Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Color-Enhancing Shampoos

Q: Years ago - sometime in the last 25 years or so - I used to buy a shampoo at my local grocery store or discount store that was made to bring out the highlights of different colors of natural hair. Not color treated hair. There were probably at least five (5) different options, from very blonde to light brown, dark brown, black etc.. Of course one could use any of them on any color hair to bring out highlights. They didn't 'color' the hair, but had different ingredients that picked up different shades.
A: I believe you're referring to the "herbal" shampoos that were formulated to enhance the highlights and colors of different hair. They included a "redhead" formula with ginger root, a "brunette" formula with walnut leaves, and "blonde" formula with chamomile and marigold.
Today, the products are more direct, and most color-enhancing shampoo comes in formulas that deposit small amounts of color to gradually enhance the natural color of the hair. You can still find color-enhancing shampoos without color-deposit formulas and the one you're most likely to recognize is Pantene. The Pantene line includes Pro-V Blonde Expressions, Pro-V Red Expressions, Pro-V Brunette Expressions, and Pro-V Midnight Expressions, and Pro-V Silver Expressions. These shampoos and conditioners use natural ingredients to try to enhance the shine, depth and luster of the hair according to its color.
In these shampoos, the key elements are shine enhancers, which make the hair more reflective and therefore increase the contrast in the highlights and lowlights that occur naturally. By adding in herbal ingredients to affect specific hair problems based on the color (for instance, using chamomile extract to combat brassiness in blondes, and wild-cherry bark to enhance reds) these shampoos help to energize the colors they are designed to enhance.
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