Purple Shampoo Explained: Your Purple Primer!

If you have hair which has been dyed blonde, you may develop brassy tones in your hair. This is a condition which doesn’t affect everyone with blonde-colored hair, but it does have an effect on a significant percentage of the blonde population.

What Are Brassy Tones In Hair?

1Essentially, brass colors make blonde hair appear more yellow/orange, and at times it can even seem slightly red. Not everyone is interested in having that look, and purple (or violet) shampoo is probably the best way to remove unwanted warmer hues from your blonde hair. On the other side of the blonde spectrum there is ash blonde. Ash colors make blonde hair appear more blue/green. You can mostly see these tones in platinum blonde hair.

Like I said, these color transformations do not affect everyone with blonde hair. We all have different hair and scalp types, we all eat differently, we all have different day-to-day routines, and these can change the way our hair looks.

Natural Supplies: Check out our Top Lanterns and Chairs features, as well as our reviews of Ozark Trail, REI Kingdom, and Coleman!

What is Purple Shampoo?

1Achieving the perfect blonde look requires balancing the ashy and brassy tones. This is part of what hair stylists and hair dye-manufacturing companies do. They play with color combinations to achieve a certain type of blonde, and this is why there are so many of them out there. Yellows, reds, and blues are mainly used.

Here is the thing – even if you have the best hair stylist in the world, the pigments which settle in your hair tend to fade over time, either due to exposure to sun, sea, and other elements, or simply when the dye’s hold on your hair begins to wear off naturally. This can lead to the appearance of brassy tones, and the best way to combat this is by using purple or violet shampoo. Violet and yellow are on the opposite sides of the color wheel, which is how the purple in the shampoo manages to neutralize the harsher, warmer tones. It is a matter of regaining that pigmentation balance which was first achieved during the dye job.

Not everyone is affected by brass in their hair, and concurrently not all types of hair will react the same way to purple shampoo. What works for one may not work as well for the other

Since I wanted to find one which was just right for me. I used several shampoos over time, and this is my opinion on them. Again, this is what I felt was right for me. Your mileage may vary, so please – do your own research, experiment, enjoy the process, and I know you will find a shampoo that is right for you.

One note – if all shampoos leave something to be desired on your end, you can always make your very own purple shampoo and toner at home. There are different recipes for DIY purple shampoos, so check them out. Be careful, though. Purple dyes stain a lot, and you need to make sure you get a proper balance. I implore you to do your research, so you don’t end up with a mess on your hands. Okay, the shampoos I used. Here we go.

Tigi Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Shampoo Review

1This offering from Tigi lathers very nicely, has a great scent which is not too over-the-top, and it is designed for those with chemically treated hair, more than others. It helps to reduce the amount of frizz, restore pH balance, and regain the initial post-dye color which your hair had.

It is a bit on the expensive side, but it did provide my hair with a nice shine. Also, remember that since purple shampoo is not an everyday shampoo, a relatively small bottle can last a good long while. Of course, this also depends on the length of your hair.

Begin using this shampoo when you notice the original dye job is starting to fade or shift, and it will be able to prolong the life of your dye job. You’ll have to experiment and see how many uses you need. Some use it once week, some once every two weeks. It varies. Same with the leave-in time. Some leave it for a minutes or two, some leave it in for 10 before rinsing. Overall, Dumb Blonde is a smart choice!

Clairol Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo Review

1This Clairol shampoo is formulated to remove brass which can appear in hair of all colors, not just blonde. Clairol is a well-known beauty and cosmetics brand, but how does its purple shampoo measure up?

Well, first off, I know from experience that industrial (for lack of a better word) hair care products have many potentially-harmful ingredients. As such, I didn’t expect this shampoo (or any of the others on this list, for that matter) to be the cleanest or most natural. This shampoo has certain ingredients which you should probably steer clear of, but if this is of less importance to you – it is not an everyday shampoo, after all – then it may fit you.

As for the shampoo itself – it did its job fairly well, but it was not one of my favorites. The consistency was a little too runny for my taste, the scent didn’t really do it for me, but the price is right. It is overall effective, but I didn’t choose to continue using this one.

Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo Review

1With this one, I saw an improvement even after a single wash. It was pretty cool to see that before/after effect, actually. It doesn’t lather as well as the others, but I usually take that as a good sign, since it probably means there are less lathering agents in the formula. I am fine with that.

Joico’s purple product left my hair feeling clean and healthy, and it had a scent which I could get on board with. After several washes, I noticed an overall increase in volume and shine. I have wavy hair, and it complemented it to a tee. It maintained my blonde colors very well, and definitely helped it find a great balance.

One minor problem I had with this one was that it dried my scalp out a bit. Thankfully, this is an issue which is manageable by me, and I took the good with the bad, and simply gave my hair an extra boost of moisture the morning after I used the purple shampoo. If this was a day-to-day hair treatment, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, because purple shampoo is only used for maintenance, and is not an everyday product, the dryness wasn’t really a factor for me.

Lush Daddy-O Purple Shampoo Review

1First of all, I give this product a +1 for the name Daddy-O! And another plus for being made by Lush, a favorite company of mine. Now, to business…

While this shampoo did do an okay job on the brassy side of things, the strong scent wasn’t one which I am too fond of. This product, like the previous shampoo, also dried up my hair in a pretty significant way, but not  necessarily in a way which would stop me from using it in the future. Again, using a conditioner or another kind of moisturizer afterwards will prevent issues with dry scalp and hair.

Overall, I believe there are better purple shampoos out there than this one. It is more on the natural side of things, which I like, but the positives may not outweigh the negatives in this case. This shampoo lathers nicely, goes on, and comes off without any issue. It does get the hair clean and helps with the brass – I’ll give it that.

Price is a factor, for me anyway. This is one of the more expensive purple shampoos on this list, which I attribute to its more natural ingredients and the fact that it is made in Canada. I wouldn’t be so fast to recommend it, but if you find it works for you, go for it.


Bottom line – purple shampoo is worth trying. Whether you dye your hair at home or get it done professionally, it will save you time and money, and lengthen the life of your original color treatment. Even natural blondes can reap the benefits of this shampoo. The purple pigments provide a ‘boost of blondeness’ for those who have natural blonde hair. Again, this may not prove to be the case with everyone, but like I said – worth trying. If this helps you out, great. If not, don’t use it again. Some companies allow you to order samples of purple shampoo.

The shampoo I’ve been continually using, whenever I get my hair done, is the Joico Color Balance. I like it a lot, and it really does bring balance, but I am open to any product, really. I would be more than happy to find a purple shampoo with all natural ingredients, and give that a shot. I love using natural products, and I believe in them, so if any of you hear of anything good, which gets the job done well, give me a shout!

Thanks for reading our purple shampoo feature! Check out our Aveeno Baby Wash, Sierra Designs, and Kelty reviews while you’re here at EduMuch!
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