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3 New Must-Haves for Color-Treated Hair

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Another day, another new hair product. Straightener this, no frizz that, extra volume here, super conditioner there. It can be maddening trying to figure out which one works—and which one is also good for your hair type. 

Recently, I ran into this very issue. Now that I’m a blondie, I wanted to get a good roundup of products that would nourish my hair after all it’s been through, while keeping the color intact and vibrant. In my quest, I found three awesome new products that deliver on their promises, and are good for you brunettes and redheads, too.

Clairol Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner | $4.99

Since Herbal Essences newest line debuted at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last December, this bombshell product has amassed such a huge following that I had to go to three stores just to find it! Like other Herbal Essences hits, one of the first things you notice is the therapeutic scent (mint this time around). But what’s truly great about the product is how it changes the whole concept of washing your hair. Like other “cleansing conditioners,” this paraben-free version has powerful moisturizing properties, along with a very gentle cleanser that effectively washes locks sans lather—meaning it won’t strip away essential oils. It also means you kill two steps with one product: you massage into wet hair, leave in for about three minutes, and rinse out—and that’s it. And the best part is, the more you wash your hair, the more conditioned it becomes, as I’ve noticed with routine use. If you’re someone who prefers to wash multiple times a week, give this a go.

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Shampoo and Reconstructor | $26.99 each

Counter to the moniker, this new TIGI duo would be a smart move for bottle blondes, since the formula was designed specifically for maintaining chemically-altered locks. The shampoo has a fabulous coconut-like scent like most Bed Head products, and is pH-balanced with keratin and milk proteins to help reconstruct hair. It doesn’t lather like most shampoos, so again, you know that your good oils won’t be stripped bare when washing. But the Reconstructor is the star—also fortified with keratin and milk proteins, it’s super rich, so you don’t need a ton of product, but doesn’t feel heavy or weighty at all. The added “Protein Booster Technology” must do something genius too, because after using, my hair feels super soft and manageable. Color-treated brunettes and redheads, there’s also a version for you: Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused Shampoo and Conditioner. If you’re not into the idea of the one-product routine, this pair would be a good swap for the Naked Cleansing Conditioner (just use less frequently).

John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss | $12.99

At first, I had to wonder about this product. There’s a pretty big disclaimer right on the bottle: “Ammonia and peroxide-free. Not a permanent hair colour. Will not lift or or lighten hair...” Knowing that, I wondered how this at-home gloss could do what it was supposed to: that is, neutralize brassiness and return my hair to its first-day color quality. Still, I dove in, because I learned a long time ago that when it comes to new products, it’s best not to ask too many questions. I’m glad I did, because this stuff works really well. It’s treatment you apply weekly after your shampoo and conditioner, working in several drops from root to tip for full saturation. It needs about three minutes to take effect and then you rinse well. After my hair was dry, it literally looked like I had just gone to the salon for a touch-up. The color was vibrant and shiny and just, well, popped. Treatments are gentle and should be done weekly; each bottle has enough product for six applications. And it’s really worth it as a super affordable way to keep your color from fading over time. There are six color types for warm and cool blondes, light and dark brown and two types of reds. A genie in a bottle!

Photo by Tizard Images.