Purple Toning Shampoo – How It Works and All Your Questions Answered.

Whether you’re a natural or bottle blonde, chances are you are familiar with the yellowing of your hair colour and the brassy tones brought on by sun and heat. Blonde and light brunette hair is prone to discolouration as a result of heat styling, product build-up, chlorinated water, and general oxidative stress.

If you’ve ever walked out of the salon rocking a fresh balayage of blonde tones that catch the light like liquid gold or silver, you’ll know what a blow it can be to wake up one morning down the track to discover that your icy platinum blonde has developed more brass than an orchestra’s trombone section.

Don’t panic – help is at hand!

There is a way to keep your blonde hair bright and beautiful – and it’s with purple shampoo.

What on earth is purple shampoo you may be asking, and how does it offset the gradual brassiness and yellow hues of blonde hair?

Purple shampoos use violet tones to neutralise brassy, yellow hair colour instantly to keep your cool-toned blonde hue looking fresh and flawless.

If you struggle with keeping the perfect shade of blonde, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about purple-toned shampoos – how they work, how to use them, and which violet-esque shampoo we think is best. Read on for the low-down of why for just about everyone with coloured blonde hair, a purple shampoo is a must have …

How purple shampoo works

Violet-toned shampoos work by using purple pigments to counteract the warm yellow and brassy tones in blonde hair.

If you take a look at a colour wheel, you will see that the position of the colour purple is directly opposite to that of yellow. When introduced to brassy hair, cool purple tones colour-correct the warm tones of yellow by cancelling them out.

Is purple shampoo right for me?

Violet-toned shampoos can benefit just about everyone with light coloured hair, regardless of if that is salon achieved or natural - they will balance out the yellowing and dulling of blonde, platinum, ash blonde, silver, grey, white, and even pastel coloured hair.

The thing to remember is that purple shampoos are only for those with light coloured hair. For darker coloured hair, these products won’t achieve anything; however, if you have darker hair with blonde highlights or balayage, you can cancel out the yellow undertones of your highlights with purple shampoo to keep your ‘do bright and beautiful.

For bleached hair, a violet-toned shampoo is a non-negotiable. There’s no need to return to your hairstylist every time your hair starts to yellow or go dull. By making a purple shampoo a regular part of your wash routine, you can keep your cool-toned hair goals on track.

The 3 Best Purple Shampoos

If you’re ready to send brassiness packing, Oribe’s Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Color is a hair essentials must.

Formulated by the experts at Oribe to illuminate and brighten blonde and silver hair, this revitalising purple shampoo contains optimal levels of violet pigment to correct brassiness and yellow tones while brightening natural highlights for hair that is healthier and shinier.

With nourishing ingredients like herbal extracts and phytonutrients, Oribe’s Bright Blonde Shampoo will not just eliminate warm tones from your hair, it will also protect it from the drying, damaging and colour-depleting effects of the elements.  

Designed for everyday use, unlike most purple shampoos, Oribe’s version is sulphate free. Safe for daily use, it gently cleanses the hair and scalp without compromising the brilliance of colour.

Our stylists rate the strength of Oribe Bright Blonde as 5/10… so mid range in strength meaning it’s not likely to build up in extremely light or white blonde hair. This product has a Violet/Purple pigment making it a good combo in counteracting Orange and Yellow tones.

short, wide pink bottle with gold text

Another option is O&M’s Conquer Blonde Shampoo. According to our salon hairdressers this is a more powerful formulation - we rate this as a 7/10. The tone leans towards the Blue spectrum more so than Purple. This product is similar to O&M’s Detox Shampoo in it’s cleansing power. This is important as the cuticle needs to be open and clean in order for the counteracting pigments to be deposited correctly.

One of the most subtle and often overlooked options is Orbie’s Silverati Shampoo. Originally designed to counter yellowing on natural grey hair, Silverati is often just enough to maintain rather than ‘correct’ icy platinum shades. We rate it 3/10 for toning strength with the formulation favouring the violet or purple spectrum.

white shampoo bottle with black text

How to use purple shampoo

Depending on your hair type, colour and desired results, there are various techniques for using purple shampoo. This is our preferred method for medium colour correction on most hair types:

  1. Pre-cleanse with a clarifying shampoo

Using a purifying shampoo first to remove impurities and product build-up will prepare the hair shaft to evenly take up a purple shampoo and greater amounts of it.

  1. Generously apply purple shampoo from roots to tips

Keep in mind that it’s the violet pigments doing the work here, so ensure that you distribute shampoo evenly not just on your scalp but throughout the mid-lengths to the tips.

  1. Let it do its magic for at least five minutes

You can adjust the time depending on how much colour correction you need, but allow at least five minutes. For especially banana coloured hair, you can leave the shampoo on for up to a half hour. It won’t affect darker hair; however, it can leave a lilac tint on lighter hair if left for too long.

  1. Lock it in with a purple conditioner

After rinsing your hair thoroughly, applying a moisturising and restorative violet-toned conditioner will reduce frizz and protect each cuticle for added softness, strength and sheen.

Each of the above ‘best of..’ purple shampoos have a direct match with Conditioner. For best results we suggest you complete the process by choosing the matching conditioner rather than mixing and matching randomly.

pink tube with gold text
pink tube with gold text
white bottle with purple text

So there you have it – violet-depositing shampoos wipe out brass and keep your light coloured hair looking effortless bright and bold! We hope we’ve helped shed some light on whether purple shampoo is right for you and your blonde hair goals.


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