Last Updated on February 12, 2024
When shopping for hair color you’ve probably seen a bottle of what’s called “Color Depositing Shampoo” next to all the hair color. It may seem like something you can use to color your hair, but it’s something entirely different. So, what is color-depositing shampoo?
Color-depositing shampoo is a type of shampoo that has color pigments in its formula. The shampoo is used in the shower to refresh faded hair dye, neutralize unwanted undertones, or magnify natural hair color hues. It does not work to dye hair alone.
To learn more bout how to use color-depositing shampoo, what it’s for, and when to use it, continue reading!
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What is Color Depositing Shampoo Used For?
Color depositing shampoo is used on natural hair or colored hair to help enhance the pigments already present in your hair. Many people use it to heighten the vibrancy of their hair color after it has faded with time, using the same color shampoo as their hair color. This is the most popular use of the product, but it can also be used to enhance the colors naturally found in your hair.
For example, if you have brown hair with red undertones, you can use a color-depositing shampoo that has red pigment inside to help bring out that red undertone. The pigment that this shampoo deposits into your hair are only temporary, so you’ll need to do repeat washes with the shampoo to re-enhance the desired color once your hair color becomes dull or faded.
These products can also help neutralize unwanted undertones in your hair, for example, if you want to mask the red undertone that is in your brown hair, you can try a color-depositing shampoo with brown pigment.
What Hair Colors Are Color Depositing Shampoos Available For?
Lucky for you, you can find a color-depositing shampoo in a range of natural hair colors, from brown to blonde to black to red and more, as well as every color of the rainbow! You may be able to find lighter and more vibrant hues of each rainbow color, but you may not be able to find your exact hair color.
Look for the shampoo closest to your hair color at your local beauty supply store or online, and if you’re worried that the color will overpower your hair color, you can try using a smaller dollop than the recommended amount per use to see if that enhances your hair color to your liking.
If you want to neutralize particular undertones or hues in your hair, you’ll want to find a color-depositing shampoo that is opposite that color on the color wheel. For example, if you want to hide the orange or brassy tones in your brown hair, you can get a shampoo with blue pigment that is formulated for brown hair. Blue is the opposite of orange on the color wheel (in color theory, they are “complementary colors”), so it will help to neutralize those orange hues in your hair.
How Long Color Depositing Shampoo Lasts
Generally, it is recommended that buyers use their color-depositing shampoo once every two or three weeks to re-enhance the color pigment after it has faded between uses. This is because the pigment in these shampoos does not work like permanent hair color and instead provides a temporary color enhancement, so it can only last for about two to three weeks.
Some formulas last up to four weeks, so check the directions on the bottle for the recommended amount of time between uses. Some of these shampoos also work to cleanse the hair and can be used in place of shampoo in your hair-washing routine, but most must instead be used in between washes with regular hair shampoo and conditioner.
Pros and Cons of Color Depositing Shampoo
One of the biggest pros of using color-depositing shampoo is that you don’t have to go through coloring your whole head of hair again. Excessive hair coloring can cause damage to your hair, so using color-depositing shampoo to enhance the colors of the last time you colored your hair is actually much healthier for your hair overall.
Using color-depositing shampoo is also much easier than the hair coloring process. Just rub a dollop of the shampoo in your hair while you shower, rinse, and enjoy the pigment enhancement!
One con of color-depositing shampoo is that it isn’t permanent. You’ll have to reapply the shampoo once every few weeks to maintain the desired color, so remember to mark your calendar to remind you when to use it. This shampoo, with its coloring pigment, can also stain your hands, fingernails, and bath towels. You can use gloves to prevent this, or otherwise, you’ll have to spend quite a long time at the bathroom sink scrubbing your hands and fingernails. Another con is that color-depositing shampoo can irritate the scalp. Its always recommended to do a strand test on a small piece of hair.
Make sure you rinse all of the shampoos out and follow it with a conditioner before you dry off with your bath towel, as residual pigments in the shampoo can stain your bath towel, especially if you use a white or light-colored towel.
What is Color Depositing Conditioner?
Color-depositing conditioner is similar to color-depositing shampoo in that it has pigment that gets deposited into your hair and tints it. What makes it different is that it has conditioning properties that can be used to add a tint of color that doesn’t already exist in your hair.
One thing to keep in mind is that because conditioners are more moisturizing and don’t absorb as much into your hair, the pigments may not stick to your hair and instead slip around, so the conditioner may not work as well at creating pigment in your hair that color depositing shampoos can.
Choose a color-depositing conditioner over a shampoo if you have drier or thicker hair, as a color-depositing conditioner may work better. Just keep in mind that if you use a conditioner, you may have to do more frequent applications than you would with the shampoo to help the pigment build up on your hair over time.
Overall, color-depositing shampoo is not necessarily a type of hair color, but it can help you change the shade or undertone of your hair.