Haircare - Hair

What Does Purple Do To Red Hair? (Benefits & Limitations)

Purple shampoo is designed for blondes. But can it work for redheads?

Written by Amber Belanger
What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair

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Are you a redhead curious about purple shampoo?

This article explores the effects of purple shampoo on red hair, and dives into its benefits, limitations, and alternatives.

Not only can help neutralize brassy tones, but it can maintain your red vibrancy. But be careful about using it.

Read on to discover if purple shampoo is the ideal solution for keeping your red locks looking fresh and fabulous.

What Is Purple Shampoo?

What Is Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo is a hair care product that is designed for people with blonde, silver, or gray hair. It contains purple pigments that help to neutralize unwanted brassy, yellow, and orange tones in the hair.

The concept behind purple shampoo is based on color theory and the color wheel.

Because purple is directly opposite yellow and orange on the color wheel, it can cancel out those tones.

Purple shampoo is not just for people with blonde hair. It can also be used on red hair.

The violet pigments in the shampoo can help to neutralize any unwanted brassiness in the hair, no matter your hair color.

It is important to note that purple shampoo is not a hair dye. It will not change the color of your hair. Instead, it helps to enhance the color you already have by neutralizing any unwanted tones.

How Does Purple Shampoo Work on Red Hair?

Red hair dye can, over time, fade and become brassy as the red pigment mixes with other pigments. This often results in orange or yellow tones.

This is where purple shampoo comes in as it helps neutralize these unwanted tones.

It works by depositing violet pigments in your hair that erase the yellow ones. This leaves your hair looking more vibrant.

However, purple shampoo can’t cancel out red tones, which is why your hair color will be “enhanced”.

It’s important to remember that purple shampoo is not a permanent solution and it won’t replace salon visits for color correction.

Learn more: How Purple Shampoo Effects Different Hair Colors

Benefits of Using Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Benefits of Using Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Here are some benefits of using purple shampoo on red hair:

  • Prevents Brassiness
  • Enhances Vibrancy
  • Adds Shine
  • Keeps Hair Hydrated
  • Promotes Healthy Hair

Prevents Brassiness

Red hair is prone to brassiness, which can make your hair look dull and lifeless. Purple shampoo helps remove and prevent this by neutralizing unwanted warm tones in your hair.

Enhances Vibrancy

Using purple shampoo on red hair can help enhance its vibrancy. The purple pigments in the shampoo will help bring out the red tones in your hair, making it look more vibrant and rich.

Adds Shine

Purple shampoo can also add shine to your red hair. The pigments in the shampoo can reflect light, giving your hair a shiny and healthy appearance.

Keeps Hair Hydrated

Using purple shampoo on red hair can help keep it hydrated. Many purple shampoos contain moisturizing ingredients that can help prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle.

Promotes Healthy Hair

By keeping your red hair free of brassiness and well-hydrated, using purple shampoo can promote healthy hair.

This means your hair will be less prone to breakage and split ends, and it will be easier to manage and style.

Overall, using purple shampoo on red hair can be a great way to keep it looking vibrant and healthy. Just be sure to choose a shampoo that is specifically formulated for red hair, and use it as directed for best results.

Limitations to Purple Shampoo for Redheads

While purple shampoo can work for red hair, there are some limitations to consider:

  1. Doesn’t work well on orange or deep red tones: Purple shampoo works mainly on yellow colors, so it might not help if your red hair has strong orange or very red parts.
  2. Too much purple: If you use purple shampoo too often or leave it in for too long, your hair might turn dull or even look a bit purple.
  3. Can make hair dry: Some purple shampoos can make your hair feel drier, so be careful when using it and always pair it with a good conditioner.
  4. Not as helpful for natural redheads: If your red hair is natural and not from dye, purple shampoo might not have the same effect as it does on dyed red hair.
  5. Mixing with other products: Make sure to ask a hairstylist before adding any new products to your routine, because some products may not work well together with purple shampoo.

How to Use Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

How to Use Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Here’s how to use purple shampoo for red hair:

Step 1: Choose the Right Purple Shampoo

When selecting a purple shampoo, make sure to choose one that is designed for color-treated hair.

Look for a product that is made to also work on red hair (or at least has a track record of doing so). Ask your colorist for recommendations or read reviews online to find the best one for your hair type.

Step 2: Wet Your Hair and Apply the Shampoo

Start by wetting your hair thoroughly in the shower. Apply a small amount of purple shampoo to your palm and work it into a lather.

Be sure to distribute the shampoo evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the areas where you see the most brassiness or yellow tones.

Step 3: Massage the Shampoo into Your Hair

Massage the shampoo into your hair, making sure to cover all areas thoroughly.

If your hair is particularly dry or damaged, avoid rubbing too vigorously, as this can cause further damage. Instead, use gentle circular motions to work the shampoo into your hair.

Step 4: Wait for the Shampoo to Work

Once you’ve applied the shampoo, wait for it to work its magic. The amount of time you need to leave the shampoo in your hair will depend on the product you are using, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.

In general, you should leave the shampoo in your hair for around 5-10 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse and Condition Your Hair

After the wait time is up, rinse your hair thoroughly with water. Remove all traces of the shampoo from your hair, as leaving it in can cause dryness and damage.

Follow up with a conditioner designed for color-treated hair to keep your hair looking soft and healthy.

Remember, while purple shampoo can be a great way to keep your red hair looking its best, do not overuse it.

Using purple shampoo too frequently or leaving it in your hair for too long can cause over-toning and leave your hair looking dull and lifeless.

Use it once a week or as directed by your colorist to keep your red hair looking its best.

Alternatives to Purple Shampoo for Red Hair

While purple shampoo is great for toning down the yellow tones in blonde hair, it may not be the best option for red hair.

Fortunately, there are other color-correcting shampoos that can help you achieve the desired results.

Shampoo ColorPurposeIdeal Hair Colors
BlueNeutralizes unwanted orange tones in the hairDarker hair colors
GreenNeutralizes unwanted red tones in the hair, not made to enhance red colorRed hair for achieving pastel shades
PinkEnhances natural pink tones in the hair, maintains cool tones and reduces unwanted yellow tonesRed hair

Blue Shampoo

Blue shampoo is an excellent alternative to purple shampoo for red hair. Blue shampoo works the same as purple shampoo, but for darker hair.

It neutralizes unwanted orange tones in the hair, instead of yellow. This is especially helpful for those with darker hair colors.

Green Shampoo

Green shampoo is another alternative to purple shampoo. This shampoo neutralizes unwanted red tones in the hair.

It is ideal for those with red hair who want to achieve pastel shades.

Green shampoo is not made to enhance the red color, which is why most people with red hair should not use it.

Pink Shampoo

Pink shampoo is another option for those with red hair. It is perfect for those who want to enhance the natural pink tones in their hair.

Pink shampoo can also help to maintain cool tones in the hair and reduce unwanted yellow tones.

Choosing the Right Purple Shampoo for Red Hair

Here are some things to consider when selecting a purple shampoo for red hair:


Look for a sulfate-free purple shampoo. Sulfates can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause damage.

Using a sulfate-free shampoo will help protect your hair and keep it healthy.

At-Home Use

If you’re planning to use the purple shampoo at home, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Overusing purple shampoo can cause your hair to turn purple or gray.

Use it once a week or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Market Availability

There are many purple shampoos on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Look for a reputable brand that specializes in hair care. Check the reviews online to see what other customers have to say.

Key Takeaways about Purple Shampoo for Red Hair

In summary, while purple shampoo can be used on red hair, it may not provide the same results as it does on blonde or gray hair.

Red hair tends to have more orange and red tones than yellow tones, which are the ones that purple shampoo works best on.

There are alternative color-correcting shampoos available that may help neutralize unwanted tones in red hair better than purple shampoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can purple shampoo tone down red hair?

Yes, purple shampoo can tone down red hair. When purple shampoo is applied to red hair, it can help remove brassy and yellow tones that tend to appear after a while when the hair is colored red. This can lead to a cooler, more toned-down look.

Will purple shampoo help remove red tones from hair?

Purple shampoo is not designed to remove red tones from hair. Instead, it is formulated to neutralize brassy and yellow tones in blonde and gray hair. While it may help tone down red hair, it will not remove the red tones entirely.

Is it safe to use purple shampoo on natural red hair?

Yes, it is safe to use purple shampoo on natural red hair. However, since purple shampoo is designed to neutralize yellow and brassy tones, it may not have the same effect on natural red hair as it does on colored red hair.

Can purple shampoo be used on copper hair?

Yes, purple shampoo can be used on copper hair. However, since copper hair has a different tone than blonde or gray hair, the effects may be different. It may not be as effective in neutralizing brassy tones in copper hair.

What effect does purple shampoo have on strawberry blonde hair?

Purple shampoo can help neutralize brassy and yellow tones in strawberry blonde hair. However, since strawberry blonde is a mix of blonde and red tones, the effects may not be as noticeable as they are in pure blonde hair.

Does green shampoo work on red hair?

Green shampoo is not designed to work on red hair. It is formulated to neutralize red tones in brown hair. Using green shampoo on red hair may lead to unexpected results and should be avoided.

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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.