Blondes have long loved the benefits of purple shampoo for combating brassy tones. Now there are tons of options, including purple, blue and silver shampoo products to help neutralize both blonde and gray hair. With many women letting themselves go gracefully gray, purple and silver toning shampoo has become a popular tool for brighter, more lively gray hair.
“Toning shampoos work on the classic theory of the color wheel. Most commonly containing violet or blue pigments, these are designed to neutralize yellow or orange tones in the hair. They do so by actually depositing a translucent layer of those pigments,” explains hairstylist Tom Smith. “The opposite of yellow on the color wheel is violet, and the opposite of orange is blue, so these tones cancel each other out for a ‘neutral’ result.”
Smith and celebrity hairstylist Johny Lavoy both recommend only using a toning shampoo once to a couple of days a week to avoid over-toning and ending up with a light lavender tint. “When using a shampoo for gray hair, it’s also important to use a conditioner as well,” notes Lavoy. “I found using a toning shampoo too much can cause some dryness. “
Although it’s not a shampoo, Lavoy was sure to mention the Moroccan Oil Platinum Color Depositing Mask ($30). “It’s great for toning and conditioning. You can control the color deposit with the amount of time you leave it on,” he says. It’s “great to use in the shower for a deep conditioning and toning treatment.” For a quick way to brighten up and enhance gray hair, shop these expert-approved shampoos.
Lavoy says he loves this silver shampoo that neutralizes unwanted yellow tones and refines cool effects for those with gray or cool blonde hair. “It will neutralize discoloration with a beautiful silver cast,” he says.
Smith says this is not only one of the strongest toning shampoos around, but it also contains Olaplex’s patented compound to help maintain and repair bonds in the hair. Although it’s labeled as a shampoo for blondes, it can help brighten any color, with a handful of gray-haired ladies loving the results in the comments.
Aluram Purple Shampoo ($18)
Lavoy says this shampoo is great for combating yellowing in gray and white hair as it has incredible pigment for toning. “What’s also great about Aluram’s products is they are simply made by taking out all the not-so-good stuff. Their naturally derived, vegan formulas are made for high performance, plus the price point is great.”
Smith says this toning shampoo is a great tool for strong neutralization. The sulfate-free formula deeply nourishes hair for silky strands while neutralizing for a more even tone.