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The 7 best purple shampoos for blonde and color-treated hair in 2022

Purple shampoo can prolong your color treatment and keep natural blonde hair bright — experts break down how to use it and recommend some of their favorites.
Illustration of different purple shampoos for blonde and color-treated hair
Experts explain how purple shampoo works and why blondes should use it.Amazon ; Sephora ; Ulta ; Dermstore

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Purple shampoo is exactly what it sounds like: shampoo with purple pigments in it. It’s an essential hair care product for blondes natural and otherwise, explained Seattle-based hair colorist Kyle DeToure. It can “refresh the visual brightness [of the hair] and help eliminate undertones of brassiness and yellow,” he added, but it needs to be used properly (or else it can potentially give your locks a violet tint).

We spoke to hair stylists about how purple shampoo works and rounded up their favorite options — as well as some of our own, based on their guidance.

What does purple shampoo do?

These pigments are “used to cancel [and] neutralize yellow/gold tones in hair,” explained Philadelphia-based hair stylist Shawn Harvey, owner of ShawnCutMaster Inc. “It’s based on the universal color wheel for hair,” added Detoure. Purple is the immediate counteract directly across from yellow [so] purple will neutralize the yellow undertone.” At the salon, stylists typically use toners to eliminate any brassy undertones, but in between coloring sessions, using a purple shampoo at home can help you reduce the appearance of yellows.

Not everyone needs to use a purple shampoo, though. “It’s not suitable for persons with brown hair because there are no visible yellow tones,” said Harvey: ash, platinum, grey and white hair tend to benefit the most from the pigmented product. If you have color-treated hair on the darker end of the spectrum, you might consider using a color-safe shampoo instead.

The best purple shampoos in 2022

Below, we rounded up our expert-recommended purple shampoos, including a personal favorite.

Schwarzkopf Goodbye Yellow pH 4.5 Neutralizing Shampoo

Harvey highlighted this purple shampoo from Schwarzkopf as one of her favorites, noting that it has “deep violet pigment” to reduce the appearance of any brassy hues. The shampoo also has bond repairing technology that the brand says simultaneously strengthens your locks.

Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo

Olaplex — the haircare line which Select writer Hannah Horvath credited with saving her “lifeless, dead hair” — also makes a purple shampoo that Harvey recommended. According to the brand, the shampoo is formulated to brighten grey hair as well as both natural and color-treated blonde hair. The shampoo also contains the brand’s bond-building technology to repair any damage.

Joico Blonde Life Violet Shampoo

Harvey said she’s also a fan of Joico’s Blonde Life Violet Shampoo. According to the brand, this purple shampoo contains several ingredients to hydrate and strengthen hair, including monoi oil, tamanu oil and arginine.

Kerastase Blonde Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo

I am a natural brunette, but my hair is currently dyed a caramel blonde. To maintain my color in between sessions — I get it retouched every three months or so — I use Kerastase’s Blonde Absolu line at the recommendation of my stylist. This isn’t the first purple shampoo I’ve used, but it’s my favorite by far. Not only does it keep my color looking vibrant, but the hylauronic acid in its ingredients keep my locks healthy and gives my hair a salon-level softness.

Redken Color Extend Blondage Purple Shampoo

Licensed cosmetologist and hair stylist Jasmine Burnside recommended Redken’s Color Extend Blondage Purple Shampoo as a good, salon-quality option. “I’ve used it before and I really like it,” she said. In addition to purple pigments, the shampoo contains citric acid to repair damaged hair, according to the brand.

Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo

Burnside also recommended Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo as a good at-home option for managing brassiness. According to the brand, the shampoo contains lemon, ginger root and chamomile extracts that improves the brightness and tonality of the hair. Stylists have previously recommended Oribe’s leave-in conditioner and anti-frizz mist.

Davines Alchemic Shampoo

Burnside said that the brand’s purple shampoo is a great option for people who need something a bit stronger to fight brassiness. The brand says that the shampoo contains vitamin B to add moisture to the hair as well as natural surfactants instead of sulfates. (I personally use the Alchemic Conditioner, and I find that it leaves my hair nourished and silky smooth and tones my color well whenever I use it.)

How to use purple shampoo

The most important thing people trying a purple shampoo need to keep in mind is how frequently they’re using it. “[Overusing a purple shampoo] could alter your custom color and add too much pigment,” Harvey warned.

Typically, DeToure said that washing your hair with purple shampoo once or twice a week should be enough for most people. Burnside added that you should leave the shampoo in for at least five minutes, and for up to 10 minutes if you have the time. If you’re worried about accidentally overdoing it with a purple shampoo, talk to your hair stylist about the best frequency for your color.

What can I do if my purple shampoo tints my hair purple?

Unfortunately, purple shampoo can tint your hair purple if it’s left on for too long or if you use it too often. Burnside said this is more likely to happen if your hair is dry or porous — “it will soak up anything that you put on it,” she explained.

If your purple shampoo tinges your hair, Harvey recommended using a clarifying shampoo to help wash out the unwanted pigment. If the color still doesn’t come out after several washes, she advised taking a trip to see your stylist.

Does my purple shampoo need to be sulfate-free?

When browsing purple shampoos, you’ll likely come across options that are marketed as sulfate-free. Sulfates are detergents that help achieve a deep cleanse and give products a foamy consistency. “Their goal is to really cleanse and get oil and dirt off of the hair and the skin,” Burnside explained. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding sulfates being overly harsh on one’s hair, but Burnside said it’s completely fine to use them on color-treated hair, noting that some purple shampoos are formulated with them.

“It really just depends,” Burnside added. “If you’re someone who’s washing every day, I would look for an alternative to a sulfate that’s less cleansing. [But] they’re absolutely not harmful.”

Why trust Select?

Select editor Morgan Greenwald covers numerous self care topics, from hyaluronic acid and moisturizers for dry skin to chafing and retinol. Greenwald has been dyeing her hair blonde for several years and has used many different purple shampoos from brands like Verb, Kerastase, Davines, Redken and more. For this story, Greenwald spoke to several hair stylists and color experts. Based on their guidance and recommendations, Greenwald reviewed the features and ingredients of highly rated purple shampoos — she also asked experts and Select staffers about the best purple shampoos they’ve used.

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