What Is Purple Shampoo? Everything You Need to Know

Purple shampoo is one of those magical beauty products that not everyone knows about but should. If you’ve ever suffered from brassy hair, this can save you a trip to the salon.

What Is Purple Shampoo?

It’s exactly what it sounds like—purple-tinted shampoo. Note that there are also many purple conditioners, treatments and styling products out there, but they all serve the same purpose. (So if your stylist tries to push you to buy more than one, politely decline and pick whichever is cheapest.) Still not sure which one to get? We prefer to use a purple shampoo and a regular conditioner to get the softest results.

Who Should Use Purple Shampoo?

Natural or dyed blondes, ladies with gray or graying hair and anyone with lightened ends or highlights. 

How Does it Work?

Just like when you color correct with makeup, it’s using opposite shades to counteract one other. And since yellow sits opposite purple on the color wheel, a purple shampoo will cancel out any brassiness or warm tones that have crept into your hair.

How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

Start off with once a week. If that’s not doing the trick, you can up the usage slowly to two or three times a week.

Which Type of Purple Shampoo Should I Use?

That depends on how light your hair is. Generally speaking, darker purples (some formulas like Lush Daddy-O Shampoo are so pigmented, they border on blue) work best on icy platinum, gray or very light blonde strands. If you have more of a honey blonde coloring—or have balayage or highlights—a violet-tinged shampoo will do the trick.

Will it turn my hair purple?

Not if you use it correctly—meaning, leave it in only for as long as absolutely necessary. If your hair tends to get very yellow, let the shampoo sit for five to ten minutes; if you just have a little brass, two to three minutes will suffice. Either way, things are looking brighter. 

8 Things Every Blonde Should Know

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...