After one strenuous lightening and coloring session at your go-to salon, you finally have the hair color of your dreams!
Whether you’re sporting rich brunette locks, a summer blonde, or anything in between, the next step for you now is maintaining that beauty and elegance.
You’ll probably style your hair with the latest gels and creams, pamper it once a week with an intense deep conditioner, and experiment with unique haircuts that make your color shine through.
But one thing you can’t afford to sleep on is using a color-depositing shampoo in your routine.
Blue and purple shampoos exist as toners to help you maintain your new hair color’s undertone.
They eliminate brassiness and overly warm tones to keep your hair on the cooler side, closer to the fresh color you had after leaving the salon.
The market is saturated with these toning shampoos. So much so that it can get tricky to choose the right one for your hair color.
Here’s the lowdown on the difference between blue and purple shampoos and which one your hair will respond to best.
Why is Color-depositing Shampoo a need for Blonde and Brunette hair?
Maintaining your hair color’s undertone after you walk out of the salon is vital if your stylist has lightened or bleached your hair, because that means your locks are now prone to brassiness.
See, your hair has a natural underlying pigment beneath the cuticle. This pigment has a different color from your natural hair and can only be exposed when you lighten your locks two or three shades up.
Extremely dark hair has red tones, medium hair has orange streaks, and pale and light hair has gold tones.
So if you have black hair and lighten it two or three shades up, you’ll be exposing an orange-red color instead of a gray.
Of course, these overly warm tones are fixed and covered up by your stylist when they tone your hair before doing styling it.
But in the months following your coloring, it’s up to you to maintain that cool tone, since brassiness from your underlying pigment can show up now and then.
Washing too often, exposing your hair to chlorinated pool water, and styling with hot tools at high heat levels are only some of the things that trigger your brassiness to pull through.
Brassiness makes your hair look unnatural, overly stark, and distracting as if you had a hair dye malfunction with too much bleach.
If you notice some orange or yellow tones in your hair weeks after your coloring appointment, that might signal that you’re in need of a color-depositing toning shampoo.
These color-depositing shampoos have blue or purple pigments that neutralize those unwanted brassy streaks in your hair, transforming it back to its cool-toned glory.
It’s a fantastic and convenient way to tone your hair quickly without spending money on another salon appointment.
You can switch out your regular shampoo to a color-depositing one once or twice a week for maintenance.
But if you have an important event and need to fix overly brassy tones pronto, you can use your blue or purple as a hair mask.
Just let it sit in your hair for ten minutes, and then rinse it out as you would normally.
Related: Top 6 Brassy Hair Home Remedies
What’s the difference between Blue and Purple Shampoo?
Blue and purple shampoo are both considered toners, but their tone specifically differs in a big way.
You need to have a full, thorough understanding of what each one is for before adding the color-depositing shampoo of your choice to your shopping cart, lest you suffer a hair color malfunction.
The major difference is what type of brassiness these two shampoos can cancel out.
Think of a color wheel—yes, that same color wheel you used to talk about in elementary school, where primary and secondary colors sit next to each other.
Contrasting colors (or colors that face each other on the wheel) neutralize and cancel each other out.
On the wheel, yellow sits across purple, and blue is on the opposite side from orange. That should serve as a guide to help you know which shampoo can neutralize what tone of brassiness.
That means if you have brunette hair that pulls orange and copper tones when brassiness peeks through, you ought to use blue shampoo to cancel them out.
If you’re a blonde who starts noticing extremely warm gold or yellow tones, reach for that purple shampoo.
If you have black or super dark brown hair, you will probably have underlying red pigments beneath your rich and bold hair color.
But since these pigments will only be exposed after bleaching the hair, you will likely never need to shop for a green shampoo to take out red streaks in your locks. Lucky you!
You must choose the right toning shampoo for your hair color, or else your purchase will pretty much be pointless.
While blue shampoo impressively tones down patches of orange in your hair, it won’t do anything for yellow streaks.
In the same way, purple shampoo that’s super effective on unwanted gold tones may not have the same efficacy on copper ones.
Do blue and purple shampoos stain?
High-quality blue and purple shampoos are designed not to leave your hair with an actual blue hue or purple tinge—that would defeat the purpose of maintaining your meticulously colored locks!
Remember, these shampoos are only for toning, never coloring your hair strands.
That said, the blue and purple pigments in these shampoos are still pretty intense. That’s why you’ll notice some blue or purple gunk on your bathroom tiles as you shower with them.
Be wary of what your shampoo touches. It’s possible to stain light-colored fabrics with them.
Try not to dry your hair with a white towel after your shower unless you’re entirely sure that you’ve thoroughly rinsed out your colored shampoo. Even just a trace of it left in your hair can ruin your towels.
Color-depositing shampoos can also stain your hands, especially blue shampoo that is known to be a bit more potent than its purple counterpart.
If you’re not careful, it may ruin your nails, sinking deep into the nail beds and in between your fingernails.
If you’re worried about destroying that manicure you just got, wear some gloves. Plastic and latex ones are fine, but you can also use rubber gloves for heavy-duty protection.
If you do end up staining your hands, walls, or tiles, don’t fret—the pigments aren’t permanent! You can use any rich oil to lift the pigments out and wash them away.
Coconut oil works great for this, as well as olive oil. They also leave a bit of moisture on your hands, which is always a perk.
Once the pigments are lifted off your skin with your oil of choice, washing them with soap and water will be a breeze.
Top recommendations for Blue and Purple shampoo
There are tons of options for blue and purple shampoos on the shelves of your local beauty store, ranging from high-end salon labels to affordable drugstore brands.
Overwhelmed by all of it? Here are some of the best blue and purple shampoos that may work for you:
For my blondies out there, you can maintain that cool, vibrant tone of your hair while nourishing it at the same time with the Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo.
It contains violet pigments that neutralize overly yellow tones, eliminating them once and for all so you can flaunt cool blonde locks.
The formula is sulfate-free, so it’s safe for colored hair. It’s also designed with a unique cuticle-sealing technology that keeps your hair silky-smooth by infusing luxurious argan oil into your hair shaft.
It’s a great way to keep your color while giving your hair a treat too!
If you want something a bit more convenient for outstanding value for money, you can also opt for a purple shampoo and conditioner set.
The L’Oreal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Kit holds holy grail status among blondes.
The rich and creamy shampoo and conditioner have hibiscus and purple pigments in the formula to help neutralize brassy tones that look overly gold and warm.
The hibiscus flower extracts leave your hair smelling fresh and floral too!
And for the sultry brunette ladies, you need a top-notch blue shampoo to get all the copper tones out of your rich, chocolate-colored hair. One that never disappoints is the Fanola No Orange Shampoo.
The shampoo contains blue pigments that combat brassy, coppery tones that make your brown locks look unnatural and reddish.
It’s enriched with coconut oil for deep moisture, making your locks shiny and hydrated. It also contains tiare flower to seal your hair cuticles so that they’re super smooth.
And if you want to get a shampoo that comes with a matching conditioner, you will love the Not Your Mother’s Triple Threat Shampoo and Conditioner Duo Pack.
It has pastel blue pigments to wash away the orangey tones in your chocolate locks, making your rich brown color shine through.
It’s made with blue tansy oil, which also helps cleanse and purify your hair for deeper detoxification. The formula contains no sulfates, silicones, or parabens, making it super safe to use on colored or highlighted hair.
There are a bunch of other options that may work well for your hair type too, but if you’re looking for a reliable, trusted, and raved-about toning shampoo, any of these options are sure to give you a fabulous toning experience.
Picking the right toning shampoo is crucial if you want to get the results you want. You don’t want to flush money down the drain by choosing the wrong one!
A simple rule of thumb to go buy is that purple shampoo is for blondes, blue shampoo is for brunettes.
If you mix up the two, just pull out your mental notes on the color wheel from your preschool art class and try to remember what color sits opposite your new hair color.
Stick with the right toning shampoo color for you, and you can cut out brassiness in your hair for good.
That means no more unnatural, unkempt warm tones when you glance in the mirror—just cool, flattering, luscious tresses that make you look utterly glamorous!