Can You Really Use Purple Shampoo On Red Hair?

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Red hair is a forever color that’s always on trend. But it’s notorious for fading quickly, which can leave you with a dull, lifeless, or even brassy color.

That’s why many people turn to purple shampoo to keep their red hair looking fresh and vibrant.

But can you really use purple shampoo on red hair? Here’s everything you need to know!

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Can you use purple shampoo on red hair?

Yes, you sure can. Purple shampoo can be used on red hair to tone down any orange or copper tones.

Purple shampoo is typically used on blonde hair to neutralize any unwanted yellow or brassy tones, leaving you with a beautiful, cool-toned color.

The good news is that purple shampoo isn’t exclusive to just blonde hair!

If you have a cool-toned red hair color, such as a deep auburn or burgundy, then you can definitely use purple shampoo.

It will help to neutralize any unwanted orange or copper tones and give you a cooler, more even-toned red color.

If you have a warmer red hair color, such as a strawberry blonde or copper, or red hair with highlights, be wary.

You might be better off with a red shampoo as the cool tones of purple could cancel or darken your color.

Purple shampoo on red hair before and after.

What is purple shampoo?

Purple shampoo is a special type of toning shampoo that contains a blue or purple pigment.

The pigment counteracts those unwanted warm yellow or orange brassy tones in blonde, gray, or even white hair.

It works to neutralize the icky tones to restore your hair’s cool ashy or silver tones.

Think of it like a color-correction filter for your hair!

Not only do purple shampoos neutralize brassiness, but the best ones help to nourish and hydrate your hair too.

How does purple shampoo work?

While it may seem counterintuitive to add purple to blonde hair, it all comes down to the principles of color theory and the hair color wheel.

Opposite colors on the wheel correct each other and balance out unwanted tones in your hair.

You see, purple and yellow are opposite colors on the hair color wheel.

So when purple shampoo is applied to hair, it neutralizes any unwanted yellow pigments, leaving you with a brighter, fresher look. 

hair color wheel infographic

Why use purple shampoo on red hair?

But what does this have to do with red hair? After all, red hair already has warm tones, not cool tones.

The answer is that purple shampoo can still be useful for red hair – but not in the same way it is for blonde hair.

Instead of neutralizing warm tones, purple shampoo can actually enhance rich red or auburn tones, making them look brighter and more vibrant.

Of course, the effect will depend on the specific shade of red you have.

Some reds can turn pink, while others can become more of a coppery or golden hue.

A good rule of thumb is to try a small amount of purple shampoo first, and see how your hair reacts.

5 reasons to use purple shampoo on red hair

If you’re a ravishing redhead, here are five reasons why you should be using purple shampoo on your hair.

#1. To Cancel Yellow or Orange Tones

If you dye your hair red, you know the struggle of trying to avoid those unwanted brassy tones.

Red hair tends to fade quickly, leaving behind yellow or orange tones that make you look washed out and flat.

Purple shampoo helps combat this by canceling out those unwanted tones and balancing out the color of your hair.

#2. Tone Down Red Hair Color That’s Too Bright

Are you feeling like your hair color is too intense? Maybe you’re not feeling the fiery red you initially fell in love with?

Purple shampoo can tone down the bright color of your hair to a more subtle, natural-looking hue.

It’s a super cost-effective way to save you from having to go back to your colorist at the salon and spend your hard-earned money on color correction!

#3. Restore Vibrancy

Using purple shampoo on your red hair is a great way to enhance the vibrancy of your color.

This is especially useful if you’re in between salon visits and are looking to refresh your red strands.

Purple shampoo adds shine and depth to hair, giving it a healthy, glossy look.

#4. Even Out Hair Dye Color

If your dyed red hair came out a little patchy, purple shampoo can help even out your color.

By giving it an all-over wash and hint of color, purple shampoo can balance out patchy tones and make the coverage appear more even.

#5. Add Depth to Dark Hair

Purple shampoo is particularly useful for those with dark red hair shades like black cherry or merlot.

It adds a subtle purple hue to the hair, giving it richness and depth.

This is perfect for those who want to add dimension to their hair without resorting to drastic measures like highlights or lowlights.

How to use purple shampoo on red hair.

If you do decide to use purple shampoo on your red hair, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, don’t overdo it – you don’t want to end up with purple or blue hair!
  • To get the best results, use it once a week.  
  • Simply wet your hair and work the shampoo in thoroughly, focusing on the areas that need the most toning.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it out with cool water.

If your red hair is particularly vivid and bold, you may not need to use purple shampoo every time you wash your hair.

Be sure to choose a high-quality purple shampoo that is specifically formulated for color-treated hair.

Look for one that is gentle, sulfate-free, and contains nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil or keratin.

Another option for enhancing red hair is to use a red-enhancing or color-depositing shampoo.

These shampoos contain red or copper pigments that can intensify the warmth and richness of your red hair.

Again, it’s important to choose a high-quality product that is safe for color-treated hair, and to use it sparingly to avoid overdoing it!

Watch and learn: How to use purple shampoo on red hair

Here’s a great video that shows you how to use purple shampoo and the effects of it on red hair, step-by-step.

YouTube video

Best purple shampoos for red hair.

Here are our top picks for the best purple shampoos for red hair, you can read more about each one in our best purple shampoo reviews.

Best purple shampoos for red hair at a glance.

ShampooLooks likeBest forBuy it now
Bold Uniq Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair. BOLD UNIQ Purple Shampoo for Blonde Hair - Toning Shampoo for Blonde, Platinum, Bleached, Grey, Ash, and Silver Hair - Eliminates Brassy, Yellow Tones - Vegan, Paraben & Sulphate Free - 8 Fl Oz
Keeping bright red hair cool.
Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo Redken Purple Shampoo, With Citric Acid and Vi Violet Pigment, Hair Toner, Color Depositing Formula, For Blonde & Treated Hair, Neutralizes Brassy Tones, Extend Blondage, 10.1 fl.oz./300ml
Darker redheads.
Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Shampoo. Pureology Strength Cure Blonde Purple Conditioner for Blonde & Lightened Color-Treated Hair, 9 Fl Oz
Bringing red hair back to life.
Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet. Kerastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet 8.5 oz
Happier and healthier cool red hair.
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Violet Crush Tone Correcting Purple Shampoo. John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone-Correcting, DUO set Shampoo + Conditioner, 8.45 Ounce, 1 each
Refreshed red on a budget.
Fudge Professional Purple Toning Shampoo. HATOLDLIY Fudge Clean Blonde Violet-Toning Shampoo 8.4 oz, Black, (100104033)
Frequent use.
TIGI Bed Head, Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo. TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo, 13.5 Ounce
Less brassiness, more softness.

How to care for red hair.

Redheads are unique and stunning, but having red hair comes with its own set of challenges.

From fade to frizz to brassiness, redheads know the struggle of maintaining vibrant and healthy hair.

But fret not, because with proper care and attention, your fiery locks can shine brighter than ever before.

Choose the Right Products

One of the most important things you can do for your red hair is to use the right products.

Look for shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for color-treated hair, and avoid sulfate-based products that can strip your locks of their natural oils.

For added moisture and protection, consider using a hair mask once a week.

Bonus tip: to keep your hair from fading, avoid hot water when washing and rinse with cool water instead.

Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Sun exposure can cause red hair to not only fade, but also turn brassy or even orange.

Protect your locks from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing a hat, applying a heat protectant spray, or using a leave-in conditioner with SPF.

You can also use a hair oil or serum with UV filters for extra protection.

Combat Frizz with Moisture

Red hair tends to be drier than other hair colors, which can lead to split ends and flyaways.

Combat this by adding moisture to your routine.

Try using a hydrating hair oil or serum, or a leave-in conditioner that contains shea butter or argan oil.

Another trick is to use a microfiber towel or t-shirt to dry your hair instead of a rough towel, which can cause friction and additional frizz.

Minimize Heat Damage

Heat styling tools can cause a lot of damage to your hair, especially if you’re using them regularly.

To minimize damage, try to limit your use of heat styling tools like curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers.

When you do use them, make sure to use a heat protectant spray, and try not to use high heat settings.

It may sound super luxurious, but silk or satin pillowcases are the best at smoothing hair and reducing breakage.

Embrace Your Natural Color

Finally, the best way to care for red hair is to embrace your natural color.

Red hair is unique and beautiful, and taking care of it properly can help it shine even brighter.

Experiment with different hairstyles, try out braids and updos, and play around with different hair accessories.

Embrace your hair’s natural texture and color, and let it inspire confidence and awe wherever you go.

Purple shampoo on red hair FAQs

Will purple shampoo ruin red dyed hair?

Purple shampoo won’t ruin red hair, no.

It’s actually a lifesaver for redheads. Its unique formula helps to neutralize any brassy, yellow tones in your hair, leaving your vibrant red looking fresher for longer.

Just be mindful of how often you’re using it, as overuse can lead to an overly cool tone.

Does purple shampoo make red hair more red?

While purple shampoo won’t necessarily make your strands more red, it will help neutralize any unwanted orange or yellow tones, leaving you with a brighter, more vivid hue.

If your hair has more of a cool, deep burgundy tone, using purple shampoo may actually make it appear a bit duller.

But hey, there’s no harm in giving it a try and seeing if you can unlock a new level of redheaded hotness!

What happens if you put purple over red hair?

Thinking about putting purple hair dye over red hair? Well, the hue you’ll end up with all depends on the base shade of red.

If it’s a lighter or brighter red, then adding purple dye can create a beautiful reddish-purple or magenta hue.

If you have a darker shade of red, the purple may only add a subtle tint or highlight.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment with different colors. Or head to your local salon to speak to a professional who can help you discover your new favorite look!

How do you tone down red hair that is too bright?

If your red locks are making a statement that’s a bit too loud for your liking, fear not – toning down red hair is totally doable.

Firstly, try a green shampoo or mix in a bit of blue or green dye with your shampoo or conditioner to neutralize the intensity of the red.

Another easy option is to dye your hair a darker shade of red, like burgundy or auburn, which can offer a more subtle, sophisticated look.

And if all else fails, consider adding some lowlights or highlights to break up the brightness and give your hair some much-needed dimension.

Parting words.

So now you know. If you have red hair, purple shampoo can be your new best friend!

From canceling out yellow and orange tones to adding depth to dark hair, there are so many reasons to try out this hair product.

The next time you’re looking to switch up your hair care routine, be sure to give purple shampoo a try!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.