What Shampoos Do the Best Job of Keeping the Color in Dyed Hair?

4.3 based on 13 ratings

Updated on May 06, 2014

Grade Level: 6th and up; Type: Consumer Science


Students will discover which brands of “anti-fade” shampoos work the best to keep dyed hair color looking fresh--or whether they even make a difference versus regular shampoo.

Research Questions:

There are many kinds of shampoo formulated for different hair types out on the market today. You can find shampoos that claim to be specifically created for fine, coarse, curly, and even bi-racial hair. Almost every shampoo company has created a shampoo labeled “for colored-hair.” However, is this just another marketing gimmick or are the ingredients truly effective for the job?


  • Various brands of “anti-fade”or “formulated for color-treated hair” shampoos such as:
    • Loreal Color Vive
    • Pureology Hydrate
    • Pantene Pro-V for colored hair
  • Regular cleansing shampoo not labeled for colored hair
  • Test subjects (as many as you can get) who have colored hair
  • Pen and paper for notes

Experimental Procedure

  1. Take a photo under controlled lighting of the test subject's hair right after it has been colored so you can refer back to it to compare later on. It will be even better if you can ask if your test subject minds snipping just a little hair out for reference purposes.
  2. Give each of your test subjects “trials” of each of your chosen shampoos. Instruct them to use each product consecutively for at least 20 shampoos.
  3. The next time your test subject recolors their hair when it fades, tell them to use the next brand of shampoo. Again, this experiment is not designed for instant results as hair color takes time to fade. We do not want to use a color stripper here or the results will not be accurate.
  4. Make sure your test subject records how long it took for them to notice fading with each shampoo.
  5. At the conclusion of the study, find the average time it took for each trial shampoo to fade for all of your test subjects put together.
  6. Evaluate your results and see which one performed the best and adhered to its claims.
Suggested Chart

Average Time It Took To Fade
Shampoo #1

Shampoo #2

Shampoo #3

Terms/Concepts: hair color/ dye; sodium laureth sulfate; anti-fade shampoo; the composition of human hair


Sofia PC is currently a college student with a deep interest in science who is aspiring to become a writer. She writes about all sorts of things across all subjects including, but not limited to; science, crafts, and fashion. She hopes to become a good writer so she can share her thoughts and experiences with the world and future generations.

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