There are many frequently asked questions when it comes to purple shampoo but we are here to provide answers and explore the science behind these violet-toned hair cleansers. The concept of purple shampoo stems from color theory, a set of principles to mixing colors and the visual effects of different color combinations. When hair is bleached or lightened then toned to icy blonde, white, or silver it can, over time, become too warm-toned or brassy. Naturally blonde hair can also develop brassy tones due to oxidation from solar exposure (referred to as photo yellowing) and repeated thermal stress.
How Does Purple Shampoo Work?
Purple shampoo is an essential tool for anyone with dyed blonde hair looking to keep their locks vibrant and fresh. It contains a violet pigment that works as a toner to counteract brassy tones and yellowing, which can occur over time. Purple shampoo is similar to color-correcting makeup in that the violet pigment is complementary to yellow on the color wheel, effectively neutralizing any unwanted warm tones. By incorporating purple shampoo into your hair care routine, you can maintain a cool-toned blonde that looks like it was just done at the salon.
Can Purple Shampoo Dye Your Hair?
In purple shampoos you will see this workhorse colorant identified on the label as Violet 2, CI 60730, or Acid Violet 43. When used at a relatively low level, these purple shampoos do not dye the hair purple but counteract hair yellowing. The degree of toning is dependent on how porous or damaged the hair is and the length of time the product is left on the hair. If purple shampoo is left on the hair for too long it can leave hair slightly tinged purple which is easily reversed with a clarifying shampoo.
How Long Should You Leave Purple Shampoo on Your Hair?
Generally, a purple shampoo only needs to be left on the hair 1-3 minutes. The duration depends on how porous (damaged) the hair is and how much the hair needs to be toned. Leaving it on too long may result in the pigment absorbing unevenly, more to the more porous areas, and therefore leaving patchy purple tinted areas in the hair. Purple conditioner should be left on the hair longer than purple shampoo to obtain added softness, smoothness, and conditioning.
How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?
Purple shampoo should be used in moderation and not as a replacement for your regular shampoo. Overuse can result in the hair appearing slightly darker instead of brightened. Generally, purple shampoo can be used once or twice a week, depending on how often you wash your hair and the level of toning you want to achieve. If you notice your hair becoming overly toned or tinted, simply use a clarifying shampoo to reset your hair. It's important to note that individual results may vary, so it's best to start with a small amount of purple shampoo and gradually increase the frequency of use as needed.
Does Purple Shampoo Tone Hair?
While purple shampoo is often associated with toning blonde hair, it's actually a toner extender. When hair is lightened or bleached, the process brings out raw warmer undertones, such as yellow, orange, and red. Colorists adjust this using a toner, which provides a higher quality, lifted, or lightened hair color. However, over time, the toner can fade, and the raw undertones may reappear, resulting in brassy or dull-looking hair. Purple shampoo helps keep these warmer undertones at bay, extending the time between salon appointments for toner touch-ups.
Before And After Using Purple Shampoo & Conditioner:
Does Purple Shampoo Lighten Hair?
Purple shampoo cannot lighten hair that is not already bleached. However, it can brighten and enhance the appearance of already blonde or silver hair by neutralizing yellow or brassy tones. The reason purple shampoo works is that purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel, so the purple pigments in the shampoo cancel out the yellow tones, leaving hair looking brighter and cooler in tone. So, if you have blonde or silver hair and want to maintain a cool, bright look, purple shampoo can be a helpful addition to your hair care routine.
How Does Purple Shampoo Work for Various Hair Colors?
Purple Shampoo on Blonde Hair:
Purple shampoo is specifically designed to neutralize brassy, yellow tones in blonde hair, leaving it looking cooler and more vibrant. This is because purple and yellow are complementary colors, and the purple pigment in the shampoo cancels out the yellow tones in the hair. Regular use of purple shampoo can help maintain a salon-fresh look for dyed blonde hair, which can become brassy over time due to factors such as sun exposure and heat styling. Incorporating purple shampoo into your hair care routine can help you achieve a cooler, more beautiful blonde shade.
Purple Shampoo on Brown Hair:
Purple shampoo can be effective on brown hair to eliminate any unwanted warm tones or brassiness, especially for those who have chemically treated their hair. The violet pigments in purple shampoo work to neutralize the yellow and orange tones that can occur in brown hair, resulting in a more vibrant and rich color. However, it's important to note that some shades of brown hair may have reddish undertones that can be better countered with a blue shampoo, which is positioned opposite to red on the color wheel. Regular use of the appropriate color-toning shampoo can help keep your brown hair looking its best and prevent color fade, while emphasizing shine.
Purple Shampoo on Red Hair:
If you have naturally red hair a purple shampoo may not make much of a difference but it can help those with chemically dyed red hair. Purple shampoo will not fade or remove red color but can impact its visual effect. A purple shampoo used sparingly can help remove bronzy and brassy tones. However, if you are trying to achieve a vibrant orange and red, which are warm tones, using a purple shampoo too often can tone down the vibrant visual effect. Everyone’s hair goal is different so test it and see if using a purple shampoo is giving you the desired effect.
Purple Shampoo on Grey Hair:
Purple shampoo can brighten and lighten gray hair. While removing brassiness, the shampoo can help make the hair appear more silver.
Saltair's Purple Shampoo Ingredients:
Our purple shampoo neutralizes brassiness and enhances tone for brighter, cooler hair.
- Violet 2: highly concentrated pigment to help brighten and tone hair.
- Violet and Orchid Extracts: purple colored extracts that naturally decrease brassiness.
- Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil: also known as Kukui Nut Oil, it conditions and smooths hair for optimal shine.
- Coconut derived surfactants: gentle cleansing agents that won’t strip hair moisture or toner from hair.
- Polyquaternium-7 and -10: since damaged hair has net negative charge, these cationic ingredients adhere to areas of damage reducing hair frizz, improving hair movement, and boosting shine.
For best results, pair with our Beach Blonde Purple Conditioner.