When it comes to artificially enhanced blonde hair, nothing looks (or feels) better than when it’s freshly coloured. A good blonde colour service will leave your hair looking bright, multi-dimension and without a trace of brassiness. But six weeks later…that’s another story. Blonde hair—especially dyed blonde hair—is high maintenance. Not only do you need to be committed to regular touch-ups, but you also need to invest in products to keep your highlights, balayage or dye job looking fresh. Consider these products and treatments your hair colour’s insurance policy.
If there’s one product every blonde needs, it’s purple shampoo. Why purple? It all comes down to simple colour theory. Purple is opposite of yellow on the colour wheel, which means the pigments cancel each other out. These products deposit a sheer violet tint into the cuticles of your hair’s strands which help neutralize unwanted yellow or brassy tones. And they work just as well on platinum blondes as they do silver foxes.
How to use purple shampoo
As effective as purple shampoos are at combating brassiness (caused by unavoidable toner fadeout, ultraviolet rays and water with high mineral levels), it’s not a magic wand. One common mistake faux blondes succumb to is overdosing on the purple stuff. “Blondes shouldn’t have to use purple shampoo right after they see their colourists,” says Carolyn Mila, a master colour technician at Toronto Alibi Cutting Room. She explains that as your toner starts to rinse out, which usually takes about six weeks, that’s when the underlying pigment of your hair, which is warm, starts to shine through. “After six weeks, that’s when you should start using purple shampoo,” she says.
Even though these products are advertised as shampoos and conditioners, they’re not meant for daily use. Mila likens them to a treatment. “Shampoo and conditioner should be [used] for your hair type and texture, not for the colour of your hair.” She warns too much purple shampoo will leave your blonde colour looking dull, flat and grey. “I’ve seen girls that have so much purple shampoo buildup that their hair colour loses contrast with their base, so it looks darker.” The good news is, if that happens it can be easily fixed. Simply lay off the purple shampoo for a few washes and use a clarifying shampoo.
Read this next: Here’s How to Dye Your Hair At Home
How often should you wash your hair with purple shampoo?
So how often should you use purple shampoo? You can use it as little as once a month or as much as once per week, says David D’Amours, a Kérastase expert and owner of Privé Salon in Montreal. Just don’t use it every time you wash. He suggests experimenting with how long you leave the shampoo on your hair to achieve your desired tone. “If you want to keep your golden tone, just do a quick wash. If you want a more beige-y result, say a sandy blonde, leave it on for three minutes. If you want that ashy tone, go for six minutes,” says D’Amours.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking to remove unwanted warmth from your highlights, balayage or double-processed dye job in-between salon visits, or your naturally grey locks, purple shampoos are your best bet. Here are the top ones for the job.
Shop the best purple shampoos for every hair type:
The best purple shampoo for curly hair
Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo, 1 L, $49.50, tradesecrets.ca
Perfect for cool blonde, grey or white hair, this toning and strengthening shampoo is formulated with violet pigment and a triple acid protein complex (amino, citric and maleic acids and wheat protein) to tone, fortify and brighten hair. The extra hydration and strengthening ingredients help keep curls bouncing and healthy.
The best purple shampoo for frizzy hair
Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength + Colour Care Shampoo, $12, walmart.ca
Need a little tone adjustment? People with balayage or golden highlights should try this moisturizing shampoo with a hint of purple pigment to help neutralize brassy tones. Aside from banishing brassiness, this softening shampoo is formulated with purple rice water and wild orchid extract which helps tame frizz and flyaways.
The best purple shampoo for platinum hair
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Violet Crush Purple Shampoo for Blondes, $12.99, shoppersdrugmart.com
A few decades ago, John Frieda was one of the first mass brands to add purple to their products for blondes. After a hiatus, they’re back with a richly pigmented purple formula that’s extremely effective (and affordable) at toning high-lift platinum hair. Expect to see a big difference in just one wash.
The best purple shampoo for damaged hair
Amika Bust Your Brass Blonde Purple, $26.50, sephora.ca
Bleaching increases porosity (hello, breakage) so it’s important to find a purple shampoo that not only neutralizes brassiness but also has strengthening ingredients. Enter Amika. While some purple shampoos can dry out hair, this one uses sea buckthorn oil to nourish, strengthen and promote hair growth.
Read this next: So, You Want to Trim Your Bangs at Home…
The best purple shampoo for grey and silver hair
Oribe Silverati Shampoo, $57, beautysense.ca
This is not your average purple shampoo. In fact, it’s not really purple but a blend of blue and silver pigments which create a beautiful shimmery metallic grey tone. It’s specially formulated for grey and white strands, either natural or coloured, targeting dullness and yellow tones. In just one wash it gently reveals softer, brighter and more vibrant hair.
The best drugstore purple shampoo
L’Oréal Paris Color Radiance Purple Shampoo, $5, walmart.ca
Being blonde is expensive, but L’Oréal Paris’s latest purple shampoo launch is easing that cost. In just one wash (lather and leave it on for one to three minutes), it promises to neutralize brassiness. The formula also uses technology designed to help restore shine and has UV filters to prevent further damage.
The best purple shampoo for customization
Matrix So Silver Color Depositing Shampoo, $15, matrixprofessionals.ca
Perfect for platinum-coloured blondes looking to eliminate dull yellow tones, this shampoo refreshes hair with cool tones using colour-depositing neutralizing pigments. It’s great for those who have dull or muted tones and need a bit of colour refreshment.
Read this next: But, For Real, How Do I Make My Hair Grow Faster?
The best purple shampoo for balayage and highlights
Kristin Ess Hair The One Purple Shampoo, $15, well.ca
The celebrity hairstylist known for giving Lucy Hale, Jenna Dewan and Lauren Conrad their signature lobs is also known for this purple shampoo from her namesake line. In fact, it has reached cult status for blondes of all levels, from those with baby balayage to an all-over flaxen colour. The sulphate-free formula can be used on all levels of blonde, but if you’d like ashier tone to your hair, simply increase the frequency of use.
The best purple shampoo for frequent use
Kérastase Bain Ultra-Violet Shampoo, $45, kerastase.ca
“It’s a purple shampoo that doesn’t stain the hair,” says D’Amours. Most purple shampoos just deposit colour to be used as a toner, but this formula also nurtures the hair while keeping brass and unwanted warm tones at bay.
The best purple shampoo for dull hair
Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo, $28, sephora.ca
Known for their argan oil-infused products, Moroccanoil just launched a deep violet shampoo to counteract warm tones for blonde and grey hair colours. It also helps enhance the depth and dimension of hair colour while also boosting sheen.
The best purple shampoo for dry hair
Nexxus Blonde Assure Purple Shampoo, $15, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Often times, bleached hair becomes brittle and grey hair turns wiry, so having a fortifying ingredient, along with the purple tint, can help keep strands feeling soft and looking shiny. This shampoo is infused with keratin protein (which gives hair its structure) to help strengthen and smooth strands.