Blondes may have more fun, but when it comes to maintaining vibrancy, it’s anything but easy. That’s because no matter how much time and money you spend crafting your perfect flaxen shade, it only takes a few weeks before your once bright, cool blonde has turned a dull, yellow-orange (read: brassy) hue. And those with natural blonde hair aren’t immune to brassiness either!
What’s a blonde to do? Easy — the answer is purple shampoo! But which is the best purple shampoo for blonde hair? After all, there are tons of options from your local drugstore to Sephora.
To help with your search, we’re sharing the deets on what purple shampoo is and why brassiness appears in the first place. Most importantly, we’ll show you how to find the best purple shampoo for blonde hair so you can maintain your new hue for as long as possible.
What Is Purple Shampoo and How Does It Work?
Purple shampoo is exactly what it sounds like: A shampoo formulated with temporary purple toning pigments that help keep unwanted brassy undertones away. You may have heard others refer to it as blonde shampoo, silver shampoo, hair toner, and toning shampoo.
But how does purple shampoo for blonde hair work?
Think of it in terms of a color wheel: Purple is the direct opposite of yellow. As your colorist or hairstylist may have explained, they are complementary colors. When purple shampoo is applied to your hair, its deep purple pigments neutralize the underlying yellow tones that like to spring up from time to time. This returns your hair to its cool, fresh-from-the-salon blonde tones.
Fun fact: Even though purple shampoo is often marketed to those with blonde hair, it actually works for anyone with light-colored tresses, such as gray hair, silver hair, and white hair. If your mane is naturally darker such as dark brown or brunette, try a blue shampoo with blue-violet pigments to help counteract the underlying orange tones when you go light.
What’s Brassiness, Exactly?
Brassiness is every blonde’s greatest nightmare. To understand how it comes about, we first have to look at the hair-dyeing/bleaching process.
Depending on your base hair color, your colorist may lighten or bleach your mane. This oxidizes most but not all of the melanin (the pigment that determines your natural hair color) in your fibers. Your colorist then applies the blonde shade of your choice to achieve your new hue. Post-dye job, the remaining melanin slowly makes itself known, manifesting as yellow to orange undertones, aka brassiness.
A wide range of factors worsens these brassy tones. Ultraviolet (UV) light tops that long list, as scientific research explains UVA rays incite hair color changes. Harsh environmental elements like chlorine and saltwater also do a number on your ‘do. That’s because chlorine and saltwater are dehydrating. The resulting dry hair is a classic example of hair damage, paving the way for brassiness.
Other common instigators of damaged hair include heat-styling and hair-stripping ingredients like sulfates and parabens. The drier and more damaged the hair is, the more susceptible it is to turning brassy.
That’s why color-treated blondes are especially prone to brassiness. The act of lightening or bleaching your natural hair color lifts the cuticles on your hair shafts so the color-depositing pigments can enter. Unfortunately, this intensifies your hair’s porosity level and quickens the color-fading process.
But don’t worry. Including a purple shampoo in your haircare routine will resolve most, if not all, of those brassy burdens.
How to Choose the Best Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair
Because purple shampoo can help extend the life of your color, that means fewer trips to the salon and less time and money wasted on perfecting your perfect shade.
That said, not just any purple shampoo on the market is the best shampoo for your unique tresses. Perhaps you want a brightening shampoo to keep the yellow tints away from your ashy highlights without being too harsh on your locks. Maybe you want a silicone- and sulfate-free toner to maintain your platinum blonde curls without the risk of product buildup.
To help you find the best purple shampoo for blonde hair, we’ve highlighted a few factors to keep in mind.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Many purple shampoo formulations contain ingredients that may distress your blonde strands further. (Think sulfates that tend to dry out your scalp and mane with a penchant for sensitizing skin.) If you feel like your tresses have turned straw-like, lifeless-looking, and brittle after a few washes, you can probably blame it on these ingredients.
That’s why at Function of Beauty, we purposefully formulate our custom haircare products — including our custom purple shampoo — without sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and other potentially harsh ingredients.
Pro Tip: Not a fan of silicones? Simply tick the “silicone-free formula” checkbox when you take our hair quiz.
Look for Hydrating, Nourishing Ingredients
Remember when we said color-treated tresses — particularly those on the blonde spectrum — often deal with dryness, roughness, and dullness?
To answer your hair’s SOS signals, you’ll want to include a purple shampoo that not only cleanses but also hydrates, softens, and nourishes your mane. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid (a well-known humectant that attracts moisture from the surrounding air) and antioxidants like hibiscus extract.
Pro Tip: You can enjoy the hydrating and nourishing perks of our custom purple shampoo when you add hair goals like “deep condition,” “hydrate,” “shine,” and “nourish roots” in our hair quiz.
Opt for Strengthening Properties
Split ends and hair breakage are common complaints among natural and bottle blondes. Because these flaxen strands are highly porous, they have a hard time retaining moisture. The lower hydration levels inevitably mean your locks are drier and frizzier, making them more prone to split ends and breakage.
For that reason, try a purple shampoo with strengthening properties. For example, our custom purple shampoo can be formulated with the “fix split ends,” “replenish hair,” “strengthen,” and “anti-frizz” hair goals.
Look No Further for the Best Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair
If you’re looking for the best purple shampoo for blonde hair that’s 100% customized to your mane, Function of Beauty has what you need.
While generic purple shampoos may be able to help rid your hair of its brassy tones, they can’t solve all of your hair issues. Nor are they guaranteed to work for your unique hair type.
With our customized purple shampoo, though, you get to tell us exactly what you want out of it. In other words, it doesn’t matter if your hair is fine and straight or coarse and curly — or if you want to try hair goals like “volumize,” “oil control,” or “curl definition.” Our formulas are individually crafted to give you everything you want and nothing you don’t. Best of all, like all of our products, our customizable purple shampoo is vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about lathering, rinsing, and repeating.
Interested in trying out this purple shampoo for yourself? Just select the “reduce brassiness” goal in our hair quiz, and you’re all set. Bonus: You still get to add four more goals to your formula. Because let’s get real, we know you’ve got 99 hair goals, and brassiness is only one of them.
Still not sure if our purple shampoo is right for you? Slide a pic of your hair into our DMs, and we’ll give it to you straight!