The 12 Best Color-Depositing Shampoos, According To A Celebrity Hair Colorist

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Color-depositing shampoos provide an affordable, user-friendly way to switch up (or enhance) your hair color at home. But if you choose the wrong type of shampoo, things can go seriously awry — which is why Bustle reached out to celebrity hair colorist Jeremy Tardo for his professional opinion on the best color-depositing shampoos, and how to use them. First things first: Understand that there are two primary types of color-depositing shampoos — toning shampoos that remove brassiness and neutralize certain undertones, and shampoos that temporarily dye your hair or enhance your existing color. “The primary composition of a toning shampoo and a color-depositing shampoo are the same,” Tardo says. “Both are shampoos that contain color pigments. The difference lies in whether those pigments are being used to enhance or negate a specific tone. If using a shampoo with red pigment on red hair that’s faded, you’d be enhancing an existing pigment. If using a shampoo with green pigment on red hair, you’d be neutralizing the red pigment,” he explains. You’ll find both shampoos that tone and ones that temporarily dye on the list ahead, as well as a dry shampoo for an even shorter-term color boost — but first, some more tips from our expert.

Tardo says that “The duration of time that your hair retains the effects a color-depositing shampoo depends on how frequently the hair is washed after the shampoo,” and notes that “You will typically notice the difference achieved by the shampoo for about 5 [to] 10 washes.” He suggests using your color-depositing shampoo once a week “to maintain a consistent level of tonality.”

As for how to use a color-depositing shampoo? According to Tardo, “Wear gloves as some color-depositing shampoos will stain your hands. Begin shampoo application near the scalp. Massage the product into damp hair as you normally would when shampooing. Work from scalp to ends. Saturate your hair thoroughly. You will typically need more product [than] if you were just using a shampoo to cleanse your hair. The longer the shampoo sits in your hair, the more deposit of tone you will achieve. Standard timing is 5 [to] 15 minutes.”

Keep in mind that as with color-depositing conditioners, the types of color-depositing shampoos that temporarily dye your hair a bright, bold color typically work best on hair that’s been pre-lightened or bleached. But, as Tardo notes, “Some color-depositing shampoos are specifically formulated for darker hair. If you have brunette hair that looks too red for your liking, you can opt for a blue or green based color-depositing shampoo that is created to cool off warmth in dark hair. If your dark hair is too [ashy] looking for you, there are shampoos with warm pigment to create a richer tone in your hair as well.”


The Best Color Depositing Shampoo For Vibrant Colors

If you love to experiment with bright, bold colors, Tardo recommends the Celeb Luxury Viral Colorwash color-depositing shampoo. You can use it three different ways: to help maintain your current color; to refresh your existing color that's fading; or, if you have pre-lightened hair, to give yourself a totally new look (in the latter case, you'll experience the best results if your hair has already been dyed platinum blonde). Use this shampoo to create dipped strands, vibrant highlights, or, a bold, monochromatic look. The more times you wash your hair with it, the more intense the color will be — and if you use it regularly, your color should never fade. As a bonus, the vegan formula is sulfate-free, cruelty-free, and even moisturizing. Choose from 22 different shades, including pastel blue and pink, bright yellow, and more natural colors like brown and silver.

User review: “If you have vivid hair color this is the Holy Grail! I colored my hair a bright purple back in 2018 and I used this shampoo for ALMOST 2 YEARS and my hair was STILL purple! My daughter colored her a vivid blue this past December and has been using this shampoo since she first got her hair done, and it still shows the color very [brightly]. The texture is more on the watery side, so be cautious when pouring it out, it will spill onto the floor if you put too much. The scent is pleasant, not overwhelming. [...] It is pricey, but SOOOO worth it!!!”

  • Available shades: 22


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Natural Colors

Four Reasons Color Mask Shampoo doesn’t come in as many bright, bold shades as Celeb Luxury, but it’s still a great option for depositing color and toning your hair at the same time. Most of the colors lean natural — there’s one for redheads, and a few for various shades of brown and blonde — but there’s also an option for pink and rose gold hair. These shampoos also cleanse hair well and enhance shine as they tone and enhance your color. Like the shampoo above, this is cruelty-free, vegan, and sulfate-free as well.

User review: “This [shampoo] is amazing!! I have never been able to find a red shampoo that deposits this much color and doesn't damage my hair. It lathers really well and I can see a HUGE difference after just one wash. If you have red hair you need this! I will definitely order again. Plus it's sulfate free which is a big deal for me.”

  • Available shades: 8


The Best Moisturizing Color-Depositing Shampoo

If you’re trying to spend less than $30, go with Pure Blends Hydrating Color Depositing Shampoo, which is another recommendation of Tardo’s. Aside from its price tag, there’s something else that makes it an especially amazing choice: Its formula, which is rich in moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, keratin, and collagen to help keep your hair smooth and strong. This is free of sulfates, sodium chloride, parabens, and gluten, and is vegan, cruelty-free, and packaged in a recyclable bottle.

User review: “This shampoo is really great for keeping the color up between hair colorings. The lather is great, and it is really gently on hair. Will definitely purchase again.”

  • Available shades: 8


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Deepening Brown Hair

If you're not looking to use a color-depositing shampoo to create a rainbow-hued look, but simply want to intensify your existing color, the John Frieda Midnight Brunette Color Deepening Shampoo is a great choice for brunettes. With just one wash, this shampoo will transform your already-brown hair into a richer, deeper shade. For best results, use it with its matching conditioner.

User review: “I purchased it due to the color included in the shampoo. It cleans my hair, leaves it soft, shining, and brown. I like it very much.”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Enhancing Auburn Hair

Similar to the shampoo above, but for auburn hair, CHI Ionic Color Illuminate Shampoo enhances warm red tones to help you maintain your color between salon visits (or if your hair is naturally auburn, this can offer a fun way to amplify your color without actually dyeing it). This shampoo is formulated with the brand’s silk amino complex to help restore moisture, soften split ends, and make your hair shiny, so it’s great for hair that’s on the dry side, or that’s been chemically treated.

User review: “This & the conditioner are the best products I’ve found for depositing red into your hair.”

  • Available shades: 1


Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Illuminating Copper Hair

And if you’ve got copper hair that could use a refresh, try the Davines Alchemic Shampoo in the shade — you guessed it — copper. This will help illuminate red hair that’s on the more orange or golden-brown side (aka warm-toned reds) while it simultaneously hydrates and boosts shine. You can find the matching conditioner here.

User review: “I started using this shampoo to extend my red hair color [...] I now use this every other day. I continually get compliments on my hair color. I love this shampoo!”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Intensifying Red Hair

A great choice for red hair of all shades, Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo costs less than $30, so it’s a pretty good value considering this comes from a salon-quality brand. Not only does this shampoo promote a more intense shade of red and boost shine, but it also helps protect your hair from damage caused by hot tools and dye. At the same time, the botanical-rich formula helps repair existing damage like breakage and split ends.

User review: “Finally a great name brand to help keep my red vibrant! Smells amazing leaves hair so soft with incredible shine!”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Toning Black Hair

For reasons unclear, it's pretty hard to find a color-depositing or toning shampoo for true black hair. But this one from MATRIX comes just about as close as you can get. The green-colored shampoo is best-suited for people with dark brown to black hair who are trying to enrich their color and reduce the appearance of warm undertones.

User review: “I have mid back length hair that I used to dye black every 8 wks. Since i have been using this shampoo i havent had to dye my roots and its been 3 months so far! It doesnt color black but because my natural hair is a medium brown with lots of red undertones, this takes all the red out and my greys are very VERY minimal and hardly seen now so i can go longer between coloring to keep my hair healthier! Love this shampoo and will use for life!”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Toning Blonde Hair

There are a lot of great purple toning shampoos out there, but L’Oreal’s purple shampoo is the cheapest — and it’s sulfate-free. This isn’t a color-depositing shampoo in the dyeing sense, but it does deposit purple pigment onto blonde (or silver, or gray) hair to neutralize any brassy or yellow undertones, so your hair looks cool and icy. You can also buy it in a set that comes with the matching conditioner, for less than $15.

User review: “You definitely get your bang for your buck with this shampoo! I swear this works better than the salon recommended brands for 5x the amount. After using this shampoo about 2 times, my co worker asked if I was doing something different to my hair because my blonde highlights looked great - that's when I knew this product actually worked!”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Toning Brown Hair

If you’re looking to fade warm undertones in your brown hair, pick up a bottle of Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Shampoo. Like its name implies, this blue-hued shampoo helps neutralize any red, orange, or yellow tones that are showing up in your brown, highlighted hair, so while it won’t temporarily dye your hair brown, it will refresh your look.

User review: “This Redken ‘Color Extend Brownlights’ blue shampoo cleaned well without stripping hair dry, and it didn't irritate my scalp. It works well with the matching conditioner to prevent brassiness on brown hair and left my hair looking shiny and healthy. The scent is mild and sweet. The color of the product is a deep electric blue. It doesn't stain if you rinse down your shower or bathtub thoroughly, but it does take more time to use it compared to your average shampoo due to the cleanup factor.”

  • Available shades: 1


The Best Color-Depositing Dry Shampoo

Though this shampoo from Keracolor is technically a dry shampoo, it’s actually designed to give you a pop of black, platinum, purple, or rose color while refreshing your hair between washes. How does it work? A combination of charcoal and quinoa ingredients absorbs oil, while the color-infused formula provides an instant dose of color. To use, simply section your strands and spray. The closer the bottle gets to your head, the darker the color will be. Allow it to dry, then brush it through. You can even target specific areas if you wish, or build up to more intense color. It’s low commitment, because the color will wash out with your next shower.

User review: “I use this in my blonde hair for a temporary color and it’s gorgeous. It’s more of a true pink on my hair than rose gold like the conditioner from the same brand I’ve used in the past but it’s pretty and it’s and it lets me go an extra day or two in between washing so no complaints!”

  • Available shades: 4


The Best Natural Color-Depositing Shampoo

Best Earth Naturals focuses on natural ingredients, which is why its Color Boost shampoo is chock full of good stuff like wheat protein, chamomile, shea butter, coconut oil, lemon, sage, and calendula. The formula deposits color on natural or colored hair while cleansing and conditioning. In addition to this red shade, the brand also makes this shampoo in black, blonde, and brown.

User review: “This shampoo rocks! I have light strawberry blond hair this definitely helps bring out the red highlights in my hair it’s super great and non staining. It leaves hair vibrant and natural looking red highlights, y hair is also very soft afterwards and smells great I would definitely recommend this product”

  • Available shades: 4

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