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We feel confident in saying that taking your hair to a brighter, blonder hue requires the most upkeep of all shades. This is because lifting your hair's base color with bleach requires more processing and chemicals than dyeing it a darker shade. Doing so also leaves the hair more prone to breakage by opening the cuticle, which then allows for UV rays, pollution, and other elements to enter (and moisture the exit), thus making the color appear duller and brassier (read: yellow).
But even if you think you've hit the point of no return with your blonde's level of brassiness, know that there are some great purple shampoos that help restore your once-flaxen vibrancy (or prevent yellow-tinged hair from happening in the first place). Why purple? Think of it as a color-corrector: Shades placed opposite of each other on the color wheel cancel each other out, so purple tones will cancel out yellow tones.
Sabrina Yamani Yamga, colorist at SPACE by Alex Brown in Chicago, does note that it’s easy to overuse purple shampoo, as it can be drying. So start out by using this product just once a week. For best results, Yamga recommends using a deep cleansing shampoo for the first wash to lift any yellowish deposit that can come from product use, the environment, heat styling tools, or old water pipes. Then, use your purple shampoo of choice for three to five minutes for a soft beige or whiter-looking blonde.
Ready to shop the top formulas? These are the best purple shampoos for blonde hair.
Best Overall: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Purple Shampoo
John Frieda was one of the first drugstore brands to break out products by hair color, and this one is still going strong. It only takes three washes with this shampoo to rebalance your blonde and remove that dreaded brass. The line contains Optical Brightening Technology, which absorbs UV light to make your hue look more vibrant. It’s also infused with lavender extract to leave strands soft.
Best for Curly or Kinky Hair: SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo
Blondes might have more fun, but they also have more work to do to keep their curly tresses healthy. This ultra-hydrating shampoo consists of organic shea butter, argan oil, and jojoba oil to restore damaged hair. The star ingredient is the purple rice water that smells divine and leaves your hair clean, soft, and noticeably brighter.
Best Drugstore: Not Your Mother's Blonde Moment Treatment Shampoo
This shampoo from Not Your Mother's promises to neutralize brassiness, enhance shine and hydrate strands. The line also offers a conditioner and a leave-in product, both of which are intended to seal in color. These products will really help because the more you wash your hair, the less vibrant your color will be. Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue says this budget-friendly formula, in particular, made her platinum locks so, so bright.
Best for Blowouts: Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo
If you color your hair and get blowouts on the regular, you’re doing double damage to your hair—and this shampoo does double duty to fix that. The formula is infused with lemon extract to brighten and maintain your blonde, as well as chamomile extract to improve tone and amp up shine. To counteract all that heat styling, it has keratin and vegetable proteins to strengthen the structure of the hair and prevent heat damage. Strands are left healthy-looking and without that warmth that can bring down blonde, gray, and white hair.
Best for Damaged Hair: Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo
Not only is this purple shampoo formulated without sulfates, but it’s also sans parabens and phthalates, so it’s totally Keratin safe and an overall safer-for-you formula. It’s also free of Artificial Colors and MIT/MCI, safe for color-treated and Brazilian-treated hair, and is cruelty-free and gluten-free.
It’s described as an ultra-violet, brass-busting shampoo that delivers bright and shiny, cool-toned results so you can use this on blonde, silver or grey hair. An added bonus is how utterly delicious it smells. All Amika products are pretty next-level when it comes to scent and this one is no different. It’s comprised of Sea Buckthorn, which packs Vitamins A, C, and E, and Omega-7, typically only found in fish oil, it keeps free radicals at bay and promotes the production of collagen, a key building block for skin, hair, and nails.
Best for Dry Hair: Keratin Complex Blondeshell Debrass Shampoo
Dyed hair is synonymous with being dry. And if you already have hair drier than the Sahara Desert then you know just how dry it can feel once dye is thrown into the equation. Our top pick for reviving parched strands is this ultra-moisturizing formula that not only neutralizes brassiness but also keeps hair smooth and soft and enhances shine.
The nourishing formula is infused with keratin amino acids to help strengthen delicate hair that needs extra TLC. That, along with a triple-protein blend, helps make your hair more resilient to sun exposure, hot tools, and other environmental aggressors. There’s also chamomile in the formula which is known to brighten and keep the color fresher for longer. Plus, you can’t beat the light fresh scent.
Best for Highlights: Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
This shampoo has been on shelves for decades and it has truly stood the test of time. One of the most popular options out there across price points (Faith Xue, Byrdie's Editorial Director, loves this product), it gives you the most bang for your buck. The protein-enrich formula is super gentle and the purple in it is vibrant, so you’ll have noticeably brighter and lighter strands after just one wash. The conditioning shampoo works to tone allover brassiness, plus it gives a refresh to faded highlights.
Best for Natural Blondes: dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo
If you’re a natural blonde (even if you’re not we’ll keep your secret and still recommend this shampoo) this dpHue shampoo is for you, and it also works wonders for gray and white hair. Celebrity colorist Justin Anderson calls this shampoo "the best violet pigmented shampoo on the market." It's also a favorite of Kristen Cavallari's, and all for good reason. The deep violet pigments neutralize yellow tones and brassiness, and the gentle formula, which is free of parabens, sulfates , and phthalates, delicately cleanses hair.
Best for Frizz: Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo
Breathe new life back into your blonde hair again with Joico’s Color Balance Purple Shampoo. The formula has just the right amount of pigment in it to neutralize yellow tones so it won’t leave any purple traces in your hair. Its tone-correcting pigments will stay attached to the hair fibers through multiple shampoos. Plus, the Multi-Spectrum Defense Complex guards against color fade, and the Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex repairs, nourishes, combats frizz and leaves strands shiny. Your hair will look and feel healthier every time after you suds up.
Best Anti-Breakage: Briogeo Color Me Brilliant Mushroom + Bamboo Color Protect Conditioner
Grow your color-treated hair longer with this plant-based formula that's clinically proven to reduce color fade up to 10 washes. The turkey tail mushroom (a vegan keratin alternative) and bamboo come together to protect and strengthen hair while adding shine. Users report more brilliant color and less breakage when paired with the corresponding conditioner.
Best for Split Ends: Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo
Created by celebrity hairstylist, Kristin Ess—you know her from her work with celebs like Lucy Hale and Lauren Conrad—came out with her own line of products and it has spread like wildfire. This shampoo in particular lightly clarifies and highly lathers for a squeaky clean that’s not stripping. It also contains “zip-up technology™,” their proprietary strengthening complex designed to "zip-up" split ends while targeting weak areas of the hair, smoothing the appearance of damaged cuticles and helping to protect hair from environmental stressors and color fade.
Best Sulfate-Free: Pravana The Perfect Blonde Shampoo
When you color your hair, you’re weakening its bond, so you’ll need an extra gentle shampoo to fight those warm tones without leaving it dry. That’s where Pravana’s The Perfect Blonde Shampoo comes in. Its purple pigment is so strong that you only need to use it once a week to reap the rewards. The formula is sulfate-free so it’ll go easy on your hair but tough on brassiness. It contains an exclusive dual ultra-violet dye system and built-in brighteners to leave you with brighter, blonder hair that’s stronger and shinier, courtesy of the keratin, wheat , and silk amino acids.
Runner-Up, Best Sulfate-Free: Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo
Xue is a big fan of this purple shampoo, which has a gentle sulfate-free formula loaded with nourishing argan oil to prevent dryness. The violet pigments in this shampoo expertly rid hair of yellow or orange tones. Because it has a gentle sulfate-free formula, wavy, curly, and coily hair types can use this purple shampoo without fear their hair will be stripped of moisture.
Best Splurge: Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Color
Treat your strands with sulfate-free shampoo created to bring out the blonde tones in your hair. The formula, a favorite of Yamga’s, is gentle and won't dry out your strands, making it a great pick for those with curly or heat-damaged hair. The shampoo's violet pigments add shine and fight brassiness. Out of the shower, this formula will protect your color-treated hair from UV rays and dullness.
Best for Platinum Blonde Hair: Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo
This purple shampoo “is beautiful for blondes who like a soft beige tone, without the brass or silver,” says Yamga. Jasmine A. Ortiz, Byrdie's news editor, also considers this purple shampoo a must-have. The violet-tinted formula does a great job at neutralizing brassy tones in the lightest of blonde hues. Conditioning ingredients such as jojoba leaf extract ensure strands are soft and shiny post-shower, a must for those who dye their hair platinum.
Runner-Up, Best for Platinum Blonde Hair: Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo
Platinum hair requires special care, and this purple shampoo, which is one of Xue’s go-tos, is a must-have for anyone with a super-light blonde mane. The sulfate-, silicone-, and paraben-free formula is gentle on hair. Purple pigments do an excellent job of neutralizing yellow and orange tones, keeping platinum, white, and silver hair looking cool and shiny.
The best purple shampoos help prolong the life of your blonde, so you can go longer between appointments and keep unwanted brassiness at bay. John Frieda is an OG when it comes to color-specific hair products, and the brand's Sheer Blonde Color Renew Shampoo is still one of the best. It only takes three washes to restore your hair and remove brassiness. For curly and kinky hair, we recommend Shea Moisture's Purple Rice Water Strength + Color Care Shampoo. It's ultra-hydrating to restore moisture to dry and damaged hair while protecting your color.
What to Look for When Buying a Purple Shampoo
Different purple tones neutralize different brassy shades. For example, violet is great at counteracting yellow tones in light blonde hues. “If your hair is more of a brassy orange or warm brunette, purple is too light,” says Yamga, “so you'll want to opt for a blue shampoo.”
As Yamga notes, purple shampoos can be drying. So look for hydrating ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, and keratin amino acids to ensure hair is soft, smooth, and shiny after washing.
Sulfates can do a number on your hair, so if your mane is on the drier side already, opt for a sulfate-free purple shampoo. A sulfate-free purple shampoo will be gentle on your hair while still being effective at getting rid of unwanted brassy tones.