If you have ever colored your hair blonde you know that it is not low maintenance. Often it can turn an unsightly brassy color and lose its brightness. There are a couple of reasons this occurs, and brassy hair is pretty much unavoidable without the right products to prevent your gorgeous locks from turning. So thank goodness purple shampoo exists! Especially because it is one of the few products on the market that makes maintaining blonde hair nearly effortless. Before you run out and buy a bottle, you should understand why it is needed and how to use it.
How Does Blonde Hair Become Brassy?
The gorgeous blonde hair you left the salon with often does not remain the same after a couple of weeks and washes. Over time, blonde hair can become brassy—meaning warm tones in the hair follicle are being drawn out while the cool tones you got fresh in the salon are slowly disappearing. When your bright, blonde highlights begin to yellow over time, it is easy to think the color is washing out. However, this is not actually what occurs. So what gives, and is there a way to maintain bright, blonde hair for more than a few weeks? Without going back to the salon to get it professionally toned and restored? Absolutely!
Firstly, let’s talk about what is actually happening when you lighten your hair. Lighter hair is more porous than darker hair, regardless of whether you achieved your color through bleach and dye or naturally. This means your hair will absorb everything it is exposed to—from the products you put in it, to the minerals in the water you use to wash it. Even toxins in the air such as pollution can be absorbed into your hair in the same way they can be absorbed into your skin. Things like hard water, chlorine, sunlight, and living in a city can certainly impact your expensive hair color faster than you would probably like. But that does not mean you need to pack up and move in the name of protecting your hair.
Even without all of these external forces wreaking havoc on your hair, your color probably would have changed naturally as the toner fades. In the same way going from very dark to platinum is nearly impossible, so too is achieving bright, cool toned blonde with just bleach alone. Once your colorist is done, they usually add a toner to keep your new color from drawing out the natural warm tones in your hair. At home, you too can achieve similar results, you just have to choose the right product for your hair color.
Basic Color Knowledge
Purple and blue—opposite to orange and yellow on the color wheel—combat warmer tones. Due to their naturally cool-toned pigments they work in opposition to the colors that make your hair look brassy. In shampoo, the cool tones in purple shampoo combat yellow or green pigments in the hair as the color is absorbed. Often this is best for blondes. For brunettes--especially lighter and highlighted brunettes--often blue shampoo is best as it gets rid of orange and red tones. Once the pigment absorbs into the hair follicle, it draws out these unwanted dulling tones to leave you with brighter, cooler blonde (or highlighted!) hair after just one wash.
Not to worry, though, your hair will not accidentally turn purple during this process. Purple shampoo isn’t the same thing as hair dye, after all. The chemical mechanisms in these shampoos won’t penetrate deep enough into your hair follicle to actually make changes to your color. This is also why you cannot expect purple shampoo to change your hair color. Instead, it brightens your hair and removes unwanted brassy tones from naturally occurring chemical changes that occur over time. Virgin hair, for example, is probably not going to change much from purple shampoo. (PSA: For those who don’t know, virgin hair is hair that has never been dyed.)
While blondes swear by purple shampoo, it can also make brunette hair appear brighter and properly toned. Many brunettes find that the pigments in purple shampoo help keep their hair from appearing warmer than intended. It can also help maintain ombre and balayage styles from fading poorly.
Lastly, what if you do want your blonde hair dyed purple (or any other color of the rainbow)? Well, that’s easy to do at home too! We recommend Celeb Luxury’s line of Viral Extreme Colorwash. Whether you want a few purple pieces, or your whole head a nice shade of eggplant, Celeb Luxury’s Viral Extreme Purple Colorwash is perfect. Check out all the other hues here.
How To Use Purple Shampoo Properly
Purple shampoo is one of the easiest hair products to incorporate into your routine. All you have to do is switch out your regular shampoo for purple shampoo once a week. Apply it to your hair as you would a normal shampoo. Usually, the directions will instruct you to let it sit in your hair for a designated amount of time, so make sure you read the directions and use it for the suggested time.
Some people suggest applying purple shampoo to dry hair and letting it sit for before you wash it out—similar to how you would apply a hair mask. However, that strategy will only waste product. To be effective, purple shampoo needs to penetrate the hair follicle passed its first layer. This can only occur when it is applied to wet hair. After applying, allow the purple shampoo to sit in your wet hair for a few minutes before washing it out. Then condition your hair with your usual go-to products.
While you don’t need to follow up with a purple or blue conditioner, some people prefer to use both. Our favorite purple conditioner is by Redken. Their Color Extend Blondage Conditioner is great. Redken’s exclusive Triple Acid Protein complex conditions hair from within for smooth manageable color-treated tresses in between salon appointments.
One of our favorite purple lines that we love using all together is Keratin Complex’s Blondeshell collection. Their Blondeshell Shampoo and Blondeshell Conditioner are fantastic and even better when used together. If you know you’re going to be using the products often, splurge and save on their Blondeshell shampoo and conditioners in liter sizes. Lastly, when used together with their Blondeshell Debrass and Brighten Masque, you’ll have salon worthy deeply nourished and brightened hair. Shop the full collection here.
So, if you have noticed that your color-treated blonde hair has been looking a little bit yellow, try one of our favorite purple shampoos at Apothecarie. If you still need help deciding which one, here’s a list of our favorites:
R+Co - Sunset Blvd
Keratin Complex - Blondeshell De-brass Shampoo
Blonde Sexy Hair - Bright Blonde Shampoo
ColorProof SignatureBlonde - Violet Shampoo
Matrix Total Results - Brass Off Shampoo
Redken Color Extend - Conditioner
Keratin Complex Blondeshell - Conditioner
Color Depositing Purple Shampoos & Conditioners (only these ones will dye your hair purple, if that’s your thing!):
Celeb Luxury Viral Purple - Colorditioner
Celeb Luxury Viral Extreme Purple Colorwash
Matrix Total Results Brass Off Blond Threesome
Brassiness Reducing Set:
Malibu C Blondes Enhancing Collection