15 Shampoos for Bleached Hair: Recovery, Toning, Neutralizing
Hair bleaching is a chemical procedure that utilizes hydrogen peroxide to break down melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color.
The purpose of a hair bleaching treatment is to lighten hair color. However, with the allure of bleached hair comes a set of challenges. This process can lead to hair cuticle damage, increased porosity, and even alter the scalp’s pH balance.
The after-effects of hair bleaching, especially the emergence of brassy undertones, emphasize the importance of dedicated post-bleaching care.
That’s where the benefits of specialized shampoos step in.
Specifically formulated for bleached hair, these shampoos go beyond mere cleansing.They replenish lost moisture, reinvigorate, ensure pH balance, and rejuvenate your hair from within, effectively addressing the wear and tear from the bleaching process.
The hallmark features of shampoos tailor-made for bleached hair are their sulfate-free composition, protein fortification, and pH-balancing properties. Moreover, some come with specific formulations designed to tone down unwanted shades or brassiness.
To assist you in picking the right post-bleaching shampoo, we’ve curated a list authenticated by our trusted local hair colorist. These shampoos stand out as top-tier solutions to the complexities introduced by hair bleaching.
Select the criteria below to find the correct product for your hair type and condition. You can select multiple criteria.
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Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Set
After years of research and innovation, Redken, an American hair care brand owned by L’Oréal Group, developed a breakthrough product that can instantly reverse the effects of hair bleaching – The Extreme Recovery range.
Watch this video to learn more:
The Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery system is an excellent product for individuals who regularly bleach their hair. The set comes with a bleach recovery shampoo, a conditioning rinse, and an intensive cream treatment designed to nurse over-processed bleach-damaged hair back to full health.
So, how does the Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery work?
The Redken Bleach Recovery system uses Cica (Centella Asiatica) and Lamellar water (liquid conditioning rinse) to strengthen the hair from root to tip.
Cica, a herb extract rich in amino and fatty acids, calms inflammation and stimulates new cell growth.
Lamellar water, a liquid conditioning rinse, fills the hair’s porosity while providing softness, smoothness, and shine.
By combining these two ingredients, the treatment heals the inner structures of the hair and superimposes an additional cuticle layer on top of each strand to help with a faster recovery.
Judging by the positive reviews, this set does an excellent job at transforming dry, brittle, and even the most chemically-trashed hair into soft and manageable hair from early use.
The Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery is also highly recommended by New York senior hair colorist Rachel Bodt, who boasts clients like Georgia May Jagger, Tilda Swinton, and Olivia Wilde.
So here’s what you get in the kit:
- Bleach Recovery Shampoo: Heals hair damage and moisturizes .
- Lamellar Water Rinse: Conditioning treatment that fills the hair’s porosity for improved smoothness.
- Cica Cream Leave-in Treatment: leave-in cream is formulated to boost moisture, resilience, and elasticity in severely damaged bleached hair.
Fanola No Yellow Shampoo
The Fanola No Yellow shampoo is an absolute brass blaster with impressive hue-restoring powers. It uses strong and potent violet pigments to neutralize yellow tones from bleached blonde, light blonde, or streaked hair.
With over 81, 667 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 ratings (at the time of writing this), it is the most popular toning shampoo on the market.
This product is featured in:
- Cosmopolitan Magazine’s 45 best editor-approved products
- Elle Magazine’s 8 expert-picked purple shampoos
- Glamour Magazine, praising its excellent ratings
Fanola artist Leanne Chadwick, a master at bleaching hair and creating the iciest blondes, swears by the No Yellow shampoo.
Besides toning and neutralizing brassiness, it makes the blonde in your hair stand out so much more. It is a clarifying cleanser that makes your hair feel light and airy, rejuvenating your strands to build body and volume from the roots.
Olaplex 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
Bleaching damages the disulfide bonds in the hair, which is why it becomes fragile and prone to breakage.
Olaplex is an award-winning brand focusing on bond-building technology for the hair to facilitate faster recovery from chemical treatments.
Their No. 4 bond maintenance shampoo is ideal for bleached hair as it uses the same principle for relinking disulfide bonds at a molecular level. The shampoo provides strengthening and reparative benefits to help bleached hair recover faster so you can get on with your styling needs and hair goals.
If you’re strictly on damage control after bleaching your hair, the Nexxus Keraphix healing shampoo should be your first point of call.
The Keraphix formula is engineered by fusing black rice, micro keratin, collagen, and elastin to revive chemically-damaged bleached hair.
Working from the core of the hair fiber, it repairs and restores the protein structure worn down by bleaching treatments. It heals, reconstructs, and nourishes the hair for a speedy recovery to ease you back into your hair goals (selfies, coloring, extreme hairstyles).
Inspired by Nexxus New York City salon, this product is so effective that you’ll see extraordinary results in no time.
Kim Kardashian is a big fan of Nexxus hair products for keeping her bleached hair pristine. Considering her fashion commitments, you won’t expect her to cry about the state of her hair after a bleaching session! She’s all about instant results. And Nexxus products do just that!
Verb Ghost Shampoo
Verb is the new buzzy yet minimalistic brand making waves in the beauty circles, all thanks to its clean, environmentally friendly, vegan, and affordable products.
Don’t be fooled by the understated packaging. It may look cheap initially, but once you start using their products, you’ll discover the brand’s authenticity and high quality.
The Verb Ghost shampoo is so lightweight that it’ll instantly disappear into your hair – hence the name Ghost. For those with sensitized bleached hair looking for a gentle, sulfate-free, and vegan formula, this shampoo is the best pick.
The Verb Ghost shampoo contains:
- Moringa oil – Fast absorbing oil to naturally smoothen hair.
- Sunflower seed extract – Fatty acids to moisturize.
- Aloe vera – pH balancing.
- Hydrolyzed soy protein – To lock in moisture.
- Quinoa protein – To repair and strengthen.
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo
The Clairol Shimmer Lights banishes dullness and brassy tones in blonde, gray, brunette, and silver hair with its protein-rich color-enhancing purple formula.
Did you know?
Shimmer Lights is the original and first-ever anti-brassiness product to hit the haircare industry in the 1980s.
Regarded as one of the best and most dependable purple shampoos in the market, Shimmer Lights is a cult favorite of many stylists and celebrities alike.
Celebrity hairstylist Christine Symonds describes this product as her favorite and most trusted for making her clients’ hair look bright and at its best on the red carpet. Looking at Kayley Cuoco’s flawless hair on her Instagram feed (prepped by Christine), it’s no wonder she is such a big fan.
The creamy deep purple pigment in this shampoo neutralizes unwanted yellow and orange tones in the hair, giving you brighter and shinier locks.
True to its name, Shimmer Lights adds shimmer and shine to blonde, gray, or silver hair right from the very first use.
The only drawback is that it contains some sulfates.
Luseta Purple Shampoo
The Luseta purple shampoo protects, enhances, and brightens color-treated hair with its pH-balancing formula designed to protect the hair’s cuticle layer from external oxidizers.
Although not strong on toning, this shampoo does a decent job at drawing out brassiness and illuminating blonde hair.
We love the quality ingredients, but there is a little hitch with the sulfate-free formula. We noticed sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate on the back of the bottle. Although not technically a sulfate, it is a surfactant that may dry the scalp when used frequently.
Otherwise, top marks for its clean, nourishing formula that leaves the hair feeling luxuriously soft and vibrant.
Amika Bust Your Brass Shampoo
Amika Bust Your Brass shampoo is fast becoming a favorite among beauty editors and hair colorists for its ability to knock out brassy tones, keep blonde color on point, and strengthen the hair’s elasticity to withstand breakage.
Allure magazine calls it the best option for those with super dry, brittle blonde hair and combating brassiness.
Cosmopolitan rates it for its paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and nutrient-rich formula that leaves the hair soft and super hydrated.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that one bottle can last you for over 4 months! The shampoo is highly pigmented (ultraviolet), so a small dollop is enough to lather and cover your entire head.
The Bold Uniq trio set is ideal for creating ice-cool blondes, dazzling silver, and ash tones with its stronger-than-ordinary purple toning formula.
We particularly love this shampoo because it has quality ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, marula oil, chamomile, vitamin E, and lavender oil, among many others. It’s packed with some serious goodness for bleached hair recovery. You feel it straight away after washing your hair.
The non-drying formula makes your hair feel lush, smooth, and cool. It’s so good you’ll forget that you even bleached your hair.
Keeping blonde hair blonde has never been easier.
Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo
Oribe’s Bright Blonde shampoo is like the Aurora Borealis, bottled.
It couches all the brightening and illuminating action for dull-looking hair in a rich and creamy shampoo intensified with pure violet and reflective pearlized pigments.
Both the shampoo and conditioner use Oribe’s signature complex recipe that combines watermelon, lychee, edelweiss flower, and a blend of other botanicals to create a potent antidote for oxidative hair stress like bleaching and chemical processing.
It also provides high-factor UV protection to shield your bleached hair from sun damage.
Kerastase Blond Absolu
It uses smart skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and brightening edelweiss flower to create an effective formula that helps bleach-damaged hair recover while neutralizing brassy tones and maintaining a cool blonde shade.
Kerastase Absolu is a hair care system that allows you to customize its products based on your blonde goals. Whether you’re after the sun-kissed ombre, platinum blonde, or gray hair, the system allows you to mix and match products to create the perfect solution that works for you.
As its tagline says:
“Whichever blonde you are. You dare. We care.”
Leonor Greyl Paris
The Leonor Greyl oil is a hydrating and protective pre-shampoo oil that prevents tangles and breakages. It adds a layer of lubrication on the hair cuticle to prevent shampoos from stripping. Simply massage into dry hair before shampooing or leave it on overnight before washday, then shampoo out.
Your bleached locks will thank you!
Fanola No Orange Shampoo
The Fanola No Orange shampoo uses rich blue pigments to tone and offset brassiness. It can correct undesired orange, copper, and red reflections in dark blonde, brunette, gray, and platinum hair colors.
Besides toning, the shampoo strengthens bleached hair to prevent dryness and breakage.
With over 24, 050 reviews and a 4.5 out of 5 rating at the time of writing this article, it is the most popular and best blue toning shampoo for bleached hair. Period.
Virtue Recovery shampoo
The Virtue brand is all about Alpha Keratin 60Ku – its unique differentiator.
Starting as a biotech hair company, a group of bio-scientists discovered how to collect keratin in its pure form (alpha keratin 60ku). Virtue subsequently developed this research further into an innovative formula – keratin that has the unique ability to adapt to its target host.
In other words, when you use a Virtue hair product, your hair recognizes its keratin as its own, and it’s immediately pulled to where it’s needed most.
Unlike other keratin treatments that take time to be ingested by the hair, Virtue products work faster to bind and reconstruct the hair.
This highly benefits bleached hair, which experiences significant keratin damage . Virtue Recovery refills the lost keratin, working strand by strand to mend the cortex.
And the results are impressive:
- After 4 applications, it’s proven to reduce frizz by 67%.
- After 5 applications, there is a 95% reduction in split ends.
- After 1 application, it increases hair thickness by 22%.
- After 5 applications, it increases color vibrancy by 138%.
Aphogee Shampoo for Bleached Damaged Hair
The Aphogee shampoo is a protein-rich treatment that helps to repair and strengthen bleached black hair. It’s also abundant in emollients and essential vitamins that work together to restore shine and pliability to damaged hair without harming the curl pattern. It’s best used after bleaching or relaxing services.
One beauty junkie who went as far as bleaching her hair twice, using 7 boxes of hair dyes for color correction, and chopping 7 inches because of the resulting damage claims the Aphogee shampoo has been a savior in restoring her hair.
Why Do You Need a Good Shampoo for Bleached Hair?
A good shampoo for bleached hair is essential because it strengthens, hydrates, and minimizes hair breakage. It repairs oxidative damage from bleaching and removes harmful oxidizers, maintaining a pH balance between 4.5 and 5.5 to prevent hair damage. Moreover, shampoos with additional toning capabilities can counteract brassy tones after bleaching. For example, violet toning shampoos can cancel yellow brassy tones, and blue toner shampoos can neutralize orange tones.
Buying Guide – What to Look for When Buying a Shampoo for Bleached Hair?
Here is a list of what to look for when buying a shampoo for bleached hair:
Sulfate-free, sodium chloride-free, moisturizing, pH-balanced.
Words like “neutralizing,” “pH balancing,” or “post-relaxer” often indicate the shampoo’s neutralizing properties.
Look for Hydrolyzed keratin, alpha keratin, and amino acid protein.
Look for Esters, Glycerin, vegetable oils and butters, and Polyquaternium.
- Toning (optional):
If your hair needs toning, check the shampoo label mentions “Toning” or “Toner” shampoo.
Check for shampoos with a pH range of 4.5 – 5.5.
- Color Pigment:
Depending on how you want to tone your hair, the color pigment must be chosen carefully.
Do You Have to Use a Neutralizing Shampoo After Bleaching?
It’s not mandatory to use a neutralizing shampoo after bleaching, but most hair colorists would advise doing so to help rebalance the hair’s pH. If you’re doing your treatment in a hair salon, your colorist will most likely use one to wash your hair after bleaching anyway.
But if you’re doing it yourself at home, follow the instructions properly and get a neutralizing shampoo.
Here are 2 reasons why you should use a neutralizing shampoo after bleaching or any kind of chemical processing:
- A neutralizing shampoo rebalances the hair and scalp’s pH.
- It washes out chemical deposit leftovers from bleaching treatments.
When to Use a Toning Shampoo After Bleaching?
Toner can be used 24-48 hours after bleaching.
Use a toning shampoo after bleaching if your hair has warm tones and brassiness or needs a color correction. However, it also depends on the condition of your hair. If your hair is damaged, you must not use a toner as it may cause more harm. Always consult with your hairdresser first. Since everyone’s hair reacts differently to bleaching treatments, assessing your hair is necessary.
Read more: Guide to toning hair after bleaching.
How to Wash Bleached Hair
- Use lukewarm water: Do not wash bleached hair with hot water. Steam from hot water will expand the cuticles and further weaken the hair strands.
- Use a shower filter: A shower filter makes the water softer for the hair, especially if you live in a hard water area.
- Use the correct shampoo: Choose a shampoo that is suitable for the condition of your hair after your bleaching treatment.
- Use conditioner: A conditioner seals the hair shaft to help lock in moisture. It also gives the hair more slip to help you detangle without causing knots and tangles, which can lead to breakage.
What Conditioner to Use on Bleached Hair?
The Redken Extreme Conditioner is a professional salon-grade product designed to moisturize and strengthen all types of damaged hair intensely. As an extension to the Redken Extreme Recovery range, it complements the bleach recovery shampoo to give your hair all the fortifying nutrients it needs to rebuild itself to its pre-bleached state.
Best Conditioner for Bleached Hair
Avoid Using Ordinary Shampoos on Bleached Hair
A good shampoo for bleached hair fortifies, rehydrates, removes brassiness, fixes high porosity, and removes oxidizers from the hair. The shampoo should progressively reverse the bleaching effect to nurse your hair back to its healthy state. It will also help you cut down on frequent salon visits for touch-ups.
You may not always need a toning shampoo. That depends on the bleaching results. Assess the condition of your hair first.
- Fix the critical part first to make your hair healthy again.
- Then worry about the aesthetics like toning and color correction.
About the Author
Shehnaz Shirazi has been writing in the beauty and cosmetics industry for over 8 years, sharing her expansive hair care and beauty knowledge. Shehnaz researches and tests new hair care trends and publishes her insights here.