Having blonde hair is all fun and games until your bright hair color starts getting yellow and brassy. This isn’t an issue just for blondes. If you have hair of any color with blonde highlights or you’re currently rocking your natural silver, gray hair, then this hair concern could also be plaguing you. That’s where purple shampoo comes in, an iconic hair care product that can easily fix this issue without the need to go back to the salon.
Purple shampoo should be in the shower of anyone with lightened hair that wants to keep their color looking as fresh as day one. It seems like magic when your hair goes from yellow to bright blonde with the use of a purple toning product, especially when you realize it won’t even dye your hair purple in return. To explain exactly how this works and what purple shampoo does, we’re detailing the ins and outs of purple shampoo and the affordable drugstore favorites you’ll want to add to your routine.
What Is Purple Shampoo?
Simply put, purple shampoo is a hair cleanser that is infused with a purple or violet hue that results in a pigmented product used by those with blonde or light hair colors. Try not to confuse purple shampoo with silver shampoo. They are often used interchangeably because they tend to do the same thing, however, there are dedicated uses for these hair products.
A purple shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo is best used on light-colored hair (like blonde or silver hair) that needs toning, while silver shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Silver Care Sulfate Free Shampoo with Peptides is best for those with silver and gray hair who need a specific product to upkeep the vibrancy and health of wiry, aging strands. If you have lightened hair that’s starting to look duller and dryer than usual, then you’ll want to add a purple shampoo to your hair care regimen.
What Does Purple Shampoo Do?
As briefly mentioned in the previous section, purple shampoo is a toning product that neutralizes brassiness in bleached hair. Lightened hair can get yellow during the bleaching process and from environmental factors like smoke, dirt and water quality. If you’ve ever dyed dark hair blonde, have highlights, a balayage or some form of ombré, then you know that it takes a long chemical process that involves a mixture of formulations used by professionals to lift the dark pigment from strands.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dyeing hair blonde is a hair-lightening process where strands are bleached using peroxide, which can result in weakened and brittle hair. Whether you’re using an at-home hair lightening kit or a stylist is taking you blonde in the salon, freshly bleached hair can have a pale yellow or orange hue to it.
This brassiness can be reduced by using a chemical toner, or by using a potent purple shampoo, purple conditioner or purple toning hair mask. The magic mentioned previously actually comes down to a concept that you may have learned about in elementary school — the color wheel. On the color wheel, yellow is across from purple since they’re complementary colors, making shades of purple and violet the ideal color to neutralize yellow and orange colors from hair. This concept also applies to color correcting in makeup (i.e. the reason you use certain green concealer to balance redness on the face.)
How Does Purple Shampoo Work
The vibrant color of a purple shampoo attaches to the strand and calms yellow and orange tones to leave hair brighter without the need for another bleaching session. Using purple shampoo is preferred for those with extremely brittle hair that can’t take another chemical treatment and need more moisture.
When used in a complete system, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Toning Purple Conditioner cleanse hair of impurities and buildup while depositing a small amount of purple color to eliminate brassy tones in the hair. Since the toning conditioner has a low violet pigment it can be used everyday alongside your usual hair wash, however the above toning shampoo should only be used once a week to avoid over-toning your hair. And by over-toning, we mean turning blonde strands temporarily purple. Even after the brass removal from initially lightening hair, regular use of a purple shampoo as part of your hair care routine is needed to keep yellow and orange tones from coming back.
How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?
A general hair care rule is to always check the directions of the specific hair product you’re using. While products like shampoo, conditioner and hair masks seem simple to use, some products have specific recommendations that should be followed.
That said, for the most part, purple shampoo should be used when your hair is starting to look brassy again. This can vary based on how blonde your hair is — the lighter the hair the more prone to brassiness since the hair reflects those tones quicker and easier. A weekly or twice-a-week usage will work; there’s no need to use a purple shampoo daily as overuse can tint your hair purple
The Best Purple Shampoos and Brass Toning Products
Upkeep your blonde hairdo or freshly highlighted brunette strands with the right toning products that don’t take a professional to use. In addition to using a purple shampoo that works on all hair types and textures, the use of a purple conditioner and toning hair mask can evolve your hair care routine for one with more moisture while eliminating brass. Take your pick of these toning products that’ll leave your hair brighter without drying out strands.
A tried and true purple shampoo, this sulfate-free formula is infused with a powerful violet pigment that targets the annoying yellow tones that lightened hair is prone to. Two to three times a week, swap out your usual shampoo for this toning product that neutralizes blonde, silver, and highlighted parts of the hair.
Take your blonde-hair care routine to the next level with a matching toning conditioner for the above-mentioned shampoo. When used together these products eliminate unwanted warmth in the hair for a cool-toned color that looks as bright as the day you got your hair done. The conditioner formula also adds hydration to weakened strands.
If you have stubborn orange hues that won’t go away no matter how much purple shampoo you use, try this anti-brass purple mask treatment. The pigmented color will reduce the unwanted tones while deeply nourishing strands that may be weak or brittle from the lightening process. Once a week, after shampooing and conditioning with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Toning Purple Conditioner, apply this creamy mask to damp, towel-dried hair and wait five minutes before rinsing hair thoroughly in the shower for brighter, more moisturized hair.
No matter your blonde shade — from icy platinum to honey gold — keep strands from getting yellow or unintentionally bronzed with this vibrant shampoo that is enriched with purple pigment to correct undesired tones between trips to the salon. This formula has a deep purple shade that doesn’t need to sit on strands long to have an effect. Massage this shampoo into your hair for one to three minutes before rinsing it out.
After using the above shampoo, nourish strands with this conditioner from the same line. The subtle lavender color completes the removal of yellow and orange tones to bring hair back to its original cool-toned color without accidentally tinting hair purple. Hair will be detangled as moisture is added for super soft strands that stay vibrant for longer.
Refresh your dull blonde or highlighted mane with this in-shower hair gloss that tones hair while enhancing the color for an overall glossy shine. Take your pick from a honey blonde toning gloss that enhances the warm undertones of bronzed hair or a cool blonde gloss that corrects brassy tones. No gloves are needed for this simple one-step process. Simply apply the gloss to your hair and evenly distribute with your hands. Let the product sit on your hair for 5 to 15 minutes — the longer you leave it on your hair the more tint there will be — before thoroughly rinsing. If the tone of the gloss becomes too much you can use a clarifying shampoo to remove the color.
This brass removal product is a little different from the others on this list since it’s actually a powerful demi-permanent toner. The chemical formulation also conditions hair to lighten and strengthen hair during the quick five minute process. Whether you have an ombré color, balayage strands or a classic all-over blonde color, this at-home toner is applied to the hair to reduce unwanted orange and yellow hues for up to three weeks of salon quality color.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of L'Oréal Paris