Blue vs. Purple Shampoo: What’s the Difference?


hair being washed at a salon

It’s no secret that color-treated hair requires a different (and usually more involved) hair care routine when compared to non-treated hair. Though both should protect hair from extreme heat and breakage, it’s important to take additional steps if the hair has been professionally treated with treatments such as lightener, hair color or additives. A simple and effective way to protect color-treated hair is by using a shampoo that will help make hair color last and help to cancel out any post-salon brassiness that may occur.

Both blue and purple shampoos can help defeat brassiness when used correctly. They also provide additional benefits when used both at the salon and at home. Here are some tips to follow when using shampoo in blue and purple hues.

Purple Is for Blonde, Blue Is for Brunette

Stylists and clients alike rave about these products for color and toning purposes, but what does purple shampoo do? The answer depends on the undertones of your hair color. Essentially, these blue and purple pigmented shampoos work by using the opposite color on the color wheel to cancel out either shade of unwanted pigment.

When hair is professionally treated with hair color, it is not uncommon to see undertones within the orange, yellow and red spectrum appear over time. In an effort to combat these colors, which can cause hair to appear different or even unhealthy, purple shampoo cancels out the unwanted yellow tones from blonde hair.

For those with darker hair, there is still a chance that unwanted undertones within the hair might show up. Brunettes with noticeable orange or red undertones should use a blue-toned shampoo in order to cancel out these specific undertones. The results are similar to those that blondes experience when using a colored shampoo.

blonde woman
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Bonus for Blondes

Great news for blondes: using a purple shampoo can help in more ways than one. In addition to canceling out unwanted orange undertones from color treatment, it can also do the same for brassiness caused by using high heat styling tools and various other hair products. For blondes who use this type of shampoo regularly, it could mean shinier, more lively hair as well as less frequent color treatments.

hair being blow dried

At the Salon

As with most salon-quality products and treatments, the use of professional purple shampoo will always give some of the best results. Salon treatments for blonde hair should always include purple shampoo as a part of the process to ensure every blonde client leaves the salon without any sign of brassiness or unwanted undertones. For brunettes, it’s important to use a colored shampoo as well and recommend that each client integrate a blue or purple shampoo into their regular hair care routine at home.

Tips for Usage

Blue or purple shampoos are a vital part of just about any hair care routine. To start, it’s best to use this type of shampoo daily until the desired hair color is achieved. From there, it’s safe to switch off between a colored shampoo and a regular one. For optimum results, follow the directions on your specific product for the recommended usage before washing it out. Keep up a routine at the salon or at home and watch the results unfold!


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