Whether you’re in the process of transitioning to gray or you’ve had a full head of silvery strands for years now, finding the right shampoo can make a big difference in the tone and texture of your hair. Gray hair is prone to picking up yellow tones from everyday elements like sunlight, hard water and pollution. It also tends to grow in coarse and wiry. Luckily, with a bit of patience and a proper purple shampoo, you can keep your hair cool, smooth and shiny.
The 16 Best Shampoos for Gray Hair to Keep It Cool, Smooth and Shiny
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How to Find the Best Shampoo for Gray Hair
The lighter the shade of purple shampoo, the more subtle the effect will be. So, if you have a softer gray coloring—or have just a few patches or strands of silver sprinkled throughout—a violet-tinged shampoo will do the trick. If you have icier gray or very white strands that you want to keep on the cooler side, opt for a darker purple or even indigo-hued shampoo for the best results.
A final tip: Whatever shampoo you choose, make sure to follow the instructions on the label, so you don’t end up with lavender hair (unless that’s what you want, in which case, rock on).
To get you started, here are 16 of the best shampoos for gray hair.
The Best Shampoos for Gray Hair at a Glance
- The Classic: Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
- Stylist Pick: Biolage Color Last Purple Shampoo
- Best for Thinning Hair: Thicktails Hair Growth Shampoo
- Best for White Hair: Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo
- Best for Coarse Hair: dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo
- Best for All Shades of Gray: Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo
- Best for Frizzy Hair: Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde Booster Shampoo
- Best for Damaged Hair: Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo
- Best for Fine Hair: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo
- Most Customizable: IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Drops
- Best Budget: Pantene Silver Expressions Purple Shampoo
- Most Hydrating: Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Purple Shampoo
- Best for Daily Use: UNITE Hair BLONDA Daily Shampoo
- Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Paris EverPure Purple Shampoo
- Best Strengthening: Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo
- Best Overall: MATRIX Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo
- Why We Love It: Protein-based ingredients, budget-friendly, great for bright blondes and silver hair
This purple shampoo is a longtime favorite among many bright blondes and silver foxes because it tames brassiness and enhances the color to icy levels. According to the brand, using this shampoo once a week is enough to keep your hair looking true to color.
- Why We Love It: Pro-approved, vegan, safe for color-treated hair
“Gray hair can tend to look yellow easily because of product buildup and minerals in water,” explains Sunnie Brook, a celebrity stylist based in California. “Because of this, I always recommend using a clarifying shampoo once a week, followed by Biolage ColorLast Purple Shampoo to really enhance those sparkly tones,” she adds.
Best for Thinning Hair
- Why We Love It: Silicone-free, made for oily scalps and thinning hair
Are your grays looking wispier than usual? This shampoo was created for you. Whether your hair thinning is being triggered by menopause, postpartum and/or stress, this formula features caffeine and biotin, which can help by blocking DHT production (a hormone that contributes to hair loss). Plus, it's especially gentle on graying strands (though you might have to swap in one of the purple shampoos on this list once a week to keep the brass at bay).
- Why We Love It: Plant-based ingredients, vegan, suitable for all hair shades
If you’re searching for a milder shampoo, we recommend this botanical blend from French favorite, Klorane. Rather than an intense violet or deep purple tint, this formula (which features key ingredient organic centaury) has subtle indigo tones and is free of drying sulfates to brighten up your gray strands.
Best for Coarse Hair
- Why We Love It: Vegan, cruelty-free, great for coarse and curly hair
Thanks to silk proteins and hibiscus flower extract in dpHUE’s purple shampoo, you’ll strengthen the hair cuticle while canceling out brassy tones at the same time. And while some highly pigmented shampoos are too much for daily use, this one deposits just the right amount of color, so it can be used as often as needed without turning your hair violet. Pro tip: Mix it with a hydrating shampoo for even sleeker, shinier results.
Best for All Shades of Gray
- Why We Love It: Natural ingredients, pleasant scent, vegan formula
If you’re rocking a salt and pepper style or are dealing with 50 shades of gray, try this bluish-purple shampoo that’s favored for its ability to neutralize brassiness in all hair colors. Plus, the scent blend of ylang-ylang, lemon and eucalyptus makes it even more enjoyable to use.
Best for Frizzy Hair
- Why We Love It: Works for all hair textures, ten percent off with code EXTRA10
Philip Kingsley is best known for its Elasticizer hair mask, but it also excels at blonde and gray haircare—as proven by this shampoo. It’s made with lavender oil, which promotes scalp health, and violet micro-pigments to gently tone your grays. The hydrating formula also reduces static and smooths the cuticle, making it an especially good choice for frizzy hair.
Best for Damaged Hair
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, works across hair types, pleasant scent
This sulfate-free shampoo is extremely hydrating, making it ideal for parched gray strands. Infused with argan oil (which is packed with vitamins A and E), it helps repair and seal the hair’s cuticle, while the violet pigments handle any brassy tones that have crept in.
Best for Fine Hair
- Why We Love It: Includes UV-protection, safe for color-treated hair, mild scent
Straight from Stockholm comes this salon-grade shampoo that doesn’t just increase shine, block UV rays (one of the main culprits of brass) and counteract existing yellow tones—it also volumizes limp roots. Bouncier, brighter hair? Right, this way.
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, vegan, works for all hair types
If you're constantly fighting brassy strands, you might want to pick up a bottle of these leave-in drops. Though they’re not technically shampoo, they can be added to any shampoo (or conditioner) you already have, which is what makes them so genius. That and you can customize the level of toning you want by adjusting the number of drops you add in. Oh, and they provide UV protection as well, which we know is crucial for keeping brass away.
- Why We Love It: Silicone-free, budget-friendly, great for all shades of gray
This one by Pantene was formulated specifically for gray and silver strands in mind. With plenty of purple pigment to neutralize brass and brighten up dullness, it also features the brand’s classic ingredient: pro-vitamin B5, which hydrates and strengthens hair. The handy pump top and generously sized bottle make this budget-friendly buy especially easy to use as well.
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, best seller on Amazon, hydrating for dry and brittle hair
If you're dealing with dull, dry strands, this Olaplex pick can help. It aims to hydrate and brighten gray hair with its sulfate-free formula. Featuring bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, an ingredient that repairs and strengthens hair bonds, the shampoo also reduces brassiness.
Best for Daily Use
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, sustainable packaging, pleasant scent
While some purple shampoos are limited to once a week usage, this one is ready-to-go whenever you need it. The gentle formula promises to clean your hair and soothe your scalp without stripping away your color thanks to a blend of natural oats, chamomile extract and coconut extract.
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, Budget-friendly, safe for color-treated hair
A classic brand at a wallet-friendly price? Yes please. This hibiscus-tinted dye shampoo aims to moisturize brittle strands, minimize brassiness and brighten dull locks. According to the brand, you can use it up to three times a week to keep your grays vibrant.
- Why We Love It: Sulfate-free, vegan, has proteins to repair damage
Do you have brittle, damaged hair? Well, this shampoo might be just the fix for repairing and strengthening weakened strands. The formula includes keravis (a protein that reduces breakage) and astaxanthin (an antioxidant that heals hair bonds) to promote healthier hair with continued use.
- Why We Love It: Bestseller on Amazon, works across different hair textures, pleasant scent
When a shampoo has over 30,000 5-star ratings, you take note. This highly concentrated shampoo contains direct dyes that neutralize yellow tones across platinum, silver and extremely light blonde to white hair. (Heads up: Since it is so pigmented, we recommend wearing a pair of gloves to avoid staining your nails.)