Haircare - Hair

Purple Shampoo 101: What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

What does purple shampoo do, who can use it, and what does it not do?

Written by Amber Belanger
What Does Purple Shampoo Do

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Blonde, platinum, grey, bleached, or lightened hair often develops some form of brassiness. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s when your hair turns more yellow.

These unwanted tones can be caused by various factors, such as environmental pollutants, hard water, or heat styling.

This specially-formulated shampoo contains a purple pigment that counteracts these undesirable hues.

But how does it work? And what does it actually do?

That’s what we’ll dive into in this article.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

Purple shampoo removes yellow, brassy tones from lighter hair colors. The purple pigment in the shampoo works as a toning agent, effectively toning your hair.

Some people may prefer to use toner for a more intensive treatment to address specific tonal issues. Toner can be more useful to perfect the final result after hair coloring or highlighting.

Tones Blonde, Platinum, and Grey Hair

Purple shampoo is a special type of hair care product that helps to tone and maintain the color of blonde, platinum, and grey hair.

When you use purple shampoo, you’re adding a violet pigment to your locks, which counteracts unwanted yellow tones.

This means your hair will stay looking fresh, cool-toned, and free of brassiness.

Removes Brassy Tones

Brassy tones can sometimes develop in lightened hair, making your hair color appear less vibrant and more yellowish-orange.

Thanks to the violet hue in purple shampoo, it effectively neutralizes brass.

Apply purple shampoo to your damp hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing, giving the violet pigments time to work their magic. But don’t overuse purple shampoo, as excessive use may result in a purple tint to your hair.

Enhances Hair Color

If your hair color is looking a bit dull or faded, purple shampoo can help to enhance and brighten up your color.

While the main purpose of using purple shampoo is to remove brassy tones, it can also provide a vibrant boost to your hair’s overall appearance, making it shinier and more lively.

Using purple shampoo a couple of times a week can help maintain your desired hair color and keep it looking its best.

The Science Behind How Purple Shampoo Works

color wheel

It’s important to understand the science behind how purple shampoo counteracts yellow and brassy tones, if you want to best results.

It can also help you choose the right product and use it more effectively.

Purple shampoo contains a violet pigment that sits opposite yellow on the color wheel. This means that when you apply the shampoo to your hair, the purple pigments neutralize the yellow tones.

This makes your hair appear brighter and cooler in color.

The pigments in purple shampoo are temporary and will fade with each wash, so it’s important to use the shampoo regularly to maintain the desired results.

Additionally, the effectiveness of purple shampoo can vary depending on factors such as the concentration of pigments in the shampoo, the condition of your hair, and the length of time you leave the shampoo on your hair.

Difference Between Purple Shampoo & Toner

Purple shampoo and toner may seem similar, but they actually serve different purposes for your hair.

Here are the differences between them so you can choose the right product for your hair needs.

CategoryPurple ShampooToner
TypePurple shampoo is a specially formulated shampoo that contains purple pigments.Toner is a hair treatment that can come in many different shades, depending on the desired outcome.
StrengthPurple shampoo is gentle and can be used regularly as part of your hair care routine.Toners are more potent and are usually applied less frequently.
UsePurple shampoo is an everyday maintenance tool for keeping your hair color from becoming too brassy or yellow.Toner is a more intensive treatment often used as a follow-up to hair coloring or highlighting.

Shampoo vs. Treatment

Purple shampoo is a specially formulated shampoo that contains purple pigments. These pigments work to neutralize the yellow tones in blonde or light-colored hair. It’s an easy way to maintain a cool, even tone between salon visits.

You simply use purple shampoo like any other shampoo, lathering it into your hair and rinsing it out.

On the other hand, toner is a hair treatment that is usually applied in a salon by a professional. Its main purpose is to correct or change the tone of your hair, making it more even and vibrant.

Toners can come in many different shades, depending on the desired outcome. They’re not limited to just purple. They are typically applied to damp hair and left on for a specific amount of time before being rinsed out.

Gentle vs. Potent

One of the advantages of purple shampoo is that it’s gentle and can be used regularly as part of your hair care routine.

However, it’s important to read product labels and follow instructions to avoid overuse or leaving it on for too long, which could lead to unwanted color results.

Unlike purple shampoo, which can be used regularly, toners are usually applied less frequently, as they are more potent and can have a more lasting impact on your hair.

Maintenance vs. Treatment

While both purple shampoo and toner help adjust the tone of your hair, they’re used in different ways. Purple shampoo is a regular at-home maintenance tool for keeping your hair color from becoming too brassy or yellow.

Toner is a more intensive treatment, often used as a follow-up to hair coloring or highlighting. It’s used to perfect the final result or address specific tonal issues.

In summary, for everyday care and maintaining cool-toned hair, purple shampoo is your go-to. When you need a more powerful, targeted solution, visit a salon for a professional toner application.

Remember that every hair type is different, so consult with your stylist to find a routine that’s tailored to your unique needs.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Other Hair Colors?

Purple shampoo is primarily designed for blonde, silver, or gray hair to neutralize brassy tones. However, it may also have different effects on other hair colors.

In this section, we will explore the impact of purple shampoo on brown, black, and red hair.

Hair ColorEffect of Purple Shampoo
Blonde, Platinum, GreyTones and maintains color, counteracts yellow tones, prevents brassiness
Brown with HighlightsMaintains cooler tones of highlights, prevents brassiness
Black with Lighter HighlightsHelps maintain lighter tones, prevents brassiness
RedNot recommended, look for color-depositing shampoo specifically designed for red hair

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Brown Hair?

If you have brown hair with highlights, purple shampoo can help maintain the cooler tones of your highlights.

If you don’t have highlights, it won’t do much. Instead, you should try out a blue shampoo.

It may not have a significant impact on your overall brown hair color, but it can prevent the highlights from turning brassy or orange.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair?

For black hair, the effects of purple shampoo are not as noticeable. Since black hair doesn’t usually exhibit brassy tones, the shampoo won’t have an impact on the overall color.

If you have black hair with lighter highlights, the purple shampoo might help maintain those lighter tones and prevent brassiness.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair?

If you have red hair, purple shampoo won’t have the same effect, but it is an option. Purple shampoo is designed to neutralize yellow and orange tones, but red hair often has a different color spectrum.

That’s not to say, that you cant use it, if you have some brassy tones you need to get rid of.

What Does Purple Shampoo Not Do?

Let’s take a look at a few things purple shampoo doesn’t do for your hair.

Purple Shampoo Does Not Color Your Hair

Though the shampoo itself is a vibrant purple, it is not a coloring agent. It doesn’t actually color your hair purple.

The purpose of purple shampoo is to help counteract brassiness and yellow tones in blonde or silver hair.

It does this by depositing small amounts of purple pigment that neutralize the yellow tones, maintaining a cooler and more natural hair color.

Purple Shampoo Does Not Lighten Your Hair

Purple shampoo won’t lighten your hair. It’s not a hair dye or bleach, and it doesn’t alter the shade of your hair.

What it does do is help reduce the appearance of unwanted warm and yellow tones, making your hair look fresher and brighter.

Remember, purple shampoo is for maintenance, not for drastically changing your hair color. If you want to lighten your hair, visit a professional hair stylist or use a hair dye designed for lightening your hair color.

How to Use Purple Shampoo

If you’ve decided to give purple shampoo a try, here’s how to use it.

Choosing the Right Product

When looking for a purple shampoo, pay attention to its pigment. The darker the shampoo, the better its toning abilities. Choose a product with good reviews and ensure it is specifically designed for your hair type.

For example, some purple shampoos are made for low-porosity, fine, and dye-resistant hair.

Application and Timing

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly.
  2. Apply a generous amount of purple shampoo to your hair, focusing on the yellow or brassy areas.
  3. Lather the shampoo and let it sit for a few minutes. Don’t leave it on for too long, as it can cause a purple tint.
  4. Rinse your hair well and follow up with a conditioner.

Keep in mind that the longer you leave the shampoo on, the more it will tone your hair. Every product is different, so be sure to check the recommendations on the packaging.

Frequency of Use

Start by using purple shampoo once a week and adjust the frequency based on your hair’s response. If your hair still looks brassy, increase usage to twice a week.

Be cautious not to overuse, as it can lead to a purple hue or dry out your hair. Remember, the purple pigment is temporary and may need reapplication after a few washes.

Potential Drawbacks and Solutions

Overuse Consequences

Using too much purple shampoo can have some negative effects on your hair. If you overuse it, your hair may become too purple or gray, making it look dull and lifeless. Additionally, excessive use may lead to dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to breakage.

To prevent these problems, follow the product instructions carefully and don’t use purple shampoo more often than recommended. If you notice your hair turning too purple or gray, just reduce the frequency of your applications.

Addressing Dryness

Another issue you might encounter with purple shampoo is dryness. This type of shampoo can sometimes strip your hair of its natural oils, making it feel dry and rough. But don’t worry! There are several solutions to help counteract this effect:

  1. Use a moisturizing conditioner: After using purple shampoo, always apply a deep conditioning product. This will help replenish your hair’s moisture and maintain its softness and shine.
  2. Limit your shampoo usage: Try not to use purple shampoo every time you wash your hair. Rotate it with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo that’s suitable for daily use.
  3. Leave-in treatments: Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to further protect and hydrate your hair between washes.

By being aware of these potential drawbacks and following the suggested solutions, you can enjoy the benefits of purple shampoo to maintain your beautiful blonde or silver hair without causing any harm to it.

Key Takeaways of What Purple Shampoo Does

So, here’s what purple shampoo does:

  • Purple shampoo is used to neutralize yellow and brassy tones in blonde, gray, or silver hair.
  • Regular use helps maintain a brighter, cooler appearance for your hair.
  • Purple shampoo does not lighten or color your hair (if used correctly).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does purple shampoo lighten hair?

No, purple shampoo does not actually lighten your hair. Its main purpose is to counteract the yellow or brassy tones in blonde, silver, or gray hair. The shampoo contains purple pigments that work by neutralizing these unwanted tones, making your hair appear brighter and more even in color.

Does purple shampoo work for brown hair?

Purple shampoo can also be useful for some people with brown hair, if you have highlights or lighter sections that tend to develop brassy tones over time. While the purple shampoo won’t have as dramatic of an effect on brown hair as it does on blonde or gray hair, it can still help neutralize any unwanted red or orange hues that may develop.

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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.