is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Blue vs. Purple Shampoo: Uses and Differences

Blue vs. Purple Shampoo

Looking for a way to maintain your color-treated hair? Dealing with a brassy shade of yellow, red, or orange after getting a dye job or highlights?

Don’t worry. That’s where blue and purple shampoo comes in.

You’re probably asking, “What are blue and purple shampoo?”

We’ll tell you what you need to know about blue vs. purple shampoo and how to use them effectively. We’ve even got some shampoo recommendations at the end, too!

Table of Contents

What are Blue and Purple Shampoo?

Blue and purple shampoo each are their own product category. We’ll tell you the difference between the two as we go along.

So before we give you a definitive answer to this question, here’s an important point to remember.

Different hair colors have different undertones.

Ever looked at a color wheel? You’ve probably seen one in elementary school.

If you have, then it’s probable that you have an idea of how opposite colors NEUTRALIZE each other.

Hint: By opposite, we mean colors directly across from one another on the color wheel.

Based on this, let’s say you want to neutralize a certain tone.

  • Look to the opposite color on the color wheel first.
  • After that, use a toner or shampoo in that colour.

Determine Your Hair’s Prominent Undertones

Determine Undertones

So the main thing to do first is to pinpoint your hair’s prominent undertones.

Here are a few points to take note of for different tones:

  • Someone with brunette hair usually presents warmer orange undertones
  • Someone with very dark hair can have red undertones
  • While blondes and others with light hair color have yellow undertones

These warm undertones can start to appear in blonde hair too. It can be due to a few things:

  • Appears due to color treatment
  • Pops up because of hair products
  • Can be caused by heat styling
Warm undertones appearing in blonde hair are referred to as brassiness. This would usually be unwanted, so you’ll want to get rid of it. To do that, you’ll have to tone it down with the opposite or complementary color.

Main Difference Between Blue vs. Purple Shampoo


Now let’s go back to the color wheel.

Blue is on the opposite side of the spectrum as orange. On the other hand, purple sits across the color wheel from yellow.

If you’re still asking yourself “What does blue shampoo or purple shampoo do?”, we’ve already discussed it roughly by talking about the colour wheel.

The blue pigment in blue shampoo cancels out orange. In contrast, the purple pigment in purple shampoo cancels out yellow.

So why all this talk about color? It boils down to a key point about each category.

  • Blue shampoo is for removing orange tones from brunette or darker hair.
  • Purple shampoo is an option to help counter yellow tones that appear in blonde or light-colored hair.

When Should You Use Blue Shampoo vs. Purple Shampoo?

We can answer this question about blue and purple shampoos based on the two key points mentioned above. Now, we can deduce when one must use these shampoos.

Just to Reiterate:

  • The formulation of blue shampoo contains blue-violet pigments that bond into the hair while shampooing. Blue shampoo cools down naturally warm orange tones and removes brassiness.
  • As for purple shampoo, its formulation contains purple pigments. This corrects light-colored hair, removes yellow to maintain platinum, silver, or white hair.

Our Official Take:

Blue shampoo should be used by those with BRUNETTE HAIR.

Whether one has highlights, balayage, or any other element of hair lightening, you’ll need blue shampoo to neutralize brassy tones.

It applies the same way with purple shampoo and blonde hair.

Those with blonde hair who also have highlights, balayage, or any other element of hair lightening, use it to neutralize yellow tones.

Hint: Brunettes with blonde highlights can still use a purple shampoo to maintain highlights.

Blue vs. Purple Shampoo: What Are Their Benefits?


After talking all about colors previously, you should know the main benefit of blue shampoo vs. purple shampoo by now.

The main benefit of a blue or purple shampoo is that you have the ability to neutralize unwanted yellow or orange tones at home with a toning shampoo.

But that’s not the only benefit. You can actually get more hair care benefits from them.

1. They Maintain Color Longer

You can actually maintain your hair color just by washing your hair! Surprised? You can worry less about keeping your hair color looking at its best.

An answered prayer for all blondes and brunettes, right?

2. They Ensure Shine and Luster

Blue and purple shampoo doesn’t just help your color last longer. Maintaining your hair’s natural shine and luster is another job that they actually do well.

Less need for your hair to undergo special Keratin treatments at a salon!‌

3. They Save You Money

Finally, blue shampoo and purple shampoo can actually help you save time and money!

You can reduce the number of trips you take to the salon! Just because of all the previous benefits, think how much less you spend money because of them.

What a surprise!

You maintain your hair color longer, your hair still has that natural shine and luster, and you end up spending less on salon trips?

You’re getting the best of everything!

How Do You Use Blue Shampoo and Purple Shampoo?

How Do You Use Them

Let’s go through different ways to use blue and purple shampoo. So how do you effectively keep your blonde or brown hair looking great?

Hint: For all these toning shampoos with pigments, less is more.

Here’s how to use blue or purple shampoo to properly maintain your colour.

  1. First, decide how often to use toning shampoo.
  2. Secondly, use both blue and purple shampoo.
  3. Third, let it sit.
  4. Fourth, follow it up with a blue or purple conditioner.
  5. Lastly, experiment with blue or purple shampoo on virgin hair.

How Often to Use Toning Shampoo:

Blue and purple shampoo actually work in three steps.

  1. It coats the hair shaft
  2. Then it cancels out brassiness
  3. After that, it adds shine

Hint: To get the results you want, use blue or purple shampoo daily. This is until you achieve your desired color result.

As for maintaining your ideal shade, try alternating with regular shampoo as needed.

When Using Both Blue and Purple Shampoo:

Try alternating between the toning shampoo you use.

Hint: This is if you see both yellow and orange tones in your hair.

If more orange is visible, use purple shampoo once after every two or three times you use blue shampoo. The opposite applies to more visible yellow tones.

Let Your Blue and Purple Shampoos Sit

This one tip is for more toning power.

Let your blue or purple shampoo sit in your hair for 2-3 minutes if you want a cooler tone.

When dealing with extreme brassiness, leave the shampoo on longer. Brassiness is often caused by heat styling, hair products, and color treatment.

Follow Up with Conditioner

If you have your hair color-treated, dyeing and bleaching can dry and damage your hair. That’s why proper hair care should be your priority. You can restore and moisturize your dyed hair using purple and blue conditioners.

  • To nourish your hair, use a purple conditioner if you’re blonde.
  • For brunettes, use a blue conditioner. Do this after shampooing.

Experiment with Blue or Purple Shampoo

Virgin, undyed hair can also benefit from using blue or purple shampoo. Sun exposure and chemicals like chlorine can make your blonde or brunette locks brassy.

Blue and purple shampoos tone down those unwanted shades to cooler and brighter hues.

Top Hair Care Brands

We now know the differences between blue and purple shampoo and how to use them effectively. Let’s move on to our recommendations.

Brands can be important when choosing haircare products. The ones we’ll be introducing to you not only make good-quality products but also have responsible practices.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

This brand’s philosophy is one inspired by skincare. They aim to design hair care products that are weightless and deliver performance, strength, and longevity.

Kevin Murphy combines science and the use of the best natural ingredients available. They also take into account environmentally-friendly or organic growing practices when searching for ingredients.

Kevin Murphy only sells Angel Wash for blonde hair though.

What Does It Do?

It’s a color-enhancing purple shampoo good for blonde and gray hair. Its formulation helps counteract brassiness in your hair too.

Aside from that, it restores shine and brightness for your hair and maintains its “cooler” tones.

It prevents color-stripping too! We still highly recommend it if you have any yellowness in your hair tones!



The brand was founded by an industry veteran, Steve Goddard. It aims to provide the stylist with revolutionary products.

They curate their products and create formulations using the best ingredients available. Their philosophy also revolves around their commitment to the best quality products.

Pravana focuses on taking a responsible approach too!

A great product we recommend is their Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo.

What Does It Do?

Aside from eliminating brassiness for brunettes, this blue shampoo also fights the effect of fading. It restores the richness of your hair’s color too!

Its formula also strengthens and adds shine to your brunette locks!

Given Pravana’s responsible approach, it’s no surprise this product is vegan and has 100% biodegradable packaging.

It’s relatively inexpensive for a product in the blue shampoo category. Overall, it’s a great option for brunettes!

Living Proof

Living Proof

You can also opt to search for a UNIVERSAL colour care product.

An example of this is this Color Care Shampoo by Living Proof.

Living Proof is a brand that prioritizes safety and effectiveness first. They carefully design their products to be safe for any hair type!

What Does It Do?

Their Color Care system makes hair colour last TWICE AS LONG.  It works for both blondes and brunettes too! Whether you have highlights or any other work done, it doesn’t matter.

There’s no need to go get a dye job as often!

How does their Color Care Shampoo work?

  • By placing temporary dyes to help reduce brassiness
  • Boosts color vibrancy between color treatments
  • Leaves hair looking healthy, soft, and shiny

‌Another thing to add is that their Color Care Shampoo doesn’t have blue or purple pigments.

It’s specially formulated by their scientists to address almost all issues that can cause color fading.

These also include:

  • Color washout
  • Damage
  • UV rays
  • Hard water

Whether you’re a blonde or brunette, Color Care is an excellent option!

Wrapping Things Up

Wrapping Things Up

We’ve covered everything you need to know about the differences between blue vs. purple shampoo.

Just to top everything off, let’s go through the three main points you need to remember the most.

  • First off, remember that different hair colors have different undertones. Determining your hair’s undertones helps a lot in choosing whether to use blue vs. purple shampoo.
  • Secondly, blue shampoo removes orange tones from brunette or dark hair.
  • Third, Purple shampoo is your choice to counteract yellow tones that appear in blonde or light-colored hair.
  • And lastly, both types of shampoo have their benefits too. You maintain your hair better and save money!

Choosing between the two is actually based on your hair color or type. Here’s to keeping your locks more vibrant and beautiful!

Whether you pick blue or purple, you’re sure to win! We hope this article was of great help to you!


August 31, 2021 – Improved article formatting, reviewed and updated overall content

July 14, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.