The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Purple Shampoo

Wheat, caramel, and honey. This sounds like the description of an organic dessert menu. But these are just a few of many adjectives used when trying to convey to our hairstylists what shade of blonde we want our glorious locks to be. So is it true blondes have more fun? Who knows, but luckily there are a million products available on the market to let anyone test this theory out.

Changing your hair color can be an effective confidence booster, a mid-life crisis moment, or a scratch to that itch for those longing for a change. This is where things can get tricky though. Changing the mane can involve a lot of time, commitment, and money. And most importantly it opens up crisis situation possibilities. If not properly cared after, a perfect blonde dye job can turn into a sickening orange color that rivals a ripe pumpkin patch on Halloween. 

It is with great relief to report that modern science, and the excellent usage of the color wheel, has offered a cure. Purple shampoo! What is purple shampoo? It is exactly that — a shampoo that has purple pigments in it to help keep that pumpkin patch brass at bay. But the Houdini effects of this magic potion must be used correctly to enjoy the benefits.

How to avoid disaster with purple shampoo

Redken artist Adina Doss explains how the shampoo works, saying, "If you think of a color wheel, as basic as it sounds, whatever color you want to cancel out is directly across from it. Directly across from yellow is purple. So, the purple helps eliminate the unwanted yellow colors from the hair." This is color theory at its simplest. It sounds like a magic wand for blonde tresses, but be aware: Even science-backed mystical cures can be used in the wrong way. If you're using purple shampoo all day, every day, things can (and likely will) go awry. 

Purple shampoo is not a replacement for regular shampoo. It should only be used once or twice a week. Doss explains, "When you eliminate too much yellow, it visually ends up darker and a lot of people don't want it to look darker. So if you wash your hair twice a week, use the purple shampoo only once a week to keep the hair bright but not yellow."

How to nail the perfect shade with purple shampoo

There are a plethora of enemies out there looking to attack perfect tones of blonde. Chlorine from a swimming pool, the sun, even mineral deposits from shower water are not your tresses friends. Even after identifying the threats, one must learn the best way to use their weapon. How long should purple shampoo be left in? According to the experts at John Frieda, "Different formulas vary and can range from rinsing immediately to leaving on for 5 minutes or longer. A purple shampoo will not dye your hair but if you leave it on for too long you could find yourself with a little lilac staining."

While purple shampoo may have the best reputation in the blonde hemisphere, it is not just exclusive to the lighter shades. According to the John Frieda stylists, "Whilst it is essential for any bleached blonde, if your caramel ombre is looking too warm or your chestnut looking a little too red, you can use purple shampoo in the same way as a blonde and reduce any brassiness." So no matter what color you are going for, keeping the brass at bay is a good call, just don't overdo it.