The Color Wheel
The indisputable law of all color

What’s the deal with Purple Shampoo?

What it is – Purple shampoo is shampoo with a purple, very temporary, direct dye inside. (Direct dye means that the color is deposit-only and does not require any kind of processing solution to make it work). Direct dye shampoos have been around since the 50’s. They are the reason blue haired ladies had blue hair. If Grandma thought there was too much yellow in her grey, she’d tell her gal at the beauty parlor to fix it.  (There was too much dye in it back then)
Purple, or toning shampoo have come a long way. They are no longer the over-toning/over-drying product they used to be. Manufacturers have improved the shampoo to be much less drying and there are a variety of hues to choose from – pearly violet to deep amethyst – depending on the amount of brass you are battling.
What it is not – Purple shampoo is not the fix-all for every kind of brass-situation. If your problem is yellow – perfect! purple shampoo will work for you. If your problem is orange, copper or red – no amount of purple shampoo is going to neutralize that. Take a quick look at the color wheel below.

The Color Wheel
The indisputable law of all color

Purple is on the opposite side of yellow – so they cancel each other out. Blue is on the opposite side of orange. **** I know what you’re thinking – So, where do I get me some blue shampoo??? Here is the problem with that – To cover the orange, the blue would need to be pretty dark. So, if you have some brassy-orange hair at the scalp and lighter hair at the bottom, that blue shampoo is going to deposit too much color into your light ends. Now you have a new problem. (unless blue hair is the look you’re going for)
How to use it – Purple shampoo should not be used every time you wash your hair. If too much purple gets deposited, your hair will lose some of its reflective properties (it will look dull). Try using it “as needed”. Probably not very much when you first get your hair done. More often as the sun and product has striped the tone from your color.
If you notice a purple-y hue to your hair after just one use, try mixing it with your regular shampoo the next time.
If after you use it your hair still looks yellow, try leaving the suds on a couple minutes before rinsing.
If you are mixing your purple shampoo with your regular shampoo, and your ends are still soaking up the purple, try putting a little conditioner on your ends first.

My Favorite:  L’Anza  – Silver Brightening Shampoo (bonus – it’s sulphate-free)

Beautiful deep purple. The pearly ones don’t work as well.



Good luck Ladies – may all your Blonde dreams come true.

Leslie xo

Leslie Brewer is a Blonde color specialist and is the Owner of Blonde Girl Studio in Orange County, California.