The Best Shampoos for Purple Hair
Young or old, short or long, straight or coily, purple hair is a distinctive look seen all around the world. From misty purple lavender waves or dark, vibrant wine colored tresses, you know that if you go purple, you’re going to be catching people’s eyes.
There are a number of steps you can take to prolong the life of your lilac locks, from avoiding heat treatment and sulfate-containing shampoos to reducing the number of times you wash your hair. It’s up to you just how far you want to go to avoid having to dye your hair again in the near future.
Some methods will work better than others, and most depend on what type of dye job has been done. Usually people opt for one of two different looks: a misty, ethereal lavender look, or a dark and bold claret cut. While both of these require care, you’re going to have to really work at it if you want to keep a pastel amethyst ‘do in top condition.
Here are some of the best shampoos for purple hair available.
1. Blu Atlas Shampoo
Keeping your color starts the minute you walk out of the salon. You’re going to need to have a color-safe shampoo for your next wash, as well as a trusted conditioner and hair mask. A good shampoo for color-treated hair needs to be free of any harsh detergents or clarifiers that will remove the dye from your hair.
If you’ve got pale purple hair, it’s even more important to avoid any products that might speed up the dye removal process. Pastel shades don’t have as much pigment in them as darker purples, so there’s less dye to lose before your color starts to look washed out and gray.
Blu Atlas’s vegan, preservative-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, premium ingredients make it one of the best color-safe shampoos on the market. In Blu Atlas products, all ingredients are from natural origins such as plants, fruits, and minerals, so you can be sure that there’s nothing sneaking in that might rinse out your color—or worse, change it.
Their preferred coconut oil derived surfactant, cocamidopropyl betaine, is gentle enough to be used in baby shampoos and is perfect for loosening dirt and oil without stripping away color. Hydrolysed jojoba protein and jojoba oil repair damaged hair, helping lock in the color and prevent dyed-hair tangles. There’s also a dash of aloe vera juice to soothe any irritation on your scalp.
It’s very important that you replace the lost oils in your hair, even if it hasn’t been bleached. Hair dyes have to be able to penetrate deep into the hair strand to last, and that means stripping away any oils in the way. Some of the harsher chemicals in synthetic dyes can also damage the protein structure of the hair itself. That’s why a good color-safe shampoo should also contain hydrolysed protein to repair some of the damage.
2. Sachajuan Colour Protect Shampoo
You’ll see Sachajuan Colour Protect Shampoo recommended time and time again. This may be due to its use of cold water algae extract, which they poetically refer to as “Ocean Silk Technology.” Sachajuan claims this adds elasticity and moisture to color-treated hair. Tens of thousands of satisfied reviewers agree: This shampoo definitely does wonders for color-treated hair.
If you read the ingredients list, you’ll see this shampoo contains the dreaded sodium laureth sulfate, or SLS. SLS has a reputation for stripping natural oils and synthetic dye from both the hair and scalp, leaving it the oft cited enemy of colored hair. So why are we now seeing it in a shampoo acclaimed for its astonishing hydrating abilities?
Here’s the secret: SLS isn’t actually bad for your hair.
Okay, too much SLS is bad for your hair. It is a very effective detergent and will definitely strip all moisture from your hair if used incorrectly. However, Sachajuan combines SLS with a host of other, gentler surfactants. They aren’t relying on the power of SLS alone, which reduces the drying effect it can have on hair. The drying powers of SLS are balanced with hydrating extracts and oils to create a shampoo that effectively removes buildup, while still repairing color-treated hair and adding a beautiful shine.
Somehow, Sachajuan has managed to tame SLS. Perhaps it’s the magic of Ocean Silk Technology, or maybe it’s one of the synthetic additives present, but regardless, this color protect shampoo really is one of the best shampoos for purple hair out there.
3. Davines NOUNOU Shampoo
Davines NOUNOU shampoo is designed specifically to repair dry and damaged hair, utilizing tomato seed extract to provide highly nutritious proteins and oils to damaged, dry hair. This unusual additive is a superfood in disguise, containing a wealth of amino acids and other micronutrients to help repair broken bonds caused by chemical treatment.
NOUNOU also avoids harsher surfactants, sticking to the coconut derived alternatives known to be gentler on hair and skin. Although this shampoo will repair your hair and give it a new shine, we find that it isn’t particularly hydrating. It’s important to follow up with a hydrating conditioner to protect your hair (and its color) from degradation.
Both NOUNOU shampoo and conditioner primarily rely on cetearyl alcohol, a plant-based fatty alcohol, to give your hair a soft, smooth feel. Although oils are present to add additional benefits, you may want to try a different conditioner with a higher oil content if you have naturally dry hair.
If you tried NOUNOU in the past and found it gave you softer, shinier hair, but you also struggled with the awkward packaging, you’ll be glad to know that they’ve redesigned their line to be much more user friendly. The shampoo now comes in a traditional bottle, instead of a plastic tub, and the conditioner is in a screw-top container. Much easier to use with soapy hands!
4. Mielle Babassu Conditioning Shampoo
Mielle’s Babassu Conditioning Shampoo uses a variety of plant-based detergents and oils to restore shine and volume to dry hair. Specifically formulated for curly and coiled hair, Babassu Conditioning Shampoo delivers a hefty hit of hydrating compounds deep into hair strands. Those with thinner or oily hair might find this to be a bit too much moisture, but the majority of users discover it’s exactly what dry, color-treated hair needs.
Those of you who subscribe to the Curly Girl (CG) method of hair care will be pleased to know that this shampoo is CG approved. Mielle has used all-natural ingredients with no sulfates or silicones, so even if you’ve jumped off the bandwagon for long enough to dye your hair (and really, we don’t blame you), you can still get right back to caring for those curls.
5. Pureology Hydrate Sheer Liquid Shampoo
We prefer Pureology’s Hydrate Sheer over the traditional Hydrate due to the lack of silicones, which can cause buildup in hair over time. Although silicones do offer protective benefits, too many can cause a dull, dry shell to build up over each hair. This buildup gives your hair a rough look and feel, and can often only be removed by use of a clarifying shampoo.
While the silicones themselves don’t harm your hair, removing the buildup definitely does. Cleansers are one of the worst offenders for fading color, as they do exactly as their name suggests—cleanse the hair of impurities, including dye.
Both Hydrate and Hydrate Sheer are also “hydrating” shampoos that derive most of their benefit from repairing hair strands. Restoring damaged hair strands gives them a softer, polished feel, and also helps them hold on to moisture. This, along with the use of gentler detergents, assists your hair strands to replace lost oils over time.
6. Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
You can’t read any review of color-treated hair products without running into Olaplex’s No.4 shampoo and its counterpart, No.5 conditioner. No.4 has been on the market since 2018 and has remained a firm favorite of salons and personal shoppers alike. Its patented technology repairs color-treated hair and keeps that color vibrant for longer.
There was a brief panic over Olaplex in 2022 when the EU banned the use of the fragrance lilial (previously used in Olaplex No.3) due to adverse effects on fertility. Olaplex had already pre-emptively removed the fragrance months before the ban came into effect, so fans worldwide breathed a sigh of relief as all Olaplex products remained on the shelf.
However, this kind of concern is why many consumers are sticking with all-natural ingredient lists. Anyone who’s heard of deadly nightshade knows that poisons can be natural too, but we have the advantage of decades, centuries, or even millennia of using natural ingredients to pick up on any harmful side effects.
Lab-made chemicals don’t come with the same history of use, so we’re discovering some of the more obscure or long-term health effects for the first time. There’s also the terrifying reality that cosmetic products are not required to undergo any kind of safety testing before being put on the market in the US.
Olaplex puts a great deal of effort into keeping their products safe, with No.4 labeled as paraben-, phosphate-, DEA-, formaldehyde-, aldehyde-, and phthalate-free. It’s also important to note that none of the ingredients in No.4 are currently considered dangerous to humans when used as instructed on the bottle. For that reason, combined with the amazing effectiveness of their products, we’ll still save a place in our top 10 for Olaplex No.4.
7. Nature Lab Tokyo Repair Shampoo
If you’re feeling like you’d prefer an all-natural option, Nature Lab Tokyo’s Repair Shampoo both repairs damaged hair and replaces lost oils. The ingredients in this cruelty-free shampoo are derived from a variety of plants including bamboo, apple, grape, and the argan tree, utilizing the nutrient rich cell lysate ( juice) from leafy tissue and the hydrating oils of argan, mango, and cacao seeds.
While the nutrient rich mixture helps your hair follicles recover, hydrolysed keratin repairs damaged areas. Hydrolysed keratin is made up of very small bits of keratin, the same stuff that makes up your hair and fingernails. These tiny particles automatically fit into the gaps left by chemical and mechanical damage, repairing rough patches and giving hair back its shine.
8. Pureology Refresh and Go Dry Shampoo
Even if you use no shampoo at all, taking a shower still rinses out a little bit of color with every wash. It’s the water itself soaking into the hair strands, displacing a small amount of dye every time you get your hair wet.
This means if you’re going to really extend the life of your dye job, you’re going to want to skip the occasional hair wash. We’re not saying you should skip cleaning yourself, though! Just keep your hair dry under a shower cap, or enjoy a soak in the bathtub.
For your hair, dry shampoo can help put off a shampoo for a day or two, but not forever. However, if you usually wash your hair every day, skipping a day effectively doubles the length of time you can go without your color fading. For lilac and lavender hues, this is particularly important. Faded plum still looks purple; faded lilac looks gray.
To properly use a dry shampoo, you can’t just shake it over your head like a salt shaker. Dry shampoo needs to be evenly distributed to where it’s needed, not just on your parting. This means lifting up one to two inch thick sections of hair and applying a gentle dusting of dry shampoo at the roots of each section. This can be super awkward if you’re using a shaker, so you can either apply dry shampoo with a powder brush, or you can try out a spray version such as Purology’s Refresh and Go.
The main ingredient in Pureology’s Refresh and Go is rice starch, which soaks up excess grease. You’ll then want to brush any excess oil soaked starch out with either a fine comb or smoothing hairbrush. Done properly, you can skip a surprising number of washes this way. However, we don’t recommend applying this more than twice before rinsing it out, as it can leave a white residue if overused. Also, leaving greasy rice starch in your hair for a week is gross!
9. Keracolor Color + Clenditioner Purple
Is this cheating a little? Maybe! But extending the life of your dye job with, well, dye, will help keep things vibrant for longer.
Keracolor Color + Clenditioner is a three-in-one dye job, shampoo, and conditioner. Using this once a week can help top up the color of your hair, though it won’t be the same shade as you originally dyed it (unless you dyed it using Keracolor).
Those of you with pale amethyst hair will find this particularly useful, as there’s nothing that can stop dye from washing out over time, and keeping things at just the right level of purple can be a real challenge. You’ll want to dilute this three-in-one with your preferred shampoo and conditioner and only use the diluted Keracolor as required, otherwise the color can get dark quickly.
Also remember that this won’t bleach your roots for you, so if you bleached your hair to get just the right shade of purple, you’re still going to have dark roots. The purple isn’t very effective applied over lighter brown hair, and for darker brown and black hair, there won’t be any real difference.
10. Dizziak Hydration Wash
Another one for those of you rocking type 3 or 4 hair, Dizziak’s Hydration Wash effectively hydrates curls and coils without breaking the Curly Girl rules. Let’s face it, after dyeing your hair, it probably needs to be put on the CG routine.
CG-approved products are great for dyed hair due to the use of gentle cleansers, in this case derived from coconut and rapeseed oil. Dry hair is prone to frizz, and frizz is the enemy of curls, so GC products are often hydrating enough to help with color damaged hair. Dizziak’s Hydration Wash also contains hydrolysed quinoa protein to help repair damaged sections of hair and replenish lost proteins.
11. Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo
Nexxus Color Assure shampoo gently removes surface oils from your hair while moisturizing your scalp with a mixture of argan, almond, and coconut oil. It manages to strike that balance between oil-removing and oil-replacing, which is surprisingly difficult to nail.
This shampoo doesn’t use any harsh detergents or foaming agents, so it takes a bit to get it to lather up. Don’t worry, it will still work just as well without the bubbles! Work it through your hair and massage into your scalp before giving it a good rinse. If you have oily hair or use a lot of hair products, you’ll either want to do a second wash, or try a different shampoo.
Nexxus boasts about the orchid extract in this shampoo, but there’s very little evidence to support the effectiveness of orchid extract, or orchid “oil,” for smoothing hair or promoting hair growth. Instead, what makes this one of the best shampoos for purple hair is likely the combination of hydrolysed elastin and hydrolysed keratin, as well as a small amount of hydrolysed wheat protein.
Keratin we’ve already covered, and hydrolysed wheat protein works in much the same way. Elastin is another protein commonly found in the human body, where it adds elasticity to areas such as your skin, ligaments, and lungs. Like keratin, it sticks to itself, automatically filling in missing segments of protein. Keratin does this for the hair and elastin does this for the scalp, helping keep your skin healthy and soft.
Because both keratin and elastin like to stick together, too much protein application will cause them to build up into thick layers over your hair. This can leave your hair looking greasy and heavy, so don’t over do it on the protein-containing hair care products.
12. Briogeo Banana & Coconut Nourishing Superfood Shampoo
Briogeo has gone all in on the “healthy scalp, healthy hair” attitude with this shampoo. While having a healthy scalp won’t affect most of the hair you’ve already grown, it will help you grow healthy hair in the future, and healthier hair takes dye better.
You can consider Briogeo Superfoods Shampoo to be a preventative shampoo for colored hair, providing a cornucopia of nutrients for your scalp to help it produce stronger, thicker hair. While its gentle cleansing agents make it suitable for use on coloured hair, it’s the incredible mixture of banana, coconut, mango, pineapple, papaya, turmeric, basil, and other plant extracts that make this shampoo stand out from the rest.
This shampoo doesn’t contain any proteins to repair or silicones to protect, so it’s safe to use regularly without worrying about buildup. While it won’t repair damaged hair, it will help you grow healthier hair in the first place, and won’t wash your dye out.
13. Shu Uemura Yūbi Blonde Anti-Brass Shampoo
If you’ve been following hair trends on certain social media sites for the last few years, you’ve probably seen somebody empty a bottle of “purple” hair shampoo over their head in the hopes of turning their hair either purple or white. Spoiler: It doesn’t.
Using Shu Uemara’s Yūbi Blonde is not going to make your purple dye more purple, either. What this shampoo does best is remove brassy tones, which can mute the color of pale purple hair. Using a purple shampoo gives your existing dye job a better base to work on, as the purple dye stands out more on whiter hair than slightly yellow hair. The excess purple color in the shampoo washes right out, though some brands can stain your skin and scalp purple if heavily overused.
If you’re looking for a luxury shampoo to give your pale violet dye job a little more oomph, you may want to give Yūbi Blonde a try as part of a rotating hair routine. Overuse of any purple shampoo can cause damage to your hair, so make sure to use it in combination with a normal, synthetic dye free shampoo. If you have a darker purple dye job, this shampoo won’t do anything for your color, but it does smell and feel amazing.
14. OUAI Thick Hair Shampoo
OUAI’s Thick Hair shampoo won’t add more volume to thin hair, and the consistency is much like any other shampoo. Instead, it’s a shampoo designed to soak into thick hair more effectively and penetrate right to the core of each hair strand. This is particularly useful for those of us with type 3c or 4c hair, as it helps prevent frizzy flyaways.
Although expensive, OUAI is worth the money. Not only do you use less shampoo in each wash, but it also does an excellent job of hydrating and smoothing thick, coarse hair.
Our friend hydrolysed keratin fills in any pits or cracks, while a mixture of avocado oil and shea butter restore lost moisture. Hydrolysed oat protein can also be found in this shampoo, which helps form a protective layer on your scalp.
Like any product which forms protective layers, overuse can lead to buildup, causing this product to fail the CG test. However, this usually isn’t noticeable on thicker hair provided you’re giving your hair a thorough rinse in hot water after washing. Instead, a little extra weight can hold flyaway hairs down, making them less noticeable.
This shampoo also lathers very well, so if you’re looking for a bubbly, wonderfully scented luxury shampoo, this is worth a try.
There are plenty of actions you can take to prolong the life of your dye job until your roots need a touch-up. Not all of them are going to work for you, your hair, or your lifestyle. Some of the tips that might help you are:
- Have healthy hair before your hair is dyed. Use a silicone-free, deep-hydrating shampoo such as Blu Atlas Shampoo, Sachajuan Color Protect, Davines NOUNOU, Nature Lab Repair, Briogeo’s Superfoods, or Mielle Babassu to repair any previous damage done through chemical treatments.
- Use a repair and protect shampoo after your hair is dyed to restore any lost proteins. Good choices are Nexxus Color Repair, Ouai Thick, Dizziak Hydration Wash, Pureology Hydrate Sheer, and Olaplex No.4. Alternate this with your hydrating shampoo to prevent any buildup of silicone or proteins.
- Skip a wash where you can. This won’t be an option for everyone (Hi, those with dandruff! We feel you!), but dry shampoo such as Pureology Refresh can help you stretch things out for another day or two. Make sure to apply it in sections over your whole scalp, and don’t overdo it.
- For those of you with lighter purple hair, a purple shampoo such as Shu Uemara Yūbi Blonde can help improve the depth of color from your existing dye, but won’t actually make your hair more purple. Don’t use this very often, or you risk damaging your hair and losing color faster.
- If all else fails, occasionally use a three-in-one like Keracolor Purple, or make your own by adding a small amount of dye to your favorite two-in-one. It won’t be the same, but at least it’ll be purple.