Is Purple Shampoo A Toner? Why You Must Know Their Differences 

Purple shampoo and toner are two types of products made with the same goal in mind. But is purple shampoo a toner? Find out what it really is and how it differs from toner. 

Bleaching and dying are supposed to be exciting experiences that give your hair a new look to make you appear fresh and beautiful. However, when color treatments are overdone, it can result in an undesired appearance and even damage your hair. 

That’s why purple shampoo and toner were created. However, when it comes to differentiating these products, many of us still wonder “is purple shampoo a toner” as their uses are quite similar. 

What is purple shampoo? How similar and different is it from a toner? When do you need purple shampoo? You will find all the answers in this post.

Using purple shampoo to neutralize brassy blonde hair
Using purple shampoo to neutralize brassy blonde hair

Is Purple Shampoo A Toner?

Yes, it is. Purple shampoo is a type of toning shampoo that contains crushed violet or purple pigments. It’s mainly used in neutralizing brassy, yellow hair tones after bleaching.

Why purple, you ask? On the color wheel, purple is opposite to yellow, it cancels out multiple shades of yellow. That’s why hairstylists use this color to neutralize yellow tones.  

A toner is a kind of product dispensing pigments to modify hair tones. It includes any product that modifies your hair tone like tinted shampoo, glosses, and conditioner. 

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

With that in mind, purple shampoo is considered a toner.

Purple shampoo is a type of toning shampoo
Purple shampoo is a type of toning shampoo

Can I Use Purple Shampoo Instead Of Toner?

Yes, but in some cases, they are not interchangeable. 

If you need immediate results and have dyed hair by yourself before, a toner is your go-to product. If your situation does not have to be fixed instantly, purple shampoo is the simpler choice. 

On the other hand, if you need immediate results but don’t have prior experience with hair coloring, opt for a toner but go to a hair stylist.

To understand why, let’s compare purple shampoo vs. purple toner.


What they fix

Purple shampoo and purple toner both fix blonde hair as well as other shades of yellow. The purple shampoo also helps with bleached hair or dark hair that has lightened sections of hair. 

Furthermore, their use is based on the same principle, using the color wheel to determine which cancels out which.


How long they last

Purple shampoo or purple toner, you can’t maintain the effect if you stop using them.

In the case of purple toner, your old hair color will come back after two to six weeks. Purple shampoo, on the other hand, will lose its impact after about five washes.  


How they work

While purple shampoo and toner are both used to neutralize hair tones, they work differently. 

As mentioned above, purple shampoo dispenses purple pigments on your hair to neutralize the orange or yellow tones. 

On the other hand, when purple toner is applied, its pigments permeate hair strands. This way, your hair actually absorbs the color pigments from the toner, producing a nicer shade of yellow for your hair.


To be short, toner works much faster and more efficiently. In fact, it works instantly, within five to fifteen minutes at most. 

The way toner works is like hair dye. You can see the result as soon as the process is finished.

Meanwhile, purple shampoo’s effect comes gradually as you wash your hair with it over and over again. With purple shampoo, you have to wash your hair four to five times to get the result that you get with toner in one use.

You also can not dye your hair with purple shampoo.

If you are preparing for a party or event and need quick solutions, use toner. Otherwise, purple shampoo can be a great option. 

Ease of use

Purple shampoo is much easier to use. 

To neutralize your hair color, you just need to wash your hair with purple shampoo. However, you need to leave it for a while in accordance with its instructions.

When using toner, however, you have to apply it to your hair like using a hair dye. If you don’t do it correctly, your hair may turn out blue or purple, which is also why toners are for those with experience in hair coloring.

See also:

How Often To Use Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo is not the same as regular shampoo, therefore, cannot replace it. 

You should use purple shampoo about once or twice a week as too frequent use of this product can lead to lilac hair color.

Further reading: Can You Use Purple Shampoo Everyday?


Is purple shampoo a toner? Yes, purple shampoo is considered a toner as it contains pigments to neutralize blonde hair color after bleaching. However, it can’t completely replace a toner due to different uses in practice.

Purple shampoo is easy to use and suitable for hair care at home. That said, you should avoid overusing it or your hair will get a new wrong color tone.

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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