What Will Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair And How Does It Work?

Wondering what will purple shampoo do to red hair? Uncover the myths with this article and learn the right way to use this product in your hair care routine.

You may have heard of purple shampoo as a popular toner for blonde hair, but does it have the same effect on other hair colors? What will purple shampoo do to red hair when you’re fresh out from the dying session?

In this article, you will find the ultimate answers to these burning questions, along with a detailed guide on using purple shampoo at home.

What Exactly Is The Purpose Of Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo was originally made for neutralizing brassiness on blonde or bleach hair. Brassiness refers to unwanted warm tones that appear as the hair color starts to fade.

But how does purple shampoo work on blonde hair? The process is based on color theory.

The principle is when you mix two contrasting colors, they will cancel each other out. Purple neutralizes yellow because these colors have opposite positions on the color wheel.

Purple Neutralizes Yellow Based On The Color Wheel.
Purple Neutralizes Yellow Based On The Color Wheel.

The shampoo formula contains crushed purple or violet pigments, which seep into the cuticles to work on the yellow hues. As a result, the brassy strands will return to the cool blonde shade. This effect maintains vibrant hair color and reduces the number of touch-ups.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

In short, purple shampoo gives your hair a refreshing look without breaking the bank. Plus, the shampoo is applicable right at home to save time over driving to the salon.

See also: What does purple shampoo do to natural blonde hair?

Can You Use Purple Shampoo On Red Hair?

The answer is an absolute yes!

Purple shampoo removes brassiness on red hair the same way it does with blonde hair. The main difference is that brassiness for red hair appears as orange.

If you have red dye on bleach hair, some of the strands will have a yellow tone. When you have gone through 3 or 4 weeks after the dyeing session, you will notice brassy tones in between the red ones.

Since orange is in the same group as yellow, the purple pigments also neutralize this color. That’s the reason why purple shampoo can fix orange hair.

Brassy Strands Will Appear On Red Hair After A Few Weeks.
Brassy Strands Will Appear On Red Hair After A Few Weeks.

If that’s so, will purple shampoo get rid of red tones the same way it removes brassy colors?

No, the purple formula will not remove the red hues. In fact, green is the color that cancels red, so if you want to bleach red hair, green shampoo is the go-to option.

What Will Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair?

Get Rid Of Unwanted Orange Pieces

Before & After using Purple Shampoo for Orange Strands On Red Hair
Before & After Using Purple Shampoo for Orange Strands On Red Hair

As mentioned above, purple shampoo removes unwanted orange strands by following the color wheel principles.

When you’ve applied the shampoo on these brassy strands, the purple pigments counteract the orange tones to restore the awesome red hue without hurting your dyed red color.

Purple Shampoo Brings Back Your Red Shade.
Purple Shampoo Brings Back Your Red Shade.

Tone And Protect Red Hair From Fading

Can purple shampoo tone down red hair if the pigments can work together with the colored hair molecules?

It’s a definite yes to this question. The pigments in shampoo also support locking the colors afterward, so your hair will remain vibrant without enduring excessive chemicals from recoloring sessions.

Light Red Hair Before Using Purple Shampoo.
Light Red Hair Before Using Purple Shampoo.

As the purple pigments work with light red strands, they will tone down to a darker shade than the original color. After the first few usages, you will notice the violet tint spreading evenly on the red hair, restoring the beautiful appearance.

A Tint Of Violet Blends With Light Red Hair After Treatment.
A Tint Of Violet Blends With Light Red Hair After Treatment.

The purple shampoo has a strong formula, so it’s best to do a strand test to see how the hair dye reacts to the pigments. The action avoids your hair turning violet and getting an unnatural look.

Dark Red Hair Before Washing With Purple Shampoo.
Dark Red Hair Before Washing With Purple Shampoo.

Frequent usage of purple shampoos on neutral red hair can add a deep shade of burgundy. As for dark red shade, the final result is a complete hair recoloring that also covers the roots. Overall, purple shampoo doubles as a color toner on red hair before and after usage.

Dark Red Hair Has Even Color After A Few Washes.
Dark Red Hair Has Even Color After A Few Washes.

If you find yourself thinking, will purple shampoo lighten red hair, then the answer is no. The effect can only work on toning the color, not the other way around.

You can use purple shampoos on light red hair as an alternative color removal method. By combining the pigments with your hair care routine, the red hue will eventually return to your original hair color.

Keep Red Hair Conditioned And Vibrant

Will purple shampoo fade red hair after several washes? No, the effect is quite the opposite.

When you’re applying the shampoo, the purple pigments enter the cuticles and remain there after you’ve washed away the suds.

Once your hair is dry, these pigments create a protective barrier that locks the color in the cuticles. This effect boosts the vibrant color and helps it stay longer.

How To Use Purple Shampoo On Red Hair?

Step 1: Apply Shampoo

  • Start with pouring a sufficient amount of shampoo for your hair length on your hand, then lather it on wet hair.
  • Spread the shampoo on the ends and work your way to the scalp. By applying shampoo from the strands to the top, you will make sure the pigments are spread evenly.

A common mistake for beginners is using regular shampoo before the purple one. You will only need one washing session since purple shampoos wash your hair just the same as regular ones.

Step 2: Wait It Out

Using your fingertips, massage the scalp and wait for 2 minutes to let the purple pigments get into action.

If you have lots of brassy strands, leave the shampoo on for 4 minutes. The waiting time may change according to the product’s instructions.

Step 3: Apply Your Conditioner

  • After the pigments have settled in the cuticles, rinse with cool water.
  • Next, apply a conditioner to prevent breakage. A purple conditioner provides the same anti-brass effect as the shampoo.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about the formula changing the hair color. A clear, sulfate-free conditioner also works in preserving your red hue.

Aside from the color, the next factor to consider is the nourishing effect. A hydrating conditioner is most helpful in making hair look healthy.

One way to identify a good conditioner is by looking for antioxidants in the list of ingredients.

See also: Do You Need Both Purple Shampoo And Purple Conditioner?

Step 4: Wait Before Rinsing

Let the conditioner seep into the strands for 3 minutes. Then, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water.

The warm heat encourages the cuticles to close quicker than cold water. This process helps the pigments stay in the cuticles to protect the red hue.

Dry your hair with a clean, dry towel afterward.

Step 5: Repeat If Needed

If you still have brassy strands after the first wash, keep using the purple shampoo to neutralize these strands frequently.

The frequency depends on the type of purple shampoo you have. There are 2 varieties:

  • Daily shampoo

Use this shampoo instead of your regular one every day until you no longer see the orange tone. Change back to the regular shampoo afterward.

You may reapply daily purple shampoo whenever you notice brassy strands popping up in the future.

  • Treatment shampoo

As excess use of treatment shampoo can alter your hair color drastically, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The reapplication frequency varies from once or twice a week to once every 3 weeks.

When using treatment shampoo, maintain usage of regular shampoo in between washes. This practice ensures a balanced moisture level for healthy hair.

Read more: How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

What Should Consider When Using Purple Shampoo On Red Hair

  • When you’re washing red hair with purple shampoos, be careful with the waiting time since letting the formula stay too long will turn the hair into a blue tint. If you accidentally have blue hair locks, switch back to using your regular shampoo for the next two washes to remove it.
  • Once you’ve done washing your hair, use a dry, clean towel to absorb excess water. Then, wrap the towel around your shoulders to avoid staining your clothes. We’d recommend letting your hair air dry to preserve the color.

Other Color Shampoo To Use On Red Hair

While it’s best to avoid green shampoos, you still have alternative options to purple shampoos on red hair.

There are three redhead-friendly colors:

  • Red shampoo: This shampoo is most recommended for dark red hair because it enhances the red pigments and boosts vibrancy. Red shampoos also include a UV protection effect.
  • Pink shampoo: Pink supports red hues because they stand next to each other on the color wheel. The extra tint is best suited for light red hair. However, if you have highlights on red hair, consult your stylist before using this product since the shampoo may alter the highlights with pink hues.
  • Non-tinted shampoo (clear shampoo): The non-tinted formula is commonly found in color-treated hair shampoo. This product is ideal for all shades of red hair because it preserves vibrancy without leaving significant impacts on the shade.

See also: What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Purple Shampoo?


After reading this article, we hope the answers to the question of what purple shampoo will do to red hair can help you decide on using purple pigments in your hair care routine.

Overall, purple shampoos keep the red hue looking fresh and stay for a long time. Since you can use this shampoo right at home, you will save costs better than visiting the salon.

Pair the shampoo with a hydrating conditioner to nurture healthy hair for an effortlessly beautiful look.

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!

2 thoughts on “What Will Purple Shampoo Do To Red Hair And How Does It Work?

    1. Yes it does. As you can see in the color wheel, blue is opposite orange so that’s why blue shampoo can get rid of orange tones. Sometimes you even can use blue and purple shampoo alternately, depending on the shade of your hair.

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