What does purple shampoo do?

What does purple shampoo do? - Cosmetic World

If you're blonde or have ever lightened your hair, you've probably heard the term "purple shampoo" thrown around quite a bit. But what does purple shampoo do exactly? In this comprehensive article, I'll dive deep into the world of this shampoos, exploring their purpose, benefits, and how to use them effectively. This information will be invaluable for maintaining the vibrancy and health of your hair color, ensuring your locks stay fabulous and fresh.

I'll begin by discussing what purple shampoo is and why it's essential for color-treated hair. Then, I'll move on to when and how to use it, as well as how often and for how long. I'll also explore the science behind the purple hue and help you choose the best shampoo for your hair type. Lastly, I'll address some frequently asked questions and provide insights into the use of those shampoos for various hair colors, including brown, red, grey, and black hair. So, let's dive in and explore the wonderful world of purple shampoos!

What does purple shampoo do?

What does purple shampoo do? - Infographic

Purple shampoo, as the name suggests, is a shampoo with—you guessed it—a purple hue! But don't let the color fool you into thinking it's just a regular shampoo in a fancy dress. This shampoo is infused with purple pigments, which give it its superhero-like ability to neutralize brassy yellow tones in your hair.

But wait, there's more! Besides its fabulous color-correcting properties, purple shampoo is also formulated to gently cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils. It's like the Swiss Army knife of shampoos—a multi-tasker that not only keeps your hair color looking fabulous but also takes care of your tresses by providing a gentle cleanse. So, the next time you're browsing the shampoo aisle, keep an eye out for this purple wonder. 

When to use purple shampoo?

When to use it? - Infographic

It works best when used on color-treated, blonde, or lightened hair. This includes natural blonde hair, bleached hair, and even hair with blonde highlights. So, if you've recently taken a trip to the salon and embraced your inner blonde bombshell, the shampoo should definitely make an appearance in your hair care routine.

But how soon should you start using it after coloring your hair? It's best to wait a couple of days after a fresh dye job before introducing purple shampoo into the mix. This allows the color to settle in and gives your hair a chance to recover from the chemical processing. Once you're past that initial waiting period, you can use the shampoo as needed to maintain your color's cool tones and keep those unwanted yellow and brassy hues at bay. Remember, with great hair color comes great responsibility, so keep that shampoo handy and embrace your inner hair care superhero!

The benefits of the product

The product offers a whole lot more than just banishing brassy tones. Let's explore some of its other fabulous perks:

Benefits of purple shampoo

  • Versatility: Whether you're a natural blonde, have highlights, or have fully committed to a color-treated blonde look, this shampoo has got you covered. It works on various shades of blonde, silver, and even gray hair. Talk about being an all-around team player!

  • Gentle cleansing: The product not only works its color-correcting magic, but it also gently cleanses your hair. No harsh chemicals here! It's like a gentle hug for your tresses, washing away dirt and impurities while preserving the hair's natural oils.

  • Prolonged color vibrancy: Regular use of the shampoo can help extend the life of your hair color. By neutralizing unwanted yellow tones, it keeps your color looking fresh and vibrant, which means fewer trips to the salon for touch-ups. Hello, time and money saved!

  • Added shine: As if all those benefits weren't enough, purple shampoo also helps to add shine to your hair. Who doesn't love a little extra sparkle, right? By neutralizing brassy tones, your hair will look healthier and more radiant overall.

So, there you have it! This shampoo isn't just a one-trick pony. It's a multitasking marvel that offers a whole host of benefits to keep your hair looking fabulous and well cared for. Give it a try, and you'll soon be singing its praises too!

How to use purple shampoo?

Even the most fabulous products need a little guidance to work their magic. So, without further ado, here's your step-by-step guide to using this type of shampoo like a pro:

How to use purple shampoo - Infographic

💦 Wet your hair

Just like with any shampoo, start by thoroughly wetting your hair. It's best to use lukewarm water, as hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause color to fade faster.

💜 Apply the purple shampoo

Squeeze a generous amount of the shampoo into your palm and work it into your wet hair. Make sure to evenly distribute the product, focusing on the areas where yellow and brassy tones are most visible.

🧼 Lather up

Gently massage your hair, working up a good lather. Remember, be gentle! No need to channel your inner Hulk here. A gentle touch will do the trick.

⏱️ Let it sit

This is where the magic happens! Allow the shampoo to sit on your hair for the recommended amount of time (usually between 3 to 5 minutes). This gives the violet pigments enough time to work their color-correcting powers.

🚿 Rinse thoroughly

Once the time is up, rinse the shampoo from your hair with lukewarm water. Make sure to rinse thoroughly, ensuring that all the product is washed away.

💆 Follow up with conditioner

After rinsing out the shampoo, apply a nourishing conditioner to your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths to ends. This will help to replenish moisture and keep your hair soft and manageable.

And voilà! You've successfully used purple shampoo to banish those unwanted brassy and yellow tones from your hair. Your locks will now look refreshed, vibrant, and oh-so-gorgeous. Just remember to always follow the specific instructions on your chosen product, as the recommended usage time may vary from one product to another. With these steps in your hair care arsenal, you're well on your way to maintaining the perfect blonde hue and rocking that fabulous hair with confidence.

Here is a video of one of my favorite vloggers @Ellebangs where she shows the process

How often should I use it?

This question isn't a one-size-fits-all, as it largely depends on your hair type, color, and personal preferences. As a general rule of thumb, using a purple shampoo once or twice a week should be sufficient for most people. This frequency helps maintain the cool tones in your hair without overdoing it. However, it's essential to pay attention to your hair's specific needs and adjust accordingly.

How often to use purple shampoo - Infographic

For instance, if you have very light blonde hair or notice that your hair is particularly prone to yellow and brassy tones, you may need to use the product more frequently, such as two to three times a week. On the other hand, if your hair is darker or doesn't show signs of brassiness as quickly, you might only need to use this shampoo once every couple of weeks.

It's crucial to strike the right balance when using the product. Overusing it can potentially cause your hair to take on a slightly purple or silver tint, which may not be the look you're going for. On the flip side, not using it enough can result in those pesky yellow tones creeping back in.

The key is to monitor your hair closely and adjust your purple shampoo usage as needed. With a little trial and error, you'll soon discover the perfect balance that keeps your hair looking fabulous and brass-free. Happy shampooing!

How long should I leave purple shampoo on my hair?

This is another aspect of product usage that can vary depending on factors such as your hair type, color, and the specific product you're using.

How long to leave it on your hair - Infographic

Generally speaking, leaving the shampoo on your hair for 3 to 5 minutes should do the trick for most people. This allows the violet pigments enough time to neutralize the unwanted yellow and brassy tones, without over-toning your hair.

However, it's essential to keep in mind that different products may have different recommended usage times. Always read the instructions on the bottle, as some shampoos may be more potent and require less time on your hair, while others may be more gentle and need a bit longer to work their magic.

It's also worth noting that if you have very light or porous hair, the purple pigments may penetrate your hair more quickly, so you may need to reduce the time you leave the shampoo on your hair. On the other hand, if your hair is darker or less porous, you might need to leave the shampoo on a bit longer to achieve the desired results.

As with any hair care product, it's crucial to pay attention to your hair's unique needs and adjust your purple shampoo usage accordingly. With a little experimentation, you'll find the perfect timing that gives you the beautiful, brass-free results you're after. Just remember to keep an eye on the clock and rinse thoroughly when the time is up!

Why is purple shampoo actually purple?

Is it just a fun gimmick or is there a method to the madness?" Well, my dear friends, there's indeed a method to this colorful madness, and it all comes down to color theory.

Why pruple shampoo is purple in color? - Infographic

As I mentioned earlier, purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel. This means that when you have two opposing colors, they can effectively neutralize or cancel each other out. In the case of purple shampoo, the violet pigments in the formula help counteract the unwanted yellow and brassy tones that can develop in blonde, silver, or gray hair.

So, why not green, blue, or any other color, you ask? While other toning shampoos with different pigments do exist (such as blue shampoos for orange tones in brunette hair), purple is the perfect color to neutralize yellow hues due to its position on the color wheel. The purple pigments in the shampoo work their magic by depositing a small amount of violet color onto your hair, which helps balance out the yellow tones and keeps your hair color looking fresh and vibrant.

In a nutshell, the purple hue of the shampoo isn't just for show; it's the key to its color-correcting superpowers! By understanding the science behind this fabulous hair care product, you can appreciate the brilliance of using it to keep your hair looking its absolute best. If you want to learn more about the process, make sure you check my article "How to get brassiness out of hair".

Which purple shampoo do I choose?

With so many shampoos on the market, it can feel a bit overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right one for your hair. But fear not! I'm here to help you navigate the sea of purple-hued products and find the perfect fit for your tresses. Here are a few tips to consider:

How to choose purple shampoo - Infographic

💁‍♀️ Consider your hair type

Different shampoos may cater to different hair types, such as fine, thick, curly, or straight hair. Make sure to choose a product that is designed to work well with your hair type for the best results.

🔍 Look at the intensity of the pigment

The intensity of the violet pigments in shampoos can vary. If you have very light blonde hair or are prone to strong yellow or brassy tones, opt for a more pigmented shampoo. If your hair is darker or not as prone to brassiness, a more gentle formula may be suitable.

🔬 Check for additional benefits

Some of these shampoos come with added benefits, such as extra hydration, nourishing ingredients, or even UV protection. If your hair has specific needs or you're looking for a multitasking product, keep an eye out for these bonus features.

📖 Read reviews

One of the best ways to find a great purple shampoo is to read reviews from fellow blonde-haired folks who have tried and tested various products. Look for recommendations from people with a similar hair type and color to yours, as this can give you a better idea of how the shampoo might perform on your hair.

💬 Ask your hairstylist

Your hairstylist is an excellent resource for product recommendations, as they likely have experience with a wide range of these shampoos. They can help you find the perfect product for your hair based on their professional expertise and knowledge of your hair's specific needs.

Remember, finding the ideal purple shampoo may take some trial and error, but once you discover the one that works best for you, it will become a staple in your hair care routine. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your shampoo journey, and you'll be well on your way to maintaining a gorgeous, brass-free hair color!

What should you look for in purple shampoo?

As you search for the perfect purple shampoo, there are several key features you should be on the lookout for to ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck. Here's a handy list of what to look for:

What to look for while choosing purple shampoo - Infographic

High-quality violet pigments

The effectiveness of the shampoo largely depends on the quality and intensity of its violet pigments. Look for a product with highly pigmented, evenly dispersed color that will effectively neutralize the unwanted yellow and brassy tones in your hair.

Moisturizing ingredients

Some of these shampoos can be drying, so it's essential to find a formula that contains nourishing ingredients like oils, butters, or proteins that will help keep your hair hydrated and healthy.

Gentle formula

Look for a shampoo with a gentle formula that won't strip your hair of its natural oils or cause further damage. Avoid products with harsh sulfates or other harmful chemicals, and instead, opt for those with gentle, color-safe ingredients.


While not the most crucial factor, the scent of your shampoo can impact your overall experience. Choose a shampoo with a pleasant fragrance that you enjoy, as this can make your hair care routine feel more like a luxurious spa experience.

Size and value

Consider the size and price of the shampoo. Make sure you're getting a good value for your money and that the bottle will last a reasonable amount of time based on how frequently you plan to use the product.

Brand reputation

While not always an indicator of quality, a reputable brand with a proven track record can offer some assurance that the product is well-formulated and effective.

Cruelty-free and eco-friendly

If these factors are important to you, keep an eye out for purple shampoos that are cruelty-free, vegan, and made with environmentally friendly packaging.

By considering these features when selecting the product, you can be confident that you're making a well-informed decision that will help you achieve the beautiful, brass-free hair color you desire. Happy shopping!

How does purple shampoo work for various hair colors?

While I cannot create a table within this text format, I can provide the information in a list format, which you can later convert into a table if needed. Here's how purple shampoo works for various hair colors:

Hair Color Effectiveness of Purple Shampoo Targeted Tones
🟡 Blonde Highly effective Yellow and brassy tones
🟤 Brown Moderately effective Orange and brassy tones
🔴 Red Not very effective, but can help with blonde highlights Yellow and brassy tones
🔘 Grey Highly effective Yellow tones
⚫️ Black Not very effective, but can help with lightened sections or highlights Yellow and brassy tones


🟡 Blonde hair

Purple shampoo is designed specifically for blonde hair. It neutralizes yellow and brassy tones, leaving hair looking cool and fresh. The violet pigments work to counteract the unwanted hues, making blonde hair appear brighter and more vibrant.

🟤 Brown hair

Although this type of shampoo is not specifically designed for brown hair, it can still help neutralize orange and brassy tones that sometimes appear in lightened or highlighted brunette hair. The violet pigments will work to a lesser extent compared to blonde hair, but can still provide some toning benefits. It's better to check out the blue shampoo if your hair is brown.

🔴 Red hair

The product is not the most effective product for red hair, as it targets yellow and brassy tones rather than red tones. However, if the red hair has blonde highlights or lightened sections, this shampoo can help keep those areas looking cool and brass-free.

🔘 Grey hair

This type of shampoo is great for grey hair, as it neutralizes yellow tones that can make grey hair appear dull or discolored. The violet pigments in the shampoo help maintain a cool, silvery hue, keeping grey hair looking fresh and vibrant.

⚫️ Black hair

The shampoo is not particularly effective on black hair, as it is designed to target yellow and brassy tones. Black hair typically does not have these issues, so the benefits of the product would be minimal. However, if black hair has lightened sections or highlights, it may help maintain the cool tone in those areas.

Why you should use purple shampoo, even if you’re not blonde?

Even if you're not a blonde bombshell, there are still some reasons you might want to consider using the product. Here are a few situations where it could benefit non-blondes:

What if you're not blonde? - Infographic

Highlighted or balayaged hair

If you have brown or black hair with blonde highlights or balayage, the product can help maintain the cool, fresh tones in the lighter sections. It will neutralize any yellow or brassy tones that may appear in the highlights, keeping your overall color looking salon-fresh.

Silver or gray hair

Purple shampoo is a fantastic product for those with silver or gray hair. As we've discussed earlier, it helps neutralize yellow tones that can make gray hair appear dull or discolored. Using it will maintain a cool, silvery hue and keep your gray hair looking fresh and vibrant.

Color-treated hair with lightened sections

If you have color-treated hair with lightened sections, such as ombre or dip-dye, the shampoo can be beneficial in maintaining the desired cool tones in the lightened areas. It will counteract any yellow or brassy tones that may develop and keep your hair color looking fabulous.

Naturally light hair prone to brassiness

If you have naturally light hair that is prone to developing brassy or yellow tones, purple shampoo can be a game-changer. It will help neutralize the unwanted hues and keep your natural hair color looking its best.

Pastel or platinum-colored hair

If you've ventured into the world of pastel or platinum-colored hair, this product can be your best friend. It will help maintain the cool tones and prevent your hair from looking discolored or dull.

While the product is primarily designed for blondes, it can be beneficial for various hair colors and situations. If you fall into any of the categories mentioned above, it might be worth giving purple shampoo a try to keep your hair looking its absolute best!

What is the difference between purple shampoo and purple conditioner?

Shampoo vs Conditioner - Infographic

Choosing between purple shampoo and purple conditioner depends on your specific hair needs. If your primary concern is neutralizing brassy tones, then the shampoo is a must-have in your hair care routine. However, if you have a damaged hair that requires extra hydration and nourishment in addition to toning, then a purple conditioner can be a valuable addition.

The good news is that you can use both products together for optimal results. First, use the purple shampoo to cleanse and neutralize yellow and brassy tones, then follow up with the purple conditioner to lock in the cool tones while providing essential moisture and nourishment. This combination will not only maintain the desired hair color but also ensure your hair remains healthy and vibrant. Remember to follow the recommended usage instructions on each product to avoid over-toning.


Is purple shampoo only for blondes?

Short answer: 👎 No

While it is primarily designed for blondes, it can also benefit those with highlights, balayage, gray hair, or pastel-colored hair. It's meant to neutralize yellow and brassy tones in light hair colors.

Can you use purple shampoo on dark hair?

Short answer: 👍 Yes

Purple shampoo can be used on dark hair with lightened sections, like highlights or balayage, to maintain the cool tones. However, it won't have a significant impact on the overall dark hair color.

Can purple shampoo dye your hair?

Short answer: 👎 No

The product is not a hair dye, but it can temporarily deposit a slight purple tint on extremely light or porous hair if left on for too long. To avoid this, follow the recommended usage instructions.

What should I do if I leave the purple shampoo for too long?

Short answer: 🧴 Use clarifying shampoo

If you've left the product on your hair for too long and notice a purple tint, don't panic! Simply wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, and the tint should fade away after a few washes.

Does purple shampoo make your hair lighter?

Short answer: 👎 No

The shampoo does not lighten hair. Instead, it neutralizes yellow and brassy tones, making the hair appear brighter and more vibrant.

Does purple shampoo work on other colors too?

Short answer: 👎 No, but it can work if they have lighter shades

It primarily targets yellow and brassy tones, so it works best on light hair colors like blonde, gray, or pastel. It's not as effective on other colors like brown, red, or black.

Does purple shampoo work for natural blondes?

Short answer: 👍 Yes

It can work for natural blondes, especially if their hair is prone to brassiness or yellow tones. It will help maintain a cool, fresh hue in their natural blonde hair.

Does purple shampoo damage hair?

Short answer: 👎 No, if used correctly

When used correctly, the shampoo should not damage hair. However, some formulas can be drying, so it's essential to choose a product with nourishing ingredients and follow up with a conditioner.

When to use purple shampoo after bleaching?

Short answer: ⏱ At least 24-48 hours

After bleaching your hair, wait at least 24-48 hours before using it. This allows your hair to recover from the bleaching process and prevents further damage.

Is purple shampoo a toner?

Short answer: 👎 No

It is not a toner in the traditional sense, but it serves a similar purpose by neutralizing yellow and brassy tones. It's a less potent, at-home alternative to professional toning treatments. You can also call it toning shampoo, but it's not a toner.

Does purple shampoo ruin hair or color?

Short answer: 👎 No

When used as directed, the product should not ruin hair or color. It's designed to help maintain and enhance the cool tones in light hair colors.

What happens if I leave the purple shampoo in my hair for 30 minutes?

Short answer: 🟣 Purple tint may appear

Leaving it in your hair for 30 minutes could result in a temporary purple tint, especially on very light or porous hair. To avoid this, follow the recommended usage instructions on the bottle.

Do I use normal shampoo after purple shampoo?

Short answer: 👎 No

There's no need to use normal shampoo after purple shampoo. The product cleanses your hair while neutralizing brassiness. Just follow up with a conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.

Do you put conditioner before or after purple shampoo?

Short answer: ⏭ After

Always apply conditioner after using purple shampoo. This helps replenish moisture and nourishment, ensuring your hair remains soft and healthy after the toning process.

You're thinking of giving it a try?

Here are some of our best-selling purple shampoos...

CLAIROL - SHIMMER LIGHTS_Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver_Cosmetic World
CLAIROL - SHIMMER LIGHTS Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver from $14.99
Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver - available in 473ml or 931ml Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver is a shampoo that is specialized to brighten and refresh blonde, highlighted, and silver hair. The gentle, non-alkaline formula renews and refreshes faded highlights and tones down brassiness on blonde or gray hair. This shampoo removes the dull yellow color from gray or white hair while leaving hair shiny and residue-free. Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver Features Protein-enriched conditioning formula tones down brassiness on blonde and silver hair Renews and refreshes faded highlights and ash-toned hair Removes the dull yellow in silver hair Leaves hair shiny without residue
REDKEN_Color Extend Blondage Shampoo_Cosmetic World
REDKEN Color Extend Blondage Shampoo from $17.99 $29.99
Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo NO TO BRASS. YES TO STRONG AND BRIGHT. Redken Color Extend Blondage is a colour-depositing and protecting purple shampoo for blonde hair. This shampoo features citric acid to repair each hair from the core and pure violet (purple) pigments to remove unwanted brassiness to leave your blonde hair colour cool and bright. Features & benefits- Colour protecting shampoo for blondes- Gently cleanses and adds softness- Repairs and strengthens hair from the core- Features Pure Violet (purple) Pigment to eliminate brassiness- Includes Citric Acid to repair hair from the core How to use- Use as a complete system with Color Extend Blondage Conditioner- Apply to wet hair, lather and rinse well- Repeat if necessary- For maximum benefits, leave second lather on 3-5 minutes- Follow with Color Extend Blondage Conditioner
JOICO_Color Balance Purple Shampoo 10.1oz_Cosmetic World
JOICO Color Balance Purple Shampoo 10.1oz $19.99
Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo – Gentle lather shampoo instantly neutralize unwanted yellow tones. Keep your cool blonde vibrant, healthy and protected. Long-lasting results for 12 washes. 2x strong hair with suppleness and shine. Fewer salon visit, Fewer brassiness, More cool blonde.   Key Benefits Immediate cooling results, plus round-the-clock healthy hair protection Instantly neutralizes unwanted yellow and warm tones in blonde hair Long-lasting results through 12 washes Boosts shine and smoothness Over 2X stronger hair* Controls static Paraben-free   Directions Apply to wet hair Lather Leave in 1-3 minutes Rinse Use 2-3 times a week, alternating with your daily shampoo Follow with Color Balance Purple Conditioner for best results
PUREOLOGY_Strength Cure Blonde Purple Shampoo 9oz_Cosmetic World
PUREOLOGY Strength Cure Blonde Purple Shampoo 9oz from $46.99
Strength Cure Blonde Shampoo Stay California cool with this blue-based purple formula that tones down yellows and oranges in blonde and lightened hair. Made from the same formula as our Strength Cure system, not only does it keep your color pure, but also fortifies and repairs damage.  Benefits Tones and neutralizes brassiness in blonde and lightened hair Repairs damage Gives hair strength and softness Helps prevent future damage ZeroSulfate, 100% Vegan Formula Color protection from patented Antifade Complex Directions Apply a dime-sized amount to wet hair at the scalp. Use your fingers to emulsify a rich lather and work down to the ends, Covering every inch where brassiness may reside. Rinse. For extra toning, leave on longer or repeat washing. To achieve the most neutral toning and get extra strength, follow with Strength Cure Blonde Shampoo and Miracle Filler Treatment. Ingredients Aqua/Water/Eau, Coco-Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Decyl Glucoside, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Amodimethicone, Ppg-5-Ceteth-20, Citric Acid, Peg-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Ci 60730/Acid Violet 43, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, Tocopherol, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Trideceth-6, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus Seed Extract/Sunflower Seed Extract, Salicylic Acid, Magnesium Nitrate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Arginine, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Poly(Linseed Oil), Benzophenone-4, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Orchis Mascula Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Methylisothiazolinone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Sorbate.
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