Purple Shampoo 101

As a blonde hair specialist, I am constantly asked about purple shampoo and how to properly use it.

It is important to understand what it is and how to make it an effective tool in your hair care regiment.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss both the benefits of purple shampoo and why you should be careful using it.

Why Use Purple Shampoo?

Have you ever noticed your hair looking dull a few weeks after your blonde touchup?

As a blonde hair specialist, I am often asked by my clients why their blonde hair is developing yellow tones and at times even orange tones.

These yellow tones are called brassiness, a.k.a. the enemy of blondes everywhere. Brassiness can be caused by exposure to hard water, UV rays, and air pollution to name a few.

This is where purple shampoo comes in. This purple product is loved by natural and new blondes alike, but what is it?

Read more about how to protect your hair color from fading in my article The 411 About Why Hair Color Fades

What Is Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo gets its name from the purple-colored pigment it contains.

The purpose of the purple pigments is to neutralize any brassiness your blonde might develop in between salon sessions.

Just like your stylist uses toner after bleach – you can use purple shampoo at home with a similar effect.

I describe purple shampoo as your at-home hair toner. I recommend this shampoo for anyone with light hair.

Examples of light hair include naturally light or colored blonde, platinum, grey, white, pastel, or highlighted.

I’ll touch on this in a little bit – keep reading.

How Does It Work?

To understand this concept you might have to take yourself back to that art class you slept through.

Purple shampoo can act as a toner because purple is the opposite of yellow in the color wheel. Moreover, purple cancels out yellow.

Pallure G.O.A.T Purple Shampoo

This color cancellation will effectively neutralize any yellow brassy tones in your hair.

Purple Shampoo is necessary for any blonde hair care regiment to maximize the look and longevity of your hair investment.

Is It For Blondes Exclusively?

Although it might seem like it – purple shampoo is not exclusively for blondes.

Anyone with brown, brunette or red hair containing yellow tones could benefit from purple shampoo in the same way pure blondes do.

This includes blonde highlights, balayage, or any lightened part of their hair.

How Do I Use Purple Shampoo?

The best way to use purple shampoo is to fully wet your hair before applying.

This is because wetting your hair will dilute some of the toning intensity. This option is best used for normal hair toning and routine color maintenance.

If extra toning is required – you can apply it dry. I do not recommend this. Talk to your stylist about this strategy before trying it.

Dispense the product onto your hands and rub them together to emulsify the shampoo.

Once the shampoo has worked up a lather, massage the product into your hair.

Massage it in the same way you would apply any other shampoo – just be sure to pay extra attention to any areas with noticeable brassiness.

You don’t want to immediately rinse this out of your hair like other shampoos.

Throw your hair up into a claw clip and let the product do its magic.

Pro Tip: Take it from someone who’s been there: If you are not careful, purple shampoo can be a little messy and might stain your shower. It is best to avoid staining your walls by rinsing off any shampoo splatter.

How Long Should It Be Left In?

Pureology recommends the cooler the blonde, the longer you should let your purple shampoo remain on your hair before washing it out

  • Warm Blondes: Wait 1-3 minutes before rinsing
  • Neutral Blondes: Wait 3-5 minutes before rinsing
  • Cool Blondes: Wait 5-15 minutes before rinsing

Everyone’s hair is different.

It is essential you read the instructions on the back of each specific brand you purchase.

How long to keep purple shampoo in your hair all depends on the product, your hair, and your goals.

For me, I rinse out after 1 minute for a subtle toning, or after 3 minutes to tackle some serious brassiness. Just be sure to not leave the purple shampoo in your hair for too long.

How Often Should I Use Purple Shampoo?

Depending on the level of brassiness you are experiencing and the level of brightness you want to achieve will ultimately determine your level of use.

I recommend to my clients to only use it once every two weeks. It depends on how often you wash your hair. While it is a great product, there can indeed be too much of a good thing.

For example, overusing purple shampoo can cause the lightest pieces of your hair to take on a purple-looking tint.

Additionally, the longer you leave the purple shampoo on your hair the more likely it will take on that purple hue.

Extremely porous hair will also increase the likelihood of taking on a purple hue.

However, staining can be rectified by using a clarifying shampoo on the affected areas.

Pro Tip: Water down your purple shampoo if you know that your hair is especially porous or has previously taken on that purple tint.

Is It Bad For My Hair?

Although this type of shampoo sounds like a genie in a bottle, it can be misused.

First, did you know most purple shampoos can make your hair too dry?

Especially if you shampoo your hair every day. This will only amplify the compounding effects of bleach, the elements, and hot tools.

When used improperly, the build-up on your strands can make your hair brittle and dull.

Additionally, you can remove the beautiful shine your stylist gave you during your last visit.

The lesson here is to stay aware of your hair health and the amount of usage.

Always finish your shower routine with a hydrating conditioner or deep moisturizing hair mask.

I recommend Virtue Labs Restorative Treatment Mask. It deeply hydrates and repairs hair without weighing it down.

This is an essential detail to soften and strengthen your hair – especially if it’s bleached.

What About Hair Extensions?

This depends on several factors.

First, what type of hair extensions do you have? Second, what quality of hair are they made from?

According to getgoodhead.com, the ingredients in purple shampoo may have an adverse reaction with the ingredients used for glue in extensions.

It can also stain the bonds of the extension.

You should treat your hair extensions with caution.

Always do a strand test before fully applying.

If possible, I recommend taking out your extensions before using purple shampoo because it tends to bond very quickly and dry them out.

My Top Picks

  • Pallure G.O.A.T Blonde Shampoo – $25

I am hooked on this shampoo! Pallure’s G.O.A.T Blonde Shampoo contains argan oil and hemp seed oil to provide an incredibly moisturizing purple shampoo.

Pallure has based its products on extensive research and development.

There is no doubt they have created a reasonably priced and top-of-the-line product.

I have quickly made this my purple shampoo of choice.

  • Olaplex’s NO.4 Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo – $28

Olaplex NO.4 Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo is free of DEA, aldehydes, silicone, oil, and formaldehyde.

This is the root of olaplex’s famous moisturizing and repairing system.

There is no question that Olaplex is at the top of the purple shampoo food chain.

This product will not only brighten your hair but repair the damage left from bleach, hot tools, and the environment.

What is your favorite purple shampoo brand? Let me know in the comments below! I want to try it out.

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