A Top Colorist on How to Use Purple Shampoo for Gray Hair

Anyone with unwanted yellow undertones can use a purple shampoo, and just like blondes and platinums, those with silver highlights can usually go yellow. “Grey hair grabs what’s in the air, so it can turn yellow very quickly,” Brown notes in an episode of Clean Beauty School, because you lose protective layers on strands once follicles produce less. melanin and sebum.

So just like someone who is lightening their hair might reach for a purple shampoo to correct brassy and yellow undertones, you can use the same trick to enhance your shiny, gorgeous grays. “It really gives her that luminescent vibe, it’s so uplifting,” adds Brown, noting that she uses Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo. (But you can browse all of our favorite options here, if you’re curious.)

If you’re new to the purple shampoo game, know that you can’t expect to use it like your traditional cleanser; for example, you need to let the product marinate on your strands a little longer than normal. Feel free to follow our detailed guide here.

As for the frequency of use? Sorry to say, there is no specific schedule to follow. Everyone’s hair is different, but we recommend using it once a week or every two weeks and then growing from there until you find your own cadence. Just be aware that it’s possible to overdo it, especially if you have high porosity hair, which results in a (temporary!) purple tint. “When you start using purple shampoos, you’ll know very quickly when it’s too much,” adds Brown. But don’t worry too much if you’ve dyed your hair lilac — Brown says that after about two washes, all the extra pigment should fade and you’ll be left with a beautifully fresh shade.

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