If you have blonde hair, especially color-treated, bleached hair, then you know about the looming threat of brassy tones and you’ve more than likely experienced them. Technically speaking, brassiness refers to the unwanted yellow and orange tones that show up in color-treated blonde hair over time. Most color-treated blonde hair deals with brass, it's annoying but luckily it’s not a huge issue thanks to the magic (well, science really) of purple shampoo.
While purple shampoo will not replace your regular shampoo and conditioner, working it into your routine if you have lightened, color-treated hair is essential for maintaining your desired color. Purple shampoo makes a big difference on your hue but there’s a right way and a wrong way to use it. So ahead we break down what you need to know about adding a purple shampoo to your hair care routine and the best practices for caring for color-treated blonde hair.
What Is Purple Shampoo?
As you may have guessed from its name, purple shampoo is a shampoo formula that has purple or violet pigments to neutralize warm tones in color-treated hair. This toning shampoo gets its name from its boldly colored formula, though it’s sometimes also referred to as silver shampoo thanks to its ability to also neutralize brass in silver hair, leaving it with a cool-toned finish.
You’ll want to reach for a purple shampoo when you notice your strands are starting to look yellow, this can range anywhere from once a week to every other shampoo depending on how often you wash your hair.
How Does Purple Shampoo Work?
To understand why purple shampoo is a must-have for brassy blondes, all you have to do is think about color theory. Purple and yellow are opposites on the color wheel, which means they can be used to counteract one another. Since blonde hair that’s turned brassy looks yellow, a pigmented purple shampoo can actually neutralize the yellow hue and take you back to the ashy blonde color you wanted in the first place.
The reason color-treated blonde hair gets brassy is because of bleach. When your hair is bleached, hydrogen peroxide is used to remove the melanin from your color, which leads to a lightened shade with residual yellow and orange tones that become more predominant over time — thus leading to brassy color. In addition to hair color chemicals, things like UV rays, chlorine and mineral deposits in your shower water can also mess with your hair color and cause brassiness.
Note that purple shampoo isn’t just for blonde, brassy hair. It can also be used to neutralize red and orange tones in color-treated brown hair.
The Best Purple Shampoo and Conditioner
The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo is an effective purple shampoo that costs less than most post-workout smoothies. Paired with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner, it deeply moisturizes and cancels out warm tones in blonde, bleached, highlighted and silver hair. The formula is sulfate-free, paraben-free, and gluten-free to be gentle on color and sensitive scalps.
How to Use Purple Toning Shampoo
Depending on your hair care routine, swap out your regular shampoo for its purple counterpart every few washes or once a week. Check out our step-by-step refresher on how to use purple shampoo to make sure you’re getting all of its benefits.
1. Apply the Shampoo to Wet Hair
Like any other shampoo, apply your purple shampoo to wet roots and be generous. Apply it to the roots but also focus on the length of your hair — you may need a bigger helping than what you would use of your regular shampoo.
2. Massage the Shampoo at the Roots Into a Lather
Gently massage the shampoo on your roots into a lather. You’ll notice that the purple color turns into a lavender, soapy-foam consistency.
3. Work the Shampoo Through the Length of Your Hair
Once your roots are saturated with the foamy substance, focus on massaging the shampoo through the lengths of your hair. You want every hair on your head to be saturated from the root to the ends with the purple cleanser.
4. Let the Shampoo Sit
Let the shampoo sit for two to five minutes depending on how brassy your hair is and how ashy you like your color, then rinse thoroughly. The difference between two minutes and four minutes with purple shampoo is a big one so keep an eye out. It may be helpful to set a timer so you don’t go over.
Once the time has passed, rinse out your shampoo with lukewarm water. Follow up with purple conditioner to add moisture back to your strands.
How Long Can You Leave Purple Shampoo In Your Hair?
The amount of time you let your purple shampoo sit on your hair should be based on the instructions listed on your shampoo bottle. If you’re using the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo, aim for two to five minutes depending on how brassy your hair is and how ashy you like your color.
If you have icy blonde strands, you’ll probably want to leave it on for the full five minutes so all the warmth can be removed whereas, if you have a shade like caramel blonde balayage, you’ll probably want to aim for two minutes because your color is known for its golden, warm tones.
How Often Should Blondes Use Purple Shampoo?
Purple shampoo is meant to be used when your hair is looking brassy, not every day. A good rule is one to three times a week. How often you use it should depend on how often you wash your hair and how long it takes for it to look brassy.
If you wash your hair twice a week, then you may find that using purple shampoo once a week works best. If you wash your hair every day, then something more frequent like washing with purple shampoo two or three times a week may be better for you.
Can Purple Shampoo Change Your Hair Color?
Purple shampoo cannot lighten or darken your hair color. However, if you leave your purple shampoo on for too long, you may notice that your hair has a slight violet tone. This is more common with those that have silver and white hair colors rather than warm blondes and slightly darker hues. If you’ve left your purple shampoo on for too long and your hair has a purple tint, use your go-to clarifying shampoo and it should fade right out.
If you want to give your hair color a temporary purple makeover, you can use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Lavender, which was made for the purpose of coloring your strands — instead of wasting your valuable purple shampoo.
Does Purple Shampoo Clean Your Hair?
Purple shampoo is a toning shampoo so it will cleanse your hair and tone it simultaneously. There’s no need to double-shampoo with another product when you use it.
Does Purple Shampoo Make Your Hair Dry?
Purple shampoo should not dry out your hair but it shouldn’t replace your everyday moisturizing shampoo, either. On the days you use purple shampoo in your routine, pair it with a coordinating conditioner to prevent unwanted dryness. The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo also contains nourishing hibiscus that keeps the hair moisturized while it tones. It works best when it’s followed up with the corresponding conditioner, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner.
If your hair is already dry, try a purple toning mask instead of your purple shampoo. Use a hydrating shampoo to wash your hair, then use the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Anti Brass Purple Mask Treatment in lieu of conditioner. In as little as two minutes, this toning mask can remove unwanted, warm tones just like purple shampoo. The major difference is the deeply nourishing formula that benefits dry, dehydrated and damaged hair looking to get rid of brass.
Best Hair Care Products for Color-Treated Blonde Hair
As we mentioned, purple shampoo is not for daily washing so here are a few products you’ll need for your routine on the days when you don’t use it.
1. Shampoo and Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair
In addition to using a purple shampoo, preserve your hair color by using a system of hair care products that are formulated for color-treated hair. Try a bonding system, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Pre-Shampoo Treatment, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid.
This system contains citric acid to repair weak, damaged hair by targeting the inner hair cortex (that contains the hair's pigment), and strengthening it from the inside out. Apply the pre-shampoo treatment to your hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse and proceed with the shampoo and conditioner.
2. Hair Masks and Treatments
Masking is so important when you have color-treated hair because it can undo the damaging effects of bleach and hair dye. For a treatment that works instantly, try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Flash Hydration Wonder Water, Sulfate-Free to visibly improve damage and hydrate your strands. It works in just eight seconds to give hair a boost of hydration without weighing it down. Use it two to three times a week after your normal shampoo or purple shampoo.
For a deep conditioner that boosts your color, try the L’Oréal Paris One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Cool Blonde. While it doesn’t have purple pigments, this in-shower glossing treatment corrects faded, lackluster color while coconut oil in the formula works to condition your hair and enhance shine. Use this treatment once a week, on the days when you aren’t using purple shampoo.
For a good ol’ boost of hydration, try the L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Signature Masque, Color Care Hair Mask. This mask is safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair and works to provide intense hydration for healthy-looking strands.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of L'Oréal Paris
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