Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

56 Models Considered
24 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
175 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best drugstore purple shampoo

They say blondes have more fun but keeping blonde hair beautiful can be hard work. Those coveted fair tresses don’t stay that way without maintenance.

At the salon, stylists use toner to banish less-than-desirable undertones in blonde hair. However, the red, dirty blonde, or brassy hues you seek to eliminate may return between visits.

Purple shampoo can help balance your hair color. These formulas use inky shades from the opposite side of the color wheel to neutralize warm tones that may creep into your tresses before your next appointment. Even people with natural blonde, gray, and silver hair can use purple shampoo to keep their locks looking cool and lustrous.

But the tab mounts each time you add another hair care product to your toolbox. What’s more, you’ll need to keep the routine up as long as you want your light, sunny look. Don’t worry; you don’t need to buy a salon-grade purple shampoo with a salon-grade price tag. Drugstore purple shampoo can help protect the investment you’ve already made in your hair without busting your budget.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
I1 
Use purple shampoo about once a week for starters. If you don’t see the results you want after about a month, bump up the frequency.

Key considerations

Hair color

Just like your hairstyle, hair color is a unique part of your identity. Different purple shampoos affect the blonde spectrum of platinum, golden, and strawberry hues in different ways.

Individuals with platinum, silver, or gray hair will want to look for darker purple formulas. These shampoos are specifically designed for pale hair and may appear inky, blue, or indigo. Formulas that are violet or brightly colored will not provide optimal results and may even tinge icy strands with purple.

If your color is less cool and more blond — golden, honey, or strawberry — you’ll need a brighter shampoo. These hair shades inherently have more color and need a more intense hue to strike the right balance.

Synthetic vs. natural color

Some customers are particular about what goes on their hair. Others want major results fast. Keep these desires in mind when choosing a purple shampoo. Some formulas contain synthetic ingredients that get the job done quickly. Results may appear in as few as one or two applications. Formulas with more natural ingredients use extracts from iris, violet, and other botanicals for color. These formulas may be gentler on your hair, but they can take weeks of use to maximize results.

When looking at your options, consider the following.

  • Some purple shampoos claim to lighten your hair as well as tone it. If you have dry, damaged hair, a formula like this could cause further damage.
  • Some purple shampoos skimp on lather. People with extremely fine hair, very thick hair, and easily tangled hair should avoid these brands.
  • Quality formulas should be thick. If you can see right through the bottle, keep looking.
  • Whether they’re inky or violet-toned, light purple shampoo draws out less brassiness and warmth than dark purple shampoo.

Sun exposure and swimming pool chemicals can damage hair. Unfortunately, this often occurs at the same time of year many people choose to lighten their hair.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

All purple shampoos tone hair; it’s the side benefits that set products apart. You’ll pay more for formulas that pull double duty, but they may eliminate the need for additional product purchases. Weigh these “extras” as you shop.

Moisturizer

The harsh color-lifting process often makes hair extra porous. Basic purple shampoo can be drying, but some formulas add rich hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and exotic oils to lock in moisture. Look for formulas free from sulfates and parabens, as these can further parch your locks.

Problem fixers

No one wants dull, brittle hair, but color lifting may set you on that path. It’s not uncommon for mineral buildup, damaged strands, and other shine-killers to appear between salon visits. Purple shampoos containing citric acid can help remove dandruff and other scalp buildup. Formulas rich in protein strengthen weak strands. Other herbal ingredients may be added to address specific areas of concern.

Sun protection

Our hair gets as much UV exposure as many areas we regularly slather with sunscreen. What’s worse, most sun damage occurs in the summer, the very season we’re likely to “go light.” Many advanced purple shampoos include UV protection to prevent additional drying, discoloration, and breakage caused by sun exposure.

Caution1
Caution
Purple shampoo may color your fingers and tub in addition to your hair. Use old towels when you use the shampoo to be safe.
Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Great hair doesn’t happen by accident. It requires thoughtful maintenance. Considering adding some extra tools to your kit.

Salon-grade purple shampoo: Beachwaver Co. BRB Blonde Purple Shampoo
If drugstore products don’t give you the results you want, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Infused with shea butter, this top-shelf formula moisturizes hair while balancing color for both icy and blonde tones. It’s paraben-free, vegan, and most importantly, it’s effective.

Hair mask: Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask
Purple shampoo is known for drying out hair. A hair mask is a quick way to rehydrate your locks. This rich hydrating mask uses argan oil to infuse your hair with moisture in as little as five minutes. It’s highly recommended for color-treated hair and abundant split ends.

Shampoo for color-treated hair: Pureology Hydrate Shampoo
Purple shampoo is a once-a-week ritual, give or take. The rest of the week, you need a quality shampoo to keep up with your color-treated hair. This vegan, sulfate-free formula is one of the best on the market. It protects hair color from fading while glossing each strand with intense shine.

Boar bristle brushes: Dovahlia Boar Bristle Brush Set
When it comes to hair health, nothing compares to genuine boar bristles. This brush allows you to redistribute your scalp’s natural oils to keep your hair perfectly moisturized, naturally. The bamboo handle is ergonomically designed — a little luxury you’ll enjoy as you incorporate brushing with boar bristles into your regular routine. 

Those with trendy purple or lavender hair treatment can use purple shampoo to help keep their color vibrant.

Staff
BestReviews

Drugstore purple shampoo prices

Drugstore purple shampoos are definitely cheaper than salon brands, but most bottles still cost more than your average bottle of drugstore shampoo. Here’s what you can expect to pay.

Inexpensive: You can find effective drugstore purple shampoo for under $10. Shampoos in this range will get the job done but may not do much more for your hair than balance the color.

Mid-grade: Purple shampoo in the mid-range tier costs between $10 and $15 per bottle. When shopping this range, you’ll find shampoos with ingredients that help repair damaged hair and prevent further dryness.

Expensive: The costliest purple shampoos demand more than $15 per bottle. Shampoos priced this high should do it all: clean, balance, moisturize, and protect against sun damage.

Tips

  • For best results, apply purple shampoo to hair saturated with warm water. The elevated temperature causes the shaft of each strand to expand, allowing it to soak up the shampoo more easily.
  • Know how long to leave shampoo on your hair for best results. If you’re a natural blonde, it only takes about three minutes. If you’re an unnatural blonde or your hair appears dramatically discolored, it may take up to 15 minutes. Individuals with platinum, gray, or silver hair may require up to 30 minutes of processing time. This extended period is designed to completely erase warm tones. Check your particular brand for recommendations, because leaving shampoo on your hair for too long could deposit too much color.
  • Monitor for dryness and damage. Purple shampoo can be harsh on the hair, so monitor it and increase conditioner use as needed.
  • Combat extra purple. If your hair soaks up too much purple pigment, a clarifying shampoo can be used to help remove it.
I2 
If the dry ends of your hair soak up too much purple pigment, try coating them with conditioner to protect them from oversaturation.

FAQ

Q. Why does lightened hair change color?

A. Sometimes, the base color is not fully lifted and shows through over time. The harsh process of lifting color can also make your hair porous, causing it to absorb minerals from water. The lighter your hair is, the more these discolorations stand out.

Q. If I only wash twice a week, should I use purple shampoo both times?

A. No. Purple shampoo should be used regularly but not every time you wash your hair. Using purple shampoo too often can darken your hair, which is the opposite of what most people want. Plan to use purple shampoo about once a week. If you wash infrequently, consider mixing purple shampoo with your regular shampoo so you can tone regularly without overdoing it.

Q. I have dark hair with blonde highlights. Can I use purple shampoo?

A. Purple shampoo will have little effect on your darker locks but may help with your highlighted strands or balayage. Brassiness often results when your stylist is unable to fully lift the color from your hair, a problem even more likely with dark hair. If your highlights seem to be turning dark or brassy, purple shampoo may help. Try applying it directly to lighter areas to avoid wasting shampoo.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks