The 7 best purple shampoos and conditioners, per experts

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The 7 best purple shampoos and conditioners, per experts

Much like hair type and texture, hair tone and color also impact the specific formulation you should be using. Enter purple shampoos and conditioners — the dynamic duo well-suited for blonde and gray hair alike.

They’re exactly what they sound like (shampoo spotted with purple pigments) that help eliminate unwanted brassiness and yellow tones to ensure your hair is Barbie-perfect.

“Purple shampoo is your hair’s best friend!” Olivia Thompson, celebrity hair stylist, blonde specialist and hair extension expert, told the New York Post. “It’s a special type of shampoo that works wonders for blonde, silver or highlighted hair. Packed with purple or violet pigments, it acts as a color corrector, restoring a cooler and more balanced tone to your hair.”

Ahead, our team of haircare experts dished out the deets on what to look for in purple shampoos and conditioners in our in-depth FAQ section. More, they hand-picked the best ones on the market.

“The Olaplex No. 4 Blonde-Enhancer Toning Shampoo contains Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, a molecule that repairs hair disulfide bonds, strengthening and protecting your hair on a molecular level,” Michele Green, MD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist with more than 25 years of experience treating male and female hair loss, told The Post.

More, this shampoo also contains Acid Violet 43, a color that will calm yellow and orange tones in your hair.

“It’s professional-grade and trusted by salon professionals, guaranteeing salon-worthy results in the comfort of your own home,” Thompson says. “This purple shampoo is also safe to use on extensions, it’s Paraben-free. Color Balance toning lasts up to 12 washes! Its a gentle lather that removes undesirable yellow tones, leaving hair cool, healthy-looking, and protected.”

Impressively, inside has Green Tea Extract and UV Absorbers that help fight fading and tonal change.

“The Redken Blondage Color-Depositing Purple Shampoo uses Acid Violet to eliminate any undesired brassy tones in your hair,” Dr. Green explains. “It also uses amino acids such as Arginine and Serine to help protect against breakage and hydrate hair.”

More than 12,000 shoppers with blonde or gray hair applaud this formula for its fresh citrus scent that maintains the hair’s freshness — while keeping undertones at bay.

“This shampoo contains violet pigmentation to remove orange and yellow tones from blonde hair,” Green notes. “Its ingredient list is sulfate-free, keeping hair clean and hydrated without stripping away any essential natural oils.”

Even better, you can bundle and save for less than $25 on Amazon with this shampoo and conditioner bundle that’ll keep you locked and loaded for months on end.

“The Biolage Color Lasting Purple Shampoo uses an external Violet 2 colorant to neutralize unwanted warm or brassy tones immediately,” Green says, recommending the product. “It also uses fig and orchid extract to moisturize your hair and promote water retention.”

It helps maintain the coolness of your blonde tone as well, allowing your hair to look fresh and healthy (with a sleek shine, no less).

“The Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo targets brassiness by depositing violet pigmentation into your strands,” Green highlights. “This product also contains argan and castor oil to repair and moisturize damaged, brittle hair.”

If you don’t wish to follow up with the matching conditioner after use, we recommend the brand’s Intense Hydrating Hair Mask ($42) every so often following your shampoo (and replacing your normal conditioning step for much more nourishment).

“This shampoo contains ultra-violet coloring to decrease unwanted orange and yellow undertones and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and seal cuticles,” Green highlights, recommending the Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo.

More, the brand is praised among the New York Post Shopping team for being one of the best to help treat frizzy hair (and, one of our top choices for hair sprays).

Ahead, we dialed our team of haircare experts — a celebrity hairstylist specializing in blonde hair and a cosmetic chemist with more than 25 years in the hair loss space — to put together an all-in-one guide to shopping for purple shampoos and conditioners.

As mentioned, purple shampoo is an at-home toning product recommended for those with blonde and gray hair or highlights. More closely, purple shampoos contain purple pigments that neutralize brassy, yellow tones. 

“Purple shampoo enhances the vibrancy of the hair color, whether natural or color-treated, and corrects a yellow tone,” Green highlights.

When used on a regular basis, purple shampoos and conditioners help maintain the desired color of your hair and reduce salon visits, too, per Thompson. “They also help tone down brassiness caused by sun or water, refreshes your color between salon appointments, add shine and improve hair appearance and offer customizable usage for a desired toning effect,” she adds.

Once a week in the shower, lather purple shampoo into wet hair. “Depending on the formula of your purple shampoo, it may be left on from one to 15 minutes before rinsing with water,” Green notes. “Leaving purple shampoo in your hair for longer than the time that’s recommended may cause hair to temporarily have a purple tint.”

Should a purple tint occur, it can easily be remedied by switching to regular shampoo until the purple pigment is removed. “It’s important to read the instructions on the bottle before using your purple shampoo to get the best results,” she advises. “After rinsing the purple shampoo from your hair, follow up with a hydrating conditioner.”

It’s important to note that the frequency of using purple shampoo will depend on your hair’s needs and the intensity of toning desired.

“Some people use it once a week, while others may use it more or less frequently,” Thompson says. “Experiment to find the right balance for your hair to maintain the desired color and avoid over-toning.”

“Purple shampoo is meant to correct brassy, yellow tones from blonde and gray hair,” Green explains. “Regular shampoo is designed to cleanse hair, removing any debris and excess oil.”

Purple shampoo does not replace regular shampoo. “Regular shampoos do not contain the crushed violet pigments, such as Acid Violet 43 and Ext. Violet 2, that are incorporated into purple shampoos, which is what gives purple shampoo the ability to cancel out brassiness,” Green shares.

Yes, there is blue shampoo — and it’s important to understand its formula, uses and benefits while shopping for your purple shampoo (aka, its sister).

“Blue shampoos contain crushed blue pigments, rather than purple pigments, to correct brassiness,” Green explains. “Blue shampoo is better suited to correcting orange hues, while purple shampoo is better suited to correcting yellow hues.”

On the color wheel, yellow is opposite from purple and blue is opposite from orange, which is why they have the ability to neutralize each other as well.

For this reason, using a purple shampoo is recommended for blonde hair, specifically.

“Blonde hair is more susceptible to discoloration due to exposure to the sun, minerals in water, or product buildup. The purple pigments in purple shampoo work as color correctors, as purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel.”

Ahead, Thompson shares three myths about using purple shampoo for blonde hair and explains why they’re false (and, debunks all the myths):

The 7 best purple shampoos and conditioners, per experts

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