Let's Talk About Purple Shampoo

You’ve probably heard of purple shampoo or at least seen it on the shelf in the hair care aisle, but what does it actually do and does it really help?

We’ve created this handy-dandy guide to help you decide whether you should add purple shampoo to your beauty arsenal and learn the best practices for use.


What Is Purple Shampoo? 

Purple shampoo is one of the various hair products created with violet pigments. Purple hair products were initially designed for people who dyed their hair blonde because, after a few weeks out of the salon and into the real world, their gorgeous hair would become dull and brassy.

On the colour wheel, purple sits directly across from yellow. So in a beautiful blend of art and science, purple products can lift those unwanted yellow and orange tones to bring your hair back to its intended hue. 

Purple shampoo is probably the most popular type of purple product because it’s easy to use, widely accessible, and incredibly effective. But remember, it is still a toner and will change the colour of your hair.


Can Only Blondes Use Purple Shampoo?

Not necessarily. While it’s considered vital to bleached blondes, other people with unwanted brassy, yellow, or orange tones in their hair can also use it.

Many natural blondes will use purple shampoo in the summertime because their hair can get brassy from increased sun exposure and chlorine. And those who dye their hair other shades of non-platinum blonde can benefit from purple shampoo.

If you’re a monochromatic brunette, using purple shampoo won’t hurt you, but it also won’t affect your hair UNLESS you have highlights or lowlights that you want to keep fresh in between salon visits.

White, grey, and red hues can also use purple shampoo to cut through brassiness and brighten the colour.




What Exactly Do You Mean by “Brassy?” 

Brassy is one of those evil words in the hair world, but most people just kind of nod when their hairstylist talks about how bad brassiness is.

“Brassy” is the catch-all term for an overabundance of warm pigments in your hair. For light blondes, this means the hair begins to look more yellow; for strawberry blondes, this means the colour starts to look more reddish-gold or orange. 

Either way, it’s not the colour you left the salon with.

Brassiness is often caused by UV rays, chlorine, high mineral levels in water, poor bleaching, and low-quality dyes.


How Long Should I Leave Purple Shampoo In For? 

This ultimately depends on your hair and the product you’re using. As with any hair care product, you want to read the label before you use it.

Although it’s not likely, purple shampoo can give your hair a lilac tone if you leave it in too long. But this typically happens for really light blondes or super dry and damaged hair. Don’t freak out—it’s not permanent. Just wash it a couple of times with your regular shampoo.


Does Purple Shampoo Take the Place of My Regular Shampoo? 

No. There is such a thing as too much purple! Again, you’ll want to read the label on this one, as some shampoos and conditioners are gentle enough for daily use. But typically, you’ll want to use your purple shampoo about once a week.

You still want most of your washes to be with a cleansing, hydrating shampoo and conditioner because dry hair opens the door to brass.

Some people even find success using their purple shampoo followed by their regular shampoo and conditioner in one wash. Others have opted to mix their purple shampoo with their regular shampoo once a week.


How Often Should I Use Purple Shampoo?

As we said in the last section, you’ll probably want to use it once a week. Whether you use it more or less often will depend on your hair and the product you’re using.

For instance, if you’re a brunette with highlights, you’ll probably only need it once a month. But if you’re a platinum blonde, you may want a gentler option so you can use it twice a week.

And on the days you aren’t using your purple shampoo, you want to be sure that your regular shampoo is doing everything it can to support your colour.