Best Products June 13, 2023

Best Products




Say goodbye to brass with these shampoos for blonde hair.

Purple shampoos aren't just made for a fun Instagram shelfie or viral TikTok beauty moment. According to several hair colorists, purple shampoos are game-changing products designed to neutralize brassy or yellow tones in blonde, silver, or gray hair.

Since they are a simple way to help maintain lighter hair tones, our beauty editor Nicole Saunders asked the professionals what everyone needs to know about selecting the best purple shampoo for them. Our experts also shared the best purple shampoo recommendations for easy at-home maintenance, and the best overall pick is only $10 on Amazon.


What is Purple Shampoo?

So what exactly are purple shampoos? According to balayage expert Abby Haliti, they contain purple pigments to counteract the warm, yellow, or orange tones that can develop over time in lighter shades caused by sun exposure, environmental pollutants, and hair products.

Richy Kandasamy, a colorist and R+Co Collective Member, adds they help neutralize brassy and yellow tones because purple is directly opposite of yellow on the color wheel, meaning the two hues will cancel each other out. “Using purple pigment on color-treated brassy or yellow tones color-corrects your hair’s hue, restoring it to its former natural or neutral bright, cooler color tones,” he explains.

Benefits of Purple Shampoo

Haliti, the founder of Abby Haliti Color Studio in New York, notes the best purple shampoo will maintain someone's desired hair color and tone. So those with cool, ashy tones of blonde, silver, or gray hair can rely on this product to prevent their mane from becoming too warm or yellow-looking. “It can also help to prolong the time between salon visits for touch-ups by extending the life of your hair color and keeping it looking fresh and vibrant,” she says.

Who Should Use Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo sounds amazing, right? But who would actually benefit from using one? Haliti says anyone with natural or color-treated blonde, silver, or light hair and is concerned about yellow or brassy tones should consider using purple shampoo. Kandasamy agrees that those with a delicate, clean blonde tend to fade faster, lose shine, and quickly look brassy or yellow. They advise using purple shampoos, like R+Co SUNSET BLVD Daily Blonde Shampoo and L'Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo, to maintain a clean blonde palette.

Can Brunettes Use Purple Shampoo?

So what about brunettes who want to try purple shampoo? Kandasamy says they can use purple shampoo on brown hair, but it really depends on the overall tone of their hair. “If you have dark brown hair, using a purple shampoo won’t be particularly effective, but if you’re brunette with blonde highlights, [a] purple shampoo will maintain your highlights,” he says.

Should You Only Use Purple Shampoo?

Like pretty much all goods in life, we should only use purple shampoo in moderation. Haliti argues it's also not a full replacement for someone's normal or clarifying shampoo. “It is designed to be used in conjunction with regular shampoo to tone down yellow tones and brassiness,” she says.

How Often to Use Purple Shampoo

Our experts agree that purple shampoo can be a great tool for neutralizing brassy tones, but Haliti cautions using it too often can lead to over-toning or even a purple tint to the hair. Yikes! As a general rule of thumb, she advises using it once or twice a week and regular shampoo for the rest of the week to avoid this beauty mishap.

If you are the kind of person who overdoes things (“It’s me, hi. I’m the problem, it’s me.”) and notices an overload of purple tone in their hair, DM them this tip from Kandasamy RN: "Put the purple shampoo down! Opt for a clarifying shampoo to remove the tone, and keep your purple shampoo routine to once a week or less. Alternate using it with color-safe shampoos — or mix them for less violet deposit.”

Once users reach their perfect blonde color, Kandasamy advises alternating between purple and color-safe shampoos.

How to Use Purple Shampoo

Kandasamy also shares a quick tutorial on using purple shampoo to enhance lighter hair.

  • Step 1: Always use purple shampoo on wet hair and lather on the formula. He advises against using it on dry blonde hair because the strands are more porous and will grab too much of the purple tone.
  • Step 2: Leave the purple shampoo on for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the hair's brassiness level. The more intense the brassiness, the longer the shampoo can stay on the hair.
  • Step 3: Rinse the purple shampoo out of the hair with cool water to help close the cuticles and seal the color.
  • Step 4: Follow up with a purple deep conditioner, such as the SUNSET BLVD Blonde Toning Masque, to nourish the hair and provide more toning, if needed. He notes using a hair mask weekly (and increasing the frequency as necessary) will also prevent breakage and provide added conditioning.

What to Consider


Beyond frequency of use, Haliti says the tone of purple shampoo is a key factor when shopping. Thankfully, her guidance is genuinely easy to follow: the lighter someone's hair, the lighter the purple shampoo, and vice versa.

“If you have light blonde hair, you can use a shampoo with a lighter purple shade, while darker blondes or brunettes may need a darker purple shampoo to counteract brassiness,” she says. Using a color too deep on lighter blonde hair could leave the hair purple, which likely isn’t what users expect or want.

How We Chose

Saunders isn't blonde, but she cares deeply about always sharing the most effective products with as much first-hand feedback as possible. To help readers only shop from expert-vetted products, she asked a few hairstylists and colorists about their no-fail purple shampoos that are perfect for preserving lighter hair. Their recommendations range from shockingly affordable (we're talking less than $10!) to splurgeworthy products that cost $49 or less.

For added reassurance, Saunders also carefully researched these picks to ensure they're available in a range of purple tones and offer other benefits, like volumizing the hair, adding a glossy finish, and minimizing frizz. Plus, each of these products amassed glowing online reviews, meaning they work in the real world outside of a salon setting, so you know they're good.


L'Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Blonde Shampoo


  • Reviewers say it does an excellent job softening the hair
  • Reviewers say its lightweight formula feels incredible


  • The toning pigments are on the lighter side, so skip if your brassiness is deep

This L’Oréal purple shampoo proves we don’t always have to splurge on beauty products. Haliti, who works with clients on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is a huge fan of this budget-friendly buy.

“This sulfate-free shampoo is ideal for blonde, highlighted, or gray hair. It contains natural iris and purple pigments that can neutralize brassiness while nourishing the hair with a blend of botanical oils and antioxidants,” says Haliti.

Thousands of online reviewers are also keen on this cheap shampoo for color-treated hair. They have called EverPure Shampoo everything from “a lifesaver for blonde hair” to “this is a definite win in my book.”


R+Co Sunset Blvd Daily Blonde Shampoo


  • Lightest purple shampoo on this list
  • Smells like juniper berries, blood oranges, rhubarb, leather accord, violet, and dark woods
  • Safe enough for daily use, but that shouldn't be necessary for most hair types


  • Some reviewers didn't enjoy the scent

Kandasamy has more than two decades worth of professional experience, so it’s safe to say his pick is an excellent option and is worthy of your hard-earned money.

“R+Co SUNSET BLVD Daily Blonde Shampoo is good for anyone with blonde or silver hair color looking to nourish and counteract yellow tones. This shampoo can be used with any hair texture. Because of the lighter purple pigment, you can use it without any fear,” he explains.

Hundreds of Amazon agree with his expert assessment, with many noting it nourishes their dehydrated strands without weighing it down. “I’ve been using this shampoo, as well as the Sunset Blvd Conditioner, ever since I went platinum last October. I love it! Keeps my hair bright, with no brass, and I have no issues with dryness,” says one 5-star review.


Kérastase Blond Absolu Ultra-Violet Purple Shampoo


  • Softens damaged hair
  • Made with hyaluronic acid


  • Some reviewers say the dark purple pigments lightly stain their hands

Lorena M. Valdes, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, is a huge fan of Kérastase products, including the brand's take on purple shampoo.

“[It] is very strong, and I consider it a concentrate that can be used once a week and diluted with your regular shampoo,” Valdes says. She continues to describe it as the most hydrating purple shampoo, noting it pairs nicely with the Kérastase Lumiere Shampoo to balance and prevent over-deposit.

Blond Absolu relies on ulta violet neutralizes to help remove yellow and brassy undertones from the hair, while a combination of softening and antioxidant-rich edelweiss flower and hydrating hyaluronic acid helps prevent future breakage.

In our guide to hyaluronic acid for hair, dermatologists and hairstylists previously told us this ingredient is an underrated power player missing from everyone's haircare routine because it attracts moisture.


Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Color


  • Oribe’s signature Cote d’Azur scent is Saunders-approved


  • Most expensive option

So is a nearly $50 purple shampoo actually worth the added cost, especially when everything on this list is vastly more affordable? Well, Valdes argues it is worth the premium cost!

She says these Kérastase and Oribe purple shampoos impart different levels of purple onto the hair and are much more hydrating than other typically drying purple shampoos.

“Oribe purple shampoo is a great choice for someone looking for a sulfate-free shampoo, and I love that it doesn’t go purple if used more than once a week. I still would dilute it when using as any spot that is dehydrated or compromised may still absorb too much,” Valdes explains.

A combination of reflective pearlized and violet pigments eliminate brassiness, tone blonde hair, and leave behind a stunning shine. Infused with multiple UV protection shields and the brand’s signature complex of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower help prevent damage, dryness, and color fading.

There’s also a brightening complex to boost the tonality of blonde hair, while lavender extract helps condition dull, brittle tresses.


Better Not Younger Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo


  • Hydrates, strengthens, and volumizes hair
  • Cruelty-free formula


  • Some reviewers don't love the pump

Betterc Not Younger's sulfate-free shampoo that won't strip hair of color. Celebrity hairstylist Peter Butler recommends this purple shampoo as a must-have to ensure his clients' hair stays cool and bright. It's designed with gray and silver hair in mind, but blondes can also benefit from using this product.

For example, one online reviewer colors their hair blonde and notes it turns brassy in the summer. To quote their 5-star review, “I have used purple shampoos before, but this one is so much better. My hair feels soft and manageable, not dried out and frizzy. Love the volume I get with this shampoo.”

As for why it's fantastic for plumping up fine hair, look no further than the ingredient list. A combination of biotin, bamboo, burdock, and hops, ensures blonde tresses are nourished, strengthened, and thicker-looking with each shampoo.


Olaplex No. 4P Blonde Enhancing Toning Shampoo


  • Clean at Sephora seal
  • Works on all hair types and textures, but most beneficial for those with dry hair


  • Some reviewers say it's not the most moisturizing shampoo, so skip if your loved one has dry hair

In February, Olaplex was in the news because of a lawsuit alleging their products can cause damage leading to hair loss in some users. However, Valdes is one of our most trusted experts, so if she suggests their purple shampoo as a viable option, we will share that information with our readers. If you or your loved one don’t feel 100% confident in Olaplex products despite the hundreds of positive online reviews, then skip it and pick a different option on this list.

With that being said, to quote Valdes: “Olaplex purple shampoo is great if you already use the line and get Olaplex during your color service. I would be cautious about using this one straight, as it may leave a pearl cast.”

Speaking of reviews, this one amassed a casual 4,275 five-star Amazon reviews. “I have used lots of purple shampoos, but this one really could see a difference first use without making [it] gray,” says one reviewer. Another adds, “I look like I just came out of a salon after I use this product. Obsess[ed]!!”