What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Brown Hair? Here’s The Truth.

Are you a brunette looking for the perfect hair color? You’re in luck! Purple shampoo is your new best friend. It’s not just for blondes. But what does purple shampoo do to brown hair? Let’s find out!

If you’ve heard mixed reviews about whether you can use purple shampoo on brown or blonde hair, then this blog post is for you.

We’ll go over exactly what this mystical magic potion does and how it can affect your hair color.

Do you really know what it does or why anyone would use it? If not, don’t worry! We’re here to explain everything.

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Purple shampoo is best for:

  • All blonde hair
  • Light brown hair
  • Caramel brown hair
  • Ombre hair
  • Balayage hair
  • Bronde hair
  • Brown hair with highlights
  • Sandy brown hair
  • Golden brown hair
  • Chocolate brown hair
  • Chestnut hair

What the experts say:

“For orange tones, you want to stick with more of a blue shampoo. (Blue cancels out orange, purple cancels out yellow.) If that doesn’t help or completely take care of the situation, you need a toner.”

Rebecca Leigh, Hair stylist – Colorist

“Purple shampoo cancels out the slight yellow tones in blonde hair. It is not pigmented enough to affect darker, brown hair.”

Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist& Colorist
purple shampoo wash and rinse

What is purple shampoo?

Purple shampoos are products that absorb and neutralize yellow tones in brown/blonde colored hair and help maintain that cool-toned look.

When we say “purple shampoo,” we’re talking about a product with ingredients like violet dye and lavender oil, which help cancel out brassy tones by toning them down into more flattering shades of gold and silver.

But that’s not to say they don’t work on brunettes too!

You’ll be amazed at how much better your color looks after using it – no salon visit required!

You’ll find most of these toners are made for blonde hair as they are more prone to yellow brassiness creeping into their locks.

This works because of hair color theory and the hair color wheel that all hair colorists abide by.

Yellows and purples are opposite each other on the wheel which means they counteract and tone each other down.

hair color wheel theory pinterest

Why does hair get brassy?

The answer lies in the fact that most hair dyes contain chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia which strip brown color pigment from your strands over time.

Not only that, but they also fade quickly – sometimes within just a few washes!

This is when you’ll start to notice unwanted, brassy yellow or red tones in your hair as your natural warm undertones start to show through.

That’s where using neutralizing color shampoos comes into play! Using this product every other wash helps maintain the color in your tresses while keeping them hydrated at the same time.

What does purple shampoo do to brown hair?

Even if you have brown hair, there can be still way too many golden hues hiding under your locks.

Especially if you’ve dyed your hair a color with a golden brown base – like chocolate, caramel brown or chestnut.

We all love our brunette locks – whether they are dark chocolate or milk chocolate in hue – but sometimes they just don’t look as bright as we’d like them to be.

On-trend styles that mix brown and blonde like brown balayage, blonde highlights, ombre and bronde are the perfect reason for using these shampoos.

This unique formula helps neutralize brassy tones and yellow undertones in darker shades while also adding shine and softness back into dry brown strands.

Can I use purple shampoo on brunette hair?

Yes! These shampoos are great at keeping dark-colored and highlighted tresses from fading too quickly between salon visits or when swimming in chlorinated pools frequently.

They also add shine to dull-looking strands while toning down brassiness caused by sun exposure or chemical treatments such as highlights or perms.

The trick is to know whether you’re showing yellow or red-orange warmth in your hair.

If it’s red, you might be better off with blue shampoo.

What’s the difference between blue and purple shampoo?

Blue shampoo is for brunettes. It neutralizes unwanted red and orange tones in your hair

Purple shampoo is for blondes and brown hair that has a golden base. If your hair is showing yellow tones, this is the one for you.

What does blue shampoo do to brown hair?

Blue shampoos work in the same way but they contain blue color pigments which help offset any red or orange tones in your hair.

If those pesky brassy shades won’t go away no matter what shampoo or conditioner you use, applying blue shampoo after washing your hair will neutralize them, help to keep your color ashy and make your locks look like new.

How long should you leave purple shampoo in brown hair?

The length of time depends on the shade of brown your hair is and how much yellow tinge there needs to be got rid of!

The answer to this is completely dependent on the person and their hair.

For some people, leaving it in for two minutes will do the trick. Other people need to leave it in for as long as ten minutes before rinsing out completely.

It all comes down to how quickly your hair absorbs color and what kind of dye you used.

A good rule of thumb:

If you have lighter brown or blonde hair, it’s best to wash your hair as you would with regular shampoo and rinse it off before conditioning.

If you have dark brown hair with more stubborn yellow brassy tones in it, you can leave it on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing off.

Be careful not to leave it in for too long as it can deposit a purple tint to your hair!

If in doubt, try mixing it with your regular shampoo first, to test the strength.

Does purple shampoo lighten hair?

No! The violet pigment cancels out yellow tones in darker shades of brunette hair and blonde hair.

They’re one of our favourite products in the hair world because they work wonders on brassy tones that result from a bad dye job or even from sun damage when your hair has been bleached too many times with harsh chemicals.

You’re left with an ashy tone instead of a brassy one. So no, it won’t lighten your hair!

Which are the best purple shampoos?

The best way to one up those tresses without spending big bucks on salon visits every few months with our list of top products below!

We’ve done all the research for you so all that’s left is deciding which one sounds best to try first. You can read more about each one in Our best purple shampoo for blonde hair reviews.

Best purple shampoos at a glance.

ShampooLooks likeBest forBuy it now
Bold Uniq Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair.

BOLD UNIQ Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair - Toning Shampoo for Blonde, Platinum, Bleached, Grey, Ash, and Silver Hair - Eliminates Brassy, Yellow Tones - Vegan, Paraben & Sulphate Free - 8 Fl Oz

Keeping platinum blondes cool.
Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo

Redken Purple Shampoo, With Citric Acid and Vi Violet Pigment, Hair Toner, Color Depositing Formula, For Blonde & Treated Hair, Neutralizes Brassy Tones, Extend Blondage, 10.1 fl.oz./300ml

Darker Blondes.
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Shampoo.

Pureology Strength Cure Blonde Purple Shampoo for Blonde & Lightened Color-Treated Hair, 33.8 Fl Oz

Bringing blonde hair back to life.
Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet.

Kerastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet 8.5 oz

Happier and healthier cool blonde hair.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Violet Crush Tone Correcting Purple Shampoo.

John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair, 16 Fl Oz

Cool blonde on a budget.
Fudge Professional Purple Toning Shampoo.

Fudge Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Violet-Toning Shampoo 8.4 oz

Ash Blonde cleanliness
TIGI Bed Head, Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo.

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo, 13.5 Ounce

Less brassiness, more softness.

Which Shampoo Should I Use?

Parting words

Purple shampoo is a staple for those with blonde hair and brunettes alike.

If you have golden brown hair and feel yourself becoming brassy, make sure you stock up on the cool hue magic potion!

What are you waiting for?

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.