The Best Purple Shampoos

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For blondes (both natural and color-treated), a purple shampoo is essential when it comes to keep unwanted brassy undertones at bay. As celebrity colorist George Papanikolas explains, "Purple shampoos work by neutralizing yellow tones because purple is the opposite of yellow on the hair color spectrum." The best purple shampoos include a mix of violet pigments to neutralize yellow tones, and moisturizing ingredients to care for your hair. "A good purple shampoo should be a dark purple and have a thick consistency," hairstylist Frederic Aspiras says of what makes a purple shampoo stand out. Note that purple shampoos can be used by brunettes, too — for example, if you prefer a cool-brown shade and have noticed red or orange tones creeping in, you can use a purple shampoo to neutralize that brassiness.

The Experts

George Papanikolas is a celebrity colorist whose clients have included Madonna, Britney Spears, Ellen Pompeo, and Ana de Armas. His work has appeared on magazine covers, in advertising campaigns, and on red carpets, and he divides his time between Andy LeCompte Salon in Los Angeles and Rita Hazan Salon in New York. Papanikolas serves as the brand ambassador for Matrix.

Frederic Aspiras is a Los Angeles-based wig designer and hairstylist. He has exclusively worked with Lady Gaga since 2009, creating looks across editorial, commercials, and red carpets. Aspiras’ work with Gaga in the film, House Of Gucci, earned him a nomination at the 2022 Academy Awards in the Makeup And Hairstyling category. Aspiras is a Joico brand ambassador.

Cassondra Kaeding is a Los Angeles-based colorist whose work spans film, editorial, advertising, and red carpets. Her clients include famous blondes like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kate Hudson, and Miley Cyrus. Though Kaeding travels to salons globally, she offers digital consultations and custom at-home color kits. She is a Redken brand ambassador.

How To Use Purple Shampoo

Before you reach for your purple shampoo, all of the experts agree that it can't work color miracles, and it is possible to overdo it. "Purple shampoos will not lighten the hair," Papanikolas says. "If your hair is orange, then you will need additional lightening." After your salon appointment, Kaeding recommends waiting about one to two weeks before using your purple shampoo, and then alternating it with a traditional (sulfate-free) shampoo. "Purple shampoo is pigmented shampoo, that if overused, can sometimes leave your hair flat, dull, and over-toned," she cautions. Because everyone's hair is different, Papanikolas says that you may need to save the purple formula for every third shampoo so as not to over-deposit the violet pigment.

How To Care For Color-Treated Hair

In addition to incorporating a toning shampoo into your routine, Aspiras shares a few other at-home steps you can take to keep your color looking its best. "I highly recommend installing a shower filter to eliminate any pollutants and harsh minerals in the water," Aspiras says, adding that you should "give your hair a good rinse after showering with cool water." He also points out that the sun protection rules you follow for your skin should apply to your hair, too. "Always use UV protection in the hair when being exposed to a lot of sun," he says, noting that this can be found in heat protectants and even hair sunscreens. "Or, shield your hair from direct sunlight by wearing a hat or headscarf," Aspiras suggests.

Shop The Best Purple Shampoos

In a hurry? Here are the best purple shampoos:

  1. Best For Blonde & Gray Hair: Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo
  2. Best For Protecting Blonde Hair: Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo
  3. Best Strengthening Purple Shampoo: Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo
  4. Best Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo: Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo For Beautiful Color
  5. Best Purple Hair Mask: amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Intense Repair Mask

1. The Pro's Pick: Best For Blonde & Gray Hair

"This gives just the right amount of pigment for regular use," George Papanikolas says of the Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo. While it neutralizes brassy tones in blonde hair, the shampoo was also designed to enhance gray colors with a more clarified, silvery finish. The shampoo is also a fan favorite on Amazon, with more than 25,000 five-star ratings from reviewers with blonde and gray hair colors.

Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride Size: 10.1 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

2. The Pro's Pick: Best For Protecting Blonde Hair

If you want to help protect your color from future damage as you banish brassy tones, try this Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo. To do this, the formula uses antioxidant-rich green tea extract and UV absorbers to fight the fading and tone-changing effects of pollution and sun exposure. The shampoo also gets Frederic Aspiras' approval for its ability to boost your hair's health with ingredients like hydrolyzed keratin, arginine, and rosehip oil. "It makes your hair strong and shiny without drying it out or stripping your color," he says.

Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed Keratin, Arginine, Rosehip Oil, Panthenol, Green Tea Extract, Salicylic Acid Size: 10.1 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

3. The Pro's Pick: Best Strengthening Purple Shampoo

"This shampoo features key ingredients salicylic acid to strengthen and repair blonde hair from the core, and pure violet pigments to remove unwanted brassiness and leave blonde color cool and bright," says Cassondra Kaeding of Redken’s Color Extend Blondage shampoo. To further protect from damage and support healthy hair growth, Redken's shampoo includes hydrolyzed wheat protein, arginine, and glutamic and citric acids, which can help increase hair's elasticity and balance the pH level of your scalp.

Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Glutamic Acid, Castor Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Arginine Size: 10.1 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

4. Editor's Pick: Best Sulfate-Free Purple Shampoo

“It’s a splurge, but in my opinion, Oribe makes the best purple shampoo out there — and as a lifelong blonde, I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve tried them all,” says Adeline Duff, a beauty editor at The Zoe Report. “It’s the rare purple shampoo that’s sulfate-free, and it’s made with all sorts of rare botanicals that keep my blonde hair looking and feeling its best, both immediately and over time. The gorgeous bottle (which doubles as a work of art for your shower) and the brand’s signature sultry scent are just the icing on the cake — the cake being an extremely elegantly formulated purple shampoo.”

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, Sunflower Seed Oil, Matricaria Flower Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Rice Seed Protein, Watermelon Fruit Extract, Lychee Extract, Edelweiss Flower Extract, Salicylic Acid Size: 8.5 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

5. Editor's Pick: Best Purple Hair Mask

"As a bleached blonde, my hair is in need of two things — repair and toning — and this amika deep conditioner thoughtfully combines both," writes The Zoe Report editor Caroline Goldstein. "Months after first using it, I continue to be shocked by how well it works on both fronts. It instantly lifts brassiness, leaving my hair icy-bright, and it feels so much softer (and less frizz-prone) than it does with other deep conditioners I've used. The signature fruity-spicy scent lingers for days, too."

Key Ingredients: Sea Buckthorn Oil, Mango Seed Butter, Shea Butter, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E Size: 8 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes


George Papanikolas, Los Angeles-based celebrity colorist

Frederic Aspiras, Los Angeles-based wig designer and hairstylist

Cassondra Kaeding, Los Angeles-based celebrity colorist