Can You Use Purple Conditioner Without Purple Shampoo?

Maintaining a perfect blonde look requires effort. Over time, natural blonde hair can turn brassy or yellowish. That’s when you’d have to use a purple conditioner or a purple shampoo.

Also, people who aren’t naturally blonde but have dyed their hair need to use purple shampoos to avoid brassy undertones.

Many times, people ask if they can use purple conditioners without purple shampoo.

The short answer to this is “yes, you can.” There are times when applying conditioner to your hair without purple shampooing is just fine. But the long answer is it depends.

In this article, find out the detailed answer to your question.

How Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Works?

Purple shampoo and purple conditioners aren’t the regular shampoos and conditioners. 

Purple shampoo and conditioners are called “toners.” By definition, hair toners are those products that alter the tone of the hair by dispersing pigments.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

So they differ from regular shampoos and conditioners in that regard, which is meant to cleanse and nourish the hair. While purple hair products also do those things, they also focus on transforming your hair to a perfect blonde.

On the color wheel, you can see purple and yellow opposite each other. That means they can cancel each other out. So to reduce the brassy color in your hair you have to resort to products containing this purple molecule.

The contrast between purple and yellow on the color wheel.
The contrast between purple and yellow on the color wheel.

When you apply purple shampoo or purple conditioner to your hair, the purple pigments neutralize the dull yellow pigment and leave you with a flawless, shiny blonde.

Does Purple Conditioner Work In The Same Way As Purple Shampoo?

In general, purple shampoos work better and are more effective at dealing with the brass/yellow undertone than purple conditioner.

However, there are also some cases where you just need to use one of the two products above. Below we will analyze this issue in more detail.

You should be concerned with the surface charge of the hair. Most shampoos contain anionic compounds, which are negatively charged and range from slightly acidic to neutral. It will help reduce the negative charge of the hair.

Therefore, it also reduces the water-repellent properties of the hair. This makes it easier for nutrients and purple pigments to penetrate the hair shaft.

When it comes to purple conditioners, it contains cationic compounds. The hair fiber absorbs this compound very quickly and strongly. They coat the outside of the hair. That’s why your hair is so soft after applying conditioner.

But because they can’t penetrate the hair shaft, they are less effective at depositing purple pigments than purple shampoos.

If you have brassy color concentrated around the scalp of your hair, use purple shampoo.

The reason behind this is that you usually apply shampoo around the scalp area. So purple pigment will effectively neutralize brass when massaged and left for a few minutes.

But if the brass part is oriented mid-to-end, you may want to use a conditioner instead.

As opposed to shampoo, you apply conditioner all over your hair and throughout the length. So the purple pigment will have more time to settle on your hair and make it look healthier and whiter.

In terms of hair technique, people with curly, frizzy, or rooted hair should use a purple conditioner. These techniques feature sun-kiss-like styling, where the hair is white at the ends. So the conditioner works best for them.

Likewise, people who use traditional foil should use purple shampoos because they need to maintain a consistent shine across the entire hair, not just the ends.

The combination of purple shampoo and purple conditioner will also help neutralize the dull yellow of the hair faster. If you are not an expert, you should use them separately to easily control the color you want.

Purple Shampoo
Based on your hair needs, you can decide to use purple shampoo or purple conditioner.

So Can You Apply A Purple Conditioner Without Purple Shampoo?

As already mentioned, yes, you can. Apply the conditioner on your wet hair and wash it off. In such instances, you’re co-cleansing your hair – washing hair without shampoo. 

But co-washing has its disadvantages. For example, it may not cleanse your hair as effectively as shampoo. Therefore, dirt and oil may accumulate in the scalp, leading to associated problems.

In such cases, you may have to avoid the use (or overuse) of purple conditioner. It’s best to rinse the scalp with shampoo and follow it up with conditioner treatment.

It’s a fact that blonde hair has more pores than darker hair. Therefore, it accumulates more dust, chlorine, and other particles that contribute to blonde hair turning brassy.

Since a shampoo is meant for cleansing, it can remove the dirt and bring back the vibrancy. 

The answer depends on the strength of shampoo and conditioner. So you have to check the brassy level of your hair and use a product accordingly.

You Should Use Purple Conditioner in Combination with Purple Shampoo

As already mentioned, conditioners and shampoos are designed for different purposes.

For the best and fastest effect, it is recommended that you use a purple conditioner in combination with the purple shampoo.

After shampooing your hair, apply the conditioner evenly throughout the hair. This will make the hair both absorb the purple pigment inside and cover the purple pigment outside.

Using them together will get you better and faster results in repelling dullness.

You should leave the conditioner on your hair for about five to seven minutes. So your hair would soak in the pigments better and produce a lasting blonde look.


To conclude, you can use a purple conditioner without purple shampoo in certain cases. But it’s best to use them both simultaneously to get the desired results.

Treating your hair is a sensitive undertaking. So it’s best to seek expert advice. Talk with your hairstylist and attend follow-up meetings to decide how you should treat your blonde hair.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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