Haircare - Hair

Purple Shampoo Alternatives: Best DIY, Natural, & Product Substitutes

Looking for a DIY or natural alternative to purple shampoo? Look no further.

Written by Amber Belanger
DIY purple shampoo alternatives

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Purple shampoo, while effective for correcting brassy tones, can sometimes be expensive, harsh, or leave your hair feeling dry.

That’s why it’s worth exploring alternatives to keep your hair looking its best.

Luckily, there are several alternatives that can provide equally stunning results without the need for purple shampoo.

In this article paragraphs, we’ll dive into some of these alternatives, and help you find the perfect solution for your hair care needs.

Let’s discover ways to maintain your hair color without relying on purple shampoo.

Can You Make Purple Shampoo At Home?

Can You Make Purple Shampoo At Home

Yes, you can make purple shampoo at home using some simple ingredients such as food dye or natural ingredients.

How Purple Shampoo Works & What to Replicate

Purple shampoo works by using purple pigments to neutralize yellow tones in blonde, silver, and gray hair. This helps to remove brassiness and maintain a cooler hair color.

The purple pigment is effective because it is opposite yellow on the color wheel, which allows it to effectively neutralize yellow tones.

The key when making it at home, is to use quality ingredients.

Considerations When Using DIY Solutions

When using DIY purple shampoo, it’s important to consider a few factors:

  • Intensity
  • Consistency
  • Testing

The intensity of the purple pigment

The darker the pigment, the more effectively it will neutralize yellow tones. However, be cautious not to use too much pigment, as it may cause your hair to have a slight purple tint.

The consistency of the mixture

Ensure the food coloring or toning drops are well-mixed into the shampoo for even distribution of the purple pigment.

Test on a small section of hair first

Before using your DIY purple shampoo on all of your hair, test it on a small section to see how it reacts with your hair color and ensure it does not lead to unintended results.

Comparing Purple Shampoo Alternatives

Before diving into all the alternatives, here’s how they stack up against each other.

CategoryDIY AlternativesNatural AlternativesProduct Alternatives
Cost-effectivenessTypically low cost and easily accessibleInexpensive, household itemsVaries depending on brand and quality
Potential EffectivenessDepends on correct dye mixing and applicationVaries among individuals; may work for some but not othersFormulated for specific hair types/colors; better consistency in results
Potential DrawbacksPossibility of staining or uneven color distribution; untested combinationsSome natural methods may be drying to the hair or less effectiveHigher cost compared to DIY or natural alternatives; possible exposure to chemicals

Please note that this table provides a general overview of the different alternative types. Individual experiences and outcomes can vary depending on factors such as hair type, condition, frequency of use, and proper application.

5 Product Alternatives to Purple Shampoo

Looking for alternatives to purple shampoo? Look no further.

Here are a couple of options that can brighten your hair without needing to use purple shampoo:

  1. Toning drops
  2. Purple toners
  3. Purple hair masks
  4. Purple conditioners
  5. Platinum shampoo

1. Toning Drops

Toning Drops

Recommendation: OGX Purple Toning Drops.

Toning drops are an excellent alternative to purple shampoo. These drops are easy to use and customizable to suit your hair’s specific needs:

  1. Mix: Mix the drops with your favorite conditioner, shampoo, or hair mask. This way, you can control the amount and strength of the toning effect.
  2. Apply: Apply the solution evenly.
  3. Wait: Let it work for 3-10 minutes (depending on the strength you opted for).
  4. Rinse: Rinse it all out thoroughly.

The best part about toning drops is that they work for all hair types and colors.

The only issue with this method is that it’s difficult to know exactly how strong your solution is. So be careful and start out slowly.

2. Purple Toner

Purple Toner

Recommendation: Clariol Purple Cream Toner

Another alternative to purple shampoo is a purple toner. Purple toners work by neutralizing brassy yellow tones in your hair, leaving it looking brighter and more vibrant.

These toners usually come in a liquid or a cream form and are applied after shampooing your hair.

To use a purple toner, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hair: Use your regular shampoo to clean your hair, then rinse it thoroughly.
  2. Apply the purple toner: Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Ensure that the toner is evenly distributed throughout your hair.
  3. Wait: Let the toner sit in your hair for the recommended amount of time on the package. This can range from a few minutes to up to 20 minutes, depending on the product.
  4. Rinse: Thoroughly rinse the toner from your hair, then finish with your favorite conditioner.

Remember, always conduct a strand test before using any new hair product, as results may vary depending on your hair type and color. Happy toning!

3. Purple Hair Mask

Purple Hair Mask

Recommendation: John Frieda Purple Toning Mask

Another option is using a purple hair mask. Just like purple shampoo, it helps neutralize yellow and orange tones in your hair.

It’s simple to use:

  1. Apply the mask to your hair.
  2. Leave it on for a few minutes.
  3. Rinse it out.

Remember, it’s a more concentrated treatment, so use it once a week or less, depending on your hair’s needs. And always follow the directions.

4. Purple Conditioner

Purple Conditioner

Recommendation: OVERTONE Purple Conditioner

If you’re looking for an alternative to purple toner, purple conditioner could be the perfect solution.

Purple conditioners work in a similar way to toners by neutralizing brassy yellow tones in your hair, while also adding moisture and nourishment to keep your locks healthy and shiny.

Here’s how to use purple conditioner:

  1. Wash your hair: As with toner, start by washing your hair with your regular shampoo, then rinse it thoroughly.
  2. Apply the purple conditioner: Squeeze out a generous amount of purple conditioner into your hand and apply it evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the ends where it tends to be driest.
  3. Wait: Allow the conditioner to sit in your hair for 5-10 minutes (or as directed on the packaging). This will give it enough time to work its magic.
  4. Rinse: Rinse the conditioner out of your hair thoroughly with cool water. Be sure not to leave any residue behind.

Always do a strand test before using any new product on your entire head of hair.

5. Platinum Shampoo

Platinum Shampoo

Recommendation: Paul Mitchell Platinum Shampoo

If you have platinum hair, you can go with a platinum shampoo instead of purple shampoo. As this is designed for platinum hair, it’s more gentle. It’s also lighter, so less violet pigments.

This lowers the chance of discoloration.

Use it as you would a purple shampoo.

2 DIY Alternatives to Purple Shampoo

A “Do-It-Yourself” alternative is simply a “purple shampoo” that you make at home.

Here are to options:

  1. Food Dye
  2. Gentian Violet Dye

A word of caution: they do not always work. DIY solutions can also be more prone to issues and mistakes.

1. DIY Purple Shampoo With Food Dye

You might be surprised to learn that you can create purple shampoo using food dye. This is a cost-effective way to maintain the brightness of your blonde or gray hair.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a gentle shampoo that works well for your hair type.
  2. In a small bowl, mix a few drops of blue and red food coloring to create purple dye. Adjust the color as needed to match your desired shade of purple.
  3. Add the purple dye to your shampoo and mix well.
  4. Apply the DIY purple shampoo to your wet hair as you would with any regular shampoo.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Remember to do a patch test before applying the shampoo to your entire head. This ensures that your hair reacts well to the food dye.

2. DIY Purple Shampoo With Gentian Violet Dye

Gentian violet (also known as crystal violet) is a medical dye traditionally used for its antifungal properties. It can be repurposed to create an effective purple shampoo for blonde and gray hair.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Purchase gentian violet from your local pharmacy or online.
  2. Wear gloves to protect your hands and use a well-ventilated area for mixing.
  3. Add a few drops of gentian violet to a small, clear container. Gradually mix in your choice of clear or white shampoo until the desired shade of purple is achieved.
  4. Apply the shampoo to your wet hair, just as you would with regular shampoo.
  5. Leave it on for a few minutes while monitoring the color, then rinse thoroughly.

When using gentian violet dye, always perform a patch test first to ensure that your hair doesn’t have any negative reactions.

Additionally, be cautious when applying the shampoo to avoid staining your skin, bathroom surfaces, or clothing.

5 Natural Alternatives to Purple Shampoo

If you’re looking for natural alternatives to purple shampoo, here are some ideas:

  1. Baking soda
  2. Apple cider vinegar
  3. Lemon juice
  4. Hollyhock
  5. Watermelon and raspberry

Whether or not these will work for you, we do not know. Some people report that they work. Other’s report that they don’t.

You’ll have to experiment.

Always remember to condition your hair after using these natural purple shampoo alternatives to maintain moisture and protect your hair from damage.

Be cautious and gradually test these alternative methods to find the one that works best for your specific hair needs.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile natural alternative to purple shampoo. It helps remove product buildup, pollutants, and brassiness from your hair.

To use baking soda, follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with water to form a paste.
  2. Wet your hair and apply the paste evenly.
  3. Massage it into your scalp and strands for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Remember, do not overuse baking soda on your hair, as it can be drying.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another natural alternative that neutralizes brassiness and boosts shine.

To make an apple cider vinegar rinse:

  1. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water.
  2. Pour the mixture over your head in the shower.
  3. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing with water.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is known to lighten and brighten hair color, making it a suitable alternative for reducing yellow tones.

To use lemon juice:

  1. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water.
  2. Spray the solution on your wet hair.
  3. Leave it in for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

Try not to use lemon juice too often, as it can dry out your hair.

4. Hollyhock

Hollyhock is a natural plant ingredient known for its benefits on hair color vibrancy.

To make a hollyhock hair mask:

  1. Boil dried hollyhock flowers in water until it forms a concentrate.
  2. Let it cool down and strain the liquid.
  3. Apply the hollyhock concentrate to your washed, wet hair.
  4. Massage into your hair and scalp for a few minutes, then rinse.

5. Watermelon and Raspberry Solution

A unique blend of watermelon and raspberry can provide a natural alternative for color maintenance.

To make this fruit-based solution:

  1. Blend equal parts watermelon and raspberries to form a liquid.
  2. Strain the juice and pour it through wet hair.
  3. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with water.

This solution adds nourishment and shine while maintaining your desired hair color.

Best Alternatives For Different Hair Colors

Not all hair is the same. So if you’re wondering which method to try out first, here’s a table matching hair colors and alternatives.

Hair ColorDIY AlternativesNatural AlternativesProduct Alternatives
BlondeFood Dye, Gentian Violet DyeBaking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon JuiceToning Drops, Purple Toner, Purple Hair Mask, Purple Conditioner
Silver/GrayFood Dye, Gentian Violet DyeBaking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar, HollyhockToning Drops, Purple Toner, Purple Hair Mask, Purple Conditioner
Darker Blonde or Highlighted BrunetteFood Dye (with more blue)Baking SodaBlue Shampoo

The effectiveness of these alternatives may vary depending on your hair type and condition. It is always recommended to perform a patch test before trying any new hair care treatments.

Important Considerations

When you’re using an alternative method, or a DIY method especially, there are a few considerations.

Specifically when it comes to possible mistakes and issues.

Are There Benefits to Using a DIY Purple Shampoo?

Yes, there are benefits to using a DIY Purple Shampoo. By making your own shampoo, you can control the ingredients, ensuring it’s free from harsh chemicals.

This can help reduce irritation and damage to your hair from purple shampoo.

Additionally, making your own shampoo can be cost-effective and environmentally friendly, as you reduce plastic packaging and waste.

A purple conditioner can also be an excellent alternative to purple shampoo, especially for drier hair types. It can provide the same color-enhancing benefits while adding extra nourishment.

What Can Go Wrong When Using DIY Purple Shampoo?

While DIY Purple Shampoo offers several benefits, there are potential issues to be aware of, including:

  • Inconsistency
  • Incorrect toning
  • Unexpected reactions

Read more about each below.


Homemade shampoos may not produce the same results as commercial products, which have been specifically formulated and tested for best performance.

Incorrect Toning

If you mix the wrong shade of purple or blue, your DIY solution might not effectively neutralize yellow or brassy tones. Purple neutralizes yellow, while blue neutralizes orange and brassy tones.

Unexpected Reactions

Mixing different ingredients can sometimes cause reactions that may be harmful to your hair or scalp. Always do a patch test before applying new DIY concoctions to your entire head.

Remember, it’s essential to research and test your DIY Purple Shampoo to make sure you achieve the desired results and avoid any issues.

Product Recommendations and Usage Tips

Here are a few last-minute recommendations and tips, so you can get the best results.

Choosing the Right Purple Shampoo Alternative

When looking for a purple shampoo alternative, consider your hair type and specific needs. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners with nourishing ingredients to minimize dryness and damage.

Maintaining Blonde, Silver, and Gray Hair

Proper maintenance of blonde, silver, and gray hair is crucial to avoid brassiness and keep your hair color vibrant.

Here are some tips:

  • Use color-safe shampoos and conditioners, preferably free of sulfates and parabens.
  • Protect your hair from heat, UV, and pollutants by using heat protectants and avoiding overuse of curling irons or straighteners.
  • Regularly nourish your hair with hair masks and treatments.
  • Try a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse to remove product buildup and restore your hair’s natural pH balance.

In addition to using a purple shampoo alternative, adopt a consistent haircare routine to ensure your hair stays healthy and vibrant.

Conclusion: What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Purple Shampoo?

If you don’t have purple shampoo, you can use a DIY solution or product alternative such as toning drops, food dye, or apple cider vinegar.

You don’t have to rely solely on purple shampoo to maintain your hair color.

Purple hair masks, apple cider vinegar rinses, and color depositing conditioners are all good alternatives that can help keep your hair looking fresh and vibrant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make homemade toning shampoo?

You can create a homemade toning shampoo by mixing a few drops of violet or blue food coloring with your regular shampoo. This will help counteract the yellow or orange hues in your hair. Remember to start small and gradually add more color if needed, as using too much can stain your hair.

Is blue shampoo a viable alternative to purple shampoo?

Yes, blue shampoo can be a suitable alternative to purple shampoo for certain hair colors. Blue shampoo is designed specifically for brunettes with highlighted or lightened hair, helping to neutralize undesired warm, brassy tones.

How do I tone hair without using purple shampoo?

There are several methods to tone hair without using purple shampoo. You can visit a professional salon for a toning treatment, such as a gloss or glaze, which will address any brassiness and maintain your desired hair color. Another option is using hair toners or color-depositing masks, which are applied like a hair mask and typically left on your hair for a specific amount of time before rinsing.

Photo of author

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.