If you’re one of the many people who color your hair, you’re probably all too familiar with the term “brass”—unwanted warm tones that show up in lighter hair. While it usually occurs on dark hair dyed blond, it can also occur on hair that is highlighted, as sometimes the bleaching or “lifting” process doesn’t remove all the underlying pigment. What many people don’t know is that it can also be caused by factors like solar oxidation, exposure of the air to minerals, or even harsh shower water.
The good news is that it doesn’t really matter what causes the metallic hue. Purple shampoo is formulated to solve this problem – usually on the first wash. “Designed to be used at home during salon visits, they’re gentle enough to extract yellow and brassy tones from hair while conditioning and adding shine to maintain the perfect bright, luminous blonde,” Kevin Murphy Color.Me Says Design Director Kate Reid. Here are the best purple shampoos for every hair type and blonde shade.
Best overall purple shampoo
Ultra-nourishing rinse for even the faintest highlights
Best Clarifying Purple Shampoo
A plant-based formula that works as an amazing weekly treat
Best Purple Shampoo for Silver Hair
Gentle Hair Repair Cleanser
Best Purple Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Sulfate-free formulation for damage control
Best Purple Shampoo for Fine Hair
Strengthening Shampoo for Fragile Strands
Best Repairing Purple Shampoo
The first choice for nourishing fragile ends
Best Purple Shampoo for Brass Hair
Brightening options for quick results
Best Hydrating Purple Shampoo
Supercharged formula to refresh dry hair
what to look for in purple shampoo
There are so many options on the market, many with different ingredients, that choosing the right one can seem challenging. Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best purple shampoo for your hair.
Gray, blonde, or platinum blonde hair benefits from a good purple shampoo, as purple is the exact opposite of yellow on the color wheel (so brass is offset). Depending on how strong the shampoo’s toning effect is, neutralizing can help maintain any highlights from beige to silver. Likewise, when brunettes turn brassy, they should opt for a blue shampoo.
Purple Shampoo relies on a synergistic blend of ingredients to prevent discoloration of hair color while keeping processed hair nourished and healthy. If you’re adding highlights to your color, it’s especially important to look for formulas that contain moisturizing ingredients, as bleach can easily dry out your hair. Reid cites our best overall pick Kevin Murphy’s Blonde.Angel Wash as an example. “It includes murumuru seed butter to restore elasticity, shea butter to prevent dryness and brittleness, mango seed butter to restore and maintain natural moisture balance, and sunflower seed extract to help prevent hair fading,” she says . The combined effect protects the color to maintain a bright golden hue.
While not always possible, it can be helpful to check the consistency of the product. A good purple shampoo has a thicker texture, a deep purple color, and doesn’t look translucent. Dark, opaque formulations are most effective due to concentrated pigments. This is an easy touchstone for success.
What are the benefits of purple shampoo?
Brass is often seen between salon visits, and violet shampoo and treatment is a great way to make sure your personalized blonde hue stays right. “Purple shampoo provides true semi-permanent color that’s easy to incorporate into your hair care regimen,” says Reed. She emphasizes finding a product with a nourishing butter that hydrates hair to prevent discoloration.
Who should use purple shampoo?
Reid says purple shampoo is best for all blondes who want to stay cool, ash, beige, cream or biscuit shades. “They gently neutralize unwanted yellows and brassiness in their hair and are perfect for blondes who want to make sure their hair doesn’t get hot between frequent washes, sun exposure or environmental buildup between salon visits,” she says.
How often should you use purple shampoo?
How often you use purple shampoo depends on your current hair color and desired shade. Reid warns that some shampoos with strong violet shades can build up in hair, cooling and dulling highlights over time, and making hair lose the brightness that blondes love. Typically, purple shampoo should be used for maintenance, which may only be every three to four washes after the color service. “As your color fades, you can increase the wash every second, and you’re getting closer to your next salon appointment,” she says. “Cool blondes and sunburners may need to use violet shampoo more frequently to maintain a cool or neutral tone.” You can always talk to your colorist about the best home regimen for your hair goals .