What Does Purple Shampoo Do? How Do You Use It?

What does purple shampoo do?

It is summer, and as the days get lighter, so does hair! But even after salon-perfect bleaching, blondes can expect their hair to dull and get brassy over time. To prevent this, smart blondes use purple shampoo. What does purple shampoo do? I’m glad you asked!

Don’t be put off by the dark hue. Purple shampoo will keep your blonde strands looking bright! If you want to maintain your beautiful highlights without making an extra trip to the salon, I’ve got everything you need to know about this type of shampoo!

What Is Purple Shampoo? 

Purple shampoo is a toning shampoo that is designed for blonde hair. Blonde hair can be prone to undesirable warm yellow tones caused by things like UV damage, chlorine exposure, and exposure to hard water. Purple shampoo can be used to combat this brassiness that naturally occurs in blonde hair due to exposure to the elements.

Purple shampoo works as a color corrector when you wash your hair with it. Exposure to elements can cause lightened hair to go brassy, and the toning shampoo keeps it looking fresh by neutralizing those yellow tones with its own purple hues.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

In order to understand what purple shampoo is used for and how it works, we’ve got to get into some basic color theory. What’s the opposite of yellow? I’ll give you a hint: It’s the color of the shampoo we’re talking about!

The purple pigments in the shampoo work to neutralize those unwanted yellow tones that develop in blonde hair when it is exposed to the elements. Hairstylists working in salons use toner to pull out the brassy tones when they lighten your hair. Purple shampoo is a great way to maintain those icy cool blonde tones without spending the time or money on a trip to the salon.

Purple shampoo is amazing in its simplicity and can be incorporated into any blonde hair care routine. To use it, rinse the hair with warm water and lather the shampoo onto the hair. Unlike regular shampoo which you rinse out immediately, leave the purple shampoo in the hair for two to three minutes, then rinse the hair with cool water.

To take your anti-brass routine to the next level after using the toning shampoo, try a purple conditioner. Purple conditioner will both color correct and nourish the hair to make it look its best. For those who need extra toning, a purple hair mask can be applied once a week.

Are you wondering how often you should use purple shampoo? That’s totally up to you! If you are an avid swimmer and like to frequent the pool, purple shampoo is great to use every day because it will prevent brassiness caused by sun and chlorine.

If you only wash your hair a couple of times a week and/or your hair is not frequently exposed to dulling elements, the shampoo might just be an occasional pick-me-up in your hair care routine. Pay attention to your hair’s needs and use the tone-correcting shampoo as needed.

Overusing purple shampoo can create a slight purple hue in the hair, so again, pay attention to your hair. If your hair is damaged or very light, it can be more prone to purple buildup. If your hair is damaged, you might want to give it some love with a keratin treatment before applying any toning products.

What does purple shampoo do?

What to Look for in a Purple Shampoo

Because there are so many options out there, it’s best to know what to look for in a product. Personally, I prefer all of my shampoos to be sulfate and paraben-free, but if you are not using the purple shampoo for every wash, then it is not necessary to be hard-line about ingredients.

Recommended Product: Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo


While I don’t recommend at-home bleaching, sometimes we take science into our own hands and do things that can damage our hair. If you’ve had an experiment with bleaching go wrong, Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo is formulated specifically for chemically treated hair.

Key Features
  • Formulated for chemically treated hair
  • Ultra-violet pigment
  • Contains a Triple Acid Protein complex

The Triple Acid Protein complex helps to strengthen hair while the purple pigments deposit into the hair. This is also a great shampoo to use after a day at the pool.

  • Extra protein is great for correcting at-home bleach mishaps
  • Ultra-violet pigments keep hair that’s been exposed to harsh elements looking cool and bright
  • It tones and strengthens hair at the same time
  • Not sulfate-free

If you have damaged or chemically treated hair that needs a little extra love while it’s being toned, try Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo.

Check out another great purple shampoo here.


Is purple shampoo bad for your hair?

No, purple shampoo will not damage your hair. If used too frequently or left on for too long, it can create buildup and leave a slight purple hue to the hair, but that can easily be cleared away with a clarifying shampoo.

To avoid purple buildup, pay attention to your hair’s needs. You’ll probably also want to wash your hair with regular shampoo and incorporate the tone-correcting formula just every so often to perk up the blonde hair as needed.

Is purple shampoo only for blondes?

No! Purple shampoo is best for applying a cool tone to hair that has gone brassy. When we say “brassy,” we are typically talking about blonde hair, but hair that has blonde highlights can also benefit from the brightening and lifting effects of purple shampoo. People with grey hair can also use this shampoo solution to give the grey some multi-dimensional vibrancy. No matter what your hair color is, it almost always looks better with the brassy undertones removed.

Is purple shampoo the same as toner?

No. Purple shampoo is a toning shampoo, which means it has toning properties, but purple toner is a separate product. Both products are used for the same purpose: to remove unwanted warm brassy undertones from blonde hair. The main difference is that toner works instantly, while purple shampoo works more gradually.

Toner is typically applied immediately after bleaching hair to remove the unwanted brassy undertones and to bring it to the desired blonde tone, and this process is best left to a professional hairstylist. Purple shampoo is more of a style maintenance product and is better for keeping hair blonde after the hairstylist has worked their color magic.

Be Free From Brassy!

So now you know what purple shampoo is used for. If you’re tired of your blonde hair turning brassy, try purple shampoo. It deposits purple tones into your hair that neutralize brassy tones and keep your blonde hair or highlights looking salon fresh. Don’t be scared by the dark hue; to stay bright, use purple shampoo!

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