Whether you dye your hair at home or go to a salon, it takes time, effort, and money to get the perfect color. You want it to last as long as possible, right? But did you know the right shampoo can keep your color from fading too fast? There are so many good Japanese shampoos for color-treated hair, like Belluga, DHC, and Napla. So how can you choose the best?
You don't have to be a beautician! Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best Japanese shampoos for color-treated hair available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
With the advice of our expert, we focused on five things:
We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese shampoo for color-treated hair available online.
When you dye your hair, what you're doing is removing the natural melanin pigmentation from some of the hair and replacing that with a chemical colorant. As that occurs, some of the protein fibers in your hair strands are decomposed along with the melanin.
This leads to loss of elasticity, leaving your hair more brittle are prone to breakage. And because dye peels off the cuticle on the hair's surface to allow chemicals and colorants to penetrate, the damage extends deep into the hair shaft.
But there's still more. Opening the cuticle lets proteins that maintain healthy hair escape, leading to more dryness, stiffness, and dullness. The cuticle damage also lets dye out, so on top of all that hair damage, your precious color fades too!
Therefore, to make your color last longer, you have to prevent the dyeing agent and proteins from being washed away. Using a product that can close the cuticle, supplement the lost protein, and repair damage is key to making your color last.
This is especially important in the first week after dyeing. It takes at least three days for the color to settle in, and it will continue to fade over those first seven days, so being diligent with your shampoo and treatment routine during this time is essential.
We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for ingredients, detergency, color protection, hair smoothness, and usability. Then, based on our tests and with the advice of our expert, we ranked the top 21 Japanese shampoos for color-treated hair available online.
Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.
|Japanese||鳴尾化学研究所アマトラ クゥオ ヘアバス|
|Amount||13.5 fl. oz.|
|Amount||16.9 fl. oz.|
|Japanese||ネイチャーラボベルーガ アミノ酸シャンプー アミノダメージケア|
|Extra features||Damage care, extra-moisturizing|
|Extra features||Gives strength and elasticity, damage care, natural botanical oils|
|Scent||Citrus and lavender|
|Japanese||デミ コスメティクスミレアム シャンプー|
|Japanese||ネイチャーラボダイアン パーフェクトビューティ― ミラクルユー シャンプー|
|Extra features||Damage care|
|Scent||Shiny Floral (floral and fruity)|
|Japanese||カラーズザ パブリック オーガニック スーパー ポジティブ シャンプー|
|Scent||Frankincense and ylang ylang|
|Extra features||Highly moisturizing, botanical oils|
Amatora Quo Hair Bath
Q10 Revitalizing Hair Care Shampoo
Belluga Shampoo Amino Damage Care
Caretect HB Repair Shampoo
Lebel Proedit Careworks Shampoo Soft Fit
Herb Garden Organic Shampoo
Diane Perfect Beauty Miracle You Damage Repair Shampoo
The Public Organic Damage Repairing Series
Ronege Color Saver Shampoo
Relaveil CMC Shampoo
mybest's Top Choice! Well-Balanced Ingredients and Good Color Keeping
Color Protection Was Average, but Overall Quality is High
Great Moisturizing for Smooth Hair, but Color Will Fade a Bit
An Overall Excellent Shampoo, Only Let Down Slightly by Lack of Foaming
Feels Nice and Has Special Ingredients, but Hair Ends Faded
Above-Average Color Retention and Decent Cleansing
Fine at Color Keeping, but Not Many Moisturizers
Lots of Moisturizers and Mass Appeal
Lovely Natural Ingredients but Not the Best Color Protection
Highly Moisturizing for Glossy Hair, but Not the Best at Color Keeping
Rich Moisturizers for Smooth Hair, but Color Fades
|Japanese||鳴尾化学研究所アマトラ クゥオ ヘアバス||ディーエイチシーQ10美容液シャンプーEX||ネイチャーラボベルーガ アミノ酸シャンプー アミノダメージケア||ナプラケアテクトHBリペアシャンプー||タカラベルモントプロエディットケアワークスシャンプーソフトフィット||さくらフォレストハーブガーデンシャンプー||デミ コスメティクスミレアム シャンプー||ネイチャーラボダイアン パーフェクトビューティ― ミラクルユー シャンプー||カラーズザ パブリック オーガニック スーパー ポジティブ シャンプー||ロジックカラーセイバーシャンプー||ナプラリラベール CMCシャンプー|
|Amount||13.5 fl. oz.||16.9 fl. oz.||13.5 oz.||10 oz.||10 oz.||10 oz.||27 oz.||17 oz.||17 oz.||8.45 oz.||33.8 oz.|
|Extra features||-||-||Damage care, extra-moisturizing||-||-||Gives strength and elasticity, damage care, natural botanical oils||-||Damage care||-||-||Highly moisturizing, botanical oils|
|Scent||Bergamot||Rose Mist||None||Not specified||Not specified||Citrus and lavender||Not specified||Shiny Floral (floral and fruity)||Frankincense and ylang ylang||Not specified||None|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Koei Kagaku's Interlock Nourish S has moisturizing and repairing ingredients like citric acid and hematin, but it also has preservatives which may irritate sensitive skin. It foams well even on hair that's full of product. But our hair sample clearly faded, with an even, slight yellow tint that began from the tips.
MOCO from Wack Planning had interesting results. We liked the large amount of fulvic acid to keep the scalp moist and healthy with a balanced pH. But there are few color-care ingredients, leading to fading. The hair turned beige, so it looked natural, but nonetheless, it couldn't maintain the original dyed color.
Soap of Hair Rose Sittori from Of cosmetics has excellent ingredients, including hydrolyzed keratin, hematin, citric acid, amino acids and betaine, for top-class moisturizing and repair. However, after a few washes, our test hair became yellowish and uneven in color. It also doesn't foam great, but it does moisturize well.
R-21 from Suncall is fragrance-free and contains moisturizing hydrolyzed keratin and color-caring hematin. The silicone has strong coating power but make sure you rinse it thoroughly if you have sensitive skin. The color faded overall and hair wasn't left glossy. We didn't feel it helped overcome the damage from dyeing.
Napla's Caretect HB Color Shampoo has a lot of great ingredients for moisture and repair: hematin, protein-based ingredients, plant extracts, and oxybenzone-4 to protect from UV damage. We didn't notice yellowing, but the hair lightened. We also worried about how it dried the hair out a bit, and recommend using treatment afterwards.
50 No Megumi Color Care Shampoo from Rohto Pharmaceutical contains gamma-docosalactone for firmness and elasticity, as well as other notable ingredients like seaweed extract. But the preservative may irritate some, and after washing hair was left a bit dry, faded and yellowed. It could be okay for summer, as it washes well.
Grace Shampoo With Herb has a mild chamomile scent that everyone described as a safe, universal choice. The chamomile moisturizes too, along with hydrolyzed wheat protein, and the result is a good-quality shampoo. But the sulfuric-acid based cleansers are not suited to color keeping, and we did notice fading.
Dear Beaute Himawari Rich & Repair from Kracie was nice to use. It foams really well and has a nice citrus scent. Some of our staff said their own hair felt smooth after using it. But in our tests, detergency was not great, the hair bundle yellowed, and we found few moisturizing and repairing ingredients in the formula.
ALIVE Color Care Shampoo for Bleached Hair has a well-balanced formula but not many ingredients for post-coloring specifically. Yellowing did appear on the hair bundle surface. Foaming is good, but detergency was a bit weak, so scrub hard on sweaty days. It will leave your hair feeling fluffy and soft.
Proaction for C by Number Three scored around average in all categories. The formula is betaine-based and contains methicone polyol to prevent color loss, but we did notice fading on the tips leading to uneven-looking color. Moisturizing and repairing ingredients were not plentiful and it felt hard to rinse completely.
We put each of the shampoos through five tests.
Then we gave them a score from 0.5 to 5 and ranked them.
Please note that the products listed in the ranking were not chosen by our expert, but independently scored after our editorial staff tested them. In addition, we do not guarantee you will see the exact results we did. Please read the product descriptions carefully before choosing.
As shampoo is something most of us use every day, you want to go for one that's mild and gentle on your scalp. In our test, we looked for the following points in the ingredients.
We had four shampoos get a perfect score for ingredients: Suncall R21, Napla Caretect HB Repair, Logic Ronege Color Saver, and The Public Organic.
Why did they excel? They all share a rich moisturizing formula with repairing ingredients such as hydrolyzed collagen and keratin. But they also had bonus ingredients, like citric acid, tea leaf extract, or phytic acid.
All of them are also amino acid-based cleansers. This balance of "moisturizing, repairing, coating, and extras" led us to give higher scores. And it seems salon exclusives are better at meeting that ingredient balance for color care.
It goes without saying that a shampoo needs to get your hair clean, but let's be specific. Oleic acid and stearic acid, the main components of sebum, were mixed and colored with red dye and applied to a glass plate.
We then ran a solution of shampoo over the plates, carefully using the same ratios for each product, and checked how much artificial sebum had been removed.
Our top products in this test were two non-Japanese shampoos, Kerastase K Reflection from L'Oreal and Lavera Colour & Shine. (They didn't rank so highly overall, though.)
Both use sulfuric acid-based cleansers, and most of the artificial sebum was rinsed away without the need for rubbing at all. Kerastase in particular left no greasiness behind after its sodium laureth sulfate formula worked its magic.
Indeed, most of the better-cleaning shampoos were sulfuric acid-based, which shows how products with high-carbon alcohol ingredients work well for cleaning. Amino acid cleansers tended to get average scores but they did release the dirt, so if you take the time to scrub and rinse the results will be similar.
You want to keep your color as long as possible, and even extending it by one day is a win.
We used bleached hair bundles and colored them ash brown with a commercial hair dye. Ash has green in it and loses its color easily. We let them rest for 24 hours and then washed and dried the bundles five times for each shampoo.
The worst color loss meant a score of 1.0 and no color loss scored them a perfect 5.0. We also considered the type of discoloration, such as taking off more points for yellowing and less deduction for a natural-looking fade.
Looking at the examples above, you can see some of the results we found. None of the shampoos were able to fully prevent color loss, but there were slight differences in the degree of loss at the tips and in the main shaft. The big differences we noticed were in the quality of the color loss.
Two products got high scores here, Amatora Quo Hair Bath and Stephen Knoll New York Color & Control. They both caused slight fading but didn't lead to yellowing. Even after five washings, the color was still ashy and greenish. In addition, the color wasn't uneven, the hair ends were straight and glossy, and the overall color was still deep.
Some shampoos left the bundles dry, frizzy, and flat, so even if each shaft still retained its color, the whole thing looked bad. So, we learned that even though you can't totally protect your color, the overall look of the hair, suppressing yellowness, and repairing damage make it look shiny and cohesive.
Next, we measured the smoothness of the hair. Smooth hair is less damaged and feels soft when you run your hands through it.
We shampooed and dried a hair bundle 10 times, then passed it through a device that measures friction. The average scores were collected for each product and converted to our 5-point scale.
In this test, we had four shampoos with perfect scores: Amatora Quo Hair Bath, Napla Caretect HB Repair, Napla Caretect HB Color, and 50 No Megumi Color Care.
The first three also showed good results for color keeping. They contain hematin for post-coloring pH balance, as well as moisturizers and repairing ingredients, giving them high scores for their formulas, too.
In fact, most of the shampoos that left hair with a nice, smooth texture were also good at color keeping and had ingredients we liked for colored hair. So all these things seem to go hand-in-hand.
Finally, we wanted to check how it was to actually use each shampoo, outside of a laboratory!
Three mybest editorial staff tried them out, paying attention to how well they foamed, the ease of rinsing, scent and texture. Then we averaged those out and converted them to our scores.
Four shampoos stood out in this test: Koei Kagaku Interlock Nourish S, Belluga Amino Acid Damage Care, Diane Miracle You, and Schwarzkopf BC Kur Color Specific.
Belluga ranked highest, with 4.5 points. It makes a fluffy foam and leaves hair smooth. Our testers said it left hair feeling moist even after it dried, and it got high marks from all.
Most of the products that were highly foaming were commercially available shampoos and many had a mild scent that would likely be appreciated by anyone.
Ms. Aki Saito, a hair diagnostician and our expert consultant for this article, gave us some advice on what to look for when shopping for a post-coloring shampoo.
There are four common cleansers in shampoos: high-carbon alcohols, soaps, betaine, and amino acids. High-carbon alcohols such as sodium laureth sulfate have good detergency, and soaps such as potash soap provide a refreshing feel. But the best choice for hair damaged by heat and coloring is an amino acid cleanser.
Amino acids are one protein that makes up hair and locks moisture in the skin. They're better moisturizers than other types of cleansers. They can supplement the protein lost by hair coloring, smooth out damage and brittleness, and make your hair moisturized and soft. Look for the names "cocoyl" and "lauroyl" on the ingredient label.
Other ingredients that will complement the moisturizing of amino acid cleansers are glycerin, ceramide NP, collagen, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed keratin, among others. You'll get extra protein repair from keratin, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed conchiolin, cystine, glycine, and amino acids like tyrosine.
After coloring, the hair cuticle is easily peeled off as a result of chemical damage. When that happens, proteins, as well as dye, will leak out of the hair shaft. Avoiding shampoos with a strong detergency and instead opting for amino acid cleansers will help mitigate this.
They also bring moisture to your hair. Coloring extends deep into the hair, and damaged hair has an alkaline pH, is dry, and stiff. Supplement the protein loss with amino acid shampoos that are weakly acidic to keep hair moisturized.
Moisturizing is essential. But on top of that, some ingredients can tighten the hair cuticle and add to your hair's health in other ways.
Hematin, citric acid, malic acid, peach leaf extract and others can help to remove any leftover chemicals from the coloring process. They also make the hair weakly acidic, which is healthier. They bind to proteins to improve strength, leading to more pliable, smooth hair.
Coating the cuticle can help keep the hair dye from exiting the hair. Silicone is a common ingredient that provides a tough coating and gives hair a smooth finish. However, it also weighs hair down a bit and will reduce volume, which some may not want.
Natural oils like shea butter won't coat as well as silicone, but will provide some protection, and they have the added benefit of increased moisturization.
Some ingredients to look for? Try silicones like cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, and acrylate copolymer. High-molecular copolymers like polyquaternium-10 and polyquaternium-47, and oils such as honey, shea butter, argan and jojoba oil are great too.
I can't stress enough how important it is to protect the cuticle and prevent proteins and colorants from leaking out, so a shampoo with coating ingredients like dimethicone is highly recommended.
High-molecular polymers won't weigh hair down as much, so they're better for those seeking more volume and who have permed hair. Hairdryers cause damage as well. A component that prevents heat damage, such as meadowfoam, is another good addition.
Because color-treated hair is more susceptible to damage, pay attention to anything that might make it worse.
Blue Dye No. 1 and other coloring agents should not be in the ingredient list, and avoid strong detergents. Fragrances can irritate the scalp, and those with sensitive skin should avoid them. Simple ingredients are always a safer choice.
Whether you dye your hair all the time or just now and then, you've surely noticed the damage it can cause. There's no need to choose between the color you want and the healthy hair you deserve- you just have to find the right products! Try some of these.
mybest looked at 21 of the most popular Japanese shampoos for color-treated hair available online and tested them all. We found that the best ones have amino acid cleansers, provide a protective coating to the hair shafts, and offer moisturizing and damage repair.
Look for the products we recommend and take the tips from our expert into account when shopping to make the right choice for your hair!
Author: Momomi Uchida/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Yuki Inagaki, Koichi Miura
Ranking date: 4/15/2020
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