What is purple shampoo?
When it comes down to it, purple shampoo is exactly what it says on the bottle. Purple shampoos are enriched with deep, vibrant purple pigments designed to neutralise visible brassy undertones in your hair colour. ‘Brassiness’ refers to those unwanted warm yellow or orange tones. Far from turning your hair purple, these shampoos counteract brassy tones that present due to natural hair undertones, heat styling, sun and hard water.
If you have lightened hair, toner will have been used to help get your hair to your desirable shade. You can think of purple shampoo as your DIY tune up to keep your hair hue looking cooler and fresher for longer in between colour sessions.
What does purple shampoo do?
While the concept of purple shampoo might be a little tricky to get your head around, it all comes back to simple colour theory. You might remember the colour wheel from childhood art classes – it’s the rainbow circle illustrating primary and secondary colours and the relationships between them. Purple is directly opposite yellow on the colour wheel, making these two complementary colours. This means the two effectively cancel each other out, allowing purple pigments in shampoo to neutralise unwanted yellow tones in your hair.
Does purple shampoo brighten blonde hair? While it won’t actually change the colour of your hair, it addresses the tone and nixes the brassiness. It’s basically your at-home toner for blondes.
How to use purple shampoo
Using the right technique is the key to how to get the best results from purple shampoo. We recommend using both shampoo and conditioner enriched with a purple pigment for the best brightening and toning results.
Shampoo: Start by massaging our Colour Protect Purple Shampoo into your hair to instantly neutralise yellow and orange tones. It’s a good idea to wear gloves to avoid exposing your hands. All-over blondes will find the top of the hair more golden than the ends, so we recommend starting with the crown and massaging through then sweeping through your lengths and ends as you lather and rinse. The ends will catch the colour (they don't need as much anyway), so let it rinse through. Leave on for 1-3 minutes, depending on your brassiness level and desired result.
Conditioner: Follow up with our Colour Protect Purple Conditioner to simultaneously nourish and tone your hair. Smooth onto the lengths and ends of your hair and leave for up to 5 minutes before rinsing.
How often should you use purple shampoo?
If you’re wondering how long to leave purple shampoo in for, we recommend using purple shampoos in conjunction with your regular shampoo and conditioner instead of replacing them entirely. Use our products around once a week or every third or fourth wash, because overdoing it can end up making your hair look a little dull.
Potential issues of overusing purple shampoo
Issues can emerge if you use purple shampoo too frequently. Is purple shampoo damaging to the condition of your hair? Absolutely not. But overuse can lead to a dull or ashy appearance. If this happens to you, the best way to remove overtoning is to simply cease use for a while. The pigment will simply wash out over time and you can then work on finding a more sustainable usage frequency for your hair’s needs.
Do I need purple shampoo and conditioner?
Blonde hair is the most high-maintenance hue, but there’s a purple shampoo for every shade. Purple shampoo works across the colour spectrum, especially for highlighted brunette hair or brown shades prone to brassiness. Brunettes can find purple shampoo surprisingly helpful to get rid of unwanted warmth. Simply leave your purple shampoo on for a little longer for best results on hair darker than blonde.
How else can I take care of bleached hair?
If you feel like your lightened blonde hair is in need of a little extra nourishment or an additional brightening boost, you can also opt for a purple hair mask like our Colour Protect Deep Purple Mask. The caring formula provides intense nourishment while toning the hair. Leave on for 5 minutes for maximum results and read our article How to Use a Purple Hair Mask to Tone Brassiness for more in-depth guidance.
How to use purple shampoo for natural grey hair care
Silver, grey, white or salt and pepper shades can also benefit from using a purple shampoo. The result on these natural colours is a more neutral grey or white tone free from any unwanted warmth. Just 1 minute is enough to see a difference on grey shades.
Now you’re an expert on how to use purple shampoo on brassy hair, learn more with our next article How to Choose the Right Blonde Hair Colour.