If you’ve dark hair, the verdict of our testers is that there’s some virtue in using a product that’s specifically targeted at the deeper, more chocolate-y tones of hair, to keep colour rich, prevent fading and boost shine. And of quite a few different brunette haircare options trialled, these, declare our valiant Beauty Bible testers, are the dark stars.


GOLD AWARD - John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Shampoo

Having pioneered specific blonde haircare, John Frieda then turned his attention to brunettes. (And we were right there all those years ago, at the glitzy launch in the Swiss Alps!) And the first to launch in this category is still the best, according to our dark-haired testers, who also rated the ‘matching’ conditioner to this product ‘Best in Show’. It sets out to create a richer, more lustrous brown shade with every shampoo, infusing deep brunette tones, natural or otherwise. We really recommend following with the Visibly Deeper Colour Deepening Conditioner as that delivered the very best results for our testers. (There’s also a Deep Treatment, which the panellists didn’t get to try – but if these push your buttons, definitely worth a go.)


‘Lovely product that spread well, massaged in easily, lathered really well and rinsed easily. No eye irritation! It gave my thick brown hair a noticeable shine that many people commented on. It also seemed to enhance the different shades of colour in my hair’ • ‘I really liked this product and was pleasantly surprised that I didn't need to use as much shampoo as usual - I normally get through large amounts. It gave my hair shine and gloss and made it look healthy. I had lots of positive comments and family members with similar hair have been buying some’ • ‘My hair felt moisturised and light, and was a dream to style and blow dry.  It stayed in really good shape for two whole days, which is not usual - I ordinarily need to wash it daily.  My scalp felt really clean and wasn't irritated in the slightest’ • ‘My hair looks and feels brilliant and the colour appears deeper and richer, a more pronounced brunette than before. I have been hunting for a shampoo that delivers what this product does and am delighted to find it’ • ‘A decent shampoo that cleansed well and made my naturally brunette hair look shiny, glossy and richer in tone’ • ‘Both this shampoo and the matching conditioner are amazing - I just wish I had discovered them sooner! They work best together and leave my hair looking the best it's ever been.  I have even mentioned them to my hairdresser as I think they are better than the products available in the salon. I've been having regular colour treatments to restore my natural deep brown colour.  After using both this shampoo and conditioner, I no longer needed regular all over colour, just a touching up of the roots.  Just amazing!’ • ‘My scalp was surprisingly comfortable after use. I suffer from a very sensitive and itchy scalp and would normally never use product with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate in it, but surprisingly this shampoo didn't cause any irritation whatsoever’ • ‘Lovely shampoo that really gives shine to lack lustre hair. It was smoother and softer, the colour was deeper and there was no frizz at all.’

£6.99 for 250ml - click to buy


SILVER & BEAUTY STEAL AWARD - Creightons Beautiful Brunette Shampoo

An impressive performance for something that’s about as affordable as haircare gets, from a tried-and-trusted beauty, proud-to-be-made-in-England name that’s been around for as long as we can remember. A gentle formula to protect hair, it features Pro-vitamin B5 and built-in sunscreens, but unlike the John Frieda product doesn’t actively deposit colour on your hair. So if you want simply to protect your brunette hair tone, rather than enrich it, this is a total steal.


‘This has very illuminating properties. My hair is shining, the colour brighter and it’s more manageable. It looks very healthy, alive, soft and shiny’ • ‘It was very easy to squeeze out the right amount of the shampoo. I felt the design of the tube minimises wastage and is very practical. It was extremely easy to apply and washing my hair was quick and easy. It lathered up sufficiently and filled the shower with a lovely aroma. I really enjoyed the fresh clean fragrance. Even my husband commented on how nice my hair smelled and he doesn't usually notice that kind of thing’ • ‘My semi-permanent colour looked great, and my hair is lovely, shiny and very healthy, also definitely more manageable than with my usual shampoo. Very easy to comb through and style. It looked good when I blow-dried it and there were no flyaways at all. A really fantastic shampoo and an absolute bargain with all the benefits of a high end product’ • ‘Very easy to use. It lathered up well on the first wash, then it rinsed out well without pulling my hair. I gave it a second wash and it lathered up more. Hair felt clean and tangle free. NO stinging to eyes. Hair looked brighter, soft and shiny. It was manageable and frizz free for three days. I usually wash my hair every other day. I didn't need to with this’ • ‘The shampoo comes in an upside down squeezable plastic tube with a hard plastic opening at the bottom. The tube sits upside down in the shower, ensuring that the product is right at the bottom and can be squeezed out to the last drop, without any wastage.’

£1.99 for 250ml - click to buy