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The Best Purple Shampoos For Blonde Hair

Jennifer Lawrence © Getty Images

If you're a long-term bottle blonde, you're doubtless already well acquainted with the benefits of a purple toning shampoo. Whether you're sporting a dramatic platinum shade or a warm golden hue a la Blake Lively, this unassuming hero product is a key ally in every not-so natural blonde's fight to eliminate yellow, brassy tones in between salon visits.

How does it work? Think of the colour wheel: yellow and purple are on opposite sides, so just as make-up artists use colour correction to correct complexion flaws (green to counteract redness, yellow for dark, purple shadows under the eyes), the shampoo's purple pigment will help eliminate yellowness. It's a godsend for those chasing the perfect ice blonde, and for those with warmer tones, too.

Who should use a purple shampoo, and what are the benefits?

'A purple shampoo is great to use for anyone with blonde hair from a natural blonde through to a very light platinum blonde as it will subdue and neutralise yellow hues,' explains Christel Lundqvist, founder and director of STIL Salon in Notting Hill. 'When the hair colour is

lighter the product is more effective as its easier to see cooler hues on a lighter base with a purple shampoo. You can also use a purple shampoo on darker shades however, it will have a natural cooling effect on darker shades from dark blonde to light brown hues.'

How often should you use purple shampoo: every wash or as a less frequent treatment?

'Depending on the hair quality you can use a purple shampoo every day, if desired,' explains Christel. 'If the hair is slightly sensitised from colour services it will be beneficial to use it 1-2 times a week, whilst using a strengthening shampoo in between. A purple shampoo is designed to wash the hair but it’s main purpose is to tone, so if the hair needs extra keratin or moisture it might be good to use an

additional shampoo in between.' If your dyed hair feels dry or damaged, then, 'it is best just to use once a week, using moisturising, strengthening or reparative care the rest of the time.'

Can purple shampoos ever stain your hair?

While using a toning shampoo shouldn't result it any colour transfer if applied correctly, there is a small risk for white-blonde hair, as Christel explains. 'Certain purple shampoos are very strong in hue so if its left on too long it can have a slight blue or purple tonal effect on very blonde hair.'

What is the difference between purple and silver toning shampoos?

Diane Kruger

Confused by colour jargon? 'Some shampoos have more of a violet tone which can look slightly silver and some shampoos will have more of a blue tone,' says Christel. 'Both will do the same job, however purple based shampoos are slightly cleaner looking on blonde hair as it won’t necessarily leave a residue of grey or blue hues.'

Can you use purple shampoo on other hair colours?

If you've opted for balayage colour with blonde tones towards the ends, you might notice the lighter hue becoming warmer or brassier with time. Time for a toning shampoo? Christel notes that while you can use purple shampoos on different hues, 'bear in mind that it's designed to cool tones: if the hair has a mixture of warm and cool hues it will have a cooling effect on the overall hair colour.'

What are purple conditioners?

Many colour ranges for blondes go beyond the toning shampoo to offer 'purple' conditioners and masks to complement its effects, protecting colour and treating damaged hair. 'TIGI's Catwalk Fashionista Violet range has a shampoo, conditioner and a treatment mask to tone and hydrate the hair,' recommends Christel.

The best purple shampoos for blonde hair

How can I prep my dry, damaged hair before using a toning shampoo?

'For the best results when using a purple shampoo and conditioner, you need to make sure your hair is in good condition and properly nourished. If it’s dry or damaged, the end result could be patchy and uneven,' explains Fie Karayannis, senior colourist at Jo Hansford. 'This is because dry hair is more porous due to over-processing, so the purple shampoo will stain bits of the hair differently. One of the easiest ways to remedy this is to incorporate nourishing hair treatments into your routine. Use a deep nourishing masque, such as Jo Hansford Expert Colour Care Intensive Masque, £28.50, once a week. Lather a generous amount onto dry hair and wrap hair in a warm towel for 10 minutes for a quick fix, or if you have more time, leave on as an overnight treatment to really quench dry, damaged and over processed coloured hair.'