Purple Shampoo on Purple Hair – Does It Enhance or Fade Color?

Written by Shehnaz Shirazi

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purple shampoo on purple hair

Purple shampoo is a hair care product that deposits violet pigments onto the hair.

It can be classified into 2 distinct types:

  • Toning shampoo
  • Color depositing shampoo

Purple toning shampoo is primarily used to neutralize brassy yellow and orange tones in blonde, brown, silver, and white hair. A purple color depositing shampoo is used to increase the pigmentation of existing purple hair dye.

It can save time and money compared to having regular salon visits to touch up and freshen hair colors such as lavender, burgundy, lilac, amethyst, magenta, and many other purple hair color trends.

But can using purple shampoo on purple hair cause oversaturation and have the opposite effect of fading instead of enhancing?

The Effect of Purple Shampoo on Purple Hair

Purple shampoo deposits purple dye in the form of violet or ultraviolet pigments onto the hair. It can add depth to lighter shades of purple and darken darker shades of purple.

It’s important to note that purple shampoo is neither a semi-permanent hair dye nor a lightener. It is a 2-in-1 product designed to cleanse the hair and increase pigmentation. Unlike a hair dye product, the dye molecules from a purple shampoo are not designed to enter the hair fiber. The dye molecules sit on the hair’s cuticle layer to create a subtle, temporary color change.

Purple shampoo can enhance hair color tones with slight variations depending on the hair type and depth of color. However, it is best to sparingly use purple shampoo on purple hair because it does not replace regular shampoo.

Overusing purple shampoo can oversaturate the hair, creating one-dimensional flat color that lacks depth. Color pigment deposits may also create buildup on the hair strand if the hair is low porosity.

The best way to use purple shampoo on purple hair is to apply it to the ends where the texture is more porous, leading to faster color fade.

For lightened hair shades like lavender, lilac, or pastels that tend to fade faster, purple shampoo can enhance the tones and cool warm hues of brassiness.

Purple shampoo will darken the tone and reduce reflection and tonal variations for dark hair shades like eggplant and burgundy.

Will Purple Shampoo Fade Purple Hair Color?

Purple shampoo will not fade purple hair color if the product is sulfate-free and you use it as instructed. Sulfates are a type of ingredient commonly added to hair cleansing products and other cosmetics to provide cleansing function by acting as a detergent. Sulfates provide a shampoo’s lather and foaming properties, which helps remove dirt, debris, natural oils, styling products, and strip hair dyes.

To protect purple hair from fading, use a purple shampoo without sulfates.

A sulfate-free shampoo like the Viral Colorwash can cleanse the hair strands and deposit purple pigments at the same time to restore color tone. Since the color purple exhibits cool tones, it can eliminate yellow and orange, opposites on the color wheel used by hair colorists. It can also cancel out warm undertones in hair if the natural color was not lightened enough.

Using a purple shampoo as directed in the product instructions will cancel out warm tones and refresh purple hair colors between salon appointments.

If the purple shampoo contains sulfates, it may strip your hair color prematurely.

It also depends on how often you wash your hair. As any hair colorist will tell you, the more you wash color-treated hair, the more the color will fade. So regardless if the shampoo is good or not, overwashing can lead to color fading.

Can You Redye Purple Hair with Purple Shampoo?

Yes, you can redye purple hair with purple shampoo as long as it is a color-depositing shampoo, not a toning shampoo. Compared to those classified as toners, which are primarily used to remove brassiness in lighter-colored hair, color-depositing shampoos have more purple pigments that deliver a richer and deeper shade.

However, this is only an option if you have dark hair and you have the time to wait for results.

You can also add purple hair dye to a conditioner and use it when you shower. This can help to even out your hair color and boost it, but it won’t do much to change the overall color.

It’s worth noting that dyeing hair with a purple shampoo won’t give you the same result as dyeing with a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye.

Other Factors That Contribute to Purple Hair Color Fade

Heat Styling Tools

Heat styling tools like hair straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers can cause color loss. The high heat from these appliances can swell the hair cuticle layer. The cuticle layer is the outermost layer of the hair, with overlapping cuticle cells that protect the inner hair’s cortex and lock hair color pigments. When the hair cuticle cells swell and open, they allow color pigments to disperse, which results in color fading.

If you use heat to style your hair regularly, ensure you use a heat-protective product to minimize the damage and preserve your hair color.

Hard Water

Hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can leave deposits on the hair. Mineral deposits are like tiny magnets that attract the color molecules in the hair, causing them to fade faster than normal. Use a hard water demineralizing shampoo to get rid of mineral deposits and ensure your dye job lasts.

Chlorine Exposure

Chlorine can lighten any hair color. That’s because chlorine contains oxidizing agents that can break down the protein structure of the hair fiber, making it porous. Hair porosity is a measure of how easily air and moisture can travel through the hair. Porous hair is more likely to absorb chemicals like chlorine, making it lighten faster than normal. When using a swimming pool with high chlorine levels, be sure to use a protective hair product like a leave-in conditioner or a swim cap to minimize color fade. You must also rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water after swimming to remove chlorinated water from your locks.

Sun UV Exposure

Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that can break down chemical bonds in hair dye molecules when overexposed. Pigments in hair dyes absorb light from sunlight which is then converted into energy. The heat energy causes chemical bonds in hair dyes to weaken, thus causing the hair to lighten. The more exposure you have to UV rays, the faster your hair will fade.

Since purple hair colors have more pigments in them, they tend to absorb more light.

According to Graham Nation, a UNITE colorist at Ken Paves Salon, lighter shades are more likely to fade faster than darker shades like eggplant or violet.

How Often to Use Purple Shampoo on Purple Hair?

Use purple shampoo once every third wash.

If you wash your hair once a week, wash with a purple shampoo once every 3 weeks.

You must not replace a regular shampoo with a purple shampoo.

Using a purple-pigmented shampoo once every third wash helps to maintain the vibrancy of colored hair without stripping the hair strands from their natural conditioning oils, also known as sebum. It is important to note that usage frequency may depend on the individual’s hair type, scalp condition, and the level of color fade.

If you’re not sure, consult with a hair colorist for personalized advice.

How Long Should You Leave Purple Shampoo in Hair?

According to hair care brand Living Proof, it is recommended to leave purple shampoo on hair for 2-3 minutes before rinsing. This allows the formula to attach to the hair cuticle layer and deposit color evenly throughout. As with any product, it’s important to read instructions carefully and follow them accordingly.

How to Maintain Purple Hair

Purple hair dyes are designed to last between 6 – 8 weeks, but this can vary depending on your hair type, how well it holds color, and how many times you wash your hair. If you want to keep your purple hair for longer, there are a few things you can do at home, like below:

Use a Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfates in shampoos are surfactants that cleanse the hair by dissolving dirt and oils on the scalp and on the hair shaft. While this is good for people who want a squeaky-clean feeling after shampooing, it can break down hair dye molecules that are bonded to the hair shaft. Use a sulfate-free shampoo.

Avoid Excessive Heat Styling

Excess heat styling can melt color dye molecules on the hair shaft, causing color fade. Try using heat-protectant products before styling your hair with a curling iron or flat iron, or try air-drying your hair instead of blow drying it.

Use a Color-Protecting Hair Mask

A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment for hair. Its function is to nourish and hydrate dry hair and chemically-treated hair. Color-treated hair is often dryer and brittle in texture due to chemicals used in the dyeing process. A hair mask can help replenish lost nutrients, improve hair elasticity, and restore hydration to support the hair. Some hair masks even contain UV filters that protect hair from sun damage.

Look for hair masks with coconut oil, shea butter, and argan oil.

Avoid Chlorine and Saltwater

Chlorine, a strong chemical used to purify water and maintain pool hygiene, is a strong oxidizer. It is also alkaline with a high pH of 7.2 – 7.8.

The hair pH is slightly acidic, with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. The acidic nature of the hair is important because acidity keeps the hair cuticles closed. When the hair interacts with an alkaline agent, the pH of the hair shaft raises, causing the cuticle cells to open. Open cuticle cells lead to the erosion of hair dye molecules.

Saltwater is also alkaline with a pH of 8.0 – 8.4,meaning it has a similar effect on the hair cuticles.

Use a swim cap or a leave-in conditioner to protect your hair before jumping in the pool or the sea.

Touch Up Your Roots

As the hair grows, the roots reveal the natural color, which creates a noticeable contrast. Touching up the roots regularly will help to maintain good coverage and consistency.

Avoid Washing Hair Too Frequently

And lastly, avoid washing your hair too frequently. It is recommended to wash hair once a week, but if you have oily hair, then twice a week is reasonable. The more often you shampoo, the more it will fade away.

Use a dry shampoo in between washdays. A dry shampoo is a waterless cleansing spray that can soak up greasiness and impurities from the roots without the need for a full-on shower.

Best Purple Shampoos for Purple Hair

1. Viral Colorwash Color Depositing Shampoo

The Viral ColorWash shampoo is a sulfate-free bond-rebuilding and color-depositing shampoo. It can be used to dye hair purple, refresh an existing dye job, and tone blonde and brown hair. Viral ColorWash shampoo is also plant-based, vegan, and formulated without harsh chemicals like ammonia, parabens, and PPDs.

2. Water Colors Intense Purple Shampoo

The Water Colors shampoo has a unique formula of Reflective Color Enhancers that deliver vibrant tones to keep purple hair vibrant, intense, bright, and shiny. It is a color-safe shampoo that prevents fading with a sulfate-free formula that lathers gently without stripping the hair.

3. Punky Color PurpleDacious

The Purpledacious shampoo from Punky Color, a London-based brand, is a sulfate-free 3-in-1 purple shampoo. It cleanses, deposits purple dye, and conditions the hair for a more intense purple effect. The shampoo is enriched with hydrolyzed quinoa, shea butter, vitamins A, C, and E, and saw palmetto and has a pleasant fruity scent. It also works on all hair types, including bleached blonde hair, brunettes, and dyed hair.

Use purple shampoo on purple hair sparingly and as instructed. Although it won’t mess up your dye job, it is not a replacement for regular color maintenance shampoo.

About the Author

Shehnaz ShiraziShehnaz Shirazi

Shehnaz Shirazi has been writing in the beauty and cosmetics industry for over 8 years, sharing her expansive hair care and beauty knowledge. Shehnaz researches and tests new hair care trends and publishes her insights here.