Six Purple Toning Shampoos for Gray Hair

Why does your Hair Turn Gray?

Woman with grey hair after using a purple shampoo

The main reason behind graying hair is a lack of melanin, the pigment that is responsible for hair color. Special pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes are found in the hair follicle, and these cells play an essential role in hair pigmentation. However, melanocytes decrease in number as you are aging. Consequently, the amount of melanin that is produced in our hair follicles gradually decreases with age, causing hair to lose its original color.

Gray hair is a blend of normally pigmented strands and hair strands without pigment. White hair has no natural pigment at all.

The age at which graying begins is determined largely by genetic factors. Some people spot the first white hairs on their head at age 20 (premature graying), while others retain their natural hair color until old age. Graying of hair is generally progressive and permanent, and there’s not much you can do to slow the graying process.

Caring for Gray Hair

When hair goes gray, it loses its natural luster and can be more prone to frizz, resistant to dyes, and difficult to style.  Gray hair can look dull because it has lost the ability to reflect light. When you’re older, oil glands slow down and produce less sebum, which also results in drier and less shiny hair.

Gray hair requires a bit more effort to maintain and to keep it healthy. Gray strands need extra tender care to retain softness and manageability, and with the right care and modern cut, gray, silver, or white hair can look beautiful and elegant.

Wash your hair with a shampoo designed for dry hair to keep your locks moisturized and improve your hair’s elasticity.  Use a good hydrating conditioner to prevent gray hair from looking dull and frizzy.

To maintain the health of your gray hair, apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week and give it a hot-oil treatment occasionally.  Apply a leave-in spray to help smooth unruly strands.

Soak your hair with conditioner before swimming, as gray hair will absorb pool chemicals more easily than pigmented hair. Set your styling tools to low or cool settings to minimize heat damage. Your gray hair should be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks, as it can look unruly if it’s not trimmed regularly.

Silver Shampoo Brands

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1. Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo  

This purple shampoo is formulated with blue Malva, which adds moisture and brightness to the hair. It also contains a coneflower, which increases blood circulation in the scalp to strengthen the hair follicles and prevent premature hair loss.  

This shampoo gently cleanses the hair and scalp and keeps gray and white hair free of yellowish and brassy tones. It adds silvery brightness to gray hair without leaving any blue or purple hues. It won’t dry out your hair like some other purple shampoos. Blue Malva keeps your gray hair in good condition, leaving it soft, shiny, and easy to style. Despite being purple/blue, it produces a white foam and does not stain your skin.

This shampoo also works great for maintaining the color of blonde hair which has been frequently washed with hard water, while preventing your highlights from turning yellow or dull.

2. PRAVANA THE PERFECT BLONDE Purple Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo

If you are looking for a sulfate-free shampoo and want a shampoo that tones down brassiness, The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo by Pravana might be the right choice.

This shampoo with accompanying conditioner is the first step of the recently launched THE PERFECT BLONDE Purple Toning regimen, which also includes Toning Masque and Seal & Protect Leave-In Mist.

THE PERFECT BLONDE Purple Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo is one of the few available sulfate-free purple shampoos. It utilizes a special dye to enhance blonde radiance and neutralize unwanted yellow tones of blonde, silver, or highlighted hair. The shampoo combats brassiness and refreshes the look of your hair when the color starts to fade. It can be of great help to anyone who is attempting to embrace natural grays.

The color of this shampoo is a deep dark purple, and it has a light grape scent, unlike some other chemical-smelling blue shampoos. It cleans hair gently and effectively and rinses out well. Purple stains on your skin can be easily washed away with water and soap.

You need to apply a quarter-sized amount and massage into wet hair. Suds up and allow it to sit for a few minutes and then rinse it out of your hair. The process can be repeated if additional toning is desired. If left in for too long, it can leave a purplish hue.

3. Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze pH 4.5 Silver Shampoo (For Grey & Lightened Hair)

This silver shampoo enhances silver tones while neutralizing yellow tones in grey and white hair. It is enhanced with essential violet color pigment that fights the warm undertones and tones down the brassiness of hair. It works best on gray, silver, and platinum hair.

Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze pH 4.5 Silver Shampoo utilizes Amino Cell Rebuild Technology to help restore hair’s elasticity and strength while keeping your hair on the icy side.

The violet/purple color is strong, but it washes right off and doesn’t stain your walls. It can stain your hands but it washes out easily.

To remove brassiness from your hair, massage the shampoo into wet hair and rinse thoroughly after 1-3 minutes. You can also dilute it with your daily shampoo and use it with each wash.

4. ORIBE Silverati Shampoo

This silver shampoo is developed to combat dullness and yellow tones in gray and white hair. Blue and silver pigments help to eliminate yellow tones relieving brightness and restoring the shine of dull, lackluster hair. Mild cleansing agents derived from coconut and corn gently cleanse the hair without stripping natural oils or moisture.

This shampoo boosts hair strength and elasticity and improves the manageability of grey strands, which can be drier and coarser than pigmented hair. It also protects vulnerable gray hair from sun damage and other environmental aggressors. This beautifully scented shampoo leaves hair feeling soft and silky.

5. Jhirmack Silver Plus Ageless Shampoo

This inexpensive alternative to salon-grade purple shampoos works well for canceling out and preventing yellowing in gray, blonde, bleached, or highlighted hair. It neutralizes brassiness without leaving any residue while improving hair’s strength and elasticity. It softens coarse hair and keeps it silky and shiny.

Green tea extract and folic acid help healthy hair growth and give it a glossy shine. Co-enzyme Q10 helps protect color from fading, and it prevents hair damage from styling tools. Macadamia nut oil prevents loss of moisture, tames frizz, and adds shine.

6. Scruples Platinum Shine Shampoo

This gentle sulfate-free formula helps brighten your highlights and keep blonde and gray hair from gaining unwanted yellow tones.

This soothing shampoo is formulated with the patented Protective Barrier Complex (PBX), a blend of four essential ingredients (Mucopolysaccharides, Hydrolyzed Proteins, UV Absorbers, and Silicone Conditioners) designed to improve hair’s strength, maintain elasticity, and protect hair against environmental damage.

It is enriched with sea kelp extract that contains some of the best vitamins and minerals that help stimulate hair growth. It also includes chamomile extract, which has soothing and hydrating properties and acts as a brightening agent for hair.

What Causes the Yellow Tinge in Gray Hair?

The porosity and lack of pigment make your hair vulnerable to sun damage and more susceptible to absorbing traces of pigment from the environment. Gray hair is prone to turn yellow mostly due to product residue, high-heat styling, and environmental pollutants.  Other common factors that can cause a yellow tint in the hair are hard water, chlorine, excess sunlight, and smoking.

If you decide to let your hair go gray, you will need to add a new product to your hair care regimen. To keep your hair looking shiny and healthy, you need a shampoo that is specifically made for gray hair. There is an entire category of shampoos designed to enhance brightness and give a healthy shine to gray and white hair.

How to Stop Gray Hair from Turning Yellow

When you’re looking for a shampoo for gray hair, pick up a product that is specifically formulated for gray or white hair.

To counteract the brassy or yellow tones that gray hair can develop, experts recommend using a silver or blue/purple shampoo. This type of shampoo contains blue-violet pigments that adhere to the hair shaft and neutralize the yellowish tinge in gray hair.  Silver shampoos help preserve silver tones in naturally gray hair and cancel out the yellow shade by adding a bit of blue pigment back into the hair.

Make sure you don’t overuse this shampoo as it can give your hair a blue tint. Use a purple shampoo only as needed, but no more than once a week or every second shampoo. You can try mixing it with your regular moisturizing shampoo. Follow with a good moisturizing conditioner to keep the scalp and hair hydrated.

A good toning shampoo for gray hair should gently clean the hair, leaving it brighter, more manageable, and softer. Here are some good quality purple toning shampoo brands:

1 thought on “Six Purple Toning Shampoos for Gray Hair”

  1. The tips and advice you’ve given will help me because I do have white hair. Are the shampoo products you’ve mentioned above only purchasable through Amazon? Or are they already out on the drugstores? Thank you!

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