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What Does Purple Shampoo Do? The Ultimate Guide

If there's one hair care product every blonde needs, it's purple shampoo! But what exactly does purple shampoo do?

Summer is a great example some of the harsh elements blondes are up against. Environmental factors such as chlorine, sun, heat, salt water, hard water, just to name a few. To keep your blonde looking bright and vibrant while avoiding the often unwelcome side effects of brassy hair, purple shampoo is a definite must!

We've put together this ultimate guide to help you properly maintain your beautiful color. From understanding what it is and how it works, to how often you should use it - here's all you need to know about purple shampoo for blonde, lightened, or gray hair.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

purple shampoo before and after

Purple shampoos contain a purple pigment that neutralizes yellow and brassy tones on lighter hair. The primary reason it has a purple color is that, on the color wheel, it is the direct opposite color of yellow. This means that purple and yellow colors will always cancel each other out.

color wheel

Purple shampoo is also referred to as toning shampoo, meaning it puts violet or purple pigments into your mane to cancel out yellow or brassy tones. So when you use purple tint on color-treated yellow or brassy tones, it corrects your hair's shade, restoring it to its previous neutral or natural brightness with cooler tones.

Although purple shampoos are mainly famous among blondes, you can also use them on darker shades of blonde or to boost brunette, gray, silver, white, or platinum-colored hair. Purple shampoo is for anyone looking to lower orange, brassy, or yellow tones in their hair hue.

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What Happens If You Use Purple Shampoo On Brown Hair?

You can use purple shampoo on darker hair shades. Purple shampoo can help neutralize some brassy tones in your brown hair, as it does with blonde hair. Purple shampoos are most efficient when balancing light, color-treated strands on brown hair.

Although purple shampoo can help hair of any shade look healthier, using a purple shampoo might not be particularly effective if you have full tresses of dark brown hair. But, if you have dark hair with highlights, the purple shampoo will help tone your lightened strands.

Everything from excessive styling heat and UV rays to the presence of some minerals in your water can make your brunette hair brassy with unwanted yellow or orange undertones weeks after coloring. Since purple sits across orange on the color wheel, purple hair products will neutralize the brassy tones and make your hair look fresher.

Using purple shampoo on lightened brown hair or dark hair with highlights will have the same effects as it does on blonde hair. To add a purple shampoo to your hair care routine, just exchange or alternate your regular shampoo for a purple one. This will still clean your hair and scalp like a traditional shampoo, but it has an added toning effect that will balance out color-treated strands.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair?

You may be wondering if you can use purple shampoo on your red hair. Yes, purple shampoo on red hair is perfectly safe. This hair treatment will only help tone your hair hue, not fade. It helps to neutralize unwanted yellow tones as your red hair color begins to fade.

By doing that, your overall hair color will look its best and even last longer between at-home coloring sessions or salon visits. While purple shampoo can help rid your hair of unwanted yellow shades, you shouldn't worry about it removing your beautiful red hair color.

By looking at the color wheel, you will understand what we mean. To get rid of red tones, you will need to use green shampoo because red and green sit opposite one another on the color wheel. However, purple cancels out yellow making it perfect for treating brassiness.

Red hair with blonde highlights may also benefit from purple shampoo, as the highlights may probably get brassy over time. Purple will help zap out that brassiness.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair?

Not hoping to disappoint you, but purple shampoo does nothing to black hair than cleanse it. Regardless of if the hair is color-treated black or naturally black hair, purple shampoo doesn't work to change the color of black. This is because it's not possible to darken black hair any further.

This may not be the case if you have dark brown hair, but black hair has reached its limit of darkness, and purple shampoo will not lighten it. Though if you wash your back hair with purple shampoo, it will help cleanse it as if you washed it with any other high-quality shampoo.

Does Purple Shampoo Damage Hair?

The violet pigment in the purple shampoo will not damage your hair; however, if you leave it on your mane for too long, those purple pigments will handle their job a little more effectively and could turn your hair into a purple-violet color.

purple shampoo benefits

So, be cautious of how long you leave the purple shampoo on your tresses. You can leave it on for longer hours once you get familiar with the product and how it reacts on your strands. If you have dry and porous hair, you'll want to monitor the color correction because it will be extra sensitive to the effects of purple shampoo.

How To Use Purple Shampoo

how to use purple shampoo list from 1 to 6

Step #1: Choosing A Purple Shampoo

1. Choose a purple shampoo with thick color and consistency:

A premium purple shampoo should be opaque and not transparent in color. If possible, squeeze a small amount of the shampoo on your fingers before purchasing it to ensure it has a solid color.

2. Purchase a darker purple shampoo for your gray, platinum, or silver hair:

Darker purple treatments, some of which come very close to indigo or blue, work perfectly on gray, platinum, or light-blonde hair. Avoid violet or bright purple shampoos and choose a dark shampoo for pale hair.

3. Select a brighter purple shampoo for blonde hair:

Blonde hair requires less purple coloring to rid brassiness from its tone. Shy away from inky violet shampoos and choose a brighter color to avoid oversaturating your hair. The lighter the hue, the less brassiness it will absorb from your mane.

purple shampoo before and after

4. Stay away from purple shampoo if you have dark hair:

Purple shampoo is best if you want to turn brassy blonde or silver hair into a brighter, more neutral shade. It is not as effective on black or brunette hair. If you have darker hair, consider another shampoo treatment.

5. Professional, high quality hair care makes all the difference!

You’ve probably already had this talk with your hair stylists - but using professional high quality hair products truly makes a difference with your hair color longevity, hair and scalp health, texture and overall appearance. If you are spending hundreds of dollars on your haircut and color - it’s worth protecting your investment by spending a little more on hair care for higher quality ingredients and more concentrated formulas.


Goldie Locks® Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo is perfect for those looking to their brightest, healthiest blonde. It’s premium-quality, clean ingredients are formulated to deliver exceptional results. It is the perfect antidote to keep blonde, gray, and platinum hair vibrant and brass free all while leaving hair soft, healthy and hydrated.

  • Significantly brightens blonde hair
  • Deposits long lasting hydration
  • Gently removes impurities
  • Leaves hair soft, healthy, + hydrated
  • For all blonde, lightened, + grey hair
  • Extension friendly

Step #2: Applying Purple Shampoo

purple shampoo suds

1. Wet hair with slightly warm water:

Just like traditional shampoo, you will need your hair to be wet before applying purple shampoo. Warm water has a soothing and healing effect on your hair. The temperature will help expand your hair shafts and enable them to absorb the shampoo better.

2. Rub the shampoo into your hair:

Lather and massage desired amount of purple shampoo to wet hair. When using a purple shampoo, it’s important to massage and work the shampoo thoroughly from roots to ends, ensuring consistent coverage and even toning.

3. Start by leaving it on for 2-3 minutes:

The recommended time may differ slightly from brand to brand. Depending your level of brassiness, 2-3 minutes should be enough time for the shampoo to do its work. After the time has passed, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Repeat if needed.

The toning effect will increase the longer the product remains on your strands. You can always leave it on longer depending on the end result you are looking for.

6. Condition your hair as usual after rinsing the shampoo:

Finish your hair wash routine with a conditioner to keep your hair moisturized. Many purple shampoos can be very drying, we recommend using a Goldie Locks® Ultra Hydrating Conditioner to help keep hair hydrated and healthy. 

How Long Should I Leave Purple Shampoo In My Hair?

If you have never applied purple shampoo before, consider leaving it in for 2 to 3 minutes before washing it off. If you see little or no difference in your hair color after drying it, try 5 to 10 minutes for your subsequent treatment. Unless you have white or gray hair, you shouldn't leave the shampoo on your hair for longer than 15 minutes at a time.

How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

purple shampoo texture swatch

Bear in mind that purple shampoo does not always need to replace your regular shampoo. Use purple shampoo 2-3 times a week or anytime you notice brassiness. 

If using Goldie Locks® Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo - while it can be good to alternate to avoid over toning, this can be used back to back and will not dry out your hair compared to other purple shampoo brands.

Though purple shampoo will not dye your hair, you may discover some lilac tints after you wash if the shampoo is too strong. To stop this, mix your purple shampoo with water in a 2-to-1 ratio and pour it into a spray bottle.

This option is best for people with already warm hair looking to touch up their color. You can alternate your use of purple shampoo with non-tinted (regular) shampoos to keep your hue light and even. Pay close attention to your hair and use your judgment when creating a routine.

When To Use Purple Shampoo After Bleaching?

Avoid washing your mane for the first 48 to 72 hours after bleaching it. This is to give your hair enough time to seal in its new color. If you waited 72 hours before washing your hair after it was bleached, you could use the purple shampoo the next time you shower. If it hasn't been up to 72 hours, shy away from the purple shampoo until your next wash day, so it doesn't potentially ruin your hair tone.

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Final Thoughts

If you are serious about keeping your blonde bright and healthy, Goldie Locks Purple Shampoo is for you. This luxurious treatment offers all shades of blonde, platinum, grey, and extension hair a powerful shot of nourishment and moisture while neutralizing brass.

If you are looking to take your hair routine to the next level, pair it up with Goldie Locks Ultra-Hydrating Signature Conditioner for an incredible moisture-rich formula that deeply penetrates your hair to restore hydration, mend split ends and protect against further dryness. Goldie Locks Ultra-Hydrating Signature Shampoo is also perfect for days you don't want to use the purple shampoo but still want your hair to be unbelievably hydrated and healthy.

purple shampoo for blonde, gray and platinum hair

Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo

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