How to Use Purple Shampoo to Tone Hair

If you choose to be blonde and have all the fun blondes have, you must be ready to deal with the challenges too, brassy tones in hair among them. Purple shampoo seems to be an easy solution. But how do you actually use it and which purple shampoo suits your tone desires best (yeap, they are not all the same)?

Read on for an ultimate purple shampoo guide by a hair professional to get all the know-how without running to your salon.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

Purple shampoo is a toning shampoo for gray and blonde hair maintenance that works by ousting yellow brassy tones. As the name suggests, these shampoos add a purple tone that is needed to neutralize the unwanted yellow shades, making gray and blonde hair appear cleaner, brighter, or more smokey. If your hair is white, a purple toner can help you can achieve a cool platinum and silvery shade.

Purple Shampoo on Blonde Hair Before and After

Instagram / @aniusalon

This effect is due to the basic hair color principle – violet pigments on the color wheel sit directly opposite to yellow pigments, meaning they neutralize this shade – yay! Again, we use a purple-toned shampoo for color correction. Despite the strong formula, it is not a color by itself and adds just a temporary change to your base shade. Thus, if your hair is significantly warm and more on the red spectrum, you may need to lift the orange tones out of your hair at the salon before the purple shampoo can work.

Sometimes, a purple shampoo helps with orange tones too, because orange has yellow in it. However, if you’re a brunette and struggle with orangey-red tones in bleached blonde hair or blonde highlights, a blue shampoo would be a preferred choice, as it can neutralize those deeper warms in the hair.

How to Use Purple Shampoo?

During the blonding session, you are likely to have a toner applied to your bleached hair to bring you to the desired shade. Since purple shampoos can be strong and open the cuticle, it is better not to use any after your hair is freshly toned in a salon, as it can encourage fading of your color. Instead, just use a quality shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair – don’t attempt to fix something that isn’t broken.

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Once your salon color starts fading and yellow-orange tones creep in, introduce a purple shampoo into your routine. You use purple shampoo as a regular one, following these simple steps:

  • Apply the shampoo evenly to the wet hair and massage;
  • Leave in for as long as recommended for the specific product you are using;
  • Rinse and follow up with a quality conditioner.
Washing Hair with Purple Shampoo

Instagram / @osmouk_official

Using purple shampoo can be quite drying and leaves the hair feeling thirsty, so using a good quality conditioner is an important step you shouldn’t skip. Some brands also recommend using a purple conditioner in combination with shampoo to balance the tone.

Another useful tip is to deep condition hair once a month if you add a purple shampoo to your washing routine. You need to know that going from dark to blonde color often leads to damaged hair. Fighting business helps you maintain a beautiful color but puts additional stress on the locks, so it’s important to nurture your locks with appropriate treatment.

Be careful when applying purple shampoo to brassy hair extensions, since different textures grab tones differently. Since extensions are processed hair, it might tone much quicker, and rinsing the purple hue away might be hard.

How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

If you wash your hair two times a week, consider alternating your regular shampoo with a violet one. If you wash your hair daily (which we do not recommend), do not use your purple shampoo more often than twice per week, as removing brassiness can come at the cost of dry and brittle locks. Using a strengthening shampoo will not only help your bleached hair stay healthy but will also prevent the build-up of violet pigments and your hair getting the undesired lilac tone, accordingly.

If you want to get cooler blonde hair color, you can wash your hair with purple shampoo several times in a row until you reach the desired hue. Then, start alternating it with a regular shampoo.

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If you use purple shampoo too often or keep it for too long, you can get a purple tint to your blonde hair color. Washing several times with a cleansing shampoo should normally fix that. However, if you deal with a build-up after too frequent repetitive use, a visit to your colorist might be needed.

How Long Should You Keep Purple Shampoo In?

Each toning shampoo has a different formula and needs a different time to process, so the best thing you can do is to follow the guidance on the box and carefully inspect your hair after using the product.

When using purple shampoo for the first time, a safe bet would be to let it stay in your hair half of the designated time, say, 5 of the recommended 10 minutes. If this didn’t remove all the brassiness, extend the time you keep the toner in. If one or two minutes give you a brighter, vibrant color, there is no need to go for more – there are no added benefits of keeping the purple shampoo longer than it’s needed but if you do, your hair can turn darker or become dull.

Best Purple Shampoos of 2021

If you are looking for a purple shampoo to keep your gray or blonde hair looking its best, here are our top picks that do deserve your attention:

#1: Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo

The thing we love about Olaplex is the patented bond-building technology in the products. With the gentle purple tone, it is great for compromised hair that needs hair bond rebuilding and working with the hue at the same time.

Olaplex Toning Shampoo for Blonde Hair

Instagram / @olaplex

#2: Milkshake Silver Shine Shampoo

I personally used this product in the salon on clients a lot. This purple shampoo has a high pigment deposit to get rid of yellow tones, but it also adds a nice shine to the hair, giving it a smooth silky finish.

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Milkshake Silver Shine Shampoo

Instagram / @milkshakeusa

#3: OWay Hblonde Hair Bath

This is a nice purple shampoo if you like a kinder, gentler product with conditioning treatment. It’s not super strong, but it’s one of the most moisturizing purple shampoos you can find. It is produced by an environmentally friendly company, so if you like a green approach to your cosmetics, this one’s a winner.

OWay Hblonde Hair Bath

Instagram / @owayofficial

#4: Osmo Super Silver No Yellow Shampoo

This shampoo says it in the title – super silver. It adds a great silver tone and is on the stronger end of the spectrum for purple shampoos. Also, it’s quite budget-friendly as for a professional product. Again, sometimes, less is more with a stronger tonal treatment, so be sure to alternate this one with your normal shampoo and conditioner.

Osmo No Yellow Shampoo

Instagram / @osmouk_official

#5: Fudge Clean Blonde Violet-Toning Shampoo

This is a strong purple shampoo but definitely among the ones that do that job. A great choice if you want to see a stronger platinum effect or if you’re willing to keep silver tones for longer.

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo

Instagram / @kaseyrayton

Enjoyed the guide? Here is a roundup to help you remember the main rules and maintain your blonde hair color clean and business-free:

  • If you are freshly toned, wait until your color actually fades to use purple shampoo.
  • If you are worried about your hair’s condition, go for a gentler purple shampoo or use yours less often. Use a good-quality conditioner after each washing and a deep treatment mask once per month.
  • If yellow tones do not vanish, go for a stronger purple shampoo or keep it in your hair longer. If this doesn’t help and your hair looks rather orange, try using a blue toner, as blue, not purple is opposite to orange on the color wheel.
  • If you have hair extensions, just don’t risk it.
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