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Blue vs. Purple Shampoo

If you have blonde, gray, or highlighted hair, you may have heard about blue and purple shampoos (you may even have one in your shower right now!) But do you know the difference between blue and purple shampoo, how they actually work, and who they’re for? Read on to learn the lowdown on all things blue vs. purple shampoo!

What are blue and purple shampoos?

When you lighten your hair (whether it be highlights or all-over color), your colorist will almost always use a toner after the bleach application. A toner is the reason you leave the salon with a bright blonde color instead of a yellow or orange tone.

After a few wash days, you may start to notice that your once bright blonde is now turning into a brassy or yellow shade—this is due to two main reasons. As you wash your hair, the toner will start to fade and eventually reveal the original brass or yellow shade that the bleach left behind. Also, when you lighten your hair, the hair strands become more porous which means they soak up water and products easier. Unfortunately, this also means that your hair strands soak up pollution in the air and minerals in hard water easily which can lead to a change in the tone of your blonde. This is where blue and purple shampoos come in.

Blue and purple shampoos are formulated with blue/purple pigments to counteract the yellow or orange shades in your hair. Because the strands are porous, the pigments are distributed into the hair to help bring that ashy, bright blonde shade back to the hair.

Blue vs. purple shampoo

But what’s the difference between blue and purple shampoos? To answer that, we have to take a look at the color wheel. On the color wheel, colors opposite of each other cancel each other out. This means that blue would cancel out orange or brassy colors and purple cancels out yellow.

If you lighten naturally dark hair, you’ll notice brassy shades start to peak through after a couple of wash days. If you lighten hair that’s light brown or dirty blonde, you’ll typically deal with yellow tones. What this means is that blue shampoo works best on people who bleach their naturally dark hair to help reduce orange tones and purple shampoo is for those who lighten their dirty blonde or light brown hair to counteract those yellow shades.

No-Poo Blue

Most purple and blue shampoos are traditional formulas with sulfates to build a lather and really provide a deep cleanse. Because of the sulfates, many purple and blue shampoos can be drying to the hair, especially for curls. So, what does this mean for a curly person? That’s where our No-Poo Blue comes in!

What makes No-Poo Blue so special is that like our traditional No-Poos, it doesn’t contain SLS/SLES sulfates, silicones, or parabens so you can feel confident that it’s cleansing while toning the brass shades in your hair without drying your strands out. No-Poo Blue can also be used by those dealing with brassy tones in their gray hair!

We recommend using No-Poo Blue every 2-3 washes. To use No-Poo Blue, saturate your hair and massage the cleanser into your scalp with your fingertips. Then, using your fingers, distribute the product on the lengths of your hair for even toning results. Leave No-Poo Blue in for 2-3 minutes and rinse thoroughly by scrubbing the product fully out of your scalp and hair. Follow with One Condition and you’re ready to style!

Have you tried a purple or blue cleanser yet? Thinking of giving No-Poo Blue a try? Let us know below!


Dermatologist Tested -


Sulfates Free


Silicone Free


Paraben Free