Must-Haves for Blondes: Purple Shampoo

Have you ever noticed your hair slightly orange after bleaching or yellowish and dull after a long afternoon in the sun? Purple shampoo is the perfect way to quickly refresh your blonde hair in between salon visits and get rid of unwanted brassy colors.

purple shampoo collage

If you have blonde, gray, or highlighted hair and don’t use purple shampoo, prepare to have your mind blown and your hair toned. 

From Brassy to Sassy 

Before we talk about purple shampoo, we need to understand brassiness. If you have blonde hair, you’re probably already familiar with how your hair can sometimes take on a yellow or even an orange color in between hair appointments. This is known as brassiness, and it’s caused by exposure to chlorinated or hard water, UV rays, and air pollution.

Purple shampoo, also known as silver or toning shampoo, is a cleansing product formulated to neutralize those unwanted brassy tones in your hair. This shampoo is made for anyone with light hair (including blonde, platinum, grey, white, pastel, or highlighted), whether your hair is naturally light or colored in a salon. The secret to its magic is the addition of purple pigment.

Toning Shampoo Before and After

The purple hue of the shampoos plays on color theory. Yellow and purple are across from each other on the color wheel meaning they are contrasting colors. When combined, contrasting colors "even" each other out, creating a beautiful neutral color. Thus, brassy tones are neutralized.

Note: There are also Blue shampoos, which work like purple shampoo, but for brunettes. Since blue is opposite orange in the color wheel, it cancels out red and orange tones. Hairstyles usually recommend that brunettes use blue shampoo to remove unwanted red and orange tones from their hair.

How to Choose the Best Purple Shampoo for You

Protein Blonde hair – especially bleached/lightened hair – requires extra protein. Hair gets its structure from a protein called keratin; when you color your hair, this structure can become damaged. As a result, your hair strands become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. You can avoid this by applying hair treatments (we recommend K18), or use hair products rich in proteins. 

So, a great purple shampoo for blonde hair should include proteins that help to repair damage.

Hydrating Ingredients Hair damaged by bleaching treatments also requires plenty of moisturizing ingredients. The best purple shampoos contain humectants, which draw environmental moisture into the hair. This helps hair to stay hydrated, leaving it shiny and strong. 

Common humectant ingredients in toning shampoos include glycerin, propylene glycol, and panthenol.

Antioxidants, like plant extracts, also help to protect your strands by protecting from environmental aggressors like UV rays and air pollution. This can help to prevent brassiness from occurring in the first place!

Pigments The best purple shampoos contain vibrant purple (or indigo) color pigment! The best purple shampoos also have a thicker consistency than regular shampoos. This thick consistency allows the product to fully coat your strands while it works its magic.

Sulfate-Free Sulfates can do a number on your hair, so if your hair is on the drier side already, opt for a sulfate-free purple shampoo. It will be gentle, while still effectively getting rid of unwanted brassy tones.

purple shampoo for blonde hair

Check out all the products specially made for blondes here.

We recommend using a purple shampoo one to two times per week. You can alternate the purple shampoo with another color-safe shampoo.

However, everyone’s hair is different. If you are still noticing brassy tones in your hair, you can use a toning shampoo for blonde hair more often. 

Likewise, if you start to notice purple tones in your hair, try to dilute the toning shampoo with your color-safe shampoo so not as much pigment is left in your hair.