What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair

You see a vibrant redhead with radiant locks, yet you’re battling stubborn brassiness on your own. So you wonder, what sets them apart? The secret might just lie in a bottle of purple shampoo. Yes, you read that right—purple shampoo isn’t just for blondes anymore. 

If you’re a redhead struggling to maintain that perfect shade, fret not. Let’s explore the surprising nature of purple shampoo for red hair. Finally, you get all the secrets and solutions to your redhead woes.

What Is Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo is made to fix brassy and yellow tones in blonde, silver, and lightened hair. It contains purple pigments that neutralize the warm, orange hues caused by oxidation or exposure to elements like chlorine or sunlight. 

Essentially, purple shampoo functions as a colour corrector, restoring hair to its desired cool or ash tone. While originally formulated for blondes, its efficacy has extended to redheads seeking. 

It is perfect when maintaining the vibrancy of their hair colour by neutralizing unwanted warm undertones. 

Purple shampoo

How Does Purple Shampoo Work on Red Hair?

Purple shampoo works on red hair through the principles of colour theory and the chemical properties of its ingredients. Red hair, especially lighter shades, can also suffer from brassiness due to exposure to elements like sunlight or water minerals. 

The purple shampoo contains violet pigments opposite on the colour wheel to yellow and orange tones, neutralizing them. When applied to red hair, these pigments counteract the warm undertones to restore a cooler, more balanced hue. 

However, because red hair contains more red pigments than blonde or silver hair, the effectiveness of purple shampoo may vary. It can help tone down overly warm tones and enhance the vibrancy of red hair, but it might not completely eliminate brassiness. 

Benefits of Using Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Prevents brassiness

Purple shampoo acts as a colour corrector by depositing violet pigments onto the hair shaft. These pigments counteract the warm, brassy tones red hair can develop over time due to factors like oxidation and environmental exposure. Purple shampoo helps redheads maintain a more vibrant and true-to-tone hair colour by neutralizing unwanted hues.

Enhances vibrancy

Red hair tends to fade and lose its vibrancy over time, especially when exposed to sunlight and harsh chemicals. With purple shampoo, you can revive and enhance the natural vibrancy of red hair by eliminating dullness and restoring richness to the colour. Regular use of purple shampoo can result in brighter, more radiant red locks that stand out.

Adds shine

The violet pigments in purple shampoo neutralize brassiness and reflect light, giving red hair a glossy and luminous appearance. By smoothing the hair cuticle and eliminating unwanted tones, purple shampoo promotes a shiny and healthy-looking finish, enhancing the overall appearance of red hair.

Keeps hair hydrated

Many purple shampoos are formulated with moisturizing agents and nourishing ingredients to prevent dryness and damage. By cleansing the hair without stripping away its natural oils, purple shampoo helps maintain optimal hydration levels. 

Promotes healthy hair

Purple shampoo addresses cosmetic concerns like brassiness and contributes to red hair’s overall health. Purple shampoo supports healthy hair growth by protecting against environmental damage and maintaining the hair’s natural pH balance. It minimizes breakage, ensuring redheads can enjoy vibrant and luscious locks for longer

Improves manageability

Red hair, especially when chemically treated or naturally coarse, can be prone to tangling and frizz. Purple shampoo contains conditioning agents that help detangle and smoothen the hair. It makes your hair more manageable and easier to style. You get a sleek and polished look as the shampoo reduces knots and flyaways, letting you enjoy hassle-free hair days. 

Limitations to Purple Shampoo for Redheads

Limited effectiveness on deeply pigmented hair

Purple shampoo works best on light to medium shades of red hair. If you have deeper or more intense red tones, the effects of purple shampoo may be less noticeable due to the higher concentration of red pigments masking the brassy undertones.

Potential over-toning

Using purple shampoo too frequently or leaving it on for extended periods can result in over-toning. Unfortunately, this can lead to an unnatural, ashy appearance. Redheads should exercise caution and adjust usage frequency based on their hair’s needs to avoid this issue.

Not suitable for colour correction

While purple shampoo can help neutralize minor brassiness and maintain red hair colour, it is not a substitute for professional colour correction. Significant colour discrepancies or uneven tones may require the expertise of a hairstylist to achieve desired results.

Drying effect on hair

Some purple shampoos may contain drying ingredients like sulphates, which can strip the hair of natural oils and lead to dryness and brittleness.

Potential staining on lighter shades

Purple shampoo can leave behind a violet or blue tint on lighter shades of red hair if not thoroughly rinsed. Ensure you rinse thoroughly each time you use it to avoid unintended colouration.

How to Use Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Choose the right purple shampoo

Opt for a purple shampoo specifically formulated for red hair, labelled as suitable for red or copper tones. These products are tailored to meet the unique needs of redheads. 

To ensure effectiveness, leverage customer reviews online to gauge the product’s performance in reducing brassiness and enhancing vibrancy. 

Look for recurring themes in reviews to assess reliability. Consider ingredients, scent, and consistency to make an informed decision. 

Wet hair thoroughly

Wet your hair with lukewarm water before applying purple shampoo. Ensure complete saturation from roots to ends to facilitate even product distribution. Massage the water into your scalp to ensure thorough dampening, especially focusing on areas prone to brassiness. 

Avoid hot water, which can strip natural oils, and cold water, which may not effectively open the hair cuticle. 

Dispense and lather shampoo

Begin by dispensing a small amount of purple shampoo into your palm to cover your scalp and hair without excess. Lather the shampoo between your hands to ensure even distribution. Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp and hair using circular motions.

Concentrate on the roots and hairline for targeted application. Rememebr to avoid vigorous scrubbing to prevent damage to the hair cuticle.

Leave on for the recommended time

Adhere to the recommended duration for optimal toning. Refer to the instructions on the bottle, typically advising 2 to 5 minutes. Exceeding this timeframe risks over-toning, resulting in an undesirable ashy or purple tint. To prevent this, use a timer or monitor time carefully.

Rinse  and follow with a conditioner

After the recommended time has elapsed, thoroughly rinse the purple shampoo out of your hair with lukewarm water. Ensure that all traces of shampoo are removed to prevent staining or over-toning. 

Following the rinse, pamper your locks with a nourishing conditioner tailored for colour-treated hair. This step replenishes moisture and enhances the silkiness of your hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and beautifully vibrant.

Pat hair dry

Gently pat the hair with a soft towel to remove excess water. Avoid vigorous rubbing to prevent frizz and damage, especially in delicate red hair. Use a blotting motion, starting at the roots and working towards the ends. 

Consider using a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt for added gentleness. Such a gentle approach preserves red hair’s integrity, keeping it smooth, shiny, and frizz-free.

How to Choose the Right Purple Shampoo for Red Hair

Pigment intensity

For red hair, a moderately pigmented shampoo is often sufficient to neutralize unwanted brassiness without overtly tinting the hair purple. Too strong pigment may result in an unnatural hue, while too weak may not effectively counteract brassiness.

Formulation and ingredients

Examine the formulation and ingredients list of the shampoo. Opt for sulphate-free formulas to prevent stripping the hair of natural oils, which can lead to dryness. To maintain hair health, look for moisturizing and nourishing ingredients like argan oil or keratin.

Hair type and condition

If you have dry or damaged hair, select a shampoo with added conditioning properties to prevent further moisture loss. Conversely, those with oily hair may benefit from a clarifying formula to remove excess buildup.

Brand reputation and reviews

Research the reputation of the brand and read reviews from other users to gauge the shampoo’s effectiveness. Look for testimonials specifically from redheads to ensure the product performs well on similar hair types and concerns.

Price and value

Assess the price point of the shampoo to its size and efficacy. While some premium brands may offer higher-quality formulations, budget-friendly options are also available that deliver satisfactory results. Consider your budget and the value provided by the product.

Might be interested: How to prepare hair for bleaching.

Substitutes for Purple Shampoo on Red Hair

Blue: Formulated with blue pigments, it effectively neutralizes orange and brassy tones commonly found in red hair, enhancing its richness and vibrancy.

Green: Containing green pigments, it is ideal for counteracting any unwanted red or copper undertones, providing a balanced and natural appearance to red hair.

Pink: While less conventional, it can add warmth and dimension to certain shades of red hair, contributing to a flattering and harmonious colour palette.


Can I use purple shampoo on copper hair?

Yes, purple shampoo can be used on copper hair to neutralize unwanted brassy or orange tones. While purple shampoo is typically associated with toning blonde or lightened hair, its violet pigments can also help balance out warm tones in copper hair. 

Can purple shampoo tone down red hair?

Yes, purple shampoo can help tone down red hair. Although it is primarily designed for toning blonde or lightened hair, its violet pigments can also counteract warm tones in red hair, resulting in a cooler and more balanced hue. However, the effectiveness of purple shampoo on red hair may vary depending on the intensity and shade of red. I

Will purple shampoo remove red tones from hair?

No. Purple shampoo is not specifically formulated to remove red tones from hair. It can help neutralize brassy or orange tones in red hair but may not completely eliminate the underlying red pigments. If you’re looking to remove red tones from your hair, consult a professional colorist who can recommend appropriate colour-correction techniques

Does green shampoo work on red hair?

Yes, green shampoo can neutralize red or copper undertones in red hair, like purple shampoo for blondes. As with any toning product, test the shampoo on a small section of hair and adjust the usage frequency based on your hair’s response to avoid over-toning or unintended colour shifts. 


Purple shampoo emerges as a surprising ally for redheads seeking to maintain the vibrancy and brilliance of their fiery locks. Its magical violet pigments work wonders, neutralizing unwanted brassiness and enhancing the natural richness of red hair. 

With each wash, redheads can indulge in a transformative experience. So, whether you’re a fiery redhead or curious about the wonders of purple shampoo, try the magic it brings. 

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