With bleach comes great responsibility. Mainly, that means using the right hair products. Start by getting one (or more) of the best shampoos for bleached hair, like any of the ones featured ahead. They contain ingredients that repair the breakage, frizz, dryness, and other damage that bleach has done unto your hair, like antioxidants and plant-based oils. Also, when shopping for bleach-appropriate shampoos, look for buzzwords like “repair” and “recover,” which implies that they’re loaded with proteins or other substances that help rebuild damaged hair (which bleached hair inherently is). And only go for shampoos that are specifically labelled color-safe — or, better yet, color-protecting or color-extending — to avoid dulling your color. Obviously, the longer you can go between bleaching sessions, the better you’ll be able to maintain your hair’s integrity.
Scroll on to shop six of the best shampoos for bleached hair, from an all-natural formula to a cult-favorite toner. Then, pick up a deep conditioner for bleached hair to provide your hair with even more concentrated nourishment.
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1. The Overall Best
This is your scheduled reminder to pick up something — anything! — from Olaplex, especially if you bleach your hair. Like their salon-grade products, everything in Olaplex’s six-product consumer line — including their No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo — is powered by a patented molecule that relinks broken bonds. Their intensive repairing treatment is basically mandatory for people with bleached hair, but it’d be a good idea to add this shampoo (and the accompanying conditioner) into your routine to boost its effectiveness. Use these products to strengthen your hair, and make it feel smoother and softer.
2. The Fan-Favorite Toner
And here is your scheduled reminder to get a purple shampoo — also mandatory for people with bleached hair (or silver, gray, or any shade of blonde, whether colored or natural). Use it between salon visits to knock out brassiness and dull yellow tones your hair can take on over time. This one from Matrix has well over 11,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, where reviewers rave about how it leaves their hair looking icy and bright. The purple is highly pigmented, so the brand recommends wearing gloves to avoid staining your hands.
3. The All-Natural Toner
Rahua is the rare hair care brand that’s truly plant-based. Seriously, the ingredients list for this purple shampoo reads more like a natural skin care oil than a shampoo: There’s aloe for hydration, gardenia for its antioxidants and sweet scent, and the brand’s signature rahua and morete oils from the Amazon, which help nourish, strengthen, and protect hair from UV rays and other environmental aggressors. Even the purple shade comes straight from the earth, in the form of an Amazonian clay that’s naturally lilac in color.
4. The Color Extender
This Color Wow shampoo is totally free of the additives found in most shampoos (even the ones that are labelled color-safe) that can strip your color and weigh down your hair, like sulfates, silicones, conditioning agents, and pearlizing agents. As a result, this’ll keep your blonde fresher for longer, and should also help make your hair feel silkier and more moveable.
5. The One With Cica
Also known as its scientific name centella asiatica, or its Sri Lankan name gotu kola, cica is used widely in Korean skin care products for its ability to do basically everything — like calm acne, reduce redness and inflammation, strengthen your moisture barrier, the works. And as it improves blood circulation, it can also help boost hair growth. Which is why it’s the headlining ingredient in this Redken shampoo, which was formulated to repair hair that’s been severely damaged (as in, falling out) after excessive bleaching.
Amazon reviews are rife with success stories about this shampoo, including one from a reviewer who was on the verge of shaving their hair off. This works best in tandem with Redken’s other Bleach Recovery products, but lots of customers use this alongside Olaplex treatments as well.
6. The One With Keratin
The proprietary protein in this Virtue shampoo (and all Virtue products) is almost identical to the keratin your hair naturally produces, so it easily binds to (and helps repair) damaged areas. It’s packed with other beneficial ingredients too, like baobab seed oil for silkiness, grapefruit extract for shininess, and hydrolyzed quinoa for an added dose of vegan protein. According to the brand, 97% of users said their hair felt softer and less damaged after just one wash.