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In a previous post, I wrote about my mission to find the perfect shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. I have colored my hair 5 times since June of 2011 after a few years of growing it out to achieve my natural color. In a nutshell, all 5 boxed colors I have used have faded. I understand that shades of red fade the fastest and 3 out of the 5 shades that I used were burgundy. The 5th color application was just plain black. The fading is odd, especially with the black hair color because I have always colored my hair myself and have never had this problem. Going to a salon and getting my hair professionally colored is fine too since I’ve done that in the past, I just prefer to do it myself.

In the past when I colored my hair, I would use drugstore brand shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. I learned during this past summer that using shampoos with sulfates, specifically sodium lauryl sulfate will strip the color from your hair. When I started coloring  again after my 3 year hiatus back in June, I was equipped with my box of hair color and drugstore shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair that did not contain sulfates.

I realized after a couple of weeks that the shampoo I was using didn’t seem to help keep the color in and maybe I needed to switch to higher end products. So here is a brief review of each of the 3 “color safe” sulfate free products I have used on my hair since June.

This shampoo and conditioner by L’Oreal was great. I really enjoyed the rosemary mint scent which reminded me of Aveda. My hair felt and smelled very clean and fresh for about 2 days after using these products. The volume  outcome was fantastic! The only reason why I only purchased these once was because by the time the bottles were empty, I was a bit tired of the scent and of course I was directed away from drugstore shampoo by numerous hair stylists. Next I figured it was time to try some higher end choices.

Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner

The only positive thing about the Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner for me was the subtle scent. I tend to grow tired of scents rather easily and prefer not to be overwhelmed by a strong fragrance early in the morning while getting ready. Other than the scent, these products left my hair flat and smelling oily by the end of the day. I will not be purchasing these again since they did not work for me. My hair is oily to begin with so maybe this would not be the best choice for other oily haired people.

Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner was the best by far out of these 3 brands. The smell is great and a little goes a long way which is good since this is also the most expensive out of the 3. After using Pureology my hair was soft, voluminous and it smelled good up until the next washing. I can see now why I’ve always heard so much about this brand of shampoo and why it has been recommended so often! But why is my color fading?

I’m still on a mission to try other higher end shampoos and conditioners and find more brands that I enjoy. I thought I was on the right track until a few days ago I decided to ask a couple different hair stylists/colorists what they thought of my hair color dilemma. I inquired with a colorist at Ulta and she said that when using boxed color, make sure to avoid products that are ammonia free as they do not stay in your hair as well as those that contain ammonia. Then she mentioned how boxed colors are not made like they used to be and that I should just go to Sally’s and mix my own. With that info in mind I wandered into an Aveda salon to see what their take on the situation was. I was hoping for an honest answer and not to be told that I should be using Aveda products (even though they are great) and should be getting my hair colored professionally.

So the Aveda colorist was honest and told me that I should try steering away from the high end shampoos and try a drugstore brand again the next time I color my hair. Since this is what I was doing years ago with no problem, maybe he was right. I guess I can give it a shot, if anything I will save money on shampoo. I think it actually may be the shampoos that I have been using (above) that have been stripping the color out of my hair. Very odd. I have a plan for the next time I color my hair and I will share the experience with you. Until then, any thoughts on this issue?? I’m a bit confused now!