Color treated hair is arguably the most damaged. Whether you highlight it to give yourself a seamless balayage, or you go from blonde to red, or brown to black, your hair probably needs a little more tender, love, n care than most.

Ever noticed that your hair looks incredible when it’s freshly colored and styled? When you walk out of that salon, you feel unstoppable. Like nothing can get in your way… Until you’re on week 4 and your hair looks like it went through 2 world wars and a recession. Why? Well, it’s probably because you’re not using the proper shampoo.

We know, we know. Shampoo? Makes all the difference? Yeah. It really does.

But really, anything you do makes all the difference, but when it comes to shampoo, using a cheap brand can hurt your hair. And sure, it may not hurt your bank account, but when it comes to having to fix the damage that was done, it’ll be a lot pricier for you to repair it than it is to upkeep it. So when you’re looking for your next best shampoo bottle, make sure to look for these:

No sulfates

You probably hear this all the time, and see it in most bottles in beauty stores, but “no sulfates” is usually a tell-tale sign of GOOD HAIRCARE. The beauty industry hasn’t really changed the ingredients they put in their products since the 80’s, pretty much. And haircare is no different. So definitely make sure to keep an eye out for any brands still using it. And if it doesn’t explicitly say there are no sulfates, read the ingredients.

But why no sulfates? Well, they’re what makes the shampoo bubble and foam, since it’s a surfactant (foaming agent). They do get rid of the dirt and grime, but along with it, your color, plus any natural and beneficial hair oils that are needed to maintain healthy hair. And because salons primarily use shampoos with NO SULFATES, that’s why your hair looks so good and bouncy 99% of the time you leave the salon. The shampoos they use are NOT stripping your hair of color, and it’s certainly not taking away all the healthy oils your hair needs. In the end, you’re left with clean, healthy hair.

No parabens

Like we mentioned before, the beauty industry hasn’t really gotten around to changing up their ingredients list, so it’s up to health-conscious brands to do the work of changing the norm. As for parabens, they’ve been used on things like deodorants, toothpaste, and even cosmetics as a preservative since the 50’s (and we know how strange our practices were back in the day- doctors recommended that pregnant women smoke to clam their nerves as late as the 60’s!). It keeps away all the germs, which, yay! But it’s also more harmful for your health than you’d imagine. Our skin (that includes the scalp) soaks in any and all products we put on our body. So when you apply things that are rich in parabens, you’re risking putting carcinogens into your skin, scalp, face, etc.

Keratin Protein

Here’s the thing- keratin DOES NOT make your hair straight. Sure, you may be thinking of the keratin treatment, but that’s only to SMOOTH the hair. So, what is keratin? It’s a natural protein that’s already found in your hair.