Purple shampoo is to blonde hair as cheese is to macaroni, and as jelly is to peanut butter.
I’ve had blonde hair basically my whole life (I temporarily dyed it brown once, but it just didn't suit me) but somehow I had never tried a purple shampoo. Come to think of it, I don’t think I had even heard of it. This might sound dramatic, but I feel like I was living under a rock. How could I have been missing out on such an important—nay, essential—beauty product for so long?
It was last year—toward the end of summer—when I noticed that my light locks were on the yellow side. Enter Camilla Dobbie, a hair stylist at Heartbreaker Salon. My hair looked so much lighter and brighter after she used a purple shampoo that my friends asked if I had had it coloured. Naturally, I bought some then and there and have been using it happily since.
What is purple shampoo?
Purple shampoo has pigments that help to tone down hair’s undertones (see what I did there?). Yellow and purple are opposite on the colour wheel, so essentially the purple serves to neutralize some of those unwanted yellow tones. The yellow undertones that occur in hair can be caused by things like excessive sunshine and heat styling, and using purple shampoo can lead to a cooler, brighter quality of blonde. It can be used on natural, coloured and highlighted hair, and it’s also great for people with silver and white hair. Purple shampoos vary in how often they should be used, so your best bet is to read the instructions on the bottle.
1. Blacklight Anti-Yellow Violet Shampoo by Oligo Professional
This is the first purple shampoo I tried, and it will always be a favourite. This sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoo ($20) is formulated for anyone with blonde or white hair, and contains 11 amino acids—as well as argan oil—to moisturize and strengthen hair. It smells quite strong, so if you’re sensitive to smells, steer clear. You can only purchase it through certified distributors: Heartbreaker Salon in Vancouver is one. It’s worth leaving your house for, I promise!
2. Purple Shampoo and Conditioner by ArtNaturals
This is a cult-classic purple shampoo and conditioner set ($90.15 on Amazon Canada) that blondies swear by. Ideal for bleached blonde and silver-coloured hair, ArtNaturals' formula (which contains coconut extract and vitamin E) will correct brassiness while hydrating and revitalizing brittle hair.
3. Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo by Amika
Amika’s purple shampoo ($26 at Sephora) is highly rated and can help natural and enhanced blondes cool down their hair's yellow tones. It has vitamins A, D, E, and B, as well as amino acids, that help add softness and shine. The bottle is also oh-so-cute!
4. Blonde Angel Wash by Kevin Murphy
Added brighteners in this formula by Kevin Murphy can help banish brassy tones. This sulphate-, paraben- and cruelty-free shampoo ($40 at Pome Studio, Curlique Beauty and other retailers) is infused with lavender and contains shea butter to help revive damaged hair.
5. Daddy-O by Lush
I love pretty much everything from Lush, and this purple shampoo is no exception. With a lovely, light violet scent, Daddy-O can help brighten and soften hair. Bonus: you can try a 100 mL for under $15!