Haircare - Hair

Blue Shampoo on Gray Hair: Does it Really Work Wonders?

Can you use blue shampoo if you have gray hair? Here’s the truth.

Written by Amber Belanger
blue shampoo on gray hair

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If you have gray hair, you might have noticed that it sometimes takes on a yellow or brassy tone.

Blue shampoo is designed to neutralize these unwanted tones and keep your gray hair looking fresh and vibrant.

But is blue shampoo recommended for gray hair? Or is it better to use something else, like purple shampoo?

The truth is, it depends on your hair color. Yes, purple shampoo is usually recommended over blue shampoo for gray hair. But it does differ.

Blue Shampoo on Gray Hair

Here’s how blue shampoo an affect gray hair.

What Is Blue Shampoo?

Blue shampoo is a specially formulated hair care product with blue or violet pigments. These pigments help neutralize unwanted warmth and brassiness in your hair color.

Blue shampoos are typically used by people with brown hair to combat orange tones.

Why Use Blue Shampoo on Gray Hair

Gray hair has a tendency to develop yellow or brassy tones over time. This happens due to various factors like exposure to environmental pollutants, iron, and chlorine in your water.

Blue shampoo can be a great solution for you to maintain the cool, crisp, and silver shade of gray hair. But only if you develop orange tones.

More about the difference between treating orange and yellow tones later.

Can You Use Blue Shampoo on Gray Hair?

Yes, you can use blue shampoo on gray hair. But it is recommended for brown hair, not lighter hair colors. This is due to the natural tendencies of our hair:

Brown hair tends to develop orange undertones, while blonde and light-colored hair tends to develop yellow tones.

So if you’re looking for a blue shampoo, it’s important to ask yourself: do you have orange or yellow undertones?

Pitfalls of Blue Shampoo for Gray Hair

Blue shampoo can help keep your gray hair looking its best. However, it’s important to be aware of some potential pitfalls to using blue shampoo.

In this section, we’ll discuss a few notable concerns:

  • It can dry out your hair
  • Overtoning
  • Using the wrong product

Dry & Dull Hair

First, remember that blue shampoo can dry out your hair. Gray hair is often susceptible to dryness and frizz. So be cautious when using a toning shampoo.

To counteract this, use hydrating and nourishing shampoos or conditioners after each use. Or, consider choosing a toning shampoo formulated with moisturizing ingredients.


Another potential issue is over-toning or staining your hair. If you use blue shampoo too often, it can color your hair blue or cause a patchy appearance.

To avoid this, be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and don’t exceed the recommended usage frequency.

Experiment to find the right balance for your hair—everyone’s unique.

Do You Need Blue Shampoo for Gray Hair?

Lastly, it’s important to consider whether you even need blue shampoo for your gray hair.

Some people might not experience any brassiness in their gray hair, making toning shampoos less necessary. And if you’re seeing more yellow undertones, go with a purple shampoo instead.

More about purple shampoo later.

How to Use Blue Shampoo on Gray Hair

If you do decide to use blue shampoo on your gray hair, here’s how to do it:

1. Wet Your Hair

First, make sure your hair is wet and clean. This will make it easier to evenly distribute the blue shampoo.

2. Apply

Apply the blue shampoo evenly, concentrating on the lengths and tips of your hair. It is recommended to choose a cruelty-free and glycerin-rich formula to care for both your hair and the environment.

3. Wait

Let the blue shampoo sit on your hair for 1-3 minutes. This allows the blue pigments to work their magic and neutralize any brassy tones in your gray hair.

4. Rinse

Then, rinse thoroughly and follow up with your favorite conditioner.

Remember, you shouldn’t use blue shampoo as frequently as your regular shampoo. Limit its use to once a week at most.

Follow the instructions on the bottle and not leave the shampoo applied for too long. This can lead to over-toning or color-depositing.

Blue vs. Purple Shampoo for Gray Hair

When it comes to choosing the right shampoo for your gray hair, you have likely heard of blue and purple shampoos. These special shampoos are designed to neutralize unwanted tones in colored or lightened hair.

PropertyBlue ShampooPurple Shampoo
NeutralizesOrange or Brassy TonesYellow Tones
Ideal for Hair ColorBrown HairGray, Blonde and Light Hair
Usage FrequencyOnce a week (or as needed)Varies, follow product guideline

Blue Shampoo

Blue shampoo is suitable for hair with orange or brassy tones in it. It’s mostly used for brown hair.

Since blue is the opposite of orange on the color wheel, the blue shampoo serves to neutralize these warm tones. If your gray hair has some orange or brassy undertones, going for a blue shampoo would be the right option for you.

Purple Shampoo

On the other hand, purple shampoo works well for gray hair, as it neutralizes yellow tones. These tones tend to develop in gray hair.

Violet-purple is located across the color wheel from yellow, making it ideal for neutralizing yellow tones. If you notice that your gray hair has a yellowish hue, a purple shampoo would be a better choice in this case.

When you use the right shampoo for your specific hair tone, you’ll see a difference in the appearance of your gray hair. It will be brighter and more vibrant.

With this knowledge in hand, you can confidently pick the right shampoo for your gray hair needs and enjoy flaunting those gorgeous locks!

Better Alternatives for Gray Hair

As mentioned, blue shampoo is usually not the way to go for gray hair. So here are two great alternatives:

  • Purple shampoo
  • Silver shampoo

Purple Shampoo

When it comes to choosing a shampoo for your gray hair, you might want to consider using a purple shampoo. This type of shampoo is designed to help tone light gray hair and prevent any dingy yellow tones from appearing.

These shampoos use purple pigments to neutralize the yellow tones, leaving your hair looking shiny and healthy.

Plus, many of these products are vegan and free from harsh chemicals, which is great for your hair’s overall health and hydration.

Silver Shampoo

Another option for those with gray hair is silver shampoo. Silver shampoo is specially formulated to maintain the silver tones in your gray hair.

These shampoos use blue or violet-based pigments to counteract the brassiness and warmth that can sometimes develop in gray hair.

By using a silver shampoo a few times per week, you can ensure that your gray hair remains crisp and cool.

Final Takeaway: Does Blue Shampoo Work on Gray Hair?

Yes, blue shampoo can work on gray hair. But it’s generally recommended to use purple shampoo, not blue shampoo. Blue shampoo is a shampoo tinted with blue pigments neutralize unwanted brassy undertones. But gray hair tends to develop more yellow undertones, hence why purple shampoo is more effective.

If you do end up with blue shampoo, don’t use it too often. Once a week is sufficient for most people. Anymore and it could potentially turn your dark hair blue.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using blue shampoo on gray hair?

Blue shampoo can keep your gray hair looking fresh and vibrant. It’s designed to counteract any unwanted brassiness or yellow tones that can occur in gray hair. But beware that purple shampoo is often recommended for gray hair.

How often should I use blue shampoo for gray hair?

It’s best to find a balance that works for your specific hair type and needs. Using blue shampoo once or twice a week is often enough to maintain your desired results. Any more, and you could end up over-toning your hair, leading to the opposite effect you desire.

What is the difference between blue and purple shampoo for gray hair?

The primary difference between blue and purple shampoos is the color they target. Purple shampoo neutralizes yellow tones often found in blonde and light-colored hair, while blue shampoo is designed to counteract orange or brassy tones more common in brown hair.

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Amber Belanger

Amber is not just a beauty enthusiast. She has spent countless hours doing the nails of her friends, researching the newest studies on personal care, as well as tried and tested numerous hair products. She prides herself on her factuality and luscious hair.