Six Purple Toning Shampoos for Gray Hair

Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Gaga

Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

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 decline in numbers with aging. Consequently, the amount of melanin produced in hair follicles gradually decreases, 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 mainly by genetic factors. Some people spot the first white hairs on their heads 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.

attractive woman with graying 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, stylists recommend using silver or purple shampoos. This type of hair 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 is supposed to gently clean the hair, leaving it brighter, more manageable, and softer.

Best Violet Shampoos for Gray Hair

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1. Framesi Color Lover Dynamic Blonde Violet Shampoo

This is an intensely pigmented purple shampoo formulated to eliminate yellow and brassy tones from blonde, gray, or white hair in just one wash. The formula is free of sulfates and sodium chloride which is a plus for fragile, colored hair.

Should you use it?  If your gray hair easily gets brassy from hard water or sun exposure, this shampoo is a good choice to get rid of unwanted tones. It works exceptionally well for blonde shades but it is also a great choice for anyone who has platinum or silver hair.


  • Removes yellow tones from gray hair
  • Keeps blonde color fresh and vibrant
  • Maintains cool highlights

Suggested use: Massage the shampoo evenly through wet hair and leave it to sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing. Make sure to control your hair to get the results you want. It can turn light-colored hair purple if left for too long. It can be hard to create rich leather. Add a bit of your favorite shampoo to help with foaming.

Make sure to use a conditioner. Use this violet shampoo weekly and alternate it with your regular shampoo.

2. Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo

This purple shampoo is formulated with blue Malva, to add moisture and brighten gray strands. The formula includes echinacea or 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. It adds a beautiful silvery hue to gray hair. Blue Malva keeps your gray hair in good condition, leaving it soft, shiny, and easy to style. This product won’t dry out your hair like some other purple shampoos. Despite being purple/blue, it creates white foam and does not stain your skin.

This shampoo also works great for preventing the discoloration of blonde hair caused by hard water. It prevents blonde-dyed or highlighted hair from turning yellow or dull.

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

If you are looking for a sulfate-free shampoo and at the same time 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 uses special pigments to enhance radiance and neutralize unwanted yellow and brassy tones in blonde, gray, or highlighted hair. This shampoo refreshes the look of your hair when the color starts to fade. It can also be of great help to anyone who is attempting to embrace natural grays.

The color of the 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.

Apply a quarter-sized amount and massage to wet your 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.

4. Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze pH 4.5 Silver Shampoo

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 helps restore hair’s elasticity and strength while keeping your color on the icy side.

To remove yellow tones, massage the shampoo into your wet hair and rinse thoroughly after 1-3 minutes. The violet/purple pigments are strong, but they wash out easily. You can also mix it with your regular shampoo and use it for each wash.

5. 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.

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.

6. 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 also softens coarse gray hair and keeps it silky and shiny.

Green tea extract and folic acid help healthy hair growth and promote 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 increases shine.

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 designed to enhance brightness and give a healthy shine to gray hair.

A gray-haired woman in the garden

Caring for Gray Hair

Gray hair differs in texture from pigmented hair. Gray strands are often more prone to frizz and harder to manage than pigmented hair. Gray hair can’t 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 and follow with a good hydrating conditioner to prevent your 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 a 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.

Thoughtful gray-haired woman holding eyeglasses

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


6 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.

  4. I am growing in my natural gray root and have about 3 inches of growth. The rest of my hair is a faded red. Would a purple shampoo affect the red part of my hair?

  5. I have “salt and pepper” grey hair,…mostly dark brown hair, but g hff e grey still looks yellow or brassy….any suggestions for a brunette with yellowing greys?

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