Six Purple Toning Shampoos for Gray Hair

Why does your Hair Turn Gray?

woman purchasing purple shampoo

The main reason behind hair graying is a lack of melanin production. Melanin is the pigment responsible for hair color. It is produced in melanocytes – special cells found in the hair follicle. Melanocytes decrease in number as you are aging. Consequently, the amount of melanin produced in hair follicles gradually decreases with age, causing hair to lose its original color.

Graying 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. Hair graying is progressive and permanent, and there’s not much you can do to slow down the process.

Caring for Gray Hair

Gray hair differs in texture from pigmented hair. Gray strands are often prone to frizz, resistant to dyes, and difficult to style. Gray hair doesn’t have the ability to reflect light and as a result, it loses its natural luster.

Gray hair requires tender care to retain softness and manageability. Fortunately, with the right care and modern cut, graying and white hair can look beautiful and elegant.

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

To keep your gray locks healthy, apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week, and also do hot-oil treatments occasionally. Use a leave-in conditioning spray to help smooth unruly strands.

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.

Before entering a swimming pool, soak your hair with conditioner. This will minimize the absorption of pool chemicals that can damage and discolor gray hair.

If discoloration happens, don’t worry. Just make sure you have a purple shampoo in your bathroom cabinet and let the magic happen.

Purple Shampoo Brands for Gray Hair

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1. Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo  

This purple shampoo is formulated with blue Malva, to add moisture and brighten gray strands. The formula includes a coneflower, which increases blood circulation in the scalp area to strengthen the hair follicles and prevent premature hair loss.  

This shampoo gently cleanses hair and scalp and eliminates yellowish and brassy tones from gray and white hair. It adds beautiful silvery hue to gray hair. Blue Malva keeps your gray hair in good condition, leaving it soft, shiny, and easy to style. It won’t dry out your hair like some other purple shampoos. Despite being purple/blue, it creates a white foam and does not stain your skin.

This shampoo also works great for preventing discoloration of blonde hair caused by hard water. It prevents your salon blonde hair or 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 is 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 utilizes special pigments to enhance radiance and neutralize unwanted yellow tones in blonde, gray, or highlighted hair. This 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 Pravana shampoo is a deep dark purple. Unlike some other chemical-smelling violet shampoos it has a light and pleasant grape scent. It cleans hair gently and effectively. Purple stains can be easily washed away from the skin 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. The process can be repeated if additional toning is desired. It can leave a purplish hue if left in the hair for a longer time.

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

This silver shampoo helps to enhance bright and silver tones in the hair. It is enriched with violet color pigments that neutralize yellow tones in gray and white 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 color on the icy side.

The violet/purple pigments are strong, but they wash out easily.

To remove yellow tones, massage the shampoo into your wet hair and rinse thoroughly after 1-3 minutes. You can also mix it with your regular shampoo and use it for 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 lifeless 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. 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 gray hair and keeps it silky and shiny.

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

6. Scruples Platinum Shine Shampoo icon(Walmart)

This gentle sulfate-free formula helps brighten your highlights and keep blonde and gray hair from developing 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 vitamins and minerals that help stimulate hair growth. It also includes chamomile extract, which has soothing and hydrating properties and acts as a hair brightener.

Woman with grey hair after using a purple shampoo

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, heat styling, and environmental pollutants.  Other common factors that can cause yellow tones 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. A good toning shampoo for gray hair should gently clean the hair, leaving it brighter, more manageable, and softer.

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

3 thoughts 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!

  2. thanks i have a problem i have gray hair
    i have it straitined my hair every 4 month.
    never had a problem with it
    this time my hair turned yellow and i cant get rid of it
    i always us a blue shampoo.
    can you help me.
    what is the best product to us to remove it
    i purchase the color wow dream filter hoping it will remove the yellow.but did not use is yet.

  3. For gray hair, purple/silver shampoo should work, especially when used with purple/silver conditioner. Blue shampoo is more for brunette hair. Since your hair is processed, you can try a purple mask (or search for an anti-yellow mask). Purple shampoo is more intense while musk is more nourishing. Another option is to look for Roux Fanci-Full Silver Mousse (not easy to find) or another brand of silver styling mousse. I hope this would help.

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