"Blondes have more fun, but the fun doesn't last long!" jokes colorist Richy Kandasamy, who recently joined cult haircare line R+Co's Collective. "Blondes have a very light palette-and delicate, clean blonde color tends to fade faster, lose shine, and can look brassy or yellow very fast." Here, a breakdown of how purple shampoos work to keep hair color bright and vivid, as well as how best to work them into your routine.
What is a purple shampoo?
A purple-colored shampoo contains purple pigment to neutralize brassy and yellow tones on lighter hair. "The main reason it is purple is because on the color wheel, it is the direct opposite color of yellow, which means purple and yellow will cancel one another out," explains Kandasamy. "So, when using purple pigment on color-treated brassy or yellow tones, it color-corrects your hair's hue, restoring it to its former natural or neutral brightness with cooler tones." While purple shampoos are particularly popular among blondes, they can also be used to boost gray or brunette hair with golden highlights.
How and how often do you use a purple shampoo?
To use a purple shampoo, wet the hair and lather on the formula. "Don’t apply it on dry because the hair is more porous and it will grab too much of the purple tone," cautions Kandasamy. Once applied evenly, leave it on for two to four minutes depending on the amount of brassiness or yellow in the hair. "When rinsing the shampoo out of your hair, use cool water, which will help close the cuticle and seal the color."
If you're adding a purple shampoo to your regimen, start by using it once a week and only build up if needed. Remember that while purple shampoo is a beneficial tool in keeping color fresh, it's important not to go overboard. "If you start to notice too much or an overload of purple tone in your hair, put the purple shampoo down," he says. "Opt for a clarifying shampoo to remove the tone and keep your purple shampoo routine to once a week or less. Alternate using it with color safe shampoos-or mix them together for less violet deposit."
How do you choose the right purple shampoo formula for your hair?
The purple shampoo market has expanded dramatically, which can make narrowing down the best purple shampoos difficult. In terms of what will suit your hair best, as well as help you achieve your desired result, the most important rule of thumb is: The lighter the shade of purple, the more subtle the results will be. Below, find a crop of the best purple shampoos to suit a multitude of needs, from getting rid of dreaded brassiness to giving icy shades a much-needed refresh.
Mild enough for daily use, R+Co's lilac cleanser works extra gently to brighten blondes and give gray hair a silverized boost. Adding to the experience is the zingy aroma courtesy of blood orange, juniper berries, rhubarb, and leather accord.
Playa's new, all-natural icy Violet Brightening cleanser takes brass to task while a cocktail of butterfly pea protein, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin C hydrate and add shine for healthier lengths.
OGX's sparkling violet shampoo harnesses the rejuvenating powers of lavender oil and chamomile extract to counteract brassiness and keep strands from losing their luster.
A tried-and-true favorite, Shimmer Light's creamy, deep purple pigmented shampoo works to neutralize honeyed blondes and brunettes, as well up the cool factor on gray and silver hues
Designed specifically for bleached and gray hair, Fanola's all-business No Yellow purple shampoo is saturated in special violet pigments that neutralize yellow tones for cooler, brighter color.
For maximum hydration, Kérastase's Blond Absolu formula is supercharged with hyaluronic acid as highly concentrated deep purple pigments restore blonde and gray shades to their original hue.
To hydrate extra-parched strands, Leonor Greyl's brightening purple conditioning treatment is infused with meadowfoam seed oil, rice proteins, and babassu butter.
Gentle enough for everyday, Oribe's Bright Blonde pearlized violet shampoo-infused with hydrating watermelon, brightening lemon, and nourishing lavender extract-neutralizes unwanted tones and brings natural highlights out to lustrous effect.