Purple shampoo: how to use it correctly (2023)

You finally made it. You've taken the plunge and you've got the hair color you've been dying to try. You are officially blonde or maybe you will be soon.

There are so many perks to being blonde; You'll look more tanned, feel more confident and, as the old saying goes, have more fun! Perhaps the best part of all is finding out that going blonde doesn't have to be as complicated as others might think.

However, what can be difficult is keeping your new locks light. Blonde hair requires maintenance, but we assure you that maintenance is manageable and should in no way stop you from having the hair of your dreams.

Kenra Professional

is deeply committed to providing educational content for everyone from top stylists to clients with questions. Learning hair doesn't have to be difficult if you follow our lead.

In today's lesson we'll focus on one of the most important ingredients for caring for blonde hair: purple shampoo. We explain what it is, why it is necessary and how to use it correctly.

What is purple shampoo?

Purple Shampoo is a firming shampoo used on all shades of blonde hair to preserve color and keep hair looking healthy and vibrant. The shampoo essentially acts as a color-correcting toner for your hair without ever setting foot in a salon.

Containing crushed purple pigments, the product leaves a purple tint in your blonde hair, designed to neutralize any yellow, orange or brassy undertones.

These unwanted sounds can come from a variety of sources. One of the most common is chlorine. The chemicals in a swimming pool can be particularly damaging to porous blonde hair, causing breakage and discoloration. Another common cause is UV rays. Too much unprotected sun exposure can dry out the hair and lead to discoloration. Because of this, you might want to include one

heat protection

in your hair care routine in addition to your purple shampoo.

Why purple?
Why exactly is the shampoo purple? The reason why the shampoo should be purple instead of some other color can be explained by

theory of color


If you look at the color wheel, which is a visual representation of colors with hues arranged by wavelength, you'll see that the color purple is opposed to the color yellow. Therefore, since purple is the opposite of yellow, it can cancel out any yellow tones in your hair.

how to use it

The first step to using a purple shampoo is finding the right one for you. A general rule of thumb when choosing a purple shampoo is to look for color and consistency. A good quality purple shampoo will be deep purple in color and have a consistency that tends towards the thicker side rather than appearing translucent. Finding your perfect fit may take some trial and error.

We recommend trying the Kenra

Brightening Shampoo



. This daily purple toning system features advanced lightening technology to increase shine by up to 80% and eliminate brassy tones to enhance your blonde.

Formulated for everyday color care, the product may even help prevent oil build-up. This can reduce frequent washing and prevent your colored hair from looking washed out.

when to use it
Your purple shampoo should be incorporated into your blonde hair care routine to keep your hair looking shiny and healthy. The purple shampoo does not replace your usual shampoo as they have different functions. The purpose of a standard shampoo is to moisturize and remove dirt, residue, and oils that have built up on your scalp and hair. The purple shampoo, on the other hand, focuses on toning.

This product should be used once or twice a week or whenever you find your hair needs a little makeover. Unless the shampoo is specifically formulated for use as a daily tonic, it's generally not recommended to use purple shampoo every time you wash your hair, as it can start to remove too much yellow from your hair. Visually, this will make your hair look darker, and if you've gone to the trouble of dying it blonder, you probably want to avoid doing so.

The application process
The purple shampoo should be applied in the shower or when washing your hair. Apply the shampoo while your hair is wet and lather it through your hair. The amount of shampoo you use will depend on the product you choose and the brassy look of your hair.

The same rule applies to how long you should leave the shampoo on. If your hair seems to need a little extra support, you can add a minute or two to the process.

Normally the shampoo should work for about two to three minutes. This gives you enough time to tonify before rinsing out. Remember to read the label of the product of your choice as there may be other suggestions.

Additional tips to stay blonde

Now that you have your purple shampoo in the locker, what else can you do to make your blonde hair look shiny and gorgeous?

water filter
Remember when we talked about how chlorine and UV rays are sometimes the cause of brassy tones in your hair? Well, a third possible cause is

hard water

. Hard water is water with a high mineral content and is formed when water gradually seeps through limescale or gypsum deposits.

Unfortunately, the minerals that charge hard water remove color and, when applied to your blonde hair, can cause discoloration. You can take extra precautions to protect yourself from hard water seeping through your water system by purchasing and plugging in a showerhead filter. When you travel, instead of buying tap water, you can buy bottled spring water to use on your hair.

Cold water
While we all like to take a hot shower occasionally, you may not want to use hot water when washing your blonde hair. Hot water can open the hair cuticle and fade the color.

Cold water works in exactly the opposite way and can help set the color. You don't have to shower exclusively with cold water when you don't want to, but switch to cold water when it's time to rinse your hair.

deep conditioning
Besides purple shampoo, there are other products that you can use to care for and improve the health of your blonde hair. A great example of another product to use is a

deep conditioner


Color treated blonde hair can always benefit from extra moisture due to the lightening process which tends to dry out the strands. To combat this problem and prevent further damage such as hair texture changes or loss of definition, use a generous amount of conditioner when conditioning your hair.

Then, on special occasions, consider taking the benefits of your conditioner to the next level with deep conditioning. A deep conditioner is a conditioner that nourishes and restores the natural oils in your hair.

It works similar to standard conditioner but has a longer lasting effect. To improve your hair's moisture levels, try deep conditioning once a week to twice a month. Adjustments should be made according to your needs and your hair's response
for treatment

If you are looking for a more intensively toning product, we recommend the KenraEnlightening treatment. This purple mask lightens blonde tones by up to 80%. Eliminates brassy tones after just one application.

We recommend trying the KenraNourishing maskto meet your deep conditioning needs. This product offers you an intensive treatment that repairs and rejuvenates dry hair. It is designed to moisturize silky, soft and manageable hair. Most importantly, it is colorfast.

In total

Ultimately, we want to make sure you're comfortable with your decision to go blonde and that the switch was worth it. You should be able to enjoy blonde hair long after your salon appointment. This will require you to set aside some time and maybe a bit of money for maintenance, but this process should never be difficult.

The purple shampoo will be one of the key elements to make your new look shine. That's why we've dedicated an entire article to him! This toning product, when used correctly, can work wonders to both maintain blonde color and correct unwanted yellow, orange or brassy tones.

When choosing the right purple shampoo, we urge you to do your research and maybe try a few. You will be using this product often, so make sure you like it. Then, when you have room for a little more maintenance, you can try some of our other tips for preserving your blonde hair.

We bet blonde looks gorgeous on you and hope this tip will help you rock this look for as long as possible!


What is color theory?| Interaction design


How long should you leave purple shampoo in your hair? ›

You'll leave the shampoo on for 5-15 minutes before rinsing with cool water if your colored hair has been recently dyed or is discolored. If it's your first time trying purple shampoo, experiment with leaving it on for only 5-10 minutes before washing it out.

Do you use purple shampoo before or after washing? ›

Even if you don't see it, from the first wash, color-treated and highlighted/toned hair begins to lose the toning pigments applied during the salon visit. Therefore, to keep blonde always looking salon fresh, it's best to introduce Violet Crush Purple Shampoo from the first wash after a salon color application.

Is it better to use purple shampoo on wet or dry hair? ›

OK, so what is the best way to use purple shampoo? Well, for starters, you want to apply it on completely wet hair. (Note: If you have especially dry or brittle ends, we'd also recommend putting a tiny amount of conditioner on just the tips to prevent them from absorbing too much pigment.)

What happens if purple shampoo is left on too long? ›

If you leave purple shampoo on for too long, you may find yourself with a little lilac hue. This color is not permanent and is more likely to happen if you have very light blonde hair or if your hair is dry and damaged. To remove the purple hue, switch to regular shampoo for your next few washes.

When should you not use purple shampoo? ›

DON'T use purple shampoo before your colour appointment

As Anneliese said, it's important not to use purple shampoo in the run-up to your colouring appointment. “Stop using purple shampoo a week or so before you have your colour done,” advises Jimmy.

Does leaving purple shampoo in longer work better? ›

Zoe's answer: Leaving purple shampoo in your hair for longer than the recommended time is not always a good idea. The longer you leave it, the more pigments will be deposited on your hair and they could even stain it permanently.

Do I use normal shampoo after purple shampoo? ›

"Alternate your purple shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo," says Wiley. "Depending on how brassy your blonde hair is, you won't need to use the toning effects every wash, and it is important to add moisture and strengthen hair during the color process to keep hair healthy and strong."

Will purple shampoo lighten my hair? ›

Purple shampoo is for already bleached hair, so if you're hoping to lighten brown hair with purple shampoo, you'll be disappointed. This is all down to the fact that purple shampoo isn't lightening. Instead, it brightens blondes by canceling out yellow tones, which just happen to be opposite purple on the color wheel.

Does purple shampoo lighten or darken? ›

It's important to note that the pigment in purple shampoo isn't a lightener or hair dye but a gentle toner that works overtime. So it can't darken your hair or make it any lighter. For this reason, if your hair tone is too dark, it won't make it any brighter.

How long to leave purple shampoo on brassy hair? ›

Leave in for 2-5 minutes before rinsing. Pureology Strength Cure Blonde Toning Shampoo is the 100% vegan and sulphate free solution to brassy colour breakouts.

What happens if you leave purple shampoo in for 20 minutes? ›

Leaving purple shampoo in your hair for an hour or more can cause your hair to look dull and lifeless. To leave purple shampoo for more than 10 minutes is already too much.

Does leaving purple shampoo in your hair lighten it? ›

Purple shampoo is for already bleached hair, so if you're hoping to lighten brown hair with purple shampoo, you'll be disappointed. This is all down to the fact that purple shampoo isn't lightening. Instead, it brightens blondes by canceling out yellow tones, which just happen to be opposite purple on the color wheel.

Does putting purple shampoo on dry hair make it blonder? ›

The short answer: No! People have been trying this technique because your hair will absorb more of the purple pigment when it's dry.


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