Everyone told me not to dye my hair blue. It's one of those shades that needs a lot of maintenance and fades very quickly. But when you've got the right hair products to hand, looking after anything from bold colour to understated balayage and every hair colour trend in between isn't so much of a chore.
Bleach and dye can completely change the texture and quality of hair, which is why treatments like Olaplex (the No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask is particularly excellent) are popular. It pays to get the basics right, though, and colour maintenance always starts with a great shampoo. As a beauty editor with a penchant for switching up my hair (whether that's chunky '90s highlights or a chestnut brown gloss), I've tried many of the colour care shampoos on the market. So when Aldi's Lacura Professional Colour Shampoo For Colour Treated Hair (available in store) landed on my desk, I was intrigued. More so because it's a snip of the price of other colour care shampoos I've tried, at a very affordable 85p. Yes, you read that correctly.
So what's in it? You might have heard of pro vitamin B5 (also known as panthenol) – it's almost always bandied about in TV shampoo ads, and for good reason. It's a humectant, which means it attracts and seals in moisture for hydrated and soft hair strands. Then there's moisturising glycerin, which also has a softening effect on hair, castor oil (known to combat dryness, add moisture and prevent a flaky scalp) and linseed oil, another deeply conditioning agent.
The colour care shampoo I'd been using recently just wasn't cutting it for me. Blue fades to green eventually but I wasn't happy with the speed at which it was happening so after a colour top-up, I hoped the Lacura product might slow things down. Together, the ingredients nourished each and every strand of my hair after the first wash (no matter how bleached and split — I'm overdue a good trim). It kept frizz on lockdown and made my lengths a lot more manageable. In fact, straightening took a lot less time than usual. Most importantly, it kept my colour intact for almost twice as long as other colour care shampoos. Even after two or three washes, it didn't strip my hair (there was hardly any bright blue evidence at the bottom of the shower like before) and I no longer have to dye my lengths as frequently.
Previously, I'd have to refresh my colour every four days or so and that's too much for me, even as a beauty obsessive. So impressed, I even topped up the bottle with water to make sure I used every last drop. There's a matching colour care conditioner but a top tip I swear by is ditching conditioner altogether for a hair mask, which is a lot more moisturising, especially for bleached hair. I love Sol De Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Treatment, £35, and Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask, £20, both of which can be used in the shower and rinse out quickly without leaving behind any greasy, heavy residue.
It comes as no surprise that this colour shampoo is impressive, considering Aldi's health and beauty brand Lacura is famous for its secret gems. Inspired by K-beauty, the Pineapple Face Serum, £4.99, is such an effective vitamin C product and worked to brighten my dull skin in next to no time. It's now a staple in my skincare routine. Then there are the Glossier-inspired serums, which feature buzzy ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid and moisturising glycerin — and are currently flying off the shelves in store.
Something you might view as a downside is that the shampoo contains sodium laureth sulphate (sulphates) but it's one of the most effective ingredients for creating a grease-busting lather and my hair doesn't feel clean without it. Unless they irritate your scalp, there isn't much reason to fear sulphates, but if you wash your coloured hair very frequently, you might like to use a sulphate-free shampoo the majority of the time.
What is the best sulphate-free shampoo for coloured hair?
Depending on how often you wash your hair, sulphates are known to speed up colour fade and break down keratin or professional straightening and perming treatments. If you wash your hair every day (or every other day) and want to make your colour last as long as possible between salon treatments, it might be worth opting for a sulphate-free shampoo.
Hairdressers and colourists almost always recommend Pureology's Hydrate Shampoo, £21, while Living Proof's Colour Care Shampoo, £25, is a favourite among beauty editors. High street options are also just as effective at preserving colour. Try the new Herbal Essences bio:renew Sulfate Free Shampoo Aloe & Bamboo, £5.99, which promotes shine with aloe vera, and OGX Renewing+ Argan Oil of Morocco pH Balanced Shampoo, £6.99, which uses sulphate-free lathering agents for a satisfying clean. If you have curly hair, you'll love Imbue. Curl Liberating Sulphate Free Shampoo, £8.99.
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