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It happens to everyone — a couple of weeks go by, and you notice your once-vibrant hair color is fading. While you could schedule a visit to your local salon for a touch-up, if you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective way to keep your color fresh between visits, consider one of the best color-depositing conditioners. Never heard of a color-depositing conditioner? Don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you.

What is a color-depositing conditioner?

Whether it’s due to heat styling, sun damage, or simply time passing, all hair fades and requires some maintenance. This where a color-depositing conditioner can become your saving grace. Color-depositing conditioners are basically conditioners that contain a small amount of pigment, used to either preserve and amplify color-treated hair or neutralize unwanted brassy tones (typically found in blonde and naturally gray hair). Used either once a week or in place of your regular conditioner, a color depositing conditioner added to your routine will make you look like you stepped out of the salon after every wash.

Can you make your own color-depositing conditioner?

If a color-depositing conditioner is simply a white conditioner mixed with semi-permanent hair dye, can’t you just make your own color-depositing conditioner? Well, it’s not that simple. While it may seem like a tempting and cost-effective DIY, you will regret whipping up your own mixture in the long run. Semi-permanent hair dyes, while safe to use on hair, contain drying alcohols and acids that can mess up the blend of emollient ingredients found in conditioners. By making your own color-depositing conditioner, what you’ll end up with, at best, is a conditioner that adds a small amount of pigment to the hair but barely hydrates it. At worst, you can end up creating a chemically unbalanced mixture that actually damages hair, leaving it frizzy and drier the more you use it.

CHI Ionic Color Illuminate - Mahogany Red

7. Best Color-Depositing Conditioner for Red Hair

If there’s one hair color that needs be actively maintained with a color depositing conditioner, it’s any (and every) shade of red. Because the red hair molecule is larger than other molecules, red dye can’t fully penetrate the hair shaft, meaning color can begin fading as soon as the first wash post-salon visit. To ensure your red hair stays vibrant, reach for a conditioner, like this one from the CHI Ionic Illuminate series in the shade Mahagony Red, to keep your burgundy tresses looking as luxurious as when you stepped out of the salon.



CHI Ionic Color Illuminate Color enhancing conditioners provide balanced color replenishment in between salon services. Color Illuminate directly deposits color dyes or tones in one easy conditioning step. Featuring Silk Amino Complex which contains ceramic, amino acids and silk that deeply penetrate the hair cuticle for ultimate color deposit and moisture delivery.

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