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Published Oct. 4, 2021

Whether you spent hours at the salon or invested in a DIY job from your own bathroom, nothing feels as good as having fresh hair color. But once some time has passed and your hair has been through many washes or plenty of time with heat tools, that perfect color can become a thing of the past. Auburn locks can easily fade, for example, or caramel highlights can turn brassy. But the best color-depositing shampoos are here to save the day—or, at least your hair color. 

Color-depositing shampoos work by depositing pigments into your strands to refresh the color. Depending on your needs, they can also work as color correctors to bust brassiness, brightening up your overall hue. That’s exactly how blue shampoos for brunettes and purple shampoos for blondes work to revamp color, leaving it looking fresh and radiant again.

Best of all, they aren’t just for dyed hair, as they work equally well to give a mini makeover to natural color. That’s why incorporating one of the best color-depositing shampoos is a wise move. Your hair will always look like you came fresh from the salon, since it maintains the tone and vibrancy. Suds up with one of these best color-depositing shampoos and see what we mean.

How We Picked the Best Color-Depositing Shampoos

The best person to ask about hair products is the one who is exposed to them every single day. Of course, we’re talking stylists. We sought out products that have been endorsed by stylists, since they’ve seen it all. Bonus points went to recommendations from stylists who specialize in hair color, since they know all the tips and tricks for maintaining a salon-worthy hue. 

Glowing customer reviews were also crucial in adding a color-depositing shampoo to the list, since only those with top marks earned a spot. Additionally, best-sellers were given extra consideration. 

Since there are a range of needs when it comes to color-depositing shampoos, we made sure to curate a list that offered something for everyone. Blondes, brunettes, silver foxes, and redheads all have a top choice suggested for them, covering all the bases. Plus, some want just a touch of color while others are seeking a mini hair hue makeover, so that also went into the selection process.

The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo Reviews and Picks

Best Overall: Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask

All-Around Color

This deeply moisturizing mask nourishes and softens color-treated hair with argan and apricot kernel oils. Moroccanoil

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Why It Made the Cut: Quite the twofer, this multitasking product will deliver color and deeply condition hair. 

Specs: 

Dimensions: 2.97 x 1.9 x 7.4 inches

Volume: 6.7 fluid ounces

Colors: Nine, ranging from Aquamarine to Rose Gold

Pros:  

  • Wide shade offerings
  • Deeply conditions
  • Easy application

Cons: 

  • Some feel the tint is too subtle.

The Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks truly offer a hue out there for everyone, whether you’re wanting to freshen up your natural color, tone your hair, or experiment with fun shades like pinks and purples. The mask is offered in nine shades: Aquamarine, Hibiscus, Champagne, Platinum, Rose Gold, Lilac, Bordeaux, Cocoa, and Copper.

In addition to delivering color, it also doubles as a deep-conditioning treatment and nourishes hair. That’s because it taps Moroccanoil’s proprietary ArganID formula, which infuses argan oil deep into hair’s cortex to help seal the cuticle, giving hair an extra boost of shine. It’s also spiked with the brand’s exclusive Amino Acid Blend to condition and detangle. The ingredient list is rounded out with apricot kernel oil to soften strands, while oleic acid, linoleic acid, and vitamin E improve moisture levels. Hair is left looking and feeling much healthier, with renewed color. 

Another bonus is the product is super easy to apply and takes only five to seven minutes. The Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks are made to fade out gradually over time.

Best for Brunettes: MATRIX Total Results Brass Off Color Depositing Blue Shampoo

Balances Brassiness

This champoo uses blue-violet pigments to counteract the harsh tones that highlights can take on in brunette hair. Matrix

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Why It Made the Cut: With plenty of blue shampoos on the market, this one stood out for its talent for kicking brassiness to the curb. 

Specs: 

  • Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches
  • Volume: 33.8 fluid ounces
  • Comes in a range of sizes

Pros: 

  • Works after one use
  • Nice scent
  • Adds shine
  • Smooths hair

Cons:

  • Requires gloves

Brunettes with lightened hair know how easily their highlights or overall hue can turn brassy. But the MATRIX Total Results Brass Off Color Depositing Blue Shampoo earns its place as the best-color depositing shampoo for brunettes by restoring your color in a single wash. The cool tone blue shampoo deposits blue-violet pigments to neutralize brassy tones and balance hair.

Since the formula is potent, it’s important to wear rubber gloves to prevent it from staining your hands. Apply it to wet hair and lather it up, then leave it on for three to five minutes before rinsing. Its delightful scent—a blend of nectarine, rose, and vanilla—will make the process much more enjoyable. The shampoo will also boost shine and softness. 

Best for Blondes: Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo

Works from the Inside

Tone down the brassiness of your blonde with this shampoo that works from the inside and outside. Redken

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Why It Made the Cut: Blondes will get their brightness and cool tone back with this excellent purple shampoo. 

Specs: 

Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 9.76 inches

Volume: 33.8 fluid ounces

Sizes: Comes in a range of sizes

Pros: 

  • Tones blonde hair
  • pH balanced 
  • Strengthens strands

Cons: 

  • Some don’t like the masculine scent

When your blonde gets brassy, reach for Redken’s Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo to take out the warmth and neutralize the yellow tones. The shampoo deposits violet pigments to get your pretty blonde back.

The formula isn’t just good for the outside of your hair—it works wonders for the inside, too. It’s infused with citric acid to strengthen strands. Plus, the formula is pH balanced, helping hair return to an ideal state. The shampoo is a cinch to use: Simply apply it to wet hair, leave it on for three to five minutes, then rinse it out. For best results, use it two to three times per week. 

Best for Redheads: John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo

Stay Fiery Red

This shampoo can fire up your color while being gentle enough to nourish your hair with pomegranate extract and vitamin E.
John Frieda

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Why It Made the Cut: You’ll be seeing red—in a good way—with this top shampoo made especially for redheads. 

Specs: 

Dimensions: 1.87 x 3 x 8.22 inches

Volume: 8.3 fluid ounces

Pros: 

  • Prevents color fade
  • Softens hair
  • Boosts shine

Cons:

  • The color sometimes doesn’t work for all red tones

Red hair is notorious for fading, but whether yours comes from nature or a bottle, the John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Shampoo will give it a hand. The formula is all about its “anti-fade” technology to protect color and keep it looking bright and vibrant. Developed to work on a range of red hair, it’s meant to be paired with the John Frieda Radiant Red Red Boosting Conditioner for maximum results. To really keep up your color, the gentle shampoo is safe for daily use.

Aside from helping your color, the shampoo will improve your overall hair health. After sudsing up, strands will be extra soft and shiny. The formula is spiked with hair-loving ingredients like pomegranate extract and vitamin E.

Best for Gray or Silver Hair: Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Shampoo Blonde and Silver

Longtime Leader

This award-winning shampoo has a long track record of toning down the brassiness and adding shine to gray and silver locks.
Shimmer Lights

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Why It Made the Cut: An OG favorite, this cult classic has stuck around for good reason. 

Specs:

Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 1 inches

Volume: 8 fluid ounces

Pros: 

  • Eliminates brassiness
  • Doesn’t leave a residue
  • Adds shine

Cons:

  • Some don’t like the scent

Stylists and hair pros can’t get enough of this award-winning purple shampoo that has stood the test of time. Gray and silver hair is prone to unsightly yellow tones, but the Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Shampoo will get them right out, eliminating all brassiness. The formula is equally excellent for blonde and white hair, working to get rid of ashy tones.

In addition to providing a color boost, the shampoo also leaves hair with incredible shine. The formula completely washes away, leaving no residue behind, to give a mirror-like finish that won’t feel weighed down. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Color-Depositing Shampoos

Existing Color

And what color do you want it to be? Determining this will help you know what type of color-depositing shampoo to shop for. Think of the color wheel. For example, cool colors will help offset warm tones, so those looking to ease the appearance of orange, brassy tones typically found in naturally brunette strands will want to opt for a cool-hued blue shampoo. On the flip side, to minimize yellowness and brassiness in blonde, silver and gray hair, a purple shampoo is best for getting the job done. 

Hair Needs

Sure, if you’re shopping for the best color-depositing shampoos, that means you’re looking to freshen up your hue. But chances are that’s not the only thing you’d like for your hair. Colored hair tends to be dry, damaged hair, so look for nourishing ingredients that will make the application do double duty. The best color-depositing shampoos are formulated with ingredients that boost overall hair health, such as jojoba oil, keratin, and aloe vera. In addition to improving color, they’ll also strengthen and soften strands.

Amount of Color

Some color-depositing shampoos deliver just a tad of color, while others deposit a significant amount of pigment to your hair. Figure out where you fall on the spectrum and shop accordingly, since most bottles will advertise how boldly they will take your color. 

FAQs

Q: How often do I need to use a color-depositing shampoo? 

Many color-depositing shampoos will share their recommendation along with instructions. Beauty brands spend a lot of time and money on research, so it’s best to take their suggestion to heart. (That also means not leaving the shampoo on for too long.) Typically, a color-depositing shampoo should be used anywhere from once a week to two to three times per week. However, this can vary, since some are safe and gentle enough for daily use while others are only meant to be used occasionally.

Q: How long will the color last?

There are a lot of factors at play here. Most color-depositing shampoos will fade out over time. Some last for weeks while others might be dimmed by your next wash. The results can range widely depending on how porous your hair is as well as how often you wash your hair. They can also work differently on hair that has been dyed versus natural color.

Q: Will color-depositing shampoo stain my hands? 

Some formulas have more pigment than others, but it’s common for color-depositing shampoos to stain your hands and fingernails. To play it safe, it’s best to wear plastic gloves. Or, if your formula is light on pigment, you can opt to wash your hands and nails with soap and water.

Final Thoughts on Color Shampoos

No one wants their hair color to get brassy, flat or faded, whether your hue comes from a bottle or nature. The best color-depositing shampoos will restore your hue to make it look like you just left the salon. We found the best options for everyone, including blondes, redheads, brunettes, and silver foxes.

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