One of my favourite things to do is playing with my hair colour – I’ve been almost every shade under the sun over the years, including pink. I’ve been a redhead, a brunette, a golden blonde, and jet black. So of course, when I tint my hair, I want that gorgeous colour to stay as fresh looking as possible, and I want it to last. Enter colour depositing shampoos and conditioners!
Now, there are plenty of violet toned products geared towards blondes out there these days. And of course, having platinum hair myself, those are what I use – and I’ll give you a run down of my favourites. But there are a couple of companies that make every other shade of colour-depositing shampoos and conditioners, as well. When I was apprenticing at this fancy-schmancy salon to become a Colourist many aeons ago, we used an amazing brand that no longer exists, much to my chagrin – as it was the absolute gold standard for these kinds of products. It was called ArtTech. They made blue-black, several shades of red, gold, brown, and of course, violet for cool-toned blondes. You didn’t even have to have coloured hair to use them – they were strong enough to enhance your natural shade. I used the coppery blonde one on my virgin dark blonde hair years ago, and it made my hair the loveliest strawberry blonde shade. When the line was eventually discontinued, it took me literally years to find a comparable line of products. But finally, a relatively new line of colour depositing products has come out which is pretty much identical to the ArtTech! It makes me wonder if they reintroduced the products under a new company.
- Pure Blends – It’s called Pure Blends, and it is fabulous. I highly recommend following that link so you can get a look at all the pretty colours. No matter what your hair colour, as long as it exists in nature, they make a shampoo and conditioner for it. Plus, you can mix them to get a bespoke shade just for your hair.
As you can see, this shampoo is super rich and pigmented. In fact I have to be careful not to overdo it with my extremely light hair, because it can actually stain it a bit purple! It doesn’t lather terribly well, at least not as much as normal shampoos do – but it doesn’t dry the hair out. I generally will use this 3 or so times a week, taking care not to leave it in too long. In the past, I have used it to correct my colour when it’s come out too gold – just washing it several times until I got the shade I wanted. This entire line is excellent for toning the hair any colour you’d like – they even have a line of cool colours like green. I also really like the conditioners, which are almost as pigmented as the shampoo.
- Aveda – Another line which makes decent colour conditioners is Aveda. They have a fairly complete line of all colours, and of course, if you enjoy the Aveda aesthetic, you’ll love these because they smell amazing. They’re also good, thick conditioners, and quite pigmented – in fact I recommend plastic gloves so your hands don’t get stained along with your hair. And you need to rinse your tub out after using it, unless you dig the idea of it being red or purple tie-dyed. I’m not sure if they still do this, but I used to go straight to the Aveda store to get a bespoke shampoo and conditioner in the exact shade I wanted. They mixed it right there in the store, and you could choose what scent you wanted.
- Davines Alchemic Shampoos & Conditioners – these are divine, and so luxe! The conditioners in particular are very pigmented, and they make products for blonde, brown, and red hair. These are strong, and like the Aveda conditioners, you need to take care not to stain your hands and tub and possibly the cat. Davines is a little Italian company that makes lovely hair products all around – these smell amazing, and use a lot of natural ingredients, if that’s something you are into.
- DryBar – This only comes in violet for blondes, but it is so good. The formula is rich, and a little bit goes a long way. The first time I tried it, I used too much and looked as though I had a soapy, violet Afro. It’s quite moisturizing, as well – which isn’t often the case with these types of shampoo, particularly if they’re highly pigmented.
There is also a really excellent conditioner to match. This is the shampoo I’ve been using lately, because I just like to switch them up. The only thing I’m not crazy about with this product is the scent – it’s a bit chemical aand detergent smelling. My bottle is just about empty, however, so I am starting on a new brand:
- Kevin Murphy Blonde.Angel.Wash – first off, this stuff smells heavenly. It’s like a marzipan-bergamot confection that I could just sniff all day, like a weirdo. Already I’m totally in love with this stuff. And I must say that this is by far the most gentle, moisturizing violet shampoo I’ve ever used.
You can can even tell from the photo how creamy it is, especially in comparison to the others. It’s also quite a bit lighter, which I was looking for because my hair is nearly white, and I wanted something that wouldn’t stain. This is specifically formulated for bleached, super-light hair, to be very gentle and hydrating. The key ingredients are really nourishing, too. What they are, according to the website;
A rich Amazonian butter to promote glossy hair. High in Vitamin A, it improves hair flexibility and also helps to improve the hair’s elasticity.
Maintains and restores hair’s natural elasticity. Brings shine and lustre to hair.
Mango Seed Butter
Rich in Beta Carotene and (EFA) Essential Fatty Acids, Vitamins A and E.
Moisturising, cleansing and balancing antioxidant.
Jojoba Seed Oil
Provides quality hydration while soothing the hair and scalp. Jojoba oil’s consistency is similar to sebum; the oil is naturally produced by the body and healthy hair follicles.
Sunflower Seed Oil
Avoids the stripping of colour from the hair. Guards against colour fade and brassiness.
All of this means my hair feels extremely soft and healthy after using the shampoo – my hair doesn’t feel stripped like it sometimes does with many colour shampoos. Since I just started using it, I don’t know how strong the pigment is yet as compared with the others. I’ll check back in with that info after a couple weeks. I do love how this stuff feels, though. It is also the priciest of the three, at $35, purchased in my salon. There is also a Blonde.Angel conditioning treatment, which I am dying to try out. Once I do, I’ll include it here.
Of course we can’t forget about colour depositing conditioners! These are sometimes stronger in pigment than their shampoo counterparts, and sometimes they are significantly weaker – it depends on the company’s formulation.
Personally, I like one that’s full of pigment as possible, so I can use it as a toning mask by leaving it on for 10 or more minutes, when my hair needs some extra help and is looking really brassy. All of the ones I’ve mentioned are excellent, and this new product from Amika is what I’ve been using for the past couple months – with excellent results.
- Amika Bust Your Brass Conditioner – this is such an excellent product. There is also a shampoo, which I still need to try but haven’t because it was out of stock everywhere when I tried to order it with my conditioner! That should tell you something about how good this stuff is. First, it smells wonderful – sort of like bergamot and violets. It’s extremely hydrating for my parched, bleached-to-the-nines hair – and I often leave it in for several minutes in the shower to give my tone some extra punch. It contains hydrolyzed keratin and shea butter – so good for the hair. You also get a whopping 8.4 oz in the bottle – so it’s a great deal at $24. Although I want to try the Kevin Murphy product, this is pretty much the best I’ve ever found in the colour-depositing conditioner department!
As you can see, the use of these types of shampoos and conditioners can make a big difference in how the hair colour you have maintains over time. Personally, I wouldn’t dream of leaving them out of my routine – no matter what my hair colour!
Have you ever used colour-depositing products? What did you think, are they worth it to help maintain and tone your hair shade? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Have a great Sunday, Kumquats – and stay pretty!
XO – Monday