BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

How to use purple shampoo

Using purple shampoo

Those with blonde hair know how hard it is to keep brassy yellow and orange tones out of light hair. Purple shampoo can counteract that brassiness based on basic color theory principles. Purple is yellow’s opposite on the color wheel, allowing it to cancel out unflattering yellow and orange tones. Washing with purple shampoo is an easy way to keep your hair looking flawless at home, but it can go wrong if you don’t use it the right way. 

Shop this story: Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple ShampooBiolage ColorLast Purple ShampooKick Active Purple Shampoo 

Who should use purple shampoo?

People with blonde hair

Purple shampoo is most commonly recommended for blondes, both natural and dyed. Platinum and bleached blonde hair are at particular risk for developing brassy yellow or orange tones, but even golden blondes can struggle with brassiness. 

People with silver hair

Like blonde hair, silver or gray hair’s light color puts it at risk for those unflattering brassy tones. Whether your hair is naturally gray or you've dyed it a silver hue, purple tones in your shampoo can tone down the brassiness and bring out the cool, silver tones instead. 

People with brown hair

It’s not as common for dark hair to develop brassy tones, but if your brunette locks start to look a little too yellow or orange for your tastes, purple shampoo is the answer. In particular, brunettes with balayage or other highlights can benefit from using a purple shampoo. 

What to know about using purple shampoo

How to wash with a purple shampoo

Using purple shampoo is pretty easy because it’s like regular shampoo in most ways. To use it, wet your hair as you usually would. Massage the purple shampoo into your hair until it creates a lather, and then let it sit for a bit. 

Rinse the shampoo out with cool water, and follow up with a conditioner. You can find purple conditioners to coordinate with the shampoo if you need extra help with brassiness, but any rich, hydrating conditioner works well. 

How long to leave purple shampoo in your hair

You have to be careful with how long you leave purple shampoo in your hair before rinsing it out because it can leave behind a purple tint if you’re not careful. Some formulas are so potent that they can leave you with purple-tinged locks after just a minute, while others should sit in your hair for up to 10 minutes to tackle brassiness effectively.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the shampoo bottle. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and leave the shampoo in for just a minute or two. If you wind up with a slight purple tint after using your shampoo, don’t panic. It’s only temporary. You’ll be able to wash it out over the next week.

How often you should use purple shampoo

Just as leaving purple shampoo in your hair too long can leave it with a purple tint, using it too often can make your tresses purple. 

Some gentle purple shampoos are designed for daily use so that you can use them as part of your regular washing routine without issue. Other more potent shampoos should only be used once or twice a week to avoid winding up with purple hair. 

Read the recommended usage instructions on the shampoo bottle to see how often you can wash with it to tone down your brassiness without winding up with a purple tint. 

The best purple shampoos

Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo

This sulfate-free shampoo effectively fights brassiness in blonde, gray and lightened hair. It’s infused with argan oil, so it also helps repair and hydrate the hair.

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Biolage ColorLast Purple Shampoo 

This purple shampoo boasts a paraben-free vegan formula that can neutralize warm brassy tones with just one use per week. It also helps smooth the hair and prevents breakage.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta

Kick Active Purple Shampoo 

This purple shampoo is excellent for prolonging the life of salon-colored hair. It not only reduces brassiness but provides UV protection to keep your color vibrant. 

Sold by Amazon

Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo 

This shampoo works well to correct brassy tones in blonde, silver and highlighted hair.  It contains citric acid that helps repair your hair and only requires 3-5 minutes to correct color.

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

L’Oreal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo

This sulfate-free purple shampoo is affordable, making it an excellent option for anyone on a budget. It neutralizes brassy yellow and orange tones in just a single use.

Sold by Amazon

Kerastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo

This professional-grade shampoo is ideal for brassy tones in dry or damaged hair because it contains edelweiss flower to strengthen and resurface follicles. It also features hyaluronic acid to help soften your tresses. 

Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

Share this post: