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Blue vs Purple Shampoo: Everything You Need to Know to Get Perfectly Toned Hair

Blue vs purple shampoo

We all know that brassiness is the worst enemy of color treatments and bleaching, especially if you’re going from a particularly dark brown or black to a much lighter color. It’s almost inevitable that some yellow, orange, or even red tones will shine through your otherwise gorgeous locks.

Thankfully, this is why certain treatments such as purple dyes, hair toners, and purple or blue shampoos have been made easily available on the market. With the right product, you can get rid of that unwanted brassiness and achieve the perfect-looking hair color.

The question is, what exactly are blue and purple shampoo? Moreover, how do they differ, and how do you know which one you need? In this article, we will answer everything you need to know about blue and purple shampoo.

Read also related articles: Best shampoo for bleached hair, Jazzing hair color, and How to fix hot roots.

What are the benefits of using blue or purple shampoo?

The main purpose of blue and purple shampoos is to neutralize or tone unwanted brassiness, or the yellow and orange undertones in your hair. These shampoos basically do the same job as an ammonia-based toner, but they are safer and easier to use – although the results take a considerably longer time to be noticeable.

That said, there are many other benefits to using toning shampoos. For starters, they help maintain the vibrance of your new hair color, especially for brunettes and bright blonde hair. Toning shampoos also protect your hair’s natural luster and shine. These all mean that you get to enjoy amazing hair for longer while keeping your trips to the salon far and few in between.

Not to mention, the beauty of these blue and purple shampoos is that they work on natural hair as well as on chemically treated, colored, and bleached hair. So, whether you want to change the shade of your hair, fix the uneven bleaching situation you’ve got going on, or remedy your fading highlights, toning shampoos can go a long way towards your goal.

What is the difference between blue and purple shampoo?

What is the difference between blue and purple shampoo?The simple answer is, blue and purple shampoo are shampoo products with a toner element designed to eliminate unwanted undertones in your hair. More specifically, blue shampoo is designed to get rid of orange tones on dark or brunette hair, while the purple shampoo is best for eliminating yellow tones on light colored or blonde hair.

Now, the reason why we have different shampoos for toning hair is that hair naturally produces different undertones, and as such, different colors are needed to tone down these undertones. For example, blonde hair produces yellow undertones. For brown hair, you’ll get orange, and for black hair, it’s typically red. This is true for both natural hair and colored or bleached hair.

The science behind this pretty much boils down to color theory. Think of the color wheel we all know from elementary school. Pick any color, and take the color on the opposite side of that – these complementary colors will always cancel out each other. In this case, blue cancels out orange, and purple cancels out yellow.

Which one should you use: blue or purple shampoo?

Both purple and blue shampoos are designed to color-correct the undertones in your hair, so to answer this question, we have to go back to basic color theory. In other words, what’s the current color and undertone of your hair, and what do you want it to look like instead?

Again, blue shampoo is intended for use on brunette hair with orange undertones, while the purple shampoo is best on blonde hair with yellow tones. Meaning, if you have brown hair that’s showing a bit of orange or even coppery red tones that you’d like to get rid of, blue shampoo can effectively tone these colors down to a brilliantly vibrant brown.

Alternatively, if your natural or bleached blonde hair is showing some yellow spots instead of the cool platinum blonde you were hoping for, purple shampoo should easily solve the problem. Purple shampoo is also your best bet if you’ve just bleached your hair from a dark brown to a hopeful blonde.

What if you have both yellow and orange undertones?

You can also try using both blue and purple shampoo. We don’t mean mix them and lather up, mind you. Rather, alternate using blue and purple. For example, if there’s more yellow than orange, you can try using purple shampoo 3 times a week, and blue shampoo once a week, then your regular shampoo for the in-between days.

What is the best way to use blue or purple shampoo?

Using blue and purple shampoos to tone your hair is actually quite easy. Just shampoo as usual, let it sit on your hair for a couple of minutes or longer depending on how much brassiness you’re seeing on your hair, then rinse thoroughly.

For even better results, you can follow up with a blue or purple conditioner. This will also help in neutralizing brassiness, but more importantly, conditioners will moisturize, hydrate, and nourish your hair, which is extremely important if your hair has been bleached, chemically treated, colored, or exposed to heat styling tools.

How often should you use blue or purple shampoo?

When it comes to using toning shampoos, the golden rule is to follow the timeless motto of “less is more”. After all, what you want here is to keep your hair color looking great and neutralize any brassiness, rather than turning your hair silver, or a dull shade of blue or purple.

That said, you’re likely to get all sorts of different advice on how and how often to use toning shampoos. Some would say use them every day (or even multiple times a day) until you see results, while others would limit to a more conservative 2 to 3 times a week in order to prevent any hair damage or breakage.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to you. If your hair looks and feels healthy and you’re eager to see results fast, you can attempt to use the shampoo daily. But if you’d prefer to test the waters and protect your precious locks, shampooing less often and alternating with your regular shampoo might be the way to go. This can also help maintain your ideal shade.

Which is the best shampoo for your hair?

All purple and blue shampoos work under the premise of depositing color pigments in your hair strands in order to neutralize or tone brassiness that are typical of sun, heat, and chemical exposure, as well as fading hair color. They also coat your hair and enhance the shine and luster of your locks.

That said, not all toning shampoos are the same. It’s important to choose the right toning shampoo for your hair color and undertones if you want to achieve your desired results and keep your hair color looking cool for longer.

Purple shampoo for blonde hair

Blonde hair, both natural and chemically treated, is prone to developing yellow undertones. As such, using purple shampoo to counter this effect can be highly beneficial. For instance, the Bold Uniq purple shampoo is an amazing vegan formula making use of innovative UV filters to keep blonde, silver, gray, and platinum hair looking fabulous.

Blue shampoo for brown hair

Meanwhile, brown hair is highly likely to produce orange undertones especially after chemical treatments. To counter this, products like this anti-orange shampoo regimen by Redken are a must to neutralize the unwanted brassiness and bring your hair back to a gorgeous brown by strategically depositing blue color pigments to your hair strands. 

Silver shampoo for gray hair

Now, silver shampoos are a bit harder to find, but they are absolutely worth it if you have gray hair – whether that’s due to natural aging or you’re joining the latest hair color trend. That’s because silver shampoos like this Watercolors intense metallic shampoo will brighten your gray locks and prevent any brassiness or dullness, leading to bright and healthy looking hair. 

Final Tips

A little bit of brassiness is to be expected if your hair is regularly exposed to the sun, heat styling tools, or chemical treatments. In fact, you likely won’t get away without any brassy undertone if you bleach your hair, regardless of what color you’re starting off with.

This is what toners and toning shampoos are made for. The key here is to choose the right type of shampoo for your hair, and that’s all about determining your undertones – aka whether they are yellow, orange, reddish, or even a mix of two or all of these tones.

It’s often the case that you’ll have a slight mix of different undertones, so it’s about identifying which is the more prominent one and going from there. For example, if you mostly see yellow undertones with a hint of orange, then you should opt for a purple shampoo, and vice versa.

Of course, you also have the option of using both products, alternating between each one based on how much of each color depositing shampoo you think you need.


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