base 
  • Refreshing and deodorizing 

Cons

  • Strong fragrance 

Best drugstore shampoo for red hair - John Frieda Radiant Red Boosting Shampoo

For a quick and easy option you can pick up at your local drugstore, the John Freida Red Shampoo is a great choice. 

A lot of gentle shampoos tend to not be the best in the cleaning department. It’s a fine line to tread between cleaning enough, and also being too stripping and harsh for the dye to stay in. However, this one tows the line perfectly. 

It cleans the hair and gets rid of built up product, dirt and grime without pulling color out of the hair. But it is still a gentle formula that you can even use every day if you had to. 

It boosts color and protects it along the way using pomegranate extract and vitamin E. This keeps the hair looking and feeling healthy, while being protected from further damage on the color. 

Pros: 

  • Has color-protecting properties 

Cons: 

  • Can stain intensely

Best shampoo for red hair with blonde highlights - Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo

If you have blonde highlights in your red hair, or any lighter shade that you want to maintain, it would be best to stay clear of the really intensely color-depositing products. 

Unless you want pink highlights instead of blonde, it would be better to opt for a general color-protecting shampoo instead.

The Redken shampoo, true to its name, extends the amount of time your color stays in your hair by protecting it from being stripped away.

Free from sulfates, it nourishes the hair with proteins and helps you maintain color while keeping your hair soft and bouncy too. This is perfect for someone who wants to protect the bolder reds, while also maintaining their bright blonde highlights. 


It works double duty, cancelling out brassiness in both blonde and red hair. 

Pros: 

  • Protects all kinds of colored hair 

Cons:

  • Can feel a bit heavy

Best Sulfate-free shampoo for red hair - Four Reasons Color Mask Shampoo for Red Hair

This shampoo boasts a unique formula that deposits color into hair without causing any unnecessary product build up. 

It’s also great at cleansing the hair gently without any harmful chemicals, making it the best sulfate-free shampoo for red hair out there as well. 

The pigmentation from this shampoo really shines best on lighter, or more faded red hair. But for maintaining deep reds, it’s an effective toner that keeps it just as good as you had on day one. 

Plus, this is just one of those brands that does a lot of good--from keeping their formulas vegan and cruelty-free, to having packaging made out of sustainable materials! 

Pros: 

  • Intense color deposit
  • Gentle sulfate-free formula

Cons:

  • Can stain skin heavily 

Best color protect shampoo for red hair - Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo

They say that prevention is a whole lot better than cure. For colored hair, that’s definitely also the case. If you don’t want to go through the potential mess of using a color depositing shampoo, then the best route to go is by protecting the color’s integrity from the very start. 

While shampoo can definitely be a culprit for color stripping, using something like the Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo protects your hair color  instead of speeding up the fade.

This shampoo is free from sulfates and silicones so you don’t have to worry about it causing brassiness or any other damage. 

The power of this product is really in the proteins it contains. It has a blend of Elastin Protein and quinoa which rejuvenates the hair and keeps it healthy and vibrantly colored for much longer. 

Pros: 

  • Protective protein-enriched formula 

Cons: 

  • Will not add color to faded hair

FAQs

How do you keep red hair from fading?

The best way to prevent fading is in the washing. There are several points in a wash where you can do something to prevent your red hair from fading.  

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo with color-depositing and color protecting properties. 
  • Avoid washing more too frequently 
  • Nourish hair with deep conditioner
  • Use a filter that can prevent discoloring minerals from depositing in your hair. 
  • Protect the hair from sun damage, heat damage and unnecessary chemical exposure
  • And when all else fails, get regular touch-ups to keep your hair vibrant

What happens if you use purple shampoo on red hair?

Purple shampoo cancels out yellow tones that causes red hair to look brassy. Generally, if you can’t find a red color-depositing shampoo, then a purple shampoo would be the best choice for toning out any unwanted yellow tones.

What will blue shampoo do to red hair?

Blue shampoo will cancel out the orange tones in hair.

In red hair, this means that it can help minimize brassiness, but it can also take away from the warmth the red imparts to the hair.


So, now you know how to keep that red hair from fading.

All you need is the perfect shampoo that can boost color, tone it to its good-as-new shade, and prevent further fading.

Then you’re ready to rock that red. 

Last Updated: December 7, 2021

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