Haircare - Hair

Green Shampoo: What Is It & What Does It Do?

Here’s everything you need to know about green shampoo and how it works.

Written by Amber Belanger
What does green shampoo do

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Brunettes are blessed with beautiful brown hair. But, when it’s color-treated or lightened, red tones can appear.

These unwanted red tones mess up a good dye job. Luckily, you can get rid of them.

Green shampoo is a toning shampoo, designed to do just that: eliminate the red tones.

But how does it work, who is it for, and what does it do?

What Is Green Shampoo?

Green shampoo is a toning shampoo made to eliminate red undertones in brown hair. Dark brown hair tends to develop unwanted red tones after color treatment. With green pigments and color theory, this shampoo works to counteract these.

If you’ve heard of purple or blue shampoo, green shampoo works the same way. Only, it targets red tones instead of orange and yellow.

Color Wheel Theory

To understand green shampoo, let’s first look at the color wheel.

color wheel

The color wheel is a simple tool that helps identify complementary colors for balancing out hues. In hair care, it serves as a guide to neutralize unwanted tones.

For example, purple shampoo cancels out yellow tones, and blue shampoo removes orange tones.

When it comes to eliminating red tones, that’s where green shampoo comes in.

Who Should Use Green Shampoo?

If you’re a brunette with natural red undertones or someone with deep shades of brown or black hair, green shampoo is for you.

These hair colors are most prone to develop unwanted red tones. If you don’t have this hair color, but still develop red undertones, you can also use green shampoo.

Why Do You Need to Use Green Shampoo?

The primary purpose of green shampoo is to bring neutrality to your hair and reduce any unwanted red undertones.

These unwelcome tones are caused by many things:

  • Following lightening treatment (bleaching, highlights, or balayage)
  • Frequent heat styling
  • Exposure to hard water
  • Harsh sun rays
  • When your hair naturally lightens and reveals its underlying pigment.

Does Green Shampoo Really Work?

Yes, green shampoo does work. Green shampoo brings balance and restores your hair to its original, rich, dark brunette shade.

Remember to use it as directed for the best results.

What Does Green Shampoo Do?

Green shampoo does a number of things, but the primary function is to get rid of red tones.

Other than this, it also:

  • Neutralizes orange tones
  • Enhances hair color
  • Manage brassy tones

Neutralizing Red and Orange Tones

Green shampoo is a fantastic solution for neutralizing any unwanted red and orange tones in your hair.

The green shampoo works by depositing a controlled amount of green dye in your hair to counteract the red tones, making your hair look more balanced and healthy.

Enhancing Hair Color

If you’re a brunette, green shampoo is your secret weapon to keep your hair color vibrant and refreshed. By removing the red undertones, green shampoo enhances your natural hue and helps maintain the richness of your dark brunette shade.

So, not only does it take care of undesirable red and orange tones. It also improves your overall hair color.

Managing Brassy Tones

Green shampoo also addresses brassiness.

The brassy effect in your hair, often a result of dyed or heavily heat-styled hair, can show up as reddish or yellowish tones. Green shampoo helps manage brassiness by neutralizing these tones.

As a result, your hair will be less brassy and have a more even, healthy appearance.

How to Use Green Shampoo

Now that you know what it does, here’s how to use green shampoo for the best results.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Wet your hair: Wet your hair thoroughly with warm water. Make sure it’s completely saturated.
  2. Apply green shampoo: Apply a small amount of green-colored shampoo to your hair. Focus on the areas with unwanted red tones.
  3. Massage and distribute: Gently massage the shampoo into your hair, working it through from roots to tips. Make sure the shampoo is evenly distributed.
  4. Leave it on: Allow the shampoo to sit on your hair for 1-5 minutes, depending on the product.
  5. Rinse: Rinse the shampoo out of your hair with cool water. Make sure all the product is removed.
  6. Condition: Follow up with your regular conditioner if needed.

Select the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type

When choosing a green shampoo, pick one designed for your specific hair type. Whether it’s oily, dry, curly, or straight.

Read the product labels carefully and look for one that caters to your hair’s unique needs. This can be added moisture for dry hair or lightweight hydration for oily hair.


How often you have to use green shampoo also depends on your hair.

If you notice a significant amount of redness, consider using the shampoo once or twice a week to maintain neutral tones. However, if your hair only has a few unwanted red tones, you can use the green shampoo less frequently.

It’s essential to monitor the results after each use and adjust the frequency accordingly to maintain a balanced and natural-looking color.

How to Find the Best Green Shampoo

All there’s left to do is find the right shampoo. Here’s how you find the best green shampoo:

  • Hair type: Understand your hair type and its specific needs.
  • Sulfate-free shampoo: Consider a sulfate-free option to avoid stripping natural oils and causing dryness or damage.
  • Natural hair care products: Incorporate green shampoos with natural and organic ingredients for nourishment and protection.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Look for products without parabens, artificial fragrances, or other damaging chemicals.

Your Hair

To find the best green shampoo for your hair, first, understand your hair type and the specific needs it may have.

Sulfate-Free Shampoo

When looking for the best green shampoo, consider a sulfate-free option.

Sulfates, like sodium lauryl sulfate, can strip your hair of the natural oils it needs. This causes dryness and damage. Sulfate-free shampoos provide a gentle cleansing experience, keeping your hair healthy.

They’re especially beneficial if you have sensitive skin or a dry scalp.

Natural Hair Care Products

Incorporate natural hair care products when searching for the perfect green shampoo. Look for shampoos with natural and organic ingredients that help nourish and protect your hair.

Avoid products containing harsh chemicals, parabens, or artificial fragrances. These can cause irritation or damage to your hair.

Green Shampoo Brands and Products

The market is vast, and it can be overwhelming to look for a specific products.

Hence, we’ve found two of the best green shampoos for you: Matrix Total Results Dark Envy.

Total Results Dark Envy


Total Results Dark Envy is a green shampoo specially designed for brunettes. The green tones in this shampoo neutralize red undertones that make your brunette hair look more fiery than it’s supposed to.

This shampoo is essential for those who want their dark hair to maintain its natural, rich shade.

Matrix, the company behind Total Results Dark Envy, has developed this product with their expert knowledge of hair care. Using this shampoo, you’ll be able to prevent any unwanted color changes in your brunette hair.

Green vs. Blue vs. Purple Shampoo

Toning shampoos have become more popular in recent years. But what’s the difference between them?

Here’s an overview of green, blue, and purple shampoo.

Shampoo ColorHair TypePurpose
GreenBrunettes with red undertonesNeutralize red tones, create a cooler look
BlueBrunettes with orange and brassy undertonesEliminate brassy shade
PurpleBlondes with yellow undertonesMaintain cool, ashy, or platinum appearance

Green Shampoo for Red Tones

Green shampoo is, as mentioned, formulated for brunettes with red undertones in their hair. Its purpose is to neutralize those red tones and create a cooler, more balanced look.

Blue Shampoo for Orange Tones

Blue shampoo is ideal for brunettes who have orange and brassy undertones in their hair. If you notice that your hair leans towards a brassy shade, use a blue shampoo to eliminate that unwanted effect.

Purple Shampoo for Yellow Tones

Purple shampoo is designed for blondes with yellow undertones in their hair. If you have blonde hair and want to maintain a cool, ashy, or platinum appearance, purple shampoo is essential.

Potential Issues With Green Shampoo

While green shampoo is great, there are potential issues:

  • Staining: Green shampoo may contain dyes that have the potential to stain your hair if you leave it in for too long.
  • Dryness: Some green shampoos may be formulated with ingredients that can cause dryness. Choose a shampoo that suits your hair type.
  • Scalp irritation: Certain individuals may be sensitive to the ingredients in green shampoo, which can lead to scalp irritation or itching.
  • Residue buildup: Green shampoos can sometimes leave behind residue if not rinsed out thoroughly. Use a cleansing shampoo to combat this.

Remember to read the instructions and ingredients carefully before using any green shampoo. Consider consulting a hairstylist if you have concerns about how it may affect your specific hair type.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does green shampoo combat brassiness?

Green shampoo neutralizes unwanted red or brassy tones in your hair by depositing a controlled amount of green dye. This restores the hair to its original, rich, dark brunette color. It works based on color theory, where green is opposite of red on the color wheel.

Which green shampoo is the best for removing red?

There are many green shampoos available, and the best one for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Look for a shampoo with good pigment concentration and positive customer reviews. You might need to try a few different brands until you find the one that works best for you.

Can green shampoo help light brown hair?

Yes, green shampoo can help light brown hair with unwanted red tones. It is particularly effective for brunettes who want to counteract the effect of the sun, hard water, or heat styling that may have caused red undertones in the hair.

What are the benefits of using green shampoo?

Green shampoo offers several benefits, including:

  • Neutralizing unwanted red and brassy tones
  • Restoring hair to its original, rich color
  • Improving hair health and vitality by maintaining color balance

How does green shampoo affect bleached hair?

Green shampoo is not ideal for bleached hair, as it’s specifically designed to target red undertones in brunette hair. For bleached or blonde hair with brassy tones, it’s recommended to use purple shampoo instead, which neutralizes yellow hues.

How frequently should green shampoo be used?

The frequency of using green shampoo depends on your individual hair needs and the intensity of the red tones you want to neutralize. Start by using it once a week and adjust the frequency according to the results. Always follow the instructions on the bottle, and be mindful of not overusing it to avoid overtone deposits.

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.