What does purple shampoo do? FAQs ANSWERED BY REVLON PROFESSIONAL

September 23, 2022

Purple toning shampoo is a crucial product that helps ensure your clients maintain their bright, vivid, and freshly blonde hair color long after they leave your chair. Purple shampoo preserves that stunning “just out of the salon” look longer with its ability to fight brassiness and yellow tones in lightened hair, as well as make gray hair appear more vibrant. Ahead, we’re answering all of your burning questions around purple shampoo—including the best ways to use it in your salon, the most important considerations, and the top purple shampoo advice you should give to your clients.

Purple Shampoo Revlon Professional

What Is Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo is instantly recognizable thanks to its head-turning, highly saturated hue. Usually featuring a dark purple, violet, or sometimes a blue-ish tone, purple shampoo products are available in varieties both for salons and at-home color care. Purple-colored shampoos are designed with one main goal in mind: to help neutralize brassy yellow, orange, or copper tones that might appear in color-treated hair. These products are widely popular amongst people with highlighted or high-lifted hair who are looking to maintain their icy platinum or pale-toned blonde hair color at home. But it’s not just for blondes—purple shampoo is also frequently used for these same reasons on gray, silver, and white hair, as well as a range of hair types. Keep reading to discover just how this purple-hued shampoo works and who should use it (or avoid it) in their hair care routine.

What does purple shampoo do?

When purple shampoo is applied, it distributes its deep violet pigment across the hair—resulting in a color-correcting effect that helps neutralize unwanted brassy tones. This sought-after toning benefit is due to the fact that purple is located directly opposite yellow on the color wheel, allowing one color to essentially cancel out the other. This neutralization is how purple shampoo helps bring out a brighter hue that instantly refreshes and color-corrects the hair color.

A woman with platinum blonde hair

Is Purple Shampoo Only for Blonde Hair?

Color-treated blonde hair naturally depigments and fades more quickly than other hair colors, often resulting in undesired brassy or yellow tones. Purple shampoo products can help combat these tones and allow your clients to preserve their desired cool blonde tone at home. But is purple shampoo really only for blonde hair? Although purple shampoo is most popularly used for blonde hair that has been lightened using bleach, it can also be used to enhance the tone of other hair colors. Naturally gray or white hair—as well as red color-treated hair—can also experience unwanted residual yellow tones that can be eliminated with a quality purple shampoo.

Does Purple Shampoo Work on Brown Hair?

As mentioned above, this type of shampoo works best on blonde and naturally gray or white hair. However, purple shampoo can be used on brunettes with sections of lightened hair as well, since they also face many of the same challenges as color starts to diminish. For example, purple shampoos can work wonders on brunette hair with golden highlights—like a sun-kissed balayage look—or even a lightened ombré style. It’s important to keep in mind that the results won’t be as dramatic or noticeable on darker locks when compared to very light blonde hair. Nonetheless, this can be a great option for your brunette clients with color-treated hair, too!

A Woman with blonde balayage

Is Purple Shampoo a Toner?

Since purple shampoo dispenses violet pigment into the hair, it is technically considered a toner—similarly to hair glosses and demi-permanent hair color. When incorporating purple shampoo into your client’s color maintenance routine, it’s important to ensure that it’s always applied carefully and for the correct amount of time. When it comes to purple shampoo, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

If left on for too long, purple shampoo may over-deposit its violet tones and leave a slight purple or silver hue behind. If this happens, a clarifying shampoo should help remove the residual purple tone over a few washes. You can also advise your clients to lessen the frequency of their purple shampoo use in this case by applying it no more than once a week, and alternating with a color-protecting shampoo like Eksperience™ Color Protection Color Intensifying Hair Cleanser.

Additionally, it is a good idea to offer toning treatments with conditioners and color masks, such as Revlon Professional Nutri Color™ Filters 1002, 1022, and 1011. These toning filters open a world of multichromatic possibilities and create flawless color. As another option, consider offering the fantastic .22 ultra-neutralizing shade from Color Excel Gloss by Revlonissimo™. This gloss can be applied by a color professional in the salon once a week (especially for bolder colors). We recommend maintaining the treatment at home with a purple shampoo, in order to make any small adjustments in a timely manner and help keep your client’s hair looking perfect for longer.

One excellent option for this is our RE/START COLOR Strengthening Purple Cleanser for blonde, bleached, white, and highlighted hair. This purple shampoo features our exclusive Kerabiotic OXI-GUARD™ Technology to help shield colored hair against external aggressors, as well as anti-fading agents and porosity equalizers to protect color. It uses a dual-action approach for a balanced scalp and beautiful hair, and is formulated with bond-building molecules, anti-yellow pigments, and multifunctional ingredients.

When Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

After coloring, toning, and shampooing your client’s hair, it’s generally best to avoid treating the hair for a few days. Purple shampoo usage will depend on the client’s hair quality and desired shade, but generally, it’s best used one to three times per week. Advise your clients to pay attention to when they notice any yellow or copper tones first appearing in their hair, and to use their purple shampoo intuitively (or schedule an in-salon toning treatment).

Purple shampoo usage will also depend on the product you choose. For example, some purple shampoos are gentle enough for daily use, while others can be drying when used daily. Our RE/START COLOR Strengthening Purple Cleanser, Eksperience™ Color Protection Blonde & Grey Hair Cleanser, and Pro You™ The Toner Neutralizing Shampoo are all delicate yet effective purple shampoo formulas that have been specially formulated to neutralize yellow tones from the first application.

Nutri Color Filters Hair Mask

The Best Way To Use Purple Shampoo in a Salon

Regularly incorporating purple shampoo products as part of your hair coloring method can help create beautifully bright, icy results for your clients. This violet-hued solution is one additional toning step that can make a big difference while also supporting cooler-toned hair color trends. Purple shampoo can be used on clients who come in between coloring sessions looking to refresh their color, as well as a shampoo option post-coloring. If you apply it to hair that is already heavily lightened, it is best to remove it quickly so that no purplish tones are left behind. If this happens, remember that the hue is not permanent and can be washed out.

If the hair has balayage highlights and a darker base, we recommend leaving your purple shampoo on for a maximum of five minutes. When rinsing, if unwanted shades are still visible, the application can be repeated for a maximum of two minutes. You can also use purple-colored conditioners or various purple toning products—such as Re/start™ Color Anti-Brassiness Purple Drops—to further enhance your client’s hair tone during their visit.

Purple Shampoo Advice to Share With Your Clients

 Purple shampoo is a wonderfully useful weapon to use against unwanted yellow and copper tones. When used correctly and consistently, it can help your clients achieve their dream hair tone. These shampoos can be recommended to your clients for both at-home maintenance and in-salon toning treatments to refresh their color. Here are a few purple shampoo tips from the experts to share with your clients:

  • The lighter the color of your hair, the less time you should leave the purple shampoo.
  • Avoiding overusing purple shampoo the first time around by mixing in some regular hydrating or color-protecting shampoo with your purple shampoo. This will create a more subtle result, but with less risk of going overboard with the pigment.
  • If after two applications you still notice a brassy tone, apply the purple shampoo again the next time you shampoo your hair (or schedule an in-salon toning session for further advice).
  • If you’ve over-used your purple shampoo, contact your hairstylist for professional advice or an in-person corrective visit.