If you want to keep your blonde locks bright and never brassy, you need a good purple shampoo. These toning shampoos are the secret to maintaining the perfect blonde color without extra salon visits. Keep reading to learn about purple shampoo and how to use it for the best results.
- What Is Purple Shampoo?
- Who Needs It?
- Purple Shampoo Pros & Cons
- Toning Hair With It
- Best Purple Shampoos
Wondering About Purple Shampoo?
Purple shampoo is the secret to maintaining the perfect cool blonde color. These tinted shampoos deposit a small amount of a sheer violet pigment onto hair to neutralize yellow, brassy tones.
If you’ve ever gone light blonde, you know that yellow-orange brassiness is the enemy. Even gorgeous, ashy blondes can start to take on these warm hues as the color fades and your natural hair color’s undertones start peeking out.
The solution is actually pretty simple: Apply a cool pigment to counteract the brassy tones and restore that blissful cool blonde. That’s precisely what purple shampoo is for!
In fact, many women use purple shampoo regularly to prevent those unwanted brassy tones from ever appearing.
We’re going to talk about purple shampoo in depth – how it works, who it works best on, how to use it for the best results, and the top-rated purple shampoo for each hair type. Stick around to learn how you can use purple shampoo to maintain a pure, cool blonde color without a hint of brass.
What Is Purple Shampoo?
Purple shampoo is a color-correcting shampoo for blonde hair. These shampoos are formulated with sheer violet pigment to counteract unwanted yellow-orange or brassy tones in the hair after bleaching.
This sheer purple tint doesn’t actually dye your hair purple. It’s just enough of a tint to neutralize the warm tones peeking through the hair.
But why purple shampoo? What’s so special about the color? Purple pigment is used to target brassiness because violet and yellow are “complementary colors.” This means that on the color wheel, violet is the direct opposite of yellow.
Warm, yellowish gold or orange-y tones are what we consider brassy in blonde hair. It makes sense that applying a violet pigment to a warm brassy color (its complementary color opposite) would neutralize it back to a cool tone.
If you’ve ever used a green color corrector to cover up redness (green is the opposite of red on the color wheel) on your face, you’re familiar with neutralizing or canceling out colors by using their color wheel opposite. It’s simple color theory, but it really does work!
Who Should Use Purple Shampoo?
Not all blondes need to use purple shampoo to cancel out brassy or yellow tones. Purple shampoo is used when a cool blonde tone (like ash blonde) is desired rather than a warm blonde tone (like honey blonde).
Purple shampoo is perfect for maintaining of the following shades of blonde:
- Platinum blonde
- White blonde
- Ash blonde
- Sandy blonde
- Wheat blonde
- Beige blonde
Even if your blonde shade includes golden, warm tones, you can still use purple shampoo. You should just use it less often and leave it on for a shorter time. We’ll talk more about this in the “How to Tone” section.
Purple shampoo doesn’t work on darker hair colors. If you want to try a toning shampoo and you have dark hair, try a blue shampoo instead. These shampoos include blue pigment to counteract warm orange tones in brown hair when you prefer a cooler tone.
Purple Shampoo Pros
Purple shampoo has a ton of benefits for blondes. There’s a reason (okay, several) that this type of product has been a blonde must-have for decades. If you’re wondering why you should use shampoo of the violet variety, here are a few good reasons.
- Counteracts unwanted yellow, gold, or brassy tones
- Helps maintain cool, neutral, and warm blonde shades
- Can be used to reduce warm tones all over or in highlights
- Eliminates the need for salon visits in between touch-ups
- Can create a light violet tone if left on the hair long enough
- Much lower cost then visiting the salon
- It’s relatively easy to use
The most obvious benefits of using purple shampoo are the color-correcting properties it has. But you may not have realized purple shampoo can be used on highlights to remove warm tones – even if you have dark hair!
Applying purple shampoo to dry hair and leaving it on the hair longer than recommended (you know, TikTok trends) can give you a slight purple tint if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re not, no worries – a few shampoos later, and the remaining purple hue will wash right out. It’s great that purple shampoo is affordable, can be used at home to maintain your blonde, and is super easy to use as well.
Purple Shampoo Cons
Purple shampoo works really well, but it isn’t a miracle product. Here’s what you should know about purple shampoo’s downsides.
- Doesn’t work on dark hair colors
- Won’t lift or brighten hair color
- Can get pricey when used on thick or very long hair
- Can create a light violet tone if left on the hair long enough
If you’re curious about using purple shampoo on a darker hair color, such as brunette, you’d be disappointed with the results. Purple shampoo only has visible results on blonde hair. The lighter your blonde, the more dramatic your results will be.
Thanks to the purple shampoo trend on TikTok, many people found themselves wondering if using an entire bottle of the stuff would actually produce an icy, platinum blonde like some users claimed.
Here’s the truth – purple shampoo cannot lift your hair color to make it lighter. It can’t make you blonde if you’re not. All it does is counteract warm, yellow tones in the hair to result in an overall cooler blonde tone.
And while purple shampoo is affordable by the bottle, it can get a little pricey if you have very long or thick hair that requires you to use more of the product with each use.
Still, it’s cheaper than visiting the salon for another toner or glaze between visits! Finally, we mentioned that leaving purple shampoo on your hair longer than recommended can result in tinted hair. This doesn’t last long, as it washes out after a couple shampoos.
But it can be an unsettling look if you just spent hundreds going platinum blonde or if violet-toned hair is frowned upon at your workplace. Just ensure you wash it out when the bottle recommends to avoid accidentally going purple!
How to Tone Blonde Hair With Purple Shampoo
Toning blonde hair with purple shampoo literally couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you’ll need to do to cancel out those brassy tones.
- Thoroughly wet your hair with water.
- Dispense a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into your hand (use less or more depending on the length and thickness of your hair).
- Work the shampoo through your hair from root to tip, lathering it up and ensuring the shampoo makes contact with every strand.
- Leave the purple shampoo on for the recommended amount of time – usually around 3 minutes – to allow it to deposit the color-correcting purple pigments.
- Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of your hair.
- Optional (but recommended): Follow up with the matching purple conditioner and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Some purple shampoos are formulated to be gentle enough for daily use (like John Frieda’s), but most are recommended to use 2-3 times per week. If you notice a purple tint to your hair at any point, you can drop your usage to 1-2 times per week.
How to Tone Warm Blonde Hair With Purple Shampoo
Even warm blonde colors, like strawberry blonde, honey blonde, and golden blondes can benefit from using purple shampoo. The key is keeping the usage to a minimum to avoid completely canceling out those pretty warm tones.
If you have a warm blonde hair color, you can use purple shampoo once a week (leave it on no longer than 3 minutes) to keep your color from becoming overly brassy.
Using purple shampoo once a week is enough to counteract some of the warmth and brassiness without completely masking it. This will keep warm blonde shades looking fresh and bright for weeks longer than usual.
Can You Use Purple Shampoo on Dry Hair?
Thousands of TikTok videos have shown women applying purple shampoo directly to dry hair. Is this safe to do? What’s the result of applying purple shampoo to dry hair and letting it sit for up to 24 hours?
IT AIN’T GOOD, I’ll tell you that.
You won’t get instant, gorgeous platinum blonde by applying purple shampoo to dry hair and leaving it overnight or longer. You will, however, get:
- Patchy, splotchy, uneven purple color
- Dry, brittle, straw-like hair
- Itchiness and flaking
- Potential burns or inflammation on the scalp
You should never apply shampoo to dry hair and leave it for longer than recommended. Leaving shampoo on your hair without rinsing will make your hair super dry – seriously. It’ll feel like straw.
If you leave it for 24 hours, like we’ve seen some TikTokers recommend, you could end up with burns and inflammation on your scalp.
And if a pretty, all-over purple color is what you’re after, you will not find it here, honey. Since your strands have different porosities and absorbency rates, some areas will suck the purple pigment right up while others are resistant to it.
The result is splotchy, patchy purple color that will look anything but purposeful or professionally done. Take our advice here and avoid the TikTok purple shampoo “hack” for dry hair. If you really want purple hair, you can opt for a color-depositing conditioner instead.
Best Purple Shampoo for Each Hair Type
What purple shampoo is, who should use it, pros and cons, how to tone blonde hair with it – we’ve covered it all, but now you’re probably wondering which purple shampoo is the best to use.
Find the best purple shampoo to tone your blonde by looking for your hair type below. Whether you have fine, dry, oily, curly, natural, or damaged hair, we’ve got a great violet shampoo pick just for you.
Best for Fine or Dry Hair
Redken is a brand we always trust because they’ve made so many amazing products over the years. Their Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo is no exception.
We’ve found that this shampoo works great on most hair types, but it’s incredible on fine, thin, or chronically dry hair.
The intense violet tones in the shampoo are strong enough to overwhelm any trace of brassiness or yellowness you’re experiencing without leaving a purple hue in your hair.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein and amino acids are in the formula as part of the Triple Acid Protein complex to help thicken and boost the strength of strands. Salicylic acid is added in to moisturize a dry scalp and relieve any itchiness or flaking you might experience (which is common after bleaching).
Amazon users give it 4.7 out of 5 stars with more than 3,600 reviews. It’s the perfect product for anyone with blonde, fine hair that needs to be color corrected for brassiness.
Best for Oily Hair
Oily hair is hard to find a great purple shampoo for. Many purple shampoos are formulated to be as gentle as possible on the hair and are usually sulfate-free. If you have oily hair, you know that “no sulfates” pretty much means “Your hair’s gonna be a grease pit this time tomorrow.”
So we were absolutely thrilled to find this amazing product: Fanola No Yellow Shampoo. Fanola’s No Yellow shampoo is purple (duh) to counteract any yellow or brassy tones you might be dealing with in your blonde hair.
It’s a gentle enough formula for color-treated hair, but it does contain good ol’ sulfates, so it does a great job cleansing stubborn oil from grease-prone hair.
The intense violet pigments in the shampoo leave behind a sheer tint that doesn’t look purple at all, but perfectly masks any unwanted warm tones in the hair. It works like a charm, and you can use it 2-3 times a week to keep the perfect, cool blonde tone.
Use it once a week if you have a warm blonde tone. Amazon users give it 4.7 out of 5 stars with more than 64,000 reviews because it’s that amazing. You owe it to yourself to give this one a try!
Best for Curly Hair
Curly hair needs plenty of moisture without ingredients that are so heavy they’ll weigh curls down. Matrix must’ve heard our pleas because Matrix Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo is exactly what we’ve been looking for.
This purple shampoo cancels out any yellow or dull tones in the hair to reveal a truer, brighter, cooler blonde tone. The formula is moisturizing and hydrating for curly and wavy strands. You’ll notice more defined curls that feel lightweight and bouncy after using this purple shampoo.
Amazon users give it 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 26,900 reviews because it’s seriously good stuff. If you have curly blonde hair, you need to give this one a try!
Best for Natural Hair
Natural beauties, you’ve got to check out John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Shampoo for all your brass-busting needs. This formula is magic on super-coarse, coily strands and does a great job keeping those pesky warm tones at bay.
It uses crushed, intense violet pigment to deposit small amounts of purple onto your blonde for a cooler tone. When your hair has been bleached from a dark color, you’re naturally going to deal with some warm undertones popping up as the first toner fades.
You might see browns, reds, yellows, and oranges peeking through a few weeks after your last salon visit. Using Violet Crush shampoo fixes that problem entirely.
Amazon users give it 4.6 out of 5 stars with more than 4,200 reviews because it really does work. It’s amazing on natural hair, but this shampoo color corrects perfectly on any hair type!
Best for Damaged Hair
It’s safe to say lots of us are dealing with damaged hair – after all, you’re here looking for the best purple shampoo for blonde hair because, well, bleach. The gold standard in violet shampoo for damaged hair is L’Oreal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Shampoo.
This formula is oh-so-gentle. So gentle, in fact, that we don’t recommend using it if you have oily hair. It’s sulfate-free, paraben-free, contains no harsh salts, and is 100% vegan.
This shampoo doesn’t lather as much as others because of its gentle formulation for damaged hair. But it works amazingly well to deposit violet tones over warm, brassiness for a color correcting miracle.
Hibiscus and purple dye give this shampoo an intense color that won’t leave your hair tinted, just color corrected. It’s perfect.
Amazon users give it 4.4 out of 5 stars with more than 33,400 reviews. If you don’t want to further damage your hair while you tone it, this gentle shampoo is your best bet.
Should You Use Purple Shampoo?
If you’re still wondering if you should use purple shampoo, we didn’t do a good enough job explaining it. But in summary, blondes should use it to maintain a cool blonde color (like ash blonde).
Warmer shades of blonde hair can also use it, but should do so less frequently, as it’ll wash out the warm color over time. So what are you waiting for – try one of our favorite purple shampoos above today!