The world may never know if blondes really have more fun, but one thing is for sure, blonde hair requires more maintenance. In addition to investing in (and actually using) a purple shampoo To combat mashing and moisturizing and protecting products to restore chemically lightened hair, another way to stretch out your salon appointments (and keep your blonde hair shiny) is to use a lightening shampoo. According to hairstylist and salon owner Jenna Perry, the best shampoos for lightening blonde hair are free of peroxide and ammonia. “These are really drying and can definitely do some damage,” Perry says of bleaches that should be left to the pros. “Instead, you want to look for citrus ingredients, like oranges or lemons, fruit extracts, or flower extracts that naturally brighten and lift,” says Perry, who adds that moisturizing ingredients like Sunflower seed oil is also useful for blondes. Perry also shares that lightening shampoos can be used by both treated and natural blondes, and that natural blondes can even expect more noticeable results. “I think with virgin hair, you don’t have a lot of other products on your hair, so it’s easier to get that lighter tone at home,” says Perry.
Jenna Perry is a colorist and founder of Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York. She has over 15 years of professional experience, with an ever-growing list of celebrity clients that includes Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa and Kendall Jenner.
How to use a lightening shampoo
One of the reasons Perry says skin-lightening shampoos are so popular is their simplicity. But there are still a few guidelines to follow. “I wouldn’t recommend using a lightening shampoo every time you wash your hair,” says Perry, advising you to stick to about once a week and use a good moisturizing formula Between. “You don’t need to let the shampoo sit on the hair, just wash it out thoroughly – really massage it in and work it into a good lather – then rinse it out.” Results are instantaneous, according to Perry, although they will vary depending on your hair color. “If you have natural, unprocessed hair, I think you get about twice the volume, whereas with processed hair, it would be a more subtle change,” Perry shares. And you’ll also want to follow up with a brightening conditioner to get the maximum benefits. “They go together.”
Shop the best shampoos to lighten blonde hair
Press? Here are the best shampoos for lightening blonde hair:
- The best shampoo for lightening blonde hair: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo
- Best sulfate-free shampoo for lightening blonde hair: Noughty Blondie Locks Shampoo
- Best shampoo and conditioner duo for lightening blonde hair: Klorane Blond Highlights Chamomile Shampoo & Conditioner
1. Pro’s Choice: Best Overall
“For use at home, I love – and have actually used a little on my own hair – the John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo“, Perry says of his top recommendation. The ammonia- and peroxide-free formula uses a combination of chamomile and lemon peel extracts, and yellow pigments, to lighten natural and colored blondes. To keep your hair hydrated and soft, the shampoo also contains ingredients like sunflower seed extract, glycerin, and grape seed extract. You will definitely want to use the auxiliary Go Blonder Conditioner along with this one, and the brand also offers several other products dedicated to lightening blonde hair.
Relevant notice: “I love that Go Blonder works from the first use. You actually see the color lighter on your wet hair after shampooing. It doesn’t work drastically, but lightens your hair a little with each shampoo.
Active ingredients: Lemon peel extract, chamomile flower extract, yellow pigments Other Beneficial ingredients: Turmeric Root Extract, Sunflower Seed Extract, Glycerin, Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Cut: 8.3 oz.
2. Best sulfate-free shampoo for lightening blonde hair
If you have completely given up sulphates and silicones, Noughty’s Blondie Locks Shampoo has been developed to be particularly gentle on chemically treated hair. Lemon peel extract and chamomile flower extract are the ingredients that help lighten blonde hair, while a blend of 11 amino acids that includes glycine, arginine and alanine have been specially chosen to help hydrate and strengthen bleached hair. In addition to being free of other potential irritants like parabens, phthalates, and petrochemicals, Noughty is vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.
Relevant notice: “I love this shampoo for my color treated hair. My hair is short with blonde highlights and this shampoo leaves it feeling clean and brightened. Love the light scent too. I will be repurchasing.”
Active ingredients: Lemon peel extract, chamomile flower extract Other Beneficial Ingredients: Glycerin, nutmeg oil, amino acids Cut: 8.4 oz.
3. The best shampoo and conditioner duo for lightening blonde hair
As Perry recommended earlier, you always want to use the complementary brightening conditioner with your shampoo, and Klorane packs their Shampoo and conditioner for blonde highlights together. Both formulas contain chamomile flower extract to help brighten blonde tones in a paraben- and silicone-free formula, and the conditioner gives you a little extra hydration with added glycerin and vitamin E.
Relevant notice: “This is a great shampoo. I am naturally blonde and this shampoo enhances the natural highlights of my hair. It also smells great and makes my hair feel silky smooth and light. […]”
Active ingredients: chamomile extract Other Beneficial Ingredients: Vitamin E Cut: 13.5 oz.
You might also like: This lightening shampoo for blonde hair
If you’re hesitant about using a shampoo that can alter your color, try a lightening formula instead. Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo won’t alleviate your hair, but it will help enhance and brighten your blonde color with ingredients that have been selected to neutralize chlorine and remove trace minerals that can contribute to brassiness and dullness. You’ll also get plenty of hydrating, fortifying, and stimulating benefits from ingredients like arginine, hydrolyzed keratin, and tamanu oil.
Relevant notice: “Love this shampoo…my hair always looks a bit more blonde after use…much better than the purple stuff…glad my hairdresser recommended it!”
Beneficial ingredients: Coconut Oil, Arginine, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tamanu Oil, Monoi Oil Cut: 33.8 oz.
Jenna Perrycolorist and founder of Jenna Perry Hair Studio in New York
Hair and amino acids: interactions and effects, by Eiko Oshimura, Hiroshi Abe, Rina Oota; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17728935/