natural hair products to protect hair color

4 Toxin-Free Hair Products That Protect Your Color

Natural shampoos and conditioners for bright, fresh color.

Admittedly, coloring your hair in and of itself isn’t usually a natural process (foils! glazes! dyes!), but if you’re transferring your routine to toxin-free and natural beauty products in general, there are natural shampoos and conditioners that will also help you keep your hair color longer. And after spending half a Saturday in a chair with a head full of foil and half a month’s rent to get that perfect color, you’re probably like us: prepared to do just about anything in your power to keep it looking fresh as long as you possibly can. Below, four products that are toxin-free and formulated for color-treated hair.


Sulfates sometimes get a bad rap, but in the case of hair color, it’s warranted. “Sulfates act as a detergent, stripping dirt and bacteria from the hair while also stripping away color molecules,” says Shelby Wild, founder of hair-care line Playa. Wild recommends shampoo with cleansers derived from coconuts that gently clean to remove impurities while preserving the hair’s natural oils. Try Playa Every Day Shampoo or Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo with Aloe Vera.


Purple shampoos help keep blonde colors from becoming brassy by leaving the slightest bit of violet to counteract that yellow tinge. “Conventional purple shampoos are made with chemical blue and purple pigments,” says Fabian Lliguin, hairstylist and founder of Rahua. The natural hair care line uses pigments from flowers and clays for red and blue pigments in Rahua Color Full Shampoo and Conditioner. The formulas also include yellow, brown, and grey undertones to work with various hair colors and tones.


Quick science lesson: pH is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is between 0 and 14. Your hair and scalp oil has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. This natural acidity keeps bacteria in the hair and scalp at bay, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy, which helps protect your hair color. But many conventional hair products can disrupt that natural pH. Try Barber & Fritz Soft Crème Rinse, which has a pH of 5.5. You can also look for a pH on the bottle (some brands include it), or use pH testing strips to check the product you use.


“The more we color or lighten hair, the hair becomes more porous, which makes it more difficult to hold pigment,” explains Boris Oak, founder of EVOLVh. “Pigments are essentially very small color molecules that are deposited into the hair when we color. These molecules can come out just as easily as they enter.” The anti-porosity superhero in a conditioner is amino acids. “They rebuild, strengthen, and boost elasticity, and give the pigment something to grab onto,” says Oak. But conventional products often have silicone that coat the hair, effectively forming a barrier, making it harder for amino acids to work. Try amino acid conditioners without the barrier ingredients like Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture Conditioner and Verb Ghost Conditioner.

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