Purple Shampoo: What Is It & How To Use It Properly

Ask pretty much any hairstylist, and they will let you in on the not-so-secret secret that is purple shampoo.

Contrary to how it might sound, purple shampoo isn’t used to color your hair hues of violet. The science behind purple shampoo is actually pretty intricate! The usage of purple shampoo has been around for decades. Hairstylists, colorists, and those with blonde hair swear by purple shampoo because of the magic it works.

Many people’s locks can benefit from purple shampoo. One demographic who may want to give a purple shampoo a whirl is those with graying, gray, or white hair. Purple shampoo can banish brassiness far away from your silver strands, leaving you with hair that is lustrous and bright. 

Even though purple shampoo is shampoo, its use differs from your everyday hair cleanser. The color-correcting properties of purple shampoo mean that special attention should be given to this hair product. This is to avoid too-purple pigments or damaged hair. 

Here is everything you need to know about harnessing the power of purple shampoo to turn gray hair from drab to fab.

How Does Purple Shampoo Work?

To figure out the mechanism of just how purple shampoo works for hair, we have to take it back to art class. 

Let’s take a look at the color wheel. The color wheel is a chart that shows us the relationship between colors. The color wheel also helps us define colors and was first developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. 

The color wheel has had a few different iterations since then, but the concept remains the same. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel neutralize each other. Hair that ended up a little too red from a trip to the salon can benefit from using a green toner to cool down warmer colors. Orange tones are effortlessly canceled out with the addition of a blue toner. 

This brings us back to purple shampoo! What does purple shampoo do?

Yellow is the opposite of purple on the color wheel. So when your gray or lightened hair has unwanted yellow tones, purple shampoo acts as a toner and can cancel out brassy hues.

Purple shampoo works to help fix brassy tones with a pretty simple approach. If you look at a color wheel, you can see where the color purple is across from yellow. So by using something with violet pigments, you can tint the color just enough to get to a more desirable state. 

You may find that your recently colored hair or hair with blond highlights shows a little too much of those brassy tones. Purple shampoo is the perfect way to shift the color toward a true neutral.

Is Purple Shampoo Good for Gray Hair?

For those with gray hair, silver hair, or blonde hair, sometimes the undertones may come off a bit more brassy than you’d like. Our Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo For Grey & White Hair eliminates brassiness while strengthening, deep conditioning, volumizing, and moisturizing. 

With the added support of strength and vibrancy, our purple shampoo addresses the concerns of dry and brittle hair strands that those of us with aging hair are all too familiar with. We use D&C Violet 2, an optical colorant that reduces the intensity of yellows and brassiness in hair. 

If you’re concerned about purple shampoo and how it works, there’s no need to fear. Our purple shampoo colorant will not damage your hair. It nourishes hair that has been color treated and affected by hot styling tools or environmental aggressors. Like our other shampoos, it is safe for keratin and chemically treated hair while also being sulfate-free, vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.

When Should You Not Use Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo is great at treating hair that needs a little taming, but there are some situations when you should refrain from using it. If you’re scheduling trips to the salon for color or consultation on color, your hair stylist needs to see what your natural hair is like. 

That doesn’t mean you must stop using your purple shampoo. Simply switch to a different shampoo in the week leading up to your appointment to have more of a blank canvas with your natural hair!

You know your hair best. While your hair starts to shift from a bit more salt than pepper, it could be time to see if using purple shampoo is right for you. Gray, silver, and white hair that looks its best is often completely neutralized. If your gray hair tone appears brassy or yellow, grab the purple shampoo to see how it works for your specific hair type.

Many other brands are not intended for use more than once a week. Many of those same brands recommend not using their purple shampoo on your hair if it is already dry. 

But just because hair can become more dry and brittle as we age doesn’t mean we have to accept that. Our purple shampoo was created with aging hair in mind. The best purple shampoos should moisturize your hair to prevent breakage! 

The ingredients we use at Better Not Younger are designed to care for your hair by hydrating it, not drying it further. 

How To Get the Best Results From Purple Shampoo

Shampoo is an important part of hair hygiene, and we know that, when used as needed, it is good for keeping hair healthy. You may wonder if purple shampoo has any special uses for those with aging gray hair. 

Some of us can replace our regular shampoo with purple shampoo and use it at the same frequency. But if your hair doesn’t need quite as much of a shift from brassy to cool blonde or gray, you can take a mixed approach. 

Washing your hair every other time with one of our other sulfate-free shampoos may be the answer for you. By using the purple shampoo intermittently, you can get just enough of the effect that you desire.

When you lather up with purple shampoo, leave it in for a few minutes as you shower. This will ensure that the purple pigments have some time to really do their job. If you ever look in the mirror and notice the slightest violet hue in your gray or white hair, try using another sulfate-free shampoo or clarifying shampoo. 

Finding the balance between gray hair that is yellowing and gray hair that holds on a little too tightly to purple toning shampoo can take some time, but before long, gorgeous cool tones will be yours. 

Purple Shampoo for Gray Hair

Purple shampoo is a great solution for aging hair that needs a boost. This includes natural or color-treated hair. Some people's hair can be more stubborn than others, requiring a little extra push. 

Our Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque is a great way to achieve results. Used one to three times a week in place of conditioner will make your hair feel smoother and more manageable. Working in conjunction with our Silver Lining shampoo, you can help take care of your silver locks while also deep conditioning your hair to battle brittleness.

Instead of using your usual conditioner, you simply rub the Purple Butter Masque between your hands to help evenly distribute it through your hair. The objective is to apply from the mid-length of your hair to the ends. After a minute or two, this hair mask can be washed out, leaving behind soft hair tamed of its brassiness. 

Conclusion

Unwanted yellow tones and brassiness can make graying hair, white hair, or natural blond hair look dull. As we age and our hair lightens to silver, unwanted brassy tones can occur thanks to environmental pollutants, heat styling, sun exposure, product build-up, medications, and swimming pool chlorine. But that is a problem that can easily be solved, thanks to purple-tinted products designed to both eliminate brassiness and invite hydration into your strands.

Aging hair that goes gray and silver can be absolutely gorgeous. Combat dinginess and unwanted warm tones by utilizing the color-correcting power of purple shampoo. And if you’re still looking for more recommendations, take our hair quiz today! You deserve it.

Sources: 

A Comment on the Science of Hair Aging | PMC

Color Wheel - Color Calculator | Sessions College

Hair-discoloration of elite swimmers | PMC