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The best purple shampoos for a clean blonde colour in 2023

Got brass? Say goodbye to unwanted yellow tones and keep your blonde hair looking salon fresh with the best purple shampoos

Everyone with blonde hair knows that using the best purple shampoo can revitalise the way your hair looks and get rid of those pesky brassy undertones. Finding one that defeats this problem once and for all can be tricky, though.

Whether you’re a natural blonde, have a full head of bleach, highlights, or a balayage, the bright tone often fades or picks up yellow tones from the environment after a few weeks. Hard water in your shower and chlorine from swimming both contribute to this problem and these brassy, yellow tones can make your hair colour look dull, muddy and unnatural.

Unfortunately, the colour fading is an unavoidable evil, but purple shampoo is a great way to keep your blonde hair looking salon fresh for longer. It works by depositing violet tones that neutralise brass for brighter tresses without the need for bleach. Purple shampoo washes in and rinses out just like any other shampoo, making it suitable for use on all hair types and textures.

But not all purple shampoos are created equal. Some use harsher ingredients than others to ‘lift’ the yellow tones from the hair which often leaves it feeling dry, lifeless and more prone to breakage. That’s why we’ve taken the time to test the best. Read on for our pick of the best purple shampoos that will leave your blonde hair soft, shiny and living its best blonde life.

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Best purple shampoo: At a glance

  • Best for a weekly treatment: Clairol Shimmer Lights| Buy now
  • Best for bleached hair: Fudge Clean Blonde | Buy now
  • Best for silver/grey hair: Fanola No Yellow | Buy now
  • Best budget purple shampoo: Provoke Touch of Silver | Buy now

How to choose the best purple shampoo for you

Why does blonde hair turn yellow?

Blonde hair can turn yellow with time for two reasons. The first is salon-applied toner rinsing out over time to reveal a yellow undertone. The second is the hair shaft absorbing minerals and chemicals from the environment, which can cause yellowness. Chlorine from swimming pools and even sunlight can be major culprits for introducing yellow tones to blonde hair. This is particularly true of bleached hair, which is more porous. The violet tones in purple shampoo counteract any brassy tones in the hair, giving a more silvery finish that appears brighter and more vibrant.

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How does purple shampoo work?

Purple shampoos are simply shampoos that contain a violet pigment. Violet sits opposite yellow on the colour wheel, so it cancels out the yellow in the hair, leaving ash, silver or platinum blonde hair looking cooler and cleaner. The best purple shampoos will also hydrate thirsty locks and cleanse the scalp for healthier hair. To use, simply wet hair and lather in your purple shampoo as you would usually, let the shampoo sit for a few minutes to deposit the violet colour on your hair, then rinse and follow with an optional purple conditioner. The effects are temporary, but easily topped up next time you wash.

How often should I use purple shampoo?

If you’re rocking a platinum or ash blonde, use your purple shampoo once or twice a week to maintain the brightness of your cooler tones. For warmer shades, like honey, caramel or strawberry tones, purple shampoo will still give you a cleaner colour, but to avoid cancelling out your golden shade with too much violet you should use your shampoo more sparingly: once or twice monthly.

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What else can I do to maintain blonde hair?

To keep hair looking its blonde best between salon visits, minimise washing and rinsing it to avoid dumping your toner straight down the drain. Also try washing in cooler water to avoid stripping colour out of dyed hair. When not washing with purple shampoo, be sure to use a shampoo for colour-treated hair as this will protect the colour molecules intact.

As well as purple shampoos and conditioners, blonde hair will benefit from a monthly treatment masque or glossing treatment, to help add shine as well as freshening up colour.

If you’re a keen swimmer, use a hair protector to keep chlorine from stripping your hair colour and turning it yellow or even green, and rinse hair immediately after swimming.

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The best purple shampoos for blonde hair

1. Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo: Best purple shampoo for eliminating brassy tones

Price: £13 (300ml) | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Redken’s Color Extend treatment shampoo is enriched with a deep violet pigment that’s extremely effective at cooling warm undertones and counteracting yellow tones. As well as working wonders to clean up dull blonde shades, the hydrating shampoo uses a Triple Acid Protein complex to strengthen the hair cuticle and nourish each strand. These fortifying proteins hydrate and protect each strand to prevent the damage that’s a common side effect of bleaching and toning hair. This is a strong colour-correcting shampoo, so we recommend wearing gloves while massaging it into hair to prevent staining on the hands. You’ll only need to leave it in the hair for a few minutes. For an extra blonde-boosting benefit, follow with the conditioner and conditioning treatment mask in the same range.

Buy now from Look Fantastic

2. Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo: Best purple shampoo for a weekly treatment

Price: £13 (473ml) | Buy now from Amazon

Clairol’s Shimmer Lights is a long standing favourite of purple shampoo aficionados, which contains a good, strong pigment that makes it perfect for a weekly treatment to keep highlights fresh between salon appointments. Shimmer Lights is also great for natural silver hair, helping to reduce yellow tones that can result from hard water and air pollution for a cleaner, cooler shade of silver. The protein-enriched shampoo lathers well into a rich foam that sits on hair for around five minutes for a weekly brightening treatment. Do be aware that the rich lather comes from sulfates, which some hair types can find drying; follow with the matching Shimmer Lights conditioner to keep moisture where it belongs.

3. Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde Silver Brightening Shampoo: Best purple shampoo for highlights

Price: £21 (250ml) | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Looking for a purple shampoo to lift blonde highlights or balayage? Enter the Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde Brightening Shampoo. This hydrating cleanser can be trusted to knock out unwanted brass and restore lost shine without dehydrating your strands. What’s more, it doesn’t have the strongest formula which means you can use it multiple times a week to top up your blonde tresses and keep them looking salon fresh.

We used the purple shampoo twice a week and found that it kept our honey blonde highlights looking creamy and cool – even two months post colour. It lathered well in the hair, smelt refreshing and didn’t feel drying once rinsed, although we’d still recommend following up with a nourishing conditioner to pamper our hair and seal the hair cuticle. Top tip: we massaged the foaming shampoo into our hair for two minutes to make sure each strand was properly coated.

Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

4. Fudge Clean Blonde Shampoo: Best purple shampoo for bleached hair

Price: £14 (250ml) | Buy now from Amazon

If your hair is bleached all over, you may find it suffers from dryness or damage from the bleaching process. Fudge’s sulfate-free purple shampoo cares for hair that’s been weakened from colouring or heat styling, at the same time reducing brassiness and lightening locks to a cool ash blonde shade. The hydrating formula is enriched with Guarana Extract to smooth the hair and maintain moisture levels, while a deep, cool violet pigment neutralises yellowness.

The Fudge purple shampoo delivered noticeable results after just one wash. Leave the shampoo in for a few minutes to reach your desired shade. Brassy tones don’t stand a chance against the Fudge Clean Blonde Shampoo and, as a bonus, the parma violet scent lasts for days.

5. Provoke Touch of Silver Brightening Shampoo: Best budget purple shampoo

Price: £4 (200ml) | Buy now from Amazon

Provoke’s Touch of Silver is a classic shampoo formula that has been lifting yellow tones from naturally gray and colour-treated hair for many years. This vegan and cruelty-free shampoo is also sulfate-free, and contains both strengthening proteins to help rebuild colour-treated hair, and UV filters to prevent further damage and discolouration. Just one wash with this brightening shampoo is enough to produce noticeable results, and the dark violet pigment is especially effective on yellow-orange tones that sometimes result from bleaching dark hair. At less than £5 a bottle, this is a great-value treatment shampoo in a range that also includes a regular colour-care shampoo and conditioning treatments.

6. Fanola No Yellow Shampoo: Best purple shampoo for silver/grey hair

Price: £8 (350ml) | Buy now from Amazon

Fanola’s brass-banishing shampoo neutralises yellow undertones in coloured hair for a satin smooth and streak-free finish. The sulfate-free and 100% vegan formula doesn’t come with the nourishing ingredients used in other purple shampoos, but it does exactly what it says on the bottle and it costs less than £10. This super-pigmented purple shampoo works best when lifting brass from grey, silver and platinum shades but softer blondes can use it once a fortnight to lighten their strands. For best results, some noted that they used a clarifying shampoo first, then the No Yellow purple shampoo and finished with a nourishing conditioner for added hydration.

7. Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra Violet Shampoo: Best professional purple shampoo

Price: £20 (250ml) | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Kérastase is a big name in the hair-care industry and this blonde shampoo doesn’t disappoint. Not only does this lilac shampoo replace brass with a creamy blonde finish; it also cares for your hair with a nourishing blend of Hyaluronic Acid and Edelweiss Flower which penetrates deep into the hair fibre to make sure your strands are hydrated from root to tip. The result? Silky, soft and bright blonde hair that looks freshly dyed. A 250ml bottle costs £20, but lasts around six months with weekly use. For these results, that’s an investment we’re willing to make. The treatment masque in the same range (£30) is also a worthwhile monthly treat.

Buy now from Look Fantastic

8. Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Duo: Best purple shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair

Price: £32 (2 x 266ml) | Buy now from Look Fantastic

It takes just two steps to maintain healthy blonde hair with Pureology’s colour-correcting duo. First neutralise the warm tones in your blonde mane with the Strength Cure Best Blonde shampoo. Its sulfate-free and vegan formula is gentle enough to be used multiple times a week and it does a great job at removing product build-up, cleansing the scalp and hydrating the hair while it combats brassiness.

To lock in the colour and nourish your tresses, it’s best to use the lilac-tinted shampoo alongside its counterpart conditioner. Work the product through the lengths and ends, and the result is hydrated, detangled hair that’s shiny and full of life. Its AntiFadeComplex does a great job of keeping bleached and highlighted hair looking fresh weeks after stepping out of the salon.

Buy now from Look Fantastic

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