Does the New Kerastase Paris Chroma Sensitive Cleansing Balm Prevent Hair Color from Fading?

Published in: Hair, Product Reviews

Good morning and happy hump day, babe. πŸ™‚ Just a quick heads up for the cuties with color-treated hair and the silicone-free product enthusiasts out there.


Luxury line Kerastase Paris has come out with a pricey yet promising new shampoo. It’s called Chroma Sensitive Cleansing Balm ($42 for a 6.8-oz. bottle), a low-foam cleanser designed to gently clean without washing away hair color.

Kerastase claims, among other things, that their low-foam, low-friction “Color Protect System,” a mix of a mild cleansing agent (1/4 of the recipe) and a deep conditioning agent (the other 3/4), smoothes the surface of each hair, preventing color pigments from escaping.

They suggest using it for the first three shampoos following a color service, and then alternating every other wash with your regular shampoo.

I recently got some chunky caramel highlights, but I’ve shampooed quite a few times since then, so I’m able to follow the direction to a tee (this time), but I’m still giving it a try now with high hopes.

I’ve only used it a few times so far, and at this point I haven’t seen any impact on my highlights, which could mean it’s working; however, beyond its color-preserving qualities, I am already liking how well it detangles. I also like that it doesn’t make my scalp feel all flaky and funky (the telltale signs of a bad shampoo). Oh, and I think it smells great too, like red gummy bears (weird, I know!).


Washing with it isn’t like washing with a traditional/regular foaming shampoo because the texture is closer to a conditioner. It’s thick and doesn’t lather up into a fluffy foam. I’m a fervent believer in frequent conditioner washing, so it reminds me of that, but if you’re used to shampoos with scrubbing bubbles, it might take some time to adjust.

It’s straight up salon expensive, but that’s Kerastase for ya. If you’re a fan of the line, swear by silicone-free hair products, and/or you’re planning a color change soon, you might want to give it a try.

PRICE: $42
AVAILABILITY: At select salons and beauty stores
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+ (tentatively for now)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Vijaya says:

    I was looking for a good detangler. Since I color my hair, this may be worth it. MAYBE. $42 bucks IS steep.
    Vijaya recently posted … Shiro Cosmetics- A Series Of Tubes Part II- The Intertubes

  2. Nina says:

    that looks pretty interesting …. but my wallet says no! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      It happens sometimes. πŸ™‚

      • Nina says:

        ive been somewhat good about not buying a lot these days. i kinda give shopping up for lent, with some allowances.

        no new collections or impulse purchases will be allowed between yesterday til easter. only replenishment of staples (eg skincare) will be allowed.

        its gonna be a tough 40 days!

  3. Caroline says:

    I’ve never liked 2in1 (schampoo+conditioner) but this one seems more like a conditioner than a schampoo right?
    Caroline recently posted … IsaDora Jungle Fever Bronzing Makeup Collection 2011

  4. Cassy says:

    Going off the uses so far, how long do you think the bottle will last you? Also, are you using it with a matching conditioner? It really sounds like something I would like, but I’m afraid with my long hair, I wouldn’t get enough uses to make it worth the money (plus I really like my Ouidad conditioner, so I don’t want to have to buy a different brand conditioner)
    Cassy recently posted … FOTD-OOTD hanging out with one of my bffs

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cassy,

      Since I’m alternating it with another shampoo (and I don’t use much shampoo anyway), I’m guessing four months? I haven’t tried the matching conditioner, btw.

      I’ve heard GREAT things about Ouidad. Honestly, if it works for you and your hair likes it you might want to think of just sticking to it. Good stuff that works for curly girls is hard to find.

  5. D says:

    Do you think you can use this for when you get your hair chemically straightened? It seems to me it might work for that, too…

    • Karen says:

      Hi D,

      You’d probably want to check with your stylist, but I think it might be okay. I checked the bottle and it doesn’t really say anything about it not being suitable for chemically straightened hair.

      Is there anybody else out there with chemically straightened hair who can weigh in on this? That would be fab. πŸ™‚

  6. Cassie says:

    Ooow, that’s so expensive for a shampoo. I’m perfectly happy with my drugstore brands at the moment, but was thinking of colouring my hair since I’d love a rich brown shade. So I’ll need to look into these colour protectant hair care stuff that I never bothered with before. Another beauty researsch area I can dedicate my time into!
    Cassie recently posted … Tag- How much Is my Face Worth

  7. Kim says:

    Color protecting is such an issue (particularly for reds), so anyone going 8 or more weeks between colors might find this to be a good investment, if it works. I’d be worried that it would weigh my hair down and figure that’s probably why the manufacturer recommends alternating. That said, I’ve always been tempted to try Pureology but haven’t done it because of the price. I think this would be in the same category for me, especially since I color every 4 weeks anyway. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      You’re so right about red being a tough color to keep up. I did it once years ago and it was a huge challenge. Do you ever use a color-depositing shampoo? I found that was one thing that really helped a lot.

  8. Tiffany says:

    OMG expensive. and I’d have to worry about my husband using it, haha.

    • Karen says:

      I caught El Hub using my Bumble & Bumble stuff once… as a BODY WASH. Oh, he was in big trouble! I now hide the expensive stuff from him.

      • Tiffany says:

        boys are so clueless. I caught mine using my fekkai shampoo back when I used that, and he used SO MUCH of it at once. I’m like, your hair is only like an inch long! and why aren’t you using your own shampoo?! apparently his bottle had been empty for who knows how long but he never remembered to take it out of the shower and throw it away. ugh. boys!

        • Kate Williamson says:

          I had my cousin and her family over for a week. Both adults and three kids were using my Kerastase Oleo-Relax shampoo and conditioner! $100 worth of product gone in a week. I was away for work and came home to two empty bottles of Kerastase…not to mention two tubes of Skinceuticals Ultimate UV Defense sunscreen that they had been using on their bodies at the beach!

          • Karen says:

            OMG, heartbreak! I used to wear Skinceuticals and that stuff is an arm and a leg… holy crap, that would make me so grumpy.

  9. The best color protector I’ve ever used is WEN Conditioning Cleanser. It brought my color back so much people actually asked if I’d had my colored–I hadn’t it just came from using WEN! It doesn’t foam either but it makes my hair shiny, soft and bright. Around $26 for a huge bottle. I know I sound like a commercial but it’s that great. Have done a few posts on my blog on it.
    Cindy (Prime Beauty) recently posted … 6 Beauty Problem Solvers You Need Now!

  10. Jenn says:

    Ooo I’m intrigued by this! The next time I color my hair I might have to try it. Did you take these photos today? How is it sunny in the bay area and overcast in Redding?? ha ha.

    • Karen says:

      I took them yesterday afternoon! So how do you like living in Redding? I have family members on El Hub’s side who live there.

      • Jenn says:

        It’s pretty cool; I’m actually from good ol’ Minnesota so this was a big weather change for me! Quick question: why do you go for hair products with no silicone? Are there advantages to that or are you allergic? I’m just curious cuz I am always lookin for new hair products! Thanks Karen!

  11. Trisha says:

    Red gummy bears! That scent alone makes me want to buy it. I also love the packaging.

    Definitely get back to us on how well it keeps your color. I dye my hair and it always fades back to my natural hair color in a few months, even when I use the most permanent dye you can get. I hate it.
    Trisha recently posted … My eBooks Now For Amazon Kindle Plus Price Reduction

  12. gio says:

    OMG that’s expensive! I’m actually quite curious to try but I just can’t bring myself to spend that much on a shampoo!
    gio recently posted … QOTW- Do you prefer your lipglosses to be sheer or pigmented

  13. BeautyMaven says:

    OMG I bet that DOES smell good!! I love the brand– a pal gave me some to try– but I just can’t spend that much… I found a mask at TJMaxx that was still $25. Eek!
    BeautyMaven recently posted … No worries!!

  14. Sounds like this product has potential – too bad that I’m dying my (faded) red back to brown in a couple of weeks. recently posted … A Permed Return

  15. Tracy says:

    I’ve often thought of trying this brand, but just never bit the $ bullet. But, as a curly haired girl who also colors, it may be worth a spluge. I do the conditioner wash too, and I’m currently using Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla shampoo, which really seems to make me tangle-free, and is really gentle. But, its good to shake up your routine with a new product now and then!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for the tip on the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla shampoo. Do you know if it’s silicone-free?

      • Tracy says:

        Hi Karen,

        Yes, it is. Their line is touted as “natural”, which is why I decided to try it, as I like using natural products. This shampoo has no silicones, parabens or sulfates. It may not lather extensively without the sulfates, but I feel it cleans my hair and scalp quite well without all the build-up, dryness or dullness sulfates can cause when I use them. Dry, dull and frizzy curls are a “fail”! πŸ˜‰ The Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie is a nice treat once a week for some extra moisture/conditioning, too.

  16. I’ve used other Kerastase products that I’ve loved. But $42 is steep! Though, when you alternate with another shampoo, it can potentially last much longer.

  17. jello says:

    I live and work in NYC and its pouring today (i.e. AWESOME hair weather – not). Plus, I have naturally curly hair and have the brazilian treatment in so I need to use sulfate free shampoo and I read about this in a magazine and used it for the first time this morning. A coworker asked me if I had a “bumpit” in my hair, I was like WHAT???? She’s like “your hair has SO MUCH body today!” Yeah, Im pretty much SOLD FOR LIFE on this stuff! πŸ™‚ Worth every penny!

  18. Lucy says:

    I have curly highlighted hair and I’m thinking about trying the no sulfates or silicone thing, the only problem is that just after colour ( as I am now) I just can’t seem to detangle without silicone. Is most Kerastase sulfate or silicone free, do you know? I don’t know if you can get Liz Earle in the US, but her new shampoos and conditioners are sulf and silc free, and they’re really good.

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