Blue vs. Purple Shampoo: Which Do You Need?

Posted by Verb Team on

Noticed a change in your hair color? Blonde hair can lose its brightness and turn brassy, while brunette hair might take on unwanted orange tones. Color-correcting shampoos can help! Understanding the nuances between blue and purple shampoos can help you choose the right product to keep your hair looking vibrant and fresh.

What is purple shampoo?

Purple shampoo is specifically designed for those with blonde, silver or lightened hair. These shampoos have violet pigments that neutralize yellow tones in hair (because purple sits opposite yellow on the color wheel.)  When used regularly, purple shampoo can keep blonde hair looking bright, cool and less brassy.

verb purple shampoo

violet pigment infused shampoo
to neutralize brassy hue

reduces brassiness by 24%*
*proven results in a third-party testing lab

Read more about purple shampoos in our guide.

Purple shampoo uses

It’s generally recommended to use purple shampoo once or twice a week, depending on how brassy your hair gets. The most popular uses include:

  • Blonde, platinum or silver hair who want to maintain a cool tone and prevent brassiness
  • Highlighted or balayage hair that tends to get yellow over time
  • Natural gray or white hair that can develop a yellow tint

What is blue shampoo?

Blue shampoo, on the other hand, is formulated for brunettes, particularly those with lightened brown hair or highlights. The blue pigment in the shampoo neutralizes orange and red tones that can develop in brown hair over time. Like purple shampoo, blue shampoo works on the color wheel principle — blue cancels out orange. When you wash your hair with blue shampoo, it deposits blue pigments that counteract the warm, orangey hues, helping your brunette hair maintain a cool tone. Blue shampoo can be more powerful than purple shampoo because orange tones can be stubborn.

Blue shampoo uses

Blue shampoo is typically used once or twice a week, depending on the level of brassiness in your hair:

  • Brunettes with highlights or balayage who want to keep their hair from turning orange
  • Natural brunettes looking to maintain a cooler tone and avoid red or orange undertones
  • Brown hair that has been lightened and is prone to developing brassiness
  • Platinum, ice blonde or gray hair to restore icy brightness

      Blue vs. purple shampoo

      As we’ve seen, both shampoos serve the purpose of color correction. The choice between the two depends on your hair color and the specific tones you want to neutralize. Their main differences are:

      • Target Tones: Purple shampoo targets yellow tones, while blue shampoo targets orange tones.
      • Hair Color: Purple shampoo is ideal for blondes and highlighted hair, while blue shampoo is better suited for brunettes and dark hair with unwanted warmth.
      • Strength: Blue shampoo can be more powerful than purple shampoo because orange tones tend to be more stubborn.

      To summarize:

      • Purple Shampoo: Great for blonde, silver or lightened hair to neutralize yellow tones.
      • Blue Shampoo: Great for brown or dark hair to counteract orange and red tones.

      Can you mix blue and purple shampoo?

      You can, but it depends on your hair color and the tones you're dealing with. This can be a good option for hair with multiple tones. For instance, brunettes with blonde highlights might mix a small amount of blue shampoo with regular purple shampoo to address both brassy and yellow tones. Or, you could alternate between blue and purple shampoo to accomplish a similar goal. This way, you can keep your highlights bright and your base color cool.

      Blue or purple shampoo — how to decide

      Choosing between blue and purple shampoo ultimately comes down to your hair color and the specific look you want:

      • Blondes and Silver Hair: Stick with purple shampoo to keep yellow tones at bay.
      • Brunettes with Highlights or Lightened Hair: Lean on blue shampoo to neutralize orange and red tones.
      • Multi-Toned Hair: Consider mixing a small amount of blue shampoo with your regular purple shampoo.

      Extend the life of your color

      Understanding the differences between these two shampoos can help you maintain your hair color and keep your locks looking their best. Whether you're a blonde trying to keep your highlights bright or a brunette fighting off unwanted orange tones, the right shampoo can make all the difference.

      purple hair mask

      purple hair mask

      formulated to hydrate, soften
      and reduce brassiness in blonde,
      grey and silver hair tones

      That’s why our Purple Shampoo and Purple Mask are made with pro-grade violet pigment to gently cleanse, while neutralizing brassy hues and enhancing cool tones in blonde, highlighted, gray and silver hair. See before and after pictures and learn more about this duo today!

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