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Wella Color Preserve: a Reasonably-Priced Salon Shampoo That WORKS? Yes!

By Amalah

Hi Amy,
Happy New Year! To kick it off right, I’m shopping for a new moderately-priced salon shampoo. I’m currently using BedHead’s Oatmeal and Honey shampoo and conditioner, but I don’t really love it. I’ve also used Back to Basics and a variety of other BedHead products (Control Freak and Moisture Maniac). I haven’t really LOVED any of them enough to shell out $20 again. A little about my hair: just above shoulder length, colored, wavy but blowed straight. If I don’t shampoo every day, my roots feel a little greasy but it doesn’t usually look too bad. Any suggestions, oh she of beautiful hair and wealth of beauty knowledge?
Shampoo Shopping

I do! I do have a suggestion! Which I will get to with the shortest amount of yakking ever. Prepare to be amazed at my brevity.

First off, I totally agree with you on the BedHead shampoos and conditioners. I LOVE Bedhead styling products, but have never found their shampoos to be anything amazing. They aren’t terrible and they are better than anything on the drugstore shelf, but once you crack the $15 price range you might as well use something you really love.

So I’ve been a loyal Pureology user for a long time now, despite the high price. You know, if you LOVE something, it’s easier to just grit your teeth and starting singing LA LA LA LA really loudly at the cashier as she rings you up. (I also do that thing where I buy my shampoo and conditioner when I get a haircut or highlights, so I’m expecting an expensive outing, but am not confronted with the individual cost of any one thing.) (Does anyone else do that?) (Eek, don’t answer that.)

But Pureology recently raised their prices. AGAIN. Unless you buy it online (and pay for shipping), chances are you’ll be paying OVER $25 a bottle. For the same size bottle as always, which honestly isn’t that big to begin with, especially for someone who needs to shampoo every day. I love love love the stuff, but at my last hair appointment I finally told my stylist I was crying uncle and needed a cheaper recommendation.

He recommended Wella Color Preserve. I’d used the hydrating version years ago after a particularly harsh summer of sand and sun, and I really, really liked it. But then my salon stopped stocking it. This time I picked up the volumizing shampoo and conditioner — both for around $15. And I LOVE THEM. I would say I love them even more than Pureology, although it could just be that my hair really needed a lineup change after months and months of the same stuff. My hair is bouncy and my color hasn’t faded and I don’t need to use very much for a good lather. I do think I may need to add a once-weekly deep-conditioning treatment back in to my routine, but hell, I can mash up an avocado and save even more money.

For your hair, you might want to try the “smoothing” version to help with your blow-drying, or mix-and-match with the hydrating line. If you don’t want to order online and aren’t sure where to find it near you (it’s certainly not as common or trendy as Bumble & Bumble or other salon lines, and I have NEVER seen it crop up in the usual grey-market suspects), you can actually just Google “Wella Color Preserve” and the name of your city or state for any salons that carry it. Some beauty supply stores carry it as well. (Next time I buy some I’m going to try to find the 32-ounce mammoth bottle for $25.)

It’s worth the hunt, though. Awesome product for a very awesome price.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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bethany actually

I also do the thing where I buy my shampoo, conditioner, and styling products when I am already paying for a cut and highlights.
I’m gonna look for the Wella Color Preserve–that sounds like a good deal!


Perfect timing. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m just about out of my Bumble and Bumble Treatment stuff. My hair appointment isn’t for another week and I was already dreading what the tab was going to be with cut, color AND products. I was thinking of buying cheap drugstore stuff to tide me over. Instead I ordered the WELLA Color Preserve Repairing Hair Care Kit which includes conditioner, shampoo and strengthening foam for just $39.95 at (minus a 10% off coupon!).


similar hair and I LOVE the redken for color treated hair (stuff in the red bottle). LOVE.
My hair feels super clean and shiny and not at all weighed down.
Anyway, that my 2 cents.


Perfect timing indeed! I was running out the Pureology volumizing shampoo and conditioner and I couldn’t do it when faced the $25 price to replace it.
I just went and found me a bottle to try on (free shipping!).


I love Wella products! I usually alter between using Wella and Sebastian shampoos/conditioners. Does really well with my colored hair.
I’ve been able to find it at any Ulta that I go to.


This may be a stupid question, but…does the Wella stuff work well if your hair isn’t color-treated? I imagine it would, because despite being its natural color, my hair is pretty dry and can use some smoothing and general nourishment. But…just to be sure.