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Can I ShamPHree/No-poo my color treated hair?

Hey babes. “Can I ShamPHree/No-poo my color treated hair?”

I have heard this question a lot lately, so I thought I would put together a little post about it. I did an experiment. I am not a scientist (but both my parents and both my sibs are, so it is in my blood to want to get to the bottom of things)

I took my mannequin, Diane. She had mostly virgin hair with a bold bleached chunk down the center. This was the perfect base to add color too, because I would be able to see the results on both virgin and bleached hair samples. I went to Walgreens and bought Feria Ruby Fusion. Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 8.12.09 PM

Over the next 2 weeks, I shampoo-ed the right half of her head 5 times. I ShamPHree-ed the left side of her head 5 times. I used a mid-range, mid-priced generic shampoo, and my usual ShamPHree routine, sans coconut oil.

NOW…….Before I give you results, I want you to understand a couple of things. There are several factors besides your shampoo and conditioner that contribute to color fading. The first one is the general health and state of your hair. Healthy, well moisturized hair retains and holds color better. The elements have a huge effect on color treated hair, namely, the sun. The sun dries out your hair, and fades your color. (Did you know that coconut oil is not only an amazing moisturizer for the hair, but also is a natural sunscreen that protects hair and skin from harmful rays?) The quality of color that you use on your hair has an effect as well.

*Also note that using mannequin hair is different than using human hair, because there is the factor of scalp oil production.

But back to my experiment;)

I applied the color evenly all over the head. It looked nice and shiny and rich cool red, with brighter highlights where it had been bleached. I thought for a minute that it was a shame to go and shampoo all that pretty color out. But I got over it fast, because I was eager for results.

To begin with, I shampoo-ed the dye out of both sides. This was because I felt that I needed the suds to remove the chemicals from the hair initially. I let the hair air dry. Over the next week, I did my halvsies experiment.

My observations….

The first thing I noticed was that a lot of color would come out in the suds of my shampoo side, and not as much from my ShamPHree side. This led me to conclude that ShamPHree simple is more gentle and removes less from the hair in general.

Half way through my experiment, I found that the bleach parts on my shampoo side were starting to look a bit dull and shallow, where the ShamPHree side appeared to retain it’s richness. This was another sign that less color molecules were being removed with ShamPHree. Good News! But I wasn’t surprised a bit, because I have witnessed the awesome changes in my own hair with this method.

Science time!

I also noticed that the shampoo side looked brassier, and the ShamPHree side looked cooler. As in less warm. As in blue-based red, not orange based red. This told me that the blue molecules within the haircolor were coming out faster with shampoo than with ShamPHree. And blue molecules always come out quickest, because they are the largest of all the colors so they don’t absorb as deeply into the cortex of the hair. So those of you who get brassy, ShamPHree will keep your cool tones longer. More good news.

Here are the after photos, ShamPHree on the left, Shampoo on the right. You can see the richness and shine on the left side and the shallow dullness on the right.


I want you color treated ladies to feel safe knowing that you can ShamPHree your hair. And know that it may not be  for everyone, but it is completely worth trying and sticking with. If you are concerned about your color fading with ShamPHree, I would recommend either not ShamPHree-ing with B.S. more than once a week because it can be a bit drying, and instead stick with more often ACV rinses OR ShamPHree-ing twice a week with a diluted BS mixture. Try using half the baking soda as the recipe calls for. You can also add a Teaspoon full of ACV to your BS mixture to bring the PH down a bit, thus keeping the cuticle of the hair tighter around those color molecules. Apply it in the shower on already-wet hair to do a lighter rinsing. And use a bit of extra ACV ( 2-3 Tablespoons) to pack a cuticle sealing punch to your color treated hair.

*Some of you may have read that you can use a concentrated BS mixture to strip out unwanted hair color, and this is true. You can also use dishsoap, which is basically concentrated shampoo. My point is that baking soda can be stripping, just as shampoo is. That is why I say to dilute it so it is a lighter wash to preserve your color.

If you have not followed my personal no-poo journey, here is some more testimonial. My conclusion is simply this, which I have known all along. ShamPHree is a gentle and economical way to honor your hair. It doesn’t strip away the good stuff……hair color, or natural scalp and hair protecting oils. So to all my rockabilly-red haired mamas, I say go for it. For ShamPhree troubleshooting and different hair types, click here!




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