How do Purple Shampoos Work?

What Is Purple Shampoo?

If you are salon blonde, you know it can be a pain to keep your hair color looking bright, vibrant and beautiful. Blonde hair can easily pick up unwanted tones due to various factors such as lifestyle, smoke, and external elements. If you have hard water or spend much of your time in the sun and wind (especially in the summer), your initial coloring that looked bright, vibrant, and gorgeous can quickly lose its luster and turn brassy and dull.

One of the most effective ways to fight brassy or orange tones when your blonde dye begins to fade is using a purple shampoo. Purple based shampoo is designed to refresh the color and neutralize unwanted yellow tones that your hair picks up over time. This shampoo will brighten up color, making your hair look as though it’s just been serviced at the salon. It helps extend the life of your color and prolong the time between color services. A purple-based shampoo has a thick consistency and contains active violet pigment, giving it an intensely dark purple color.


How does a Purple Shampoo Work?

A purple color-correcting shampoo is specially formulated to brighten up the blonde, cancelling out the appearance of the yellow base color and hiding brassy tones. It works simply because opposing colors on the color wheel neutralize each other when combined. Since violet is the opposite color of yellow, the purple pigments in the shampoo work to neutralize the yellow pigments found in blonde hair. If you have yellow tones, using a purple shampoo can help in restoring your hair color. When mixed together, yellow and violet produce a pale beige or white, which explains why washing the hair with purple shampoo will take brassy, yellow tones out of blonde hair and help maintain bright hair color.

Six Great Purple Toning Shampoos for Gray Hair

Who is a Purple Shampoo Designed for?

In order to combat an unsightly color combination and keep natural brightness, you need to tone your blonde hair occasionally. A good purple shampoo is one of the most reliable products to do this.

Blonde hair: Purple colored shampoo is most often used by individuals who have bleached or dyed blonde hair. The cool tones of the shampoo help counteract the brassy tones, giving the hair a brighter color.

Those with platinum blonde locks need a purple shampoo to make their blonde platinum color more vibrant and to keep the brass away.

Individuals with natural blonde hair often use a purple shampoo to get rid of yellow tones.

Even if you have soft caramel highlights in your beautiful brown hair, purple shampoo helps to keep the brass away.

Brunettes with blonde highlights can make use of purple shampoo as well. The toning violet pigment helps keep the brass away without affecting hair color.

Grey hair: Individuals with gray hair would also benefit from occasionally using purple shampoo. These shampoos will mask yellow that can appear in white hair while improving shine.

Virgin hair: Violet based shampoo may slightly tint virgin hair, while bleached hair will get more benefits from purple toning shampoo. Since hair that has gone through extensive lightening is more porous than natural hair, it tends to absorb the pigments more easily and quicker than virgin hair.

How to Use Purple Shampoo?

It is best to start using this product a few weeks after your color service to maintain the brightness of your color and to prevent the blonde from becoming dull.

These products aren’t intended for daily use. Wash your hair with purple shampoo once a week or whenever your hair needs it, and keep using your regular shampoo between uses.

Rinse your hair in warm water before applying the shampoo. Using hot water will cause the hair shaft to expand and allow for better penetration of the purple pigment.

Apply shampoo liberally to your hair and let it sit for 1 to 5 minutes. If your hair is very yellow, let the purple shampoo sit for about 5-7 minutes. Overly porous hair tends to absorb the purple color quickly, so never leave the shampoo in for more than 5 minutes if your hair is heavily bleached. Otherwise, your over-porous hair will soak up too much purple pigment.

Rinse your hair with cold water. This will close the cuticle of the hair, sealing in the color and leaving hair smooth.

If you have blonde highlights and the rest of your hair is darker, you can shampoo your hair with your regular shampoo, and then apply the purple shampoo where you have lightened hair strands that tend to get brassy.

If you have hair or scalp problems, you could use your preferred shampoo to get your hair clean and then apply purple shampoo to tone.

You do have to use a conditioner afterwards, as most purple shampoos tend to strip your hair and also reduce moisture in the scalp. Too much purple can be unfavorable, so use either a purple-based shampoo or conditioner, not both.

If you do overdo it, another wash with a clarifying shampoo will remove the excess purple.

Medical disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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