Why You Need to Make Purple Shampoo a Part of Your Hair Care Routine ASAP

Purple shampoo can help you to look cool, literally.

It effectively cools brassy hues in blonde, silver and white hair (and every shade in between).

It even works to revive faded highlights.

When it comes to highlights, many stylists recommend refreshing them up every six weeks at the salon, but what college girl has the time or money for that?

This purple potion can extend the life of your color treatments, giving your in-between-appointments hair renewed vibrancy, all while maintaining your desired shade.

Read on to see why else it’s a must-have for your blonde locks. 

The scoop on purple shampoo 

“The reason purple shampoo is so key is because it balances out unwanted yellow tones in the hair,” said Jen Byce, a Gainesville hair stylist based at Cosmo Hair and Nail Bar. “When hair is lifted with lightener it is basically stripping the melanin.” 

Melanin comprises your unique hair color, she explained. 

But if you have gone blonde, or are considering it, you may know it is no easy feat. 

“Everyone, to get a nice platinum blonde, has to go through a yellow phase,” Byce said. 

The good news?

“Purple shampoo works as a toner for every hair wash to ensure the tone of blonde remains the desired tone,” she said. “Think of the color wheel. What is on the opposite side of the wheel from yellow? Purple. Purple cancels out yellow.”

When deciding whether to implement purple shampoo into your hair care routine, decide what shade of blonde you’re aiming for.

If you want locks more reminiscent of gold or honey, purple shampoo might not be the product for you – or you may want to use it less than a silvery blonde would. 

“To achieve white or platinum, the hair must be lifted to a level 10 [one being black and 10 a pale blonde] yellow brightest platinum blonde,” Byce said. “And if there are any yellow tones, which are not typically desired, it must be toned out.”

Not a blonde? No worries, there’s a color shampoo that will work for you, too. 

“I typically recommend blue shampoos to those that want a less reddish-brunette shade, for those that tend to pull red, or those clients that lift very brassy with orange tones,” Byce said.

In this case, the blue cancels out the orange, she said. 

While these shampoos can aid in maintaining your ideal hair color, it’s important to note they will not transform damaged hair. 

“I recommend staying away from over the counter dyes/boxes/overtone because they often have cheap ingredients even advertised as natural that get trapped inside the hair cuticle - leaving the hair difficult to change and do much with,” she said. 

What’s worked for me 

I’ve been using Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde & Silver for a few years now (8 ounces for $9.99).

I always have a bottle on hand, and that’s because it’s so effective in brightening hair.

It packs more of a purple punch than other shampoos I’ve used; you’ll likely notice a difference after just one wash. 

How to use it 

“If you wash [your hair] once a week you could use it every single time you wash your hair,” Byce said. “If you were, say, somebody who washed their hair every two days or every day I would say use it every other wash.” 

If your hair is already very light or without yellow tones, it’s best to use purple shampoo sparingly, she said. 

I can personally attest to this.

As a light, buttery blonde myself, my hair has experienced phases where it’s been so light that it doesn’t need to be toned further, and as a result has actually absorbed some of the purple hue from the shampoo.

This is another reason to be cautious of overdoing it, especially if you have very porous or damaged hair.

“Another thing I like to tell people is to leave it sit on the hair while you shave and so forth; it helps to tone the hair,” Byce said.

Determine if purple shampoo is the right fit for you and embrace your blonde moments!