Blondes may have a reputation for being dumb, but there’s one thing they know for sure: brassiness is the kiss of death. Pollution, cheap shampoo, and chlorine from your neighbors pool can cause unwelcome brassiness to burn bright in your once-beautiful platinum hair.

But don’t give up your blondeness just yet! Some genius has invented a solution: purple shampoo.

We’ll explain how purple shampoo works in a moment, but it is THE answer when it comes to preserving the brilliance of lightened hair while keeping the brown at bay.

Using purple shampoo on dry hair – good, bad, or ugly?

However, a lot of rumors have been floating around the internet lately talking about using purple shampoo on dry hair.

While it is possible to apply purple shampoo on dry hair, we definitely don’t recommend it. This article will explain why the “purple shampoo dry hair” combo is NEVER a good idea – but first, let’s go over some of the basics about how purple shampoos may play a role in your hair color routine.

What is purple shampoo?

Say bye-bye to unwanted brassy tones and and yellow hair!
Say bye-bye to unwanted brassy tones and and yellow hair!

Purple shampoo is exactly what it sounds like – a violet shampoo. Purple shampoos are commonly used to even out brassy and yellow tones on lighter hair.

Regular shampoo creates a slippery atmosphere on the scalp, loosening buildup and allowing it to be rinsed free.

Purple shampoo acts in the same way, except with a twist. It deposits purple pigment into the hair, adding a slight purple hue and canceling out the unwanted brassy tones.

Important to note here that while these purple pigments cancel orange, yellow, or brassy tone, using TOO MUCH will turn your hair purple.

How does purple shampoo work?

If you have decided to give yourself blonde hair, then you know that things don’t always go as planned. If you’re looking for that platinum color (and interested in maintaining it after getting it done), then you’re going to want to get rid of any unwanted yellow tones.

As we all know, warm tones are a big no-no when it comes to achieving that lightened blonde hair color that sets us apart from the crowd.

Any novice colorist would understand why – purple is across from yellow on the color wheel. To reduce the yellow, we just need to drop in some purple pigments, Salt Bae style.

Will it turn blonde hair purple?

You know what they say about girls with purple hair... they're the craziest ones
You know what they say about girls with purple hair… they’re the craziest ones

Can it? Yes.

Will it? Maybe.

Is it more likely to happen if you put purple shampoo on dry hair? Absolutely.

That said, it does depend on how long you leave it in your hair. We recommend starting with 10-15 minutes and scaling from there.

If it does turn purple, don’t worry. Once you wash it a few more times, it should start to come out.

You’ll be back to your blonde hair in no time.

What purple shampoo can do for your hair

The easiest way to explain is to say that purple shampoo lessens the appearance of orange, yellow, and brassy tones in your hair.

Practically speaking, it gives people with blonde, platinum, or gray hair (and some brunettes) a cleaner, smoother look.

It’s not a magic pill, but it works

In color jobs where your roots start coming in, applying purple shampoo can smooth the line between your roots and the rest of your hair.

That said, it isn’t a magic pill that will solve all your hair problems. It can’t make your hair lighter, so if you have dark brown hair, don’t expect anything to happen.

Is putting purple shampoo on dry hair BAD for my hair?

Treat purple shampoo with respect, otherwise you might regret it
Treat purple shampoo with respect, otherwise you might regret it

It’s not bad per se, but it’s not great.

What we mean by that is that it’s not going to cause your highlights to fade, give you more frizz, or make your hair fall out. In other words, it is SAFE to use.

Can you put purple shampoo on dry hair?

The rationale behind using purple shampoo on dry hair is that it will absorb better. And while that is true, it’s irrelevant.

What we are most interested in is the result. We want the hair to look good, for the product to apply itself EVENLY to your entire head of hair.

The issue with applying it to dry hair is that it will absorb it unevenly. But when you apply it to wet hair, the product is diluted with water and spreads more evenly.

The only thing worse than having brassy tones in blonde hair is having patchy, uneven brassy tones in blonde hair!


So you’re saying I should use purple shampoo with wet hair?


I have silver hair. Can I use it?

Yes! The terms purple shampoo and silver shampoo are often used interchangeably.

Using it on grey or silver hair will leave your hair looking bright and fresh – not a bad thing at all!

This is a pretty good video on the topic.

How often should I use purple shampoo?

Whether you are a dirty blonde or prefer an ashy color, you’re not going to want to use a toning shampoo more than once a week. That goes for those of you cool people with blonde highlights as well.

If you have a fresh color that you just got done at the salon, you’re going to want to give it a few days for the color to set.

If you’re still noticing a lot of brassiness, try washing it twice a week. You can mix it with your regular shampoo as well, just make sure you give it a good lather so it absorbs evenly.

Don’t forget to use a conditioner! (Yes, there is also purple conditioner).

How long should I leave the purple shampoo on?

Be careful not to leave purple shampoo on your hair for too long!
Be careful not to leave purple shampoo on your hair for too long!

There are many different types of purple shampoo, so this question is a little harder to answer.

First of all, you can never go wrong by reading the product label. If the bottle says you should leave it on for 15 minutes, that’s a good place to start.

A good rule of thumb is this: you can always take another shower and wash your hair again. But the longer you leave it on, the bigger the risk you take.

Similarly, putting purple shampoo on wet hair is superior to dry hair, though it may take a little longer.

But that extra time isn’t necessarily worth it.

“When you do it the lazy way, you do it twice.”

Will putting purple shampoo in my hair cause my color to disappear?

We prefer the right hair color to the left, what about you?
We prefer the right hair color to the left, what about you?

Sort of.

Any shampoo or conditioner will cause a slight amount of color to wash out of your hair, even those marked as “color safe”.

However, what happens when you leave purple shampoo in your hair isn’t that it washes the color out. What happens is that it adds a purple pigment to your hair.

This will help bring out the cool tones of the blonde by muting the unwanted brassiness. If you are worried that using purple shampoo will cause your color to disappear, you can always get it done at the salon.

Should I combine a moisturizing shampoo with purple shampoo?

It’s not necessary, but it couldn’t hurt.

The idea here is that purple shampoo leads to dry strands of hair, ultimately leading to split ends.

Having brassy hair doesn’t mean you have dry hair, but if you’re interested in longer-lasting results and putting your hair through fewer washes, then either this or a solid conditioner should do the trick.

How do I choose the right purple shampoo?

Looking to try out some purple shampoo? Can't go wrong with these choices!
Looking to try out some purple shampoo? Can’t go wrong with these choices!

Purple shampoo can be thought of as a standalone product.

That said, consider the texture of your hair before making a purchase.

Do you have dry hair? Frizzy hair? Extremely fine hair?

All of these factors will play a role in the best purple shampoo for your needs.

That said, you can’t go wrong with some of the major brands. These are multi-billion dollar companies that have entire research and development departments whose only job is to create new products for all hair types.

So regardless of the shade of your hair, whether it’s curly and blonde or straight and black, it’s likely that there’s a purple shampoo out there that suits your needs.

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