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Everything You Need To Know About Purple Shampoo For Blonde Hair

BY THE REDKEN TEAM November 16, 2021

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Blondes know that finding that perfect blonde shade often takes time, money, and a commitment to keeping color as fresh as when you left the salon. While it's up to your professional stylist to provide a blonde toning service at the salon, it's up to you to maintain your hair color at home. That’s where purple shampoo comes in.  

While your stylist will use a toner to eliminate unwanted yellow, orange and red undertones at the salon, you may notice brassy tones appearing at home as time passes. In order to keep your blonde looking cool while preventing brassy hair, purple shampoo is an absolute necessity. To help you properly maintain your color, we've pulled together this guide to blonde shampoo. From understanding how it works to how often you should be using it, here's everything you need to know about purple shampoo.

What is Purple Shampoo?

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Purple shampoo is just that—a shampoo with purple pigments that helps to keep undertones at bay. Think of it as your at-home toner that helps to beat brass.

The concept of purple tinted shampoo might sound a little crazy to the blonde newbies, but ask any tried and true blonde and they’ll tell you it’s a must-have for keeping hair looking strong and bright.

What Does Purple Shampoo Actually Do?

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Those of us with blonde hair need purple shampoo because of how the hair is lightened in the first place. According to Redken Artist Adina Doss, "When I lift a client's hair (colorist speak for lightening), there is an undertone that comes up, which I like to call 'raw blonde.' To get my clients to a richer, more quality blonde, I add a color treatment called a toner, specifically Redken's Shades EQ, to eliminate any undesired undertones, whether that color is yellow or yellow-orange or even a reddish undertone.”

Those undertones come out when the colorist applies a toner, but you may find they start to appear between color services as the toner fades. This is where the need for purple shampoo comes in—to adjust your tone at home!


Salon Tip: When a colorist lightens your hair, they should always use a toner as a step in the coloring process. Doss says this is a non-negotiable—so don't be afraid to ask for a Shades EQ Gloss during your next service!

Does Purple Shampoo Work for Natural Blondes?

One of the primary purposes of purple shampoo is to neutralize brassy blonde hair. Redken Artist Jaclyn Harwood says that these brassy undertones do not just appear because toner has warn off. Brassiness can also be caused by things like sun, hard water or heat styling tools. For this reason, purple shampoo is not just for color-treated blondes. Natural blondes need it, too, Harwood says. In fact, those who’ve been jumping on the unicorn hair trend of purples and blue in their hair can also benefit from purple shampoo to help keep violet hues from fading. The key to this? The purple color of the shampoo. 

But, Why Is Purple Shampoo Actually Purple?

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While new blondes might be surprised to learn blonde shampoo is actually purple, there's a fairly simple explanation for this.

“If you think of a color wheel, as basic as it sounds, whatever color you want to cancel out is directly across from it,” Doss says. “Directly across from yellow is purple. So, the purple helps eliminate the unwanted yellow colors from the hair.”

“It’s almost like a way to brighten the color to a cooler tone,” Harwood adds. “So, if the hair has a little bit of a yellow tone, a pigmented purple shampoo is going to neutralize that warmth.” Because of this, violet hued shampoo can also neutralize those yellow, brassy tones in more than just blonde hair.

How Often Should I Use Purple Shampoo?

Keep in mind that purple shampoo does not replace your regular shampoo and should only be used once or twice a week. Doss warns that there is such a thing as too much purple.

“When you eliminate too much yellow, it visually ends up darker and a lot of people don’t want it to look darker,” she says. “So if you wash your hair twice a week, use the purple shampoo only once a week to keep the hair bright but not yellow.”

Harwood also adds that purple shampoo can be mixed with regular shampoo to add some of the violet pigment into a regular hair cleansing routine without any risk of going overboard.

So, Which Purple Shampoo Do I Choose?

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While your goal is to tone hair and prevent brassy undertones, it's also important to protect and strengthen hair after lightening services. Redken’s Color Extend Blondage is formulated with a Triple Acid Protein complex—amino, citric and maleic acids and wheat protein—that not only neutralizes unwanted undertones, but also helps strengthen hair’s cuticles. This color-depositing shampoo protects color and leaves blonde hair looking cool, all while repairing each hair from the core, a necessary bonus for color treated hair.

Don't forget that maintaining your brightest haircolor doesn't end with shampoo! Learn how a weekly vinegar rinse treatment will keep your blonde looking it's most vibrant.


What Is a Purple Hair Mask and Why Do I Need It?

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When maintaining bright, toned, and beautiful blonde hair, it's important to also consider your hair mask regimen. Regularly incorporating an ultra-pigmented purple hair mask will help to deep condition color treated hair while neutralizing brassy tones. Keep your blonde haircolor cool and bright by using Color Extend Blondage Instant Anti-Brass Mask, which offers an instant 5-minute transformation for blondes. 

To use, swap the Redken Color Extend Blondage Conditioner with the new Redken Color Extend Blondage Express Anti-Brass Mask once a week or more, as needed to neutralize brass and maintain a bright, cool blonde tone. It's the perfect finishing touch to your haircare regimen and will help you maintain your best blonde tone long after you leave your colorist's chair. 

Need More Hair Inspiration?

For more blonde haircolor inspiration and tips on how to maintain your haircolor between salon visits, follow @Redken on Instagram! 

To view all of our recommended products for blonde haircare, browse our complete collection here.

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