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How Do I Choose the Best Brunette Shampoo?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore

Due to the increasing prevalence of color-treated hair, more consumers are using special shampoos to prevent fading. A quality brunette shampoo deposits brown pigments into your hair every time that you wash it. In some cases, you can stick with a general all-purpose color-treated shampoo if you cannot find one specifically for brown hair. If your hair is not color-treated, you might still reap the benefits of certain brunette shampoos that are designed to enhance your natural hue. Keep in mind that a brunette shampoo should be accompanied by the use of a treated conditioner in order to maintain your hair color.

One type of brunette shampoo is specifically designed for color-treated hair. If you have brown highlights or all-over color, these kinds of shampoos are meant to keep the tones from fading. They work by depositing color into your hair and also protect your strands from elements that make it fade, such as sunlight and chlorine. Regular color shampoos for treated hair can also be used if you cannot locate a specific version for brunette locks. These cleansers also help to protect your color from fading; the primary difference is that the shampoos do not deposit any brown pigments into your hair.

Brunette shampoos should keep dark hair color from fading.
Brunette shampoos should keep dark hair color from fading.

Other types of brunette shampoos are made for brown hair that is not color-treated. If you have brunette hair and want to add extra shine to it, then you might consider using this type of cleanser. A quality version will add pigments into your hair each time that you wash it, giving your locks the illusion of natural highlights. Keep in mind that you want to choose a cleaner and not a rinse; the latter type is primarily designed as a method of temporary all-over color. Brunette shampoos are generally sold at beauty supply stores, but you can also find them online.

Using color-treated shampoos will not be as beneficial if you do not use an accompanying conditioner of the same type of product. Even though a brunette shampoo is designed to deposit some color into your hair, the washing process strips your cuticle of oils which can then dry out and fade any highlights that you may have. A brunette conditioner should be used in conjunction with a brown shampoo in order to moisturize the cuticle and to help to maintain your color. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to use the exact same brand, but results of a particular brand of shampoo are often enhanced by the conditioner within the same line.

Discussion Comments

Not every brunette shampoo is the same. Some simply make hair shiny, others have color pigments in them that deposit into the hair and almost re-color it. Make sure to look for this specification when shopping.

@ysmina-- Is your hair colored or a natural brunette?

I'm a natural brunette but I had some light brown highlights in my hair and I bought a high-end shampoo for brunettes to make my highlights more apparent. They had faded somewhat because it had been about three months since I got them.

This shampoo really worked! I saw a slight difference the first time I used it but by the fourth time, my highlights were much more apparent and vibrant than before.

I don't know how it might work for those who don't have naturally brown hair and I can't say anything about lower-cost brunette shampoos. But I think it's worth a try.


I saw a shampoo for brunettes at the store the other day. The label said that it makes brunette hair color and highlights more vibrant and shiny. So it was claiming more than just preventing color from fading.

Has anyone tried one of these? Does it work? I don't want to pay for if it if it's not going to deliver.

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    • Brunette shampoos should keep dark hair color from fading.
      By: Valua Vitaly
      Brunette shampoos should keep dark hair color from fading.