Purple shampoo doesn’t just look vibrant and cool, it actually serves a very important purpose for anyone with blonde, silver, grey or light pastel colored hair. There are tips and tricks to using purple shampoo for optimal results, and they are easy to incorporate and follow and will help you keep the exact color that you really want. Learn exactly what purple shampoo is, its purpose, benefits, and how to use purple shampoo correctly to remove brassiness!
In this article:
- What Is Purple Shampoo?
- Purple Shampoo vs. Silver Shampoo vs. Blonde Shampoo
- Who Is Purple Shampoo Good for?
- Why Use Purple Shampoo?
- How to Use Purple Shampoo?
- How Often to Use Purple Shampoo?
- Other Silver & Purple Shampoo Tips
What Is Purple Shampoo and Why Is It Purple?
Also known as silver shampoo, blonde shampoo or violet shampoo, purple shampoo is a violet-tinted toning shampoo that struggles to remove the brassiness in your white, silver, grey, pastel or blonde hair.
Purple shampoo is named because it actually comes in the color purple, and for a very interesting and helpful reason. Purple shampoo is the magic potion that gives your halo of golden or silver tresses the perfect, polished glow, just like blue shampoo for brunettes. This may seem like an exaggeration if you have never seen the effects of a purple shampoo on light colored hair.
Purple shampoo is purple so it can tone down the red, orange and yellow undertones that can make blonde, silver and light shades of blonde look brassy. Purple shampoo is the at-home hair toning tool that keeps blonde hair looking natural and gorgeous.
So how does purple shampoo work?
Hair toning uses the same principles as the color wheel. Shades of purple are on the opposite end of shades of yellow, which means that the colors neutralize each other when mixed. The operative idea behind purple shampoo is to neutralize unwanted yellows, by cancelling them out with purples, which are located on the opposite end of the color wheel.
Bleached hair can be prone to lots of unwanted yellow tones, and if you take a look at the color wheel you’ll find that purple is the direct opposite of yellow, which means it is the ideal color to neutralize it.
It is worth noting that there are several different types of purple shampoo, which thankfully will work similarly to neutralize unwanted tones as needed. Blue-toned purple shampoo will counteract any orange tones, and reddish purples will counteract green tints. Depending on your issue with your blonde, silver or gray hair, you can find a purple shampoo to counteract it.
Again, this works because colors have opposites that neutralize each other. Making use of this is just practical – it’s science!
Purple Shampoo vs. Silver Shampoo vs. Blonde Shampoo
Purple, blonde and silver shampoos are one and the same – with the color of the shampoo being lilac or purple but bottled under a different name. There may be a bit of pearlescent shine to the blonde or silver shampoo but lilac is essentially still the effective toner in the shampoo, regardless of whether it is branded as a , blonde, silver or a purple shampoo.
Fortunately, there is no one vs the other – it’s all about the shampoo, the pigment and the formula inside. There are plenty of great purple shampoos and silver shampoos that work beautifully well to solve all the woes that can affect a beautiful natural or bottled blonde hair color.
Who Is Purple Shampoo Good for?
Purple shampoo is good for light and fair hair colors. Period. If you have darker hair, purple shampoo will not do anything but cleanse it. If you are growing out your blonde hair, if you have an ombre style or anything similar, using a silver or purple shampoo will still clean the darker sections of hair because it is after all a shampoo! But the real magic will only be seen on the lighter colored portions of hair.
Why Use Purple Shampoo?
Why you should use purple shampoo is obvious – to maintain the color you love.
Brassiness, green tones and unwanted hints of red and orange are the bane of every blonde’s existence. Using the correct, best purple shampoo is the perfect way to cleanse natural and salon blonde hair of any unwanted tones.
The same way that color correction works when wearing makeup is how it works when dealing with hair color! The violet or silver shampoo deposits the right purple pigment to hair to negate the unwanted yellows, greens or reds that can make your blonde look fake or less than ideal.
In other cases the brassiness or dulling of a good silver or shiny gray can be beautifully counteracted in the same way – by making use of the right purple shampoo. Different, everyday things from chlorine and pollution to heat styling and product build-up can cause the unwanted shades to taint your blonde hair or silver hair. No need to panic – use one of the best purple shampoos available that we handpicked to help you out.
How to Use Purple Shampoo?
There are several ways you can use purple shampoo to your benefit. You can wash your hair normally with purple shampoo i.e.:
- Wet Your Hair
Wet your hair completely with warm water. It will help you get a good deep clean on your scalp and allow the nutrients in your shampoo of choice to really penetrate the hair follicle.
- Apply the Shampoo
Apply the purple shampoo as you would any other. Massage the shampoo onto your scalp and roots and gently work the shampoo through your hair (without swirling if you want to avoid tangles). Make certain to work your silver shampoo from root to tip and make sure to pay special attention to your tips. These are the oldest and most-likely-to-be-affected sections of your hair.
- Let It Sit
A difference when using purple shampoo would be the “sitting” stage. Let the shampoo sit in your hair for at least 2 minutes, preferably 5 minutes to allow the purple to deposit and counteract your color issues.
If you have a lot of brassiness, you can leave the purple shampoo in for 10 minutes, but do not go past 15 unless your hair is closer to platinum. For whites, grays and silvers, you want to leave your purple shampoo in closer to 30 minutes because you want all warmth removed from your hair color.
- Condition Your Hair
Condition your hair post shampoo, as purple shampoo can be drying on hair that could already be prone to dryness thanks to a color treatment or bleaching process. You can use purple conditioner to hydrate and tone even more.
How Often to Use Purple Shampoo?
Experts agree that even with purple shampoo, the saying “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing” definitely holds up. The most often a purple shampoo should be used is twice per week, but it’s better to use it as you need it, (i.e. – sparingly). When you wash your hair too often with the purple shampoo, you can actually darken your light hair!
There are ways to avoid it but you have to be careful about it.
- The Daily Option: If you really easily end up with brassiness messing up your light hair color, you can mix a small amount of purple shampoo into your regular shampoo.
- Once a Week: Washing with purple shampoo once a week is a good option that keeps you from overdoing it and accidentally darkening your hair. More often than this will definitely darken your blonde, pastel, mother-of-pearl or silver colored hair. The point is to address the brassiness and let the purple balance and tone your hair to the proper color.
- Twice a Month: Washing your hair with purple shampoo twice a month is reasonable, especially if your lifestyle (a constant swimmer, for example) leads you to run into discoloration more often, but you don’t feel the need to overdo it.
- As Needed: As needed may seem obvious (it is a bit) but there may be times where your color is maintaining beautifully. During those times you can get by without any toning intervention at all. However, other months like the summer months, for example, which are filled with pools, travelling and stressors, can require more frequent tending with your purple shampoo.
Other Silver & Purple Shampoo Tips
Other silver and purple shampoo things to know are:
- Purple shampoo isn’t a hair dye, and you can’t use it to dye your hair a lilac or purple color, no matter how long you leave it in your hair.
- If you get any staining from using a purple shampoo, turn to a clarifying shampoo used on the affected areas to fix this.
- You can also apply purple shampoo on your dry hair in case you want an intense toning session when you leave it in for a longer time to remove the unwanted yellow color. This works especially for very light hair colors.
- You should see good results immediately after the first usage of your purple shampoo. If you don’t, it means you have used way too little amount of purple shampoo or didn’t wait long enough for it to take effect.
- Purple shampoo isn’t the best option for curly hair, since it mostly contains sulfates that will be too drying and harmful for those with naturally curly hair. However, if your curly hair is blonde, you can use it very moderately or just on the affected sections. Always follow it with a deeply nourishing and conditioning hair mask to rectify any damage caused by silver shampoo.
- It’s not recommended to use purple shampoo on hair extensions, since the ingredients contained might dissolve the glue and spoil them.
Tip 1: What to Do When Your Purple Shampoo Is Too Strong for Your Hair?
Buy Another: Certain shades of blonde and silver are too light for a darker purple shampoo. In these cases, go with a lighter colored purple shampoo, but make certain it is still opaque. You don’t want a clear purple shampoo, just a light purple one.
Dilute It: If you find that your purple shampoo has left lavender or iliac tints in your hair, don’t worry. The shampoo isn’t actually dyeing your hair, and the tint will rinse out, but you need to dilute your mixture. There are two ways to go about diluting your purple shampoo.
- Mix your purple shampoo with a regular shampoo at a ratio that works ideally for you. This will take some fiddling, but half and half is a good place to start.
- Mix your purple shampoo with water inside of a spray bottle. The ideal ratio for this method is 2 parts shampoo, 1 part water and add more water from there as you need to.
Tip 2: Deep Condition!
It is not well known, but purple shampoo can be drying for your hair, especially with excessive use. Bleached and color treated hair already has a tendency to be dry without proper maintenance as well. To counteract this, just deep condition a bit more often.
A few times a month should alleviate the problem, and you can continue to use your purple shampoo to maintain the correct color on your shiny, well-maintained hair.
Photos via @okevaaa, Instagram