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Choosing a Purple Shampoo

Maffew is a hairdresser, marketer, and dabbler in many things who enjoys sharing knowledge about the science of hair coloring and hair care.


Blonde hair looks great after you've dyed it, but the color can change fairly quickly due to fading, minerals in the water used to wash your hair, and other stressors that leave your shade looking brassy or dull. Bleach and dyes used to lighten your hair also leave it more porous, and this itself leads to faster fading.

In order to keep your hair looking as great as the day you dyed it, your blonde hair needs to be toned regularly, and a purple shampoo is one of the easiest ways to do this. They can even be used on natural blonde hair to enhance your color without damage.

Toned ash blonde hair

Toned ash blonde hair

How Does Purple Shampoo Work?

Your hair isn't a single color. In fact, many different tones blend together to give the final color that you can see and this is true whether your hair is dyed or natural.

Blonde hair has a yellow base tone underneath the visible shade which gives it the depth it needs to form a natural-looking shade. When your blonde dye begins to fade, this yellow base is revealed and your hair begins to turn brassy as a result.

Color Theory

Purple shampoo is able to counteract brassiness and correct yellow hair through a simple principle of color theory. In the same way that you can mix different colors when painting in order to form new shades, the colors in your hair blend and form a new shade too.

Violet is directly opposite to yellow on the color wheel, and colors that are opposite will neutralize each other when combined. Due to this effect, the violet pigment in purple shampoo corrects yellow hair by canceling out the appearance of the golden base color.

Depending on how strong the toning effect of the particular purple shampoo is, this neutralization can help you maintain anything from a beige blonde to a silver blonde.


How often you choose to use the product directly affects the amount of toning you get out of its use even before taking into account variations between individual products, so it's relatively easy to control how your hair color looks over time this way.

Being able to apply purple shampoo like a regular shampoo also means less time spent on maintenance. Nothing needs to change in your daily routine except to swap out your boring, plain shampoo for one packed with intense color in order to kick unwanted warm tones to the curb.

Unlike permanent or semi-permanent blonde toners, purple shampoos take up no extra time in your routine so they truly are great products to maintain your look without a lot of added effort involved.

Purple vs. Silver vs. Violet Shampoos

If you've already taken a look at some of the different toning shampoos you can choose from for your blonde hair maintenance needs, you've likely noticed the different naming conventions used.

There's definitely a lot of overlap here though, with a purple shampoo being any of these. Products that specifically use the words silver or violet are generally more distinct and targeted towards a particular use, though whether this is beneficial to you is dependent mainly on the style and shade you want to maintain.

Silver Shampoo

Silver shampoos contain purple pigment, but many are skewed more towards the blue side of things and this can be a pretty important distinction. More blue tone means better toning of really brassy or orange-looking hair, and these shampoos are often better at keeping darker shades of blonde toned adequately.

Violet Shampoo

Violet shampoo is, as the name suggests, purely violet in most cases, although some brands may include just a trace of blue tone too. This kind of shampoo isn't as effective on hair that is more golden or contains a lot of orange pigment but it is the absolute best product to use if you're dealing with yellow tones or want to maintain a really clean or neutral blonde.

Which to Choose

Feeling a bit bewildered about which type of shampoo would be best for you? Don't worry, all the products recommended in this article will include descriptions of what pigments are present, what kind of hair the product is best for, and how to use it for toning any particular look.

Use this guide as an easy way to choose the best purple shampoo for your own needs.

Platinum hair requires proper toning

Platinum hair requires proper toning

Toning Hair

Hair toning is crucial to keeping certain shades looking great over a longer period of time and blonde hair is one of the most notorious colors known for requiring a lot of toning. The process of toning works by adding a particular tone into your hair that will counteract an unwanted tone, and you can determine which color you need to use with the following chart.

This will generally factor into how you choose a good purple shampoo as well because you can narrow down your choice by understanding what tones you need, and how concentrated it has to be.



Yellow / gold


Golden copper




Red copper



The Best Purple Shampoos

Not all purple shampoos are equal. Like any hair product, some are simply better than the average shampoo, and some purple shampoos are practically useless. It is primarily the amount of pigment and the tonal attributes in a purple shampoo that dictate how effective it will be, as well as the shade of blonde it will tone your hair towards.

Luckily, there are a few tips you can use to determine how good a product might be before even trying it for yourself.

Open the Product If You Can

When you choose a purple shampoo, this is a situation where you really need to look at the product before you buy it. If possible, unscrew the lid and examine the consistency, color, and transparency.

Good purple shampoos will have a thicker consistency, a deep dark purple color, and they won't appear translucent. If you look for a dark, opaque product, you can be sure you're buying a purple shampoo that will work properly.

Incredible Products for Any Style

If all else fails, there are a number of quality purple shampoos that stand above all the rest. These shampoos will give you superior toning and can even replace stronger toners, meaning that you only have to use the purple shampoo in order to maintain your blonde hair.

Some of the best toning shampoos for a variety of different purposes include:

  • Fudge Violet Toning Shampoo
  • De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo
  • Matrix So Silver
  • Provoke Touch of Silver
  • Redken Color Extend Blondage
  • Jhirmack Silver Brightening Shampoo

Fudge Violet Toning Shampoo

Fudge's violet toning shampoo is a purple shampoo that is predominantly comprised of violet pigment. The shampoo is an intensely dark, thick, rich formula and can be used to tone even the brassiest hair. It is also a great shampoo for washing your hair as it has strong enough soaping action to clean your hair properly at the same time as toning it.

This purple shampoo has both its benefits and drawbacks of course, with the main benefit being that it is a good all-rounder shampoo that offers powerful toning. It will only work best on brassy hair that is showing mostly yellow tones, however, due to the strong violet pigment and lack of blue pigment.

If you have copper tones in your hair and want to tone them out, you will need a purple shampoo that contains some blue pigment as blue neutralizes orange. For toning yellow or golden hair, Fudge purple shampoo is simply one of the most effective toning shampoos available and will not let you down.

Even if your hair is a dark blonde, it can be toned easily with Fudge shampoo because of how strong the product is.

Fudge violet toning shampoo

Fudge violet toning shampoo

De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo

De Lorenzo's Nova Fusion Silver shampoo is another purple shampoo that is super powerful and can combat even the worst brassiness you might face. This shampoo contains a lot of plant and vegetable extracts that give it an extravagant upmarket fragrance, while also helping to nurture your hair's condition.

This is often another important factor in blonde hair care because the amount of lightening required can leave your hair dry or damaged. The difference between this purple shampoo and Fudge shampoo is that De Lorenzo shampoo contains blue tones to counteract any copper.

You can still use this shampoo on gold hair though, in which case it will tone your hair closer to a silver color because a trace of dominant blue tone in blonde hair will lead to the appearance of silver shades. If you're maintaining silver, pearl, or ash blonde hair, De Lorenzo shampoo is the one for you.

The De Lorenzo product needs to be used a little differently than most other purple shampoos. This shampoo is gentle and doesn't strip natural oils out as much as other shampoos because it is meant to be used after you've already shampooed your hair once with your regular shampoo. It can be used as your main shampoo on very dry or heavily damaged hair, however, and using it this way will help to keep your hair smoother and better hydrated.

If you have oily or very dirty hair, use your usual plain shampoo—or another purple shampoo—to clean your hair first, then rinse it out and use De Lorenzo silver shampoo to tone your hair.

De Lorenzo Nova Fusion silver shampoo

De Lorenzo Nova Fusion silver shampoo

Matrix Silver Shampoo

Matrix So Silver has a milder toning action than Fudge or De Lorenzo but is still stronger than your average purple shampoo. Not only does this purple shampoo clean your hair well, but it will also tone out brassiness even in darker hair. It is closer to Fudge in terms of tonal quality, with a higher volume of purple pigment to blue pigment.

Matrix silver shampoo will benefit you the most if your hair's brassiness is mostly due to golden tones, with a little copper peeking through, and this typically means it is great for medium blondes or those with darker blonde hair who don't want an overly ashy result. On lighter shades of blonde, it will produce sleek, silvery results and can even be used to great effect in grey hair to take away tinges of brassiness.

If your hair has a large amount of copper in it, you can expect better results from the De Lorenzo shampoo as it has more blue to combat copper, but this purple shampoo is great for maintaining a range of different blonde shades including warmer beige or golden blonde.

Matrix Total Results So Silver shampoo

Matrix Total Results So Silver shampoo

Provoke Touch of Silver

Provoke Touch of Silver shampoo contains both violet and a dash of blue pigment as the name suggests. For all intents and purposes, you can consider it a stronger version of Matrix So Silver, with a similar pigment ratio and similar toning effect.

Like the Matrix shampoo, this product can be used to effectively tone a wide variety of shades and it has the advantage of generally being less expensive than most other quality toning shampoos. It's also often available in supermarkets and drug stores, preventing the need for a trip to a specialty retailer.

Provoke toning shampoo is best used on any blonde hair color that is primarily showing yellow or golden tones, but where a little orange or copper tones may also be present as it will neutralize all of these unwanted tones very effectively. For darker hair with a lot of copper though, you'll need a stronger toner like the De Lorenzo shampoo to reduce it properly.

Provoke Touch of Silver toning shampoo

Provoke Touch of Silver toning shampoo

Redken Color Extend Blondage

Redken's hair care products are some of my absolute favorites to recommend for just about any purpose because of their quality and dependability. Their award-winning Blondage shampoo is no exception to this.

It's a relatively newer product compared to the other stalwart options listed here that have been around for years now, but it can certainly stand in the same crowd. Distinct from the other recommendations is the inclusion of a little citric acid in the product to help seal the hair, making it smoother, shinier, and less prone to color loss during washing.

Like some of the other shampoos in this list, Blondage is an intense, deep purple so that means it's ideal for keeping darker shades toned or getting that perfect ash result on lighter hair. It's not what you want to use on pale hair though unless you dilute it down a little with the plain Color Extend shampoo since it is so strongly-pigmented. It also isn't the right choice for maintaining white hair as the blue pigment will lead to a silver result instead.

Use it whenever you want strong toning on medium to dark blonde hair, a silver result on light blonde hair, or intense ash tones. If you're feeling daring, use it undiluted on pale hair for a muted indigo-purple result!

Redken Color Extend Blondage shampoo

Redken Color Extend Blondage shampoo

Jhirmack Silver Brightening Shampoo

Jhirmack is a special mention here because it is cheaper than most purple shampoos but gives good value for money without compromising on pigment quality. The tonal ratio and intensity of the shampoo are similar to Matrix, so it is best used to tone cooler blonde shades like pearl blonde and silver-blonde. It is also useful for maintaining natural or beige blondes however and has a great fragrance.

If you have a lighter shade of blonde hair without too much copper in it and need to work with a budget, this is a great shampoo to use and deserves a try thanks to its good all-rounder positives as a cleanser, toner, and inexpensive option.

Jhirmack Silver Brightening shampoo

Jhirmack Silver Brightening shampoo

Product Tips

Choosing the best purple shampoo for your needs is a significant step to maintaining beautiful blonde hair but there are a few additional tips that can help you not only improve the results you get but potentially save you product and money too.

  • Only wash your hair as often as you need to
  • Gently towel-dry your hair a little if you need extra toning
  • You can typically dilute down a shampoo that is too intense with a plain shampoo from the same product line
  • If your hair is over-toned, just swap out the toning shampoo for a few washes until it fades out

Hair color fades primarily from washing, so minimizing this as much as possible means less usage of your purple shampoo. It can also help reduce dryness and frizz too. Give this tip a miss if you have naturally oily hair though as it needs more frequent washing in general.

If your shampoo isn't strong enough, you can increase the amount of color deposit you get by towel-drying your hair gently before using it. Your hair should still be damp, but not dripping wet and this concentrates the color.

Conversely, for a shampoo that is too strong for whatever reason, swap it out from time to time as needed or mix a little of it with a plain shampoo from the same brand and product line in your hands before use to dilute it down.

  • How to Tone Blonde Hair
    Blonde hair looks its best when it's properly toned. Find out how to tone blonde hair and maintain your look...
  • How to Choose a Shampoo
    There's so many different shampoos that it makes it hard to choose one that will benefit your hair. Find out how to choose the best shampoo for you.
  • Caring for Dyed Hair
    Dyed hair needs specialized care to keep it looking and feeling its best. Find out how to care for dyed hair and maintain your new color.

You can use your purple shampoo in place of your regular shampoo, or you can use it only occasionally if you're getting a buildup of violet or silver-tone. How often you use your toning shampoo is completely up to you, but what is definite is that with one of these shampoos, your color will look great every day, not just the day you dye it.

Have a question about purple shampoo? Do you have a favorite shampoo or experience to share? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Maffew James


Thelma on May 22, 2017:

I have rose gold hair can I use purple shampoo

KenleyN on May 11, 2017:

I have what some would call dark sandy blonde hair. I'm hoping maybe to just warm it up a little and add some shine/pop to it. If it makes a difference, I'm a guy with short hair. What would you recommend?

Cowgirlchic on April 25, 2017:

I have a violet ash tone medium brown color. A very pretty color but would like it to maintain the color longer. What should I do?

Chris on February 18, 2017:

Thank you for this article I've been doing my own blonde foils for about 2 yrs now.. my dad is a barber stylist I grew up in his shop watching him cut & color all these lady's hair I ended up learning a lot.. but thanks for the toning chart & what colors tone what ..

Kathi Murray on January 20, 2017:

Any recommendations for natural silver/grey hair? Any products without dimethicone? Not a fan of that substance.

Fana on December 13, 2016:

Hi i wanted to ask which one should i use. I just colored my hair with balayage ash grey and it turns out to be ash grey and a little bit of yellow, i really love this color . Do you think which shampoo should i use to maintain this color? Thankyou.

Maffew James (author) on November 16, 2016:

Hi Krissy,

That's great that you've found a shampoo you're happy with. Everyone has hair that is individual to them and sometimes a little experimentation with different products is required to find what will work best.

Krissy on November 10, 2016:

Oh I meant to add that I am trying Unite Blonda Toning Shampoo and it seems to be helping. It is a deep purple.

Krissy on November 10, 2016:

Maffew, I want to thank you for your response and detailed answer above to my question. You are right, the 10V isn't quite enough so I will experiment with the other options you suggest, though I am looking at putting some blonder highlights in so it may work for that.

Stefanie on November 02, 2016:

Does the purple cover on the bottle come off or do you have to unscrew the cap?

CRISTI on August 17, 2016:

I've decided to try the De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo out. Thanks so much for the advice again!

Just curious - would the De Lorenzo's Cool Naturals be okay to use on blonde highlighted but with natural light brown hair (with some orange tones)? My natural hair colour is light brown/auburn and I would love to tone down the copper without ruining my ash blonde highlights. Would the De Lorenzo's Cool Naturals darken the highlights? Or would it just work with both colors, removing the orange/yellow pigments without an overall darkening effect?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Jessica,

The silver shampoo is your best bet. The highlights will be toned nicely whilst it's also strong enough to tone the brown. The cool naturals shampoo is generally going to be too strong for blonde hair, including highlights.



Monabear on August 05, 2016:

Hi I wondered about conditioning after shampooing with the purple shampoos. Is there a purple conditioner too that I must get? Or can I just use my regular conditioner? I like to use some strong cream to style my hair after the shampooing and conditioniong, will this be ok to continue afterwards after the process and I am at the maintenance level. I have a Mohawk hair style, so I need to use product to maintain my look. Thank You!

Katie on July 26, 2016:

Hi Maffew,

A few days ago I got balayage with olaplex and my hair is ash blond with silver/grey highlights. Because my natural hair is a medium brown, it's a little brassy closer to my roots, what do I do to neutralize this?

Amy on July 23, 2016:

Hi, I've used delorenzo before but have found fudge to have had a better effect at the least expense to drying out my hair. However that was when I was an ash blonde. I am now a grey/silver colour and fudge isn't seeming to keep up anymore! Can you recommend a silver shampoo or toner to intensify grey? Should I go back to delorenzo?

Wendy Xue on July 22, 2016:

Hi, what are your thoughts on the Schawarzkopf Bonacure Color Save Silver Shampoo?

Maffew James (author) on June 06, 2016:

Hi Krissy,

The difference between a silver shampoo and purple shampoo is largely arbitrary. You see, both generally contain mostly violet tone and some amount of blue tone, although shampoos marketed as silver shampoos often contain more blue tone than what you would consider to be a purple shampoo. Individual products vary a lot though and it's best to look at each product separately in terms of how dark the pigment is, and what tones are present.

Take into account the De Lorenzo; this is very blue and is best used when the hair is a darker shade of blonde, has orange tone present, or where you want a very ashy result from toning. It'd be best not to use it if you don't have orange tones or want that ashy colour though, or to use it sparingly. If your dark blonde hair is more golden or yellowish, the Fudge Violet shampoo is very effective because it is a straight violet tone. Joico Colour Endure Violet is also very good. For dark blonde hair that has a slight coppery tinge, but not strong enough to warrant use of the De Lorenzo (and an ash result isn't desired), a product like Matrix Silver or Provoke will work better because they are heavily pigmented and also contain blue tone, but not to the extent that the De Lorenzo does.

As for the Goldwell SoftColor 10V, this will work but the effect of such a light shade can be fairly mild because it's not highly pigmented. Products like this are best for maintaining white, silver, or lighter beige and natural shades of blonde. Dark blonde will benefit more from a level 8 or 9 dye. Like with some of the shampoos, the fact that the Goldwell 10V is primarily a violet tone means that it also won't be as effective for toning blonde hair that is showing orange or coppery tones because violet will only neutralise yellow.

Of course, all of this is just to help you figure out how strong you will need the product to be, and what sort of tones you're trying to correct. You can always try the Goldwell or your preferred shampoo and see how your hair reacts, even if the product you're using is weaker. You may prefer to keep some warmth, or you may find that your hair is porous and grabs the pigment strongly making a weaker product the right choice. Igora produces a similar mousse semi-permanent range to Goldwell's SoftColour, but they have 9.5-1 and 8.1 shades. Both are ash shades and thus also contain blue tone, with the 9.5-1 being slightly stronger than a level 10, and the 8 being a much stronger toner, but still ideal for use in dark blonde hair. These will have a stronger effect if the Goldwell isn't strong enough, or you need to eliminate orange tones, but are still just as easy to use.

Krissy on June 04, 2016:

I have dark blonde hair that has brassiness. Been thinking of getting Goldwell SoftColor in 10V. Do you think this will do much? I do like the SoftColor range as it is easy to use. Maybe there is a purple shampoo, but most seem to target lighter or platinum blondes. Now I'm reading here about De Lorenzo Silver. Maybe that's an option. What is the difference between silver shampoos and purple shampoos?

Tammy McFetridge on May 11, 2016:

Hi! I recently had a horrible experience @ my salon & need advice on what the best solution is to fix the botched hair job. My original hair color is a dark brown but had dyed it myself a cpl times in the past year using a medium brown 2 lighten it up a little. About 6 wks ago, i went to salon & wanted heavy blonde highlights. My stylist said she would rather do it in stages rather than all at once because she woould have 2 strip my hair & said she didn't want to do that. Said it would likely damage my hair. I agreed & was satisfied with the result, tho still wanted more & Blonder highlights. Went back 2 months later (just this last sat) & my stylist had a family emergency & wasn't there & they had me dwn with one of the other stylists who said the girl told her exactly what to do. She said she used a dif technique but result would b the same. She didn't use foils & just Covered my entire head of hair with bleach. It looks hideous & everytime i wash my hair it gets worse. Don't really know what color u would call it, but def not blonde or shade of blonde i wanted even as just highlights. It is An orangish chicken yellow color with copper tint heavy in some spots. Sorry for the long post but wanted 2 Inform you of all the stages that were involved. Please advise as to what would best fix my color. I still want heavy blonde highlights but more of a jennifer aniston blonde. TY so much for any advice u can give.

Kate on May 10, 2016:

Hi Maffew James, thank you so much for all of this information. Can you help me with something? I have a dark brown hair and just did an ombre. Wondering what would be the best bet for me? Thinking about the De Lorenzo but not sure if it should be the the silver or purple one?the colour of the ombre is towards caramel-ish. Thank you so much.!

Reta on May 08, 2016:

This was absolutely useful. . I am a person that does very good with makeup but i have a 0 experience with hair ..reading all this info was absolutely great and brought hope to me back coz i have been trying and trying to get silver hair and every time i get it done in so many different salons i end up with not liking the color or if i did like it a little bit it will statr to fade away once i wash it once .. my natural hair color is medium brown and it is not that dark so i just do not understand why i can have silver.. i have seen many people that are darker than me getting amazing results.. i have spent lots of money on salons just to get the color and i still don't so i decided to do it my self and eead and do rhe research in order to get it done my self .. thank you very very much i really liked this article please always post whatever you find about this all the new things.. good luck and thank you again..

Maffew James (author) on April 13, 2016:

Hi Mhairi,

If it's more of a dark blonde, you'll get better toning from a stronger shampoo like Fudge Violet or De Lorenzo Silver.

Mhairi on April 13, 2016:

Hi I've just had my hair highlighted and tinted. It's very dark almost brown now, I was always a golden blonde. What would u suggest!?

Maffew James (author) on February 22, 2016:

Hi Lacie,

Apologies for the very late reply. Do you think that there is some slight unevenness in the level, or is it more like the tone is simply grabbing onto certain areas more readily?

If it appears to be more of an issue with the toner grabbing to certain sections and it is otherwise very even, this could be due to application, or porosity. Shampoos, in particular, tend to be a very imprecise method of toning because they're just applied to hair and mixed in as thoroughly as possible by hand, leading to the potential for colour to grab where the shampoo is most concentrated, or applied first. If you use a shampoo with a stronger pigment and then dilute that down to the required tone with water before application, this might make it easier and quicker to work with and apply evenly during shampooing.

If your application is very good, it may simply be grabbing onto areas that are slightly more porous. It's possible for certain strands or sections of hair to be more porous following lightening because the hair may not all be the same strength and resistance and this becomes apparent when weaker sections suffer more damage and become more absorbent to pigment. In this situation it may be helpful to apply a protein treatment, let this absorb for 5 minutes, and then apply the shampoo on top of this because the protein will have an equalising effect on the porosity.

Maffew James (author) on September 05, 2015:

Hi Amy,

Apologies for the late reply. The green tinge is a result of using an ash dye that contains too much blue tone over yellow hair (blue plus yellow mixes to form green).

A violet shampoo can help to some extent because it will neutralise some of the yellow tone that is combining with the blue to form the green tinge. The result will be very ashy though because you're adding more cool tone. The best method is to wash it a few times with clarifying shampoo to try and remove much of the toner, than tone again using something that is more violet based to prevent the green tinge from returning.

Amy on August 27, 2015:

Hi, my stylist bleach and toned my hair to an ash blonde and I noticed there is a tint of green. Can purple shampoo fix this?

Maffew James (author) on July 05, 2015:

Hi Maddie,

De Lorenzo Silver is best for orange tones because it's more of a strong blue colour rather than violet, and very concentrated. If that's not strong enough, no blonde shampoo is likely to benefit the colour and you'd be better off toning it with semi-permanent or demi-permanent ash dye to get a stronger ash tone.

As for which shampoo to use when not using your toning shampoo, this can be anything really, as long as it does not provide additional tone if you're trying to prevent a buildup. If you're using a toning shampoo fairly regularly and your hair isn't getting too ashy from it, you can just continue to use that as your regular shampoo rather than alternating. Anything with protein can be helpful on blonde hair because it helps repair damage that has occurred through lightening.

Maddie on July 01, 2015:

Thoughts on the Aveda Blue Malva for toning blonde hair to an ash blonde? I just got it done but some of my hair is a little to orange looking (it isn't bad at all) I just want a very ashy looking blonde since my roots are a light ash-colored brown and I have kind of an ombre thing going on. Also, if I don't use this shampoo every day, what other shampoo/conditioner should I be using in between? Thanks!

Maffew James (author) on June 17, 2015:

Hi Shelby,

It can indeed. How white / silver it looks depends on how dark it is though. Hair lightened to a very pale yellow will tone to white, whereas darker shades tone to silver or greyish depending on how much pigment is left.

Shelby on June 16, 2015:

Hiii, I dyed my hair a very light ash blonde color. It's too yellow and I don't like it. Can purple shampoo help me to have a whiter, silver blonde? Please help me.!!!

Maffew James (author) on May 29, 2015:

Hi Keri,

I like the look of the Tressa range. It reminds me of De Lorenzo's shampoos which are equally as diverse in terms of the amount of colours available. I can't give any specific insight into how effective these shampoos are though as I haven't used them.

If you were to go with the violet shampoo in their line, I'd recommend looking at it first if possible and getting an idea of how dark the colour of the shampoo is. Most of the shampoos in this article are highly pigmented for maximum toning for very brassy hair, maintaining ashier or silver blonde colours, or for use on darker blonde hair. Different brands can vary so much though, so if you need a strong toner for whatever reason, your best bet is to look at the product if you've never used it before. Look for a deep opaque purple colour for a stronger product. If you have very light blonde hair or are intending on maintaining a more golden blonde shade though, you may prefer something weaker.

Actual colour can vary too. Take Fudge Violet for example. This is a pure violet tone, so it's perfect for eliminating yellow tones and it will avoid giving hair like this a blueish tinge or overly grey appearance. On orange tones though, it won't have much of an effect because orange and copper tones need to be neutralised with blue and this is where you would use a purple shampoo that contains some blue tone as well; eg, De Lorenzo Silver or Provoke. If you look at the colour of a shampoo and whether it looks a flat violet, or more of a blue-violet, this will give you an idea of what tones are present and whether it will work well for your own hair.

Be aware that some shampoos use a mix or red and blue to give them a purple colour. This is more common with cheaper products and brands that don't specialise in hair colour, blonde hair care, or toning. Whilst this form of mix can tone your hair, it's common to see a pinkish tinge because whilst it looks purple in the bottle, there are two separate dyes in the product contributing to this colour and they will be absorbed and washout out of your hair to different extents depending on whether your hair decides to grab onto more of either.

As for the Ion shampoo, I haven't personally used that either. Looking at the ingredients it's a pure violet tone and there aren't any other dyes in there that would give any untoward effects. It'd mostly come down to a matter of whether the pigment is dark enough for your hair needs, and whether a pure violet or more of a blue-violet tone is going to be better for you.

Lastly, look at how a shampoo washes your hair too. If it doesn't wash properly, there's no real benefit to the product as that is its primary purpose. Of course, if this is the case, you can always wash your hair first with a good shampoo and then use the toning shampoo only to add tone to your hair. All of the shampoos in the article are effective cleansers, with the exception of De Lorenzo Silver, which is actually designed to be used after shampooing your hair with a regular shampoo, or by itself on dry hair. Some brands are like this, in which case it will be stated on the product that it is for toning rather than cleansing.

Keri on May 28, 2015:

Wondering what you thought of the following shampoos.

Tressa Watercolors:

Ion Cool Blonde:


Maffew James (author) on May 05, 2015:

Hi Amymcferrin,

Purple shampoo won't help much with orange tones. The shampoos that have more of a blue tone like De Lorenzo Silver will have an effect, but this is very mild in brown hair because they're designed for blonde hair which is lighter.

Ideally, go over it with ash dye to neutralise the warmth. Semi-permanent or demi-permanent dyes will be best for this. You can use a permanent dye if desired, but I'd recommend either using salon dye and mixing it with 10 vol as the developer, or if using a box dye, pour out the developer that is supplied and put 10 vol into the shaker instead. Box dyes contain pre-selected developer which will often be 20 vol or 30 vol in lighter shades, but you only want to use 10 vol for toning to minimise damage and any lift of the natural pigment that is left in your hair.

Apply dark ash blonde if your hair is closer to light brown, or light ash brown if it's closer to medium brown. You use a shade slightly lighter because your hair has been bleached and will be more porous, meaning it will tend to absorb more colour. If you want it to be very ashy though, feel free to use the dye at level instead, which will have a much stronger effect on tone.

Amymcferrin on May 04, 2015:


I naturally have black Asian hair but I recently bleached it then went over it with an ashy brown hair dye professionally. It's been about 2 months since i dyed it an ashy brown but I've noticed that my hair has been turning an orange color. What should I use to make my hair more of an ashy brown rather than a orangey color

Maffew James (author) on April 27, 2015:

Hi Alyssa,

If your hair tends to appear ginger as you go blonder, there is a lot of orange tone leftover and this needs a bluer shampoo to counteract properly. The De Lorenzo shampoo is excellent for this as it's a heavier blue-violet colour and works really well on copper or orange tones, as well as darker blonde hair. Fudge won't tone as effectively because it's a purer violet tone and better for neutralising golden or yellow tones.

As for the Wella SP Silver, Wella makes very good shampoo products and the SP Silver is a good shampoo, but it's not as strong or blueish as De Lorenzo's Silver shampoo. You could use the Wella product though if you prefer that brand. If you don't want to completely get rid of all the warm tones it may even be better for you as the stronger toning of the De Lorenzo product is better for maintaining ash blonde shades.

Another alternative is to add ash tone to the dye you're using to help counteract more warmth during lightening. Eg, if you were using Wella Koleston 7/0 to lighten your hair, you can mix 7/1 into that to add more cool tone. You could also use Wella's Color Touch demi-permanent dyes to tone your hair for a longer period. They last a few weeks generally and will reduce the need for toning with pigmented shampoos.

Alyssa on April 27, 2015:


I have Asian hair but tend to dye it ash blond (a mix of a wella 6/7 base) and i get a nice brown, but it still has a warm tone to it. As I have Asian hair, it kicks out a lot of warmth, I want to go lighter but don't want any gingerish tones, which I tend to get as it gets lighter in the summer. Should I use the Fudge or De Lorenzo shampoo?

Also I was wandering if you had used Wella SP Silver Shampoo and would recommend it?

Thank you


Maffew James (author) on April 20, 2015:

Hi Stephanie,

All shampoo is drying because the product cleans hair through the use of surfactants. This emulsifies oil and strips it from your hair. The result is that your hair doesn't continue to build up oil, but it can feel dry. The use of conditioner adds a light coating of oils and other moisturising ingredients to correct this, which is why conditioner is used after shampooing. Shampoo cleans and strips out oil; conditioner lightly adds it back in.

When you look at individual hair though, some people have very oily or very dry hair, and this is where you tend to run into problems. The more damaged your hair is, the more prone it is to dryness as well. If your hair is too oily and you use a shampoo that isn't strong enough, it doesn't take out the oil and your hair feels unwashed still. If your hair is dry and you use a shampoo that is too strong, or use it too often, this has the opposite effect and causes it to become drier; unless conditioner is used.

Stephanie on April 20, 2015:

I used to use Matrix purple shampoo but it dries so much my hair that I stop using it. Now Im using naissant blond pearl treatment and I absolutely love this toner. It is a true bright purple and really helps to reduce any brassiness. I get my hair professionally colored and couldn't afford one of my touch ups, so I decided to use a box dye to try touch up some pieces myself. It wasn't a horrible mess, but there were a few pieces that I didn't leave the dye on long enough and I definitely had some brassy hair.

Maffew James (author) on April 18, 2015:

Hi Ruby,

No shampoo should cause hair loss. If your hair is snapping, this can be the result of damage from dyeing it blonde rather than actual hair loss, and can be distinguished by how the hair breaks mid-shaft rather than just falls out from the scalp. You can also notice hair molting more readily right after washing because hair that has naturally fallen out (Which is part of the growing process), will come loose during washing. Otherwise, suspect a possible allergy to one of the ingredients in the shampoo, or a medical condition.

As for expiration dates, shampoo and conditioner won't generally have one and most countries don't require the manufacturer to add one. The ingredients are fairly stable and won't break down quickly, nor should they break down into anything harmful, but you shouldn't keep it forever after opening. Once opened, bacteria can infiltrate the product and grow in it. It's the same sort of scenario for other beauty products like makeup and cleansers. Aim to use it within 12 months after opening.

Ruby on April 18, 2015:

Do any of these purple shampoo's cause hair loss? I've been using a blonde brilliance shampoo from Sally's & i noticed that a good amount of hair falls out after i use it. Kinda worried & wondering if i should just go back to dark hair, since i don't know if this is the case with all purple shampoo's or if it's the one I'm using. Also do they have expiration dates?

Maffew James (author) on March 27, 2015:

The Matrix and Provoke shampoos are blueish. Joico Colour Endure is also quite blue.

As for the cool naturals, that shampoo is designed for brown hair so it doesn't have the same effect. It's a lot stronger and would probably just cause your hair to look very greyish all over if you used it. It can be used on blonde hair if you want that sort of effect, but the silver is going to be better overall. If you ever feel like adding soft pink tones for a change though, the rosewood shampoo is very nice for this, and you can even dilute down the violet shampoo (Intense dark purple in colour and meant for toning burgundy and violet brown hair), to produce a pinky violet sort of result.

Brianna on March 27, 2015:

Okay. I'll order it then. In the meantime, is there a purple shampoo I can use that has a bit of blue pigment to it? I noticed in your reviews that matrix so silver does. Would that be a good option for me to try?

I also noticed on the de Lorenzo website that there are other fusion shampoos such as Cool Naturals. What would be the difference between purchasing that shampoo vs the silver?

Maffew James (author) on March 27, 2015:

Hi Brianna,

I don't think I've seen another shampoo that's quite as strong and exactly the same tone as the De Lorenzo silver. When you pump it out of the bottle it is this intense blue-violet colour and this is really good at the dark blonde level where you still tend to see some darker copper tones as blue is the correct colour for neutralising this.

If you can't get the De Lorenzo shampoo, look for products that are more blue in appearance. You also want it to look more opaque. If it's translucent or watery looking, it probably won't do much. If you can open the bottle and get a good look at the product, that will help. If you can't; it'd be better to skip over it because there are so many weak purple shampoos and sight is your best friend in this regard. It's also better to buy a purple shampoo that is too strong rather than one that is too weak as you can always dilute it down with plain shampoo to lighten it up if necessary but there's nothing you can do to intensify a product that is too light.

Brianna on March 27, 2015:

Hi Matthew,

I recently rehighlighted my hair & noticed that a few of my old highlighted strands have a tint of an orange/strawberry blonde tone to them where the others are exactly where I want them. I am naturally a dark blonde & want to stay in that cool yet warmth stage, yet not too warm where it appears brassy. I'm wanting to fix it as soon as possible but couldn't find the de Lorenzo shampoo anywhere other than online. Is there anything similar to it that would work just as good?

Maffew James (author) on February 21, 2015:

Hi Steph,

You won't get the darker silver colour because your hair is almost white. You see, when you use a purple shampoo, that violet tone and the yellow tone in your hair produce a neutral tone because of the way the two colours mix and cancel each other out. Whether this neutralisation looks grey, silver, or white depends on how much colour is in your hair. A perfect balance of violet and yellow is always neutral, and more violet just starts to turn purple.

If you darken to between a level 9 and 8, this should give you the depth you need to produce a silver result rather than white.

Steph on February 21, 2015:

Hi, my hair is currently a very pale blonde/white colour. I am trying to get it to a dark silver colour but im unsure of what to use to do this. In the past I achieved a silvery colour by using Silver Shampoo by Bleach London. Now when I use it, it makes my hair very purple instead of silver. I have also used Lee Stafford bleach blonde purple shampoo and provoke a touch of silver. Is there anything you could recommend to achieve the dark silver colour im wanting? Thanks :)

Maffew James (author) on January 30, 2015:

Hi Lizzi,

Fudge Violet shampoo is always a good bet. It has a strong toning effect and you could leave it in for longer to help give a violet hue to your hair. It won't help much for any copper tones, but with the colour you want and not knowing whether copper tones are present, it's a better fit overall.

lizzi on January 30, 2015:

i was going for a violet pale blonde shade but my hair is turning brassy... I am not sure which shampoo to use and not sure if the brassy tones are gold or copper? Any suggestions?

Maffew James (author) on January 11, 2015:

No problem Jessica :)

Jessica on January 10, 2015:

Thanks Maffew! :)

Maffew James (author) on January 09, 2015:

Hi Jessica,

The silver shampoo is your best bet. The highlights will be toned nicely whilst it's also strong enough to tone the brown. The cool naturals shampoo is generally going to be too strong for blonde hair, including highlights.

Jessica on January 09, 2015:

I've decided to try the De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo out. Thanks so much for the advice again!

Just curious - would the De Lorenzo's Cool Naturals be okay to use on blonde highlighted but with natural light brown hair (with some orange tones)? My natural hair colour is light brown/auburn and I would love to tone down the copper without ruining my ash blonde highlights. Would the De Lorenzo's Cool Naturals darken the highlights? Or would it just work with both colors, removing the orange/yellow pigments without an overall darkening effect?


Maffew James (author) on January 08, 2015:

Definitely try a violet-blue shampoo then, it will help deal with the copper tones better than a pure violet shampoo will.

The De Lorenzo Silver shampoo is phenomenal for this purpose and you'll get great results with it.

Jessica on January 07, 2015:

Thanks so much Maffew - really helpful!

I've never tried a violet-blue shampoo but wouldn't be opposed to. I do have a lot of copper/orange tones in my hair that I don't like so I'm leaning towards the De Lorenzo Silver shampoo as it seems like its the most powerful. I'll keep the Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes shampoo in mind as well as a good purple shampoo.

Thanks again!

Maffew James (author) on January 07, 2015:

Hi Jessica,

The Joico shampoo is similar to the Matrix shampoo in terms of colour, but slightly stronger. Provoke Touch of Silver is stronger than both of them.

However, these three shampoos are a violet-blue tone rather than pure violet like Fudge, so the colour result isn't exactly the same. They give more of a silver result and are really good for blonde hair that has copper tones. The De Lorenzo Silver shampoo is the most powerful toning shampoo you'll encounter in this tonal category.

Apart from that, you could try Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes shampoo. This is a pure violet tone like Fudge, and highly pigmented. It's slightly weaker than Fudge, but if you want similar toning and don't want to use a violet-blue shampoo, this is the next best thing.

Jessica on January 04, 2015:

How do you find Joico Color Endure Violet Shampoo in terms of toning action? Would you recommend it over Matrix? I've used Fudge Violet Toning Shampoo before and loved it but I can't find it here in Canada. I'm looking for a highly pigmented purple shampoo. Thanks!

Maffew James (author) on January 03, 2015:

Hi Kayla,

Is your hair blonde? Many of the shampoos I've listed here are strong enough to effectively tone dark blonde hair, and even light brown hair. They are designed for blonde hair though, and if your hair is darker, they begin to lose their effect as a more concentrated colour is required to elicit a change in darker hair.

If your hair is blonde, the De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo is the best product for dealing with coppery tones as it contains a combination of violet and blue tone. The blue is what is necessary to correct orange. Just like violet cancels out yellow, blue cancels out the orange that is causing your hair to look coppery.

If your hair is brown, you can still use the De Lorenzo Silver Shampoo to tone down the copper. It will have less of an effect though. It's powerful enough to produce some toning, but it may be better to try De Lorenzo's Cool Naturals shampoo instead. Not many other brands make a shampoo like this that can be used to tone brown hair.

Apart from that, you can tone it with a blue-based ash dye to correct the warmth. I'd recommend using an ash that is one shade lighter than your current colour for toning.

Kayla Howard on January 01, 2015:

Hi, my hair has a coppery red tone to it and i would love it if i could tone it down. What shampoo do you recommend?

forgetmenever on October 30, 2014:

Thank you Maffew!!

Maffew James (author) on October 30, 2014:

Hi forgetmenever,

De Lorenzo Violet shampoo, without a doubt, is the absolute best of its kind. This isn't a 'blonde shampoo' like the ones on this page; it's a deep, intense purple colour, and actually designed to be used to maintain purple hair, so it's very strong. I like to use it to add violet tone to red hair colour and it works very well for that purpose. You only need a small amount and can even mix it with De Lorenzo's Fire Red shampoo to maintain and intensify your red as well.

If you'd like to have a look at it, there's a link to the product on Amazon at the end of my 'how to dye your hair purple' article:

forgetmenever on October 30, 2014:

This is a very helpful article, but I have a question. I had my hair dyed a true red with some purple color added to it to cool it down (I have a cool skin tone so most reds make me turn yellow as they are too warm). The result was a Beautiful bright cool red, that is still just a touch too warm for my skin. It was recommended to use a purple shampoo to cool the red even more. Which product would be best to cool the red down and remove warm tones while still keep the actual red color?

Maffew James (author) on October 04, 2014:

Hi Elise,

Because that section wasn't in contact with the bleach as long as the rest, it ended up darker than the rest of your highlights. You can tone it with ash, which will eliminate the copper, but it will still look darker. If you want it to be the exact same colour as the other highlights you will need to lighten it a little more. To do this you would have to extract out each strand with the tail of a sectioning comb, then foil it again. If that's what you want to do, I'd be happy to explain how to do it in more depth.

Elise_M on October 03, 2014:

This is a great article! I do have a question though. I had my hair highlighted two days ago and the blonde looks great almost everywhere she always does an excellent job almost but this time right in the front(which was the last section she applied the bleach to) the highlights aren't the same color as the rest they are darker more goldish and a few pieces look more Copper.. I can't be sure. It normally doesn't bother me but when I part my hair like I normally where it you can see the off colored highlights and when I wear in a Ponytail you can also see it.. I don't have the time to go back and I didn't notice it until I got home from the salon or I know she would have helped me but what can I do or use to fix this like I said I just had it done the other day and I haven't washed it yet. Any help at all would be appreciated greatly.