I have been colouring my hair blonde since my teens. (Which is an uncomfortably long period of time) And yet I’ve always struggled with the brassy/yellow tones in my hair making me look more like a scarecrow than a blonde bombshell.
I’ve always dreamed of the day that I finally go Platinum. Through family history research, I discovered I am (somewhat-distantly) related to Marilyn Monroe. Yes, the Platinum beauty we all know and love in Hollywood. So I feel like I’m going to have to go Platinum one day. Right?
Well, my sister-in-law – who also happens to own her own Hair Salon – is a total colour expert. Years ago, I remember telling her how much I hated the yellow in my hair. She simply said “just use purple shampoo.” I thought she had gone mad. Back then, I was so much more
boring conservative, so I simply moved on with my life, putting up with my golden locks.
As time passed on, and my hair sported more adventurous shades (You can read about my Pink-life crisis here) I revisited this idea of Purple Shampoo. I mean, I genuinely believed this shampoo was going to turn my hair purple.
I found this had lots of great reviews on Amazon, so I decided to do a little more research into the science behind the whole “purple shampoo = ash blonde hair” claims before clicking the “Buy Now” button.
I was surprised to read this statement on Redken’s website:
Purple shampoo is an absolute necessity for blondes to use in between hair coloring sessions as it easily helps keeps your blonde beautiful.
Well I guess I missed the memo? I’ve been having my hair coloured for years and my stylist (who is not my sister in law) never mentioned purple shampoo. I’m figuring this is also the case for a lot of women who dye their hair at home. WHO KNEW? So apparently Purple Shampoo is an absolute necessity to use between salon visits!
WHAT IS IT?
Redken put it super simply:
Purple shampoo is just that—a shampoo with purple pigments that helps to keep undertones at bay. Think of it as your at-home toner that helps to beat brass.
So, I guess it’s a normal shampoo with purple pigmentation that somehow mixes with the colour on your hair and tones it down?
Still a bit confused? Yeah, me too…
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I LOVE the explanation I found on getgoodhead.com:
Purple shampoo works by using the color purple to color-correct warm tones in blonde hair.
Their post even sports a super happy-looking colour wheel to get a visual on the science. So basically, purple and yellow are at opposite sides of the colour wheel, which apparently means they cancel each other out? Which kind of reminds me of Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter at a duel. Though I suppose nothing quite as exciting is going on in your hair follicles in the shower.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG?
Apparently, if you leave the shampoo on for too long, it can make your hair turn….purple. I KNEW it! So I’m not paranoid for thinking that putting a deep shade of purple shampoo over my golden hair will turn it a shade of violet! Also, there is a lot of hate on the web from people who have claimed it has ruined their hair. So um…that’s a bit concerning. Although from the reading I’ve done, it just appears you don’t leave it on too long.
Here we go. I ordered Fudge Clean Blonde Purple Shampoo, on Amazon.co.uk. As an Amazon Prime member, I got the product shipped and sitting on my doormat within 24hrs too. Which I think is an important part of buying this type of product. I bought it on a whim, I was in the mood to give it a go NOW. If I had to wait days or weeks, my adventurous mood will have passed and that tube of purple goo would sit unopened in my bathroom forever.
So, I stepped into the shower with excitement, rinsed my hair and opened the tube. Turns out, the packaging is REALLY hard to deal with when you have wet hands. So, if you decide to try this for yourself, unscrew the cap and peel back the foil before you get into the shower.
The liquid is THICK and DARK. It doesn’t really have a scent, not one that I noticed anyway. I put enough in my hands to fill the middle of my palm and smothered it all over my hair. Just like a shampoo. Then I stepped out of the shower and looked into the mirror to laugh like a chimpanzee. My hands were dyed purple. Whoops.
Anyway, I was loving the deep shade of purple on my hair. I felt like a Disney Villain. I figured if this shade was as stubborn on my hair as it was on my skin, I could pull this off. It’s almost Halloween after all.
So, I tried to find things to do to fill the time. (The instructions say to leave on your hair for up to 5 minutes.) So you know, I bent in awkward angles to avoid the water touching my hair while using body wash and dug out my razor to shave my legs. I sang “Don’t Stop me Now” and weighed myself. (It seems that 5 minutes is actually a really long period of time when your hair is purple.)
I rinsed my hair thoroughly and looked down to find a lot of purple bubbles and froth at my feet. I hoped the shampoo wasn’t going to stain my marble flooring. It didn’t, thankfully.
Immediately after my shower I searched for my hairdryer (My dog was sitting on it, what were the odds?) And I spent what felt like an eternity blow-drying my hair.
“Oooooh! Aaaaaaah! Wooooooooo!” You could hear me saying from the bathroom mirror. On the plus side, I couldn’t see any purple in my hair and it was so smooth and soft! I think my hair looks a little less brassy, but that’s up for debate!
Now it’s the next day and the morning sunlight is here to shed some “light” on the topic, (ha!) I think that YES, my hair is definitely brighter and less yellow! Woo hoo!
I think the finish is a little uneven. Next time, I would take more care that all the strands of hair were covered in the shampoo, rather than slap it on quick. I also think I’d try leaving it on for a little bit longer, you know, just to see if it does anything? (Part of me is wishing my hair does go purple)
Is it worth it? Totally! Why not? You’ve kind of got nothing (but brassy tones) to lose!
Could it go wrong? Well, yes…but hey, it’s hair! It’s not the end of the world, and I think it is the best time of the year to try this type of experiment. If it goes wrong, you could always just wear a winter hat or why not get your hair dyed a crazy shade just for the fun of it? Colour is so IN right now!
If you live in the UK and willing to travel, you need to visit Saffron at Safy B’s Salon and see what she can do for your hair. I’m booked in November with her and looking forward to having a more daring look. Watch this space!! Eeek!
In the meantime, I’m happy with my ashy blonde look. Yes, in some lights it does look like I’ve gone prematurely grey, but all that tells me is when I’m old, I’m totally going to rock the silver look.
P.S. None of the links in this post are affiliate links. 🙂
2 thoughts on “PURPLE SHAMPOO! What is it, and does it work?”
My Mum uses it on her grey hair that has a tendency to go yellow. It’s made a huge difference!!
Oooh interesting! Thanks for sharing Kathryn!