Haircare - Hair

The Truth: Is Green Shampoo Bad for Your Hair?

Here’s the truth: Green shampoo can damage your hair. If you’re careless…

Written by Amber Belanger
is green shampoo bad for your hair

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Green shampoo has gained popularity among dark brunettes for keeping their hair rich and vibrant. But is it bad for your hair?

Toning shampoo is a highly pigmented cleaning solution. When used correctly, green shampoo can be beneficial in maintaining your desired hair color.

When used incorrectly, it can damage your hair.

Green Shampoo 101

To understand how green shampoo can damage your hair, you have to know how it works.

Origins of Green Shampoo

Green shampoo was designed to help people with dark brown hair maintain a neutral and balanced hair color. It specifically targets unwanted red tones.

These tones are often caused by heat styling, exposure to hard water, harsh sunlight, and the natural lightening process of your hair.

Key Ingredients

The key ingredients in green shampoos may vary depending on the brand. You will generally find color pigments and natural ingredients like argan, tamanu, and jojoba oils.

These ingredients aim to nourish your scalp while neutralizing undesired undertones.


The purpose of using green shampoo is to neutralize and reduce unwanted red undertones in your hair. This makes your hair color appear more balanced.

It works by depositing color pigments that counteract the unwelcome tones. Additionally, some green shampoos have hydrating properties, helping your hair stay healthy and moisturized.

So, if you’re looking to maintain your desired color green shampoo can be your go-to solution.

Read more: What Does Green Shampoo Do?

Can Green Shampoo Damage Your Hair?

Yes, green shampoo can cause damage to your hair if you use it incorrectly. Potential hair damage includes dry hair and green discoloration.

Overuse Can Lead to Damage

Green shampoo can be a great tool for maintaining your hair’s color, but overusing it may cause damage.

If you use green shampoo too often, it has the potential to strip your hair’s natural oils, leading to dryness and brittleness. Your hair needs those natural oils to maintain its shine, strength, and overall health.

When you overuse toning shampoo, you also risk depositing too much of the green pigment. This can result in discoloration.

To avoid this, try using green shampoo only once or twice a week. This way, you can still benefit from the color-balancing properties without causing damage.

Leaving It Too Long Can Cause Issues

Another factor that may harm your hair when using green shampoo is leaving the product on for too long.

The shampoo is meant to help neutralize and balance out unwanted tones. But keeping it in your hair for an extended period can result in unwanted color changes and potential damage.

What Does Green Shampoo Do to Your Hair?

Green shampoo works wonders for brunettes. It’s made to neutralize unwanted red undertones in darker hair.

It’s especially helpful if your hair has been exposed to heat styling, hard water, or harsh sunlight, leaving it looking dull or brittle.

Effect on Different Hair Types

However, for those with different hair colors, green shampoo may not have the same benefits. It can even cause undesired changes in your hair color.

Balancing Oil Production

Green shampoos are not specifically designed to balance oil production, but they can still be a good option for certain hair types.

If you’re a brunette and struggle with an oily scalp, you might find that green shampoo works well for your hair and scalp.

But be mindful of the ingredients in your shampoo. Try to avoid sulfates and phthalates, as they can cause skin sensitivity, strip your hair of its natural oils, and potentially lead to issues like dandruff and breakage.

How to Use Green Shampoo Without Hair Damage

To make sure you don’t damage your hair while using green shampoo, follow these tips:

  • Consider if its the right shampoo for you.
  • Apply it gently.
  • If your hair is dry, go with extra nourishment.
  • Mix the green shampoo with a cleansing shampoo.

Your Hair Type

First of all, remember that green shampoo is not for everyone. If you have blonde, light brown hair or highlights, avoid using it, as it may turn your hair green.

Stick to using green shampoo, conditioner, and hair masks only if your hair is dark brown.

Gentle Application

When washing your hair, gently massage the green shampoo into your scalp. As you rinse it out, let the shampoo flow through the length of your hair without rubbing it into the strands.


If your hair is dry or brittle, choose a green shampoo with mild cleansing ingredients and extra conditioning.

Look for products that contain nourishing oils like avocado or macadamia instead of sulfates and alcohols.

Cleansing Shampoo & Conditioner

As an alternative to shampoo, you can try co-washing your hair with a cleansing shampoo and conditioner.

These products are designed to clean your hair and provide necessary conditioning to keep your hair healthy.

Harmful Ingredients to Avoid In Green Shampoo

When choosing a green shampoo, it’s essential to pay attention to the ingredients and avoid certain harmful substances that can affect your hair and scalp.

Here are some ingredients you should avoid to ensure a healthier hair care routine:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Silicone
  • Formaldehyde
  • Sulfates
  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Often known as SLES, this ingredient is a common cleaning agent in shampoos. It can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry and brittle.


Silicone-based ingredients like dimethicone can weigh down your hair and give it a greasy appearance. They can also be hard to remove from your hair, making it difficult for other treatments to penetrate and nourish your strands.


Some shampoos contain preservatives like formaldehyde, which can cause irritation and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde is linked to various health issues, so it’s best to stay away from it in hair care products.


Sulfates, like sodium laureth sulfate mentioned earlier, are harsh cleaning agents that can harm your scalp and hair. They can strip your hair of essential oils and leave it feeling dry and lifeless.


Ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, or propyl alcohol can dry out your hair and scalp, leading to brittleness, breakage, and irritation. It’s best to look for green shampoos with a lower alcohol content or none at all.


Try to avoid shampoos with a long list of unrecognizable chemical ingredients. Make sure to choose a product with more natural and gentle ingredients that will keep your hair and scalp healthy and happy.

Green Shampoo vs. Alternatives

Green shampoo is an excellent option for brunettes who want to neutralize red tones in their hair. But what about other hair colors and their specific needs?

If you don’t need green shampoo, don’t use it. Use another product. Here are the best alternatives:

  • Purple shampoo
  • Blue shampoo
  • Color-depositing shampoo

Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair

Purple shampoo eliminates yellow tones in blonde or light-colored hair.

Think of the color wheel: purple is opposite of yellow. When you apply purple shampoo to your hair, it brightens up those dull blonde shades.

Just like green shampoo for brunettes, purple shampoo can counteract the discoloration in blonde hair.

Blue Shampoo for Brunettes

Blue shampoo targets orange tones in light brown or brunette hair.

You might find your hair turning a bit brassy after exposure to hard water or sunlight. Using a blue shampoo can help restore your hair’s original color and vibrancy. Blue is opposite orange on the color wheel, so it neutralizes orange tones.

Color-Depositing Shampoo for Red Hair

Now, if you have red hair, toning shampoo isn’t the recommended product. Instead, use a color-depositing or boosting shampoo.

These products are formulated to preserve the rich hues of your hair and prevent color from fading.

Final Takeaway: Is Green Shampoo Bad For Your Hair?

Green shampoo isn’t bad for your hair, as it neutralizes red tones in brunette hair. Make sure it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like sulfates and phthalates.

And remember, using a clarifying shampoo occasionally can help remove any residue or build-up, keeping your hair healthy and shiny.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color does green shampoo neutralize?

Green shampoo neutralizes red tones in your brunette hair, offsetting any red shades that make your hair look more fiery than it’s supposed to look.

How do I use green shampoo effectively?

To use green shampoo effectively, wet your hair thoroughly and apply a small amount of the shampoo. Lather it gently into your scalp and throughout your hair. Leave the shampoo on for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it out completely. Follow up with a conditioner suitable for your hair type.

Can green shampoo be used on all hair types?

Green shampoo is primarily designed for brunette hair with red undertones. If your hair is a different color or doesn’t have red undertones, it may not provide the intended results.

How long should green shampoo stay in my hair?

Green shampoo should be left in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out. This allows the shampoo to neutralize the red tones effectively. However, the exact duration may vary depending on the product you’re using, so always follow the instructions given on the shampoo bottle.

Is green shampoo safe for blonde hair?

Green shampoo is not suitable for blonde hair – purple shampoo is the best option for neutralizing yellow tones in blonde hair. Using green shampoo on blonde hair may cause unwanted color changes or not provide the desired results.

What are some benefits of using green shampoo?

Using green shampoo can help maintain the desired cool brunette shade by neutralizing red tones, reducing brassiness, and enhancing the overall appearance of your hair. It can also make your hair look healthier and shinier.

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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.