top of page

Purple Shampoo 101-What is purple shampoo + how to choose the right one for you.

What is Purple Shampoo?

If you were guessing that purple shampoo is a shampoo that is purple in color, you would be correct.

It is indeed a purple-tinted shampoo. But the fact that it is purple in color does have an actual purpose other than aesthetics.

Purple shampoo was designed to neutralize “unwanted yellow tones” that are commonly seen in shades of blonde and white hair. Purple shampoo deposits a small amount of purple pigment onto the surface (aka, cuticle) of the hair which counteracts any yellow hue and gives the appearance of a cooler or more neutral shade. The pigment sits on top of the hair’s cuticle until the next wash meaning it can easily be removed.

Because the shampoo’s nature is to deposit a bit of tone to the hair, it can rough up the surface of the hair making it feel slightly dry. This, along with the potential to overtone the hair, is why you should only be using a purple shampoo sparingly. Often I tell my paler blondes to use once a week.

Now, a common misconception of purple shampoo is that it has the ability to “lighten” blonde hair. This is completely false.

Purple shampoo won’t make your hair any lighter or blonder. But, sometimes neutralizing some of the harsher yellow tones, can give it the appearance of being brighter- which people claim make their hair look “lighter”.

So, how do we choose a purple shampoo? It all depends on how purple your purple shampoo needs to be.

In this chart below, you can see how much yellow is exposed underneath un-toned, raw blonde hair color.

Now, the far right column determines the tone needed to cancel out the exposed yellow pigment.

Depending on how light your blonde hair is, will determine how light the purple needs to be to mask the yellow tones without over-toning your blonde (aka turning your blonde hair purple- yikes!)

Again, this is a lot of information, so when in doubt, ask your stylist. They will be able to properly guide you as to what brand will work best for you.

Back to our chart. If you have a level 10, palest, lightest blonde, you will benefit from a purple shampoo that is a pale, light purple pigment. I personally love VERB’s purple shampoo. It has just the right amount of sheer purple pigment to give pale blonde hair a boost of violet without worrying about the hair turning a slight purple color. I recommend my pale blonde friends to use this once a week. Wash twice, leave in 1-3 minutes during that second wash, then rinse. Follow up with a conditioner.

If you fall into the light blonde category, you will benefit from a purple shampoo that packs a bit more of a violet punch. Your blonde hair is light, but carries a slightly darker yellow hue when left untoned. To keep your blonde from getting too yellow, I enjoy Surface’s Pure Violet Shampoo. It is a deeper violet that will counteract a darker yellow tone. I recommend my friends to use it 1-2 times a week. Wash twice, leave for 1-3 minutes during that second wash. Follow with a conditioner.

The next level of blonde is a light blonde. You will carry a more yellow-gold undertone when left un-toned. This calls for a stronger purple shampoo that is a deep purple, but also has a little bit more grip to help the purple stick to the hair’s surface. This is when I would recommend Olaplex Shampoo 4P. It has a beautiful purple pigment deep enough to “tone” a more golden darker blonde. It also possesses a stronger cleansing agent that helps the purple pigment adhere to the hair’s surface. Wash twice, leave for 1-3 minutes during the second cleanse. Rinse and follow with conditioner.

Verb’s new purple shampoo is great for my palest blonde friends who just want to maintain their tone. Surface’s pure violet is a gorgeous purple hue able to tackle the yellow-ist of blondes, and Olaplex’s new purple shampoo is a powerhouse of pigment that will beautifully tone out a golden- yellow blonde.

These purple shampoos are just some of my personal favorites, but there are so many more to choose from!

A lot of finding the right products is trial and error led by a little suggestion from your stylist. If you ever need guidance or feel overwhelmed, never hesitate to ask!

I hope this helps you find the perfect purple shampoo!


7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page