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What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Grey Hair?

In this post, we’ll be answering a question my mum was asked by one of her friends: “What does purple shampoo do to grey hair?”

Despite its association with aging, grey and silver hair have been building up to be a huge trend in the last couple of years. It’s chic, sleek, and shows off your years of wisdom.

Even younger millennials pay big bucks to lighten their hair just to achieve this color!

But whether you’re going grey naturally or dyeing your hair to get that hue, it’s pretty high-maintenance to deal with grey locks.

You need to do extra steps to ensure you keep your color clean and cool.

One of these steps is to regularly tone your hair with purple shampoo.

Grey hair is notorious for turning on you and developing brassy streaks of yellow in your locks.

That’s why purple shampoo is a must for keeping your hair color ashy and silver in one.

Why Does Grey Hair Go Brassy?

To better appreciate what purple shampoo can do for you, it’s crucial to understand what makes grey hair go brassy in the first place.

Both natural and dyed grey hair is prone to undesirable brassiness and overly warm tones, so there’s really no escaping it.


Dyed Hair

For dyed grey hair, brassiness is common as your color and toner start to wear off.

See, to get grey or silver hair, you first have to bleach your hair to lighten it to the highest shade possible.

This exposes a yellow underlying pigment in your hair, which disappears after you finish off with a toner or gloss.

So when you start shampooing your hair often and using hot tools to style your hair, the pigments of your toner and color start to fade.

More and more of your naturally yellow underlying pigment starts to peek through, giving you that too-warm tone to replace that cool and metallic grey.


Naturally Grey Hair

For naturally grey hair, brassy tones come through mostly because of the sun.

The UV rays of the sun can strip your hair of its natural blue molecules, making your yellow pigments look more stark and noticeable.

Exposure to chemicals, hard minerals, and pollution also turns naturally grey hair yellow.

Swimming in chlorinated pools or showering with hard water, for example, can leave a dirty-looking warm tinge in your hair, making you look unpolished and unkempt.


No matter where you get your grey hair from – whether it’s from finally hitting your golden years or just straight out of a bottle at the salon – you’re still prone to seeing yellow in your strands every now and then.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution for it: purple shampoo.


What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Grey Hair

You may associate purple shampoo as strictly a shampoo for blondes, but it’s actually immensely helpful when you have grey hair, too.

It’s useful for both naturally grey hair and dyed locks.

Purple shampoo is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a shampoo infused with violet pigments.

These pigments tone your hair to eliminate unwanted brassy tones, pulling it back to a neutral or cool tone.

This leaves your grey hair with a more flattering silver undertone, instead of a stark yellow or orange.

If it’s your first time dealing with purple shampoo, don’t be intimidated by its deep violet color!

It doesn’t aim to color your hair or change your shade.

After all, you can’t color your hair by simply rubbing pigments into it.

All it does is tone your hair to make it go from warm to cool.

Other toning shampoos come in different colors, like blue and green.

But for grey hair, in particular, purple will work the best – and it all has to do with basic color theory.


The Color Wheel

You see, brassiness in grey hair usually comes in gold color, since the underlying pigment in super light hair is naturally yellow.

And on the color wheel, purple sits on the opposite side of yellow.

what does purple shampoo do to grey hair

That means purple is the perfect color to cancel out the unnatural yellow tone in your hair.

When washing your hair with purple shampoo, you’ll deposit violet pigments to counteract the harsh warmth peeking through.

This will leave your grey hair luminous and vibrant, thanks to its cooler and ashier tone.

Related Post: Understanding The Hair Color Wheel

Purple shampoos are usually sulfate-free, which means it doesn’t have harsh surfactants that will strip your grey or silver pigments from your coloring job.

This is fantastic news for those with dyed hair because it means your grey tresses will stay looking fresh and vivid for longer.

Since it comes in a user-friendly shampoo format, it’s way more convenient than professional toners or glosses.

It also saves you more time and money, since you can do it in your shower instead of having to book a trip to an expensive salon just to touch up on toner.


What Happens To Your Grey Hair If You Don’t Use Purple Shampoo Regularly?

If you ignore your brassiness when it starts peeking through, there’s a possibility that your grey hair will turn more and more yellow.

This is especially so if you wash your hair with hard water laced with chemicals that can cause discoloration.

And I’m not talking a butterscotch, golden hue reminiscent of Goldilocks.

Brassiness, when left to worsen, can end up looking like a stark, dirty yellow that doesn’t blend into the rest of your grey hair.

Your grey tresses could end up losing their vividness as well, making it look more dull and peppery than bright and silver in tone.

So skipping out on your purple shampoo days can lead you to potentially lose out on that coveted vibrant, cool grey tone.

Having dull, brassy tresses can also make you look older.

Granted, this is always an issue when it comes to grey hair, but it’s easily avoided when you tone your hair regularly.

As long as you can keep your tone bright and ashy, you’ll look chic and stylish.

But the brassier it is, you’ll look older and wearier.

I get it – it can be tempting to slack on your hair regimen.

But if there’s one hair care step you definitely shouldn’t overlook when you have grey hair, it’s toning with purple shampoo.

It pretty much makes or breaks how polished and radiant your grey hair looks.


There’s Always A Purple Shampoo For Your Top Hair Concern

There are many purple shampoo options out there, and it can be quite overwhelming to choose one for your particular hair type.

If you can’t decide which one to buy, look at their varying active ingredients.

Go for the one that can address your other hair concerns you’re struggling with aside from brassiness.

For example, if you have super dehydrated hair, you should go for a purple shampoo infused with moisturizing ingredients.

The Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo is one such option.

This purple shampoo is infused with hyaluronic acid to draw moisture from the environment and into your hair to quench your dry strands’ thirst.

It also has edelweiss flower extracts to plump up and strengthen your hair strands for a more resilient mane.

If you have particularly damaged hair, it might be in your best interest to go for a purple shampoo laced with reparative proteins, like the Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo.

While its purple pigments wash out the brassy tones in your grey hair, keratin proteins repair damage and restore your hair’s health.

This is useful for those who have dyed their hair grey and are likely experiencing backlash and damage from the bleach.

Exposure to the sun is one of the culprits of brassy hair.

But if you tend to be outdoors a lot for work or errands, it’s difficult to avoid this from happening.

If this sounds like you, try out the SACHAJUAN Silver Shampoo.

It’s infused with UV filters to protect your hair from the harsh rays of the sun while eliminating brassiness.

It also adds luster and luminosity to your grey locks, making them look bright silver in color.


How To Use Purple Shampoo In The Shower

Purple shampoo is not meant for daily showers because it can be extremely powerful and stripping.

Because of that, those with bleached or damaged hair should only use it around once or twice a week, or only when brassiness is noticeable.

Here’s how you use it:


Wet Your Hair

Wet your hair as you normally would in the shower with warm water.

The temperature helps open up your hair cuticles, making it easier for the hair shaft to absorb the purple shampoo and let it work its toning magic.


Apply Shampoo

Get a generous amount of purple shampoo and rub it into your scalp and hair.

Make sure your hair is saturated with shampoo, from the roots to the ends of your mane.

Your ends are more porous than your roots, so make sure you apply the purple shampoo to your scalp first, since it needs the extra help.


Concentrate On Brassy Areas

As you lather and massage the shampoo into your hair, make sure to hit your grey hair’s brassiest areas.

Concentrating on these areas ensures that you’re getting rid of the most significant streaks of unwanted yellows and oranges in your grey hair.


Give It Time

Keep the shampoo in your hair for about 15-30 minutes, or until you’re happy with the tone of your hair.

Blondes will likely leave their purple shampoo on for just 5-10 minutes, but grey hair needs extra time since the goal is to get rid of any trace of warmth.

Do the rest of your shower steps while waiting for the pigments to settle in your hair.


Follow Up With Conditioner

Follow up with a nourishing conditioner to replenish the moisture lost to the purple shampooing session you just had.

You could use a purple conditioner to get rid of excess brassiness, but if your purple shampoo is of high quality, it shouldn’t need the extra help.

You could also finish off with a deep conditioner if you feel that your hair is parched and thirsty for intense moisture after using your purple shampoo.



Rinse everything out completely with cool water.

The coolness will help seal your hair cuticles, making your locks look shiny afterward.

Be sure that you don’t leave any purple shampoo pigments in your hair to avoid patchiness and dryness later on.


Dry Your Hair

Gently towel-dry your hair, making sure not to tug and pull at it.

And voila! Cool-toned grey hair that is free of undesirable brassiness.


Help! My Grey Hair Turned Violet After Using Purple Shampoo!

If you accidentally leave your purple shampoo longer than instructed on the bottle, you could end up with a lilac tinge in your hair.

Never leave the shampoo in your grey hair for longer than 30 minutes or an hour so that you can avoid this.

Remember, the goal is to tone your hair, not change its color.

On the off-chance that you do end up with a lavender tone to your hair, don’t fret – it’s pretty easy to fix.

All you need is a good-quality clarifying shampoo.

Wash your hair with it as you normally would, making sure to wash away the subtle purple color to restore your cool, silvery-grey hue.

Note, however, that clarifying shampoo can be mega-drying.

And since you just finished using purple shampoo that can be just as stripping, your hair is probably craving hydration and moisture.

So always follow up with a deeply nourishing conditioner or hair mask to make up for it.

If you suspect that your purple shampoo is too pigmented and overly strong, you can always dilute it in water before using it to wash your hair.

This will lessen your risk of ending up with lilac-colored locks next time you wash your hair with purple shampoo.



Young and mature women alike clamor over maintaining perfect grey hair.

It’s unique and looks fashionable and timeless when its tone is cool and ashy, so there’s no room for brassiness if you’re rocking grey locks.

Purple shampoo is the best and most convenient way to ensure your grey locks are always on fleek.

Not only does it keep your tone cool, but it also elevates your mane’s brightness and radiance.

It even helps leave a shiny gloss on your hair for that freshly colored and healthy look.

So if you’re transitioning to grey or are thinking about getting a coloring job done to sport salt and pepper tresses, make sure you stock up on purple shampoo.

It’s going to be your new BFF for maintaining that gorgeous silver tone that deserves a double-take.

Recommended Post: Best Shampoo For Salt And Pepper Hair

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