What does blue shampoo do

By: | Last Updated: February 11, 2022

Picture this: you’re a brunette, excited to have highlights put in your hair, only to have a color that’s too orange for your liking. So you start to freak out and look for ways to fix it. Relax, breathe out. There’s always a solution.

Perhaps you’ve heard about blue and purple shampoo and how it cancels out unwanted brassy tones in your hair but just don’t know which one to use. 

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we break down the wonders of blue and purple shampoo on brunette hair and how it can remove the unsightly brassy undertones in your hair.

What is blue and purple shampoo?

Whether you’re a hair dyeing newbie or a seasoned at-home hair dyeing artiste, blue and purple shampoos are a blonde and brunette-haired staple to keep their color looking vibrant.

Blue shampoo deposits blue pigments on your hair to cancel out brassy orange and red undertones. It’s usually used for brunette hair, as they tend to turn orange and red when lightened. 

On the other hand, purple shampoo deposits purple pigments on your hair. Since blonde hair tends to turn yellow over time due to sun exposure, heat styling, or chlorine, purple shampoo works to get rid of the unwanted brassy tones.

Do you shampoo hair after bleaching

How does blue and purple shampoo work?

Now that you know what blue and purple shampoo are, how do they cancel out the orange and yellow undertones in your hair? The answer lies in the color wheel. 

Blue shampoo works best on brunette hair as they tend to turn orange or red when lightened. Since blue is the opposite of orange in the color wheel, it neutralizes the unwanted orange color. 

Purple shampoo works better on blonde hair as the violet pigments cancel out the unwanted yellow tones since purple is the opposite of yellow in the color wheel.

Is blue or purple better? 

Still can’t decide which shampoo to use? You can’t compare two products made for different uses. It just depends on what you need the product for. 

Blue shampoo works well on lightened brunette hair with unwanted red or orange tones. In contrast, purple shampoo is made for blonde hair with unwanted yellow tones. Depending on which brassy undertone stands out the most, using the correct shampoo can get you the best results. 

The benefits of using blue shampoo

Now that you know that blue shampoo works best on brunette hair let’s explore what else blue shampoo can do.

The benefits of using blue shampoo

Who can use blue shampoo?

Every hair color has an underlying warm tone. When brown or brunette hair is lightened, red or orange tones come out. That’s why natural brunettes that have lightened or highlighted hair are recommended to use blue shampoo. This includes natural brunette hair that has been balayage, ombréd, highlighted, or overall bleached.

If you’re trying to maintain either a caramel, dirty blonde, or ash brown hair color, you can also benefit from using blue shampoo to correct any brassiness that eventually develops.

Does blue shampoo lighten hair?

To clarify, blue shampoo does not contain any lightening agents, like bleach, so it doesn’t lighten the hair. Blue shampoo can only cancel out the brassy undertones in your hair.

Blue shampoo can’t lighten the hair, but it can brighten up brunette hair, whether natural or dyed. Due to exposure to the sun, heat styling, or chlorine, brunette hair can eventually turn brassy. 

Using blue shampoo can tone down the orange undertones and turn them into cooler or ashy tones, giving it a deeper and shinier brown shade. 

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What Blue Shampoo does to other hair colors

Blue shampoo may be formulated for brunette hair, but does it only work on brunette hair? What would happen if you use it on other hair colors? Would the results turn out pretty? Read on to find out.

What does blue shampoo do to blonde hair?

If you’re wondering if it’s perfectly safe to use blue shampoo on blonde hair, the answer is yes. Since some blue shampoos have purple pigments mixed in, they can work on toning your blonde hair, but it has limitations.

Darker blondes with levels 7.5 to 8.5 can use blue shampoo to correct the brassy orange undertones in the hair. But if it’s on the lighter side, lower than a level 7.5, blue shampoo can only correct the orange undertones, not including the red undertones.

It’s also important to note that blue shampoo can turn your hair green if it has yellow undertones. 

As per the color theory, adding blue to yellow is green. So it’s best to use purple shampoo on lighter blonde hair instead to avoid any mishaps.

What does blue shampoo do to orange hair?

If you want to get rid of the brassy orange undertones in your hair, the blue pigments in blue shampoo can cancel it out, leaving you with even hair color.

But if you have dyed orange hair and want to remove it completely, blue shampoo can only dull down the color. 

Remember, blue shampoo doesn’t contain any lightening agents, so the blue pigments alone can’t lift hair color. If you want to remove the orange dye completely, you’ll need to bleach your hair.

What does blue shampoo do to red hair?

Since blue shampoo deposits blue pigments into your hair, it can eventually turn purple if you continuously use it on red hair. As per the color theory, adding blue to red makes purple.

It’s a fun experiment to try if you want to know if purple hair looks good on you without the commitment of using hair dye on your hair. What’s even more fun is that the shade of purple you’ll get depends on how dark your red hair is currently. 

Don’t worry, though. If the results don’t turn out as you’d expect, the blue pigments in the shampoo will wash out eventually, and you’ll have your red hair back.

How often should you use blue shampoo?

Only use blue shampoo once you start to notice orange undertones appearing on your hair. Use it one to three times a week, alternating with your regular shampoo. 

Just remember that blue shampoo should not replace your regular shampoo. It’s best not to use it more than three times a week as it could overtone your hair, leaving you with blue stains instead.

Stop using blue shampoo once you notice the brassy undertones in your hair have completely washed out to avoid overtoning.

How often should you use blue shampoo

How to use blue shampoo

Using blue shampoo for the first time can be a little scary, especially when you don’t want to mess up your hair color. The following step-by-step guide is easy to follow so you can finally enjoy your vibrant brunette locks without the unwanted brassy hues:

Step 1: Apply and cleanse normally

Even though you don’t have to use blue shampoo as much as your regular shampoo, the process of applying is still the same. 

The only difference is that you should apply shampoo on wet hair, including the middle and the ends, instead of just focusing on your roots. 

This way, all of your hair is evenly coated with the blue pigments, making sure you’re not left with uneven brassy spots all over your hair.

Also, make sure to leave the blue shampoo on based on its recommended time, so you don’t overtone your hair, leaving you with blue stains.

Step 2: Rinse with cold water

It’s a well-known tip to wash dyed hair with cold water as much as possible to lock in your color longer. 

Since cold water closes the hair shaft, hair dye doesn’t wash out from hair as much as when rinsed with warm water.

Step 3: Follow up with a hydrating conditioner

Whether you have dyed or natural hair, using a hydrating conditioner is always a good idea to keep your hair from going dry and frizzy. 

This is optional, but there are blue conditioners on the market that work well with blue shampoo. It gives your hair that extra toning power to cancel out stubborn brassy undertones. Just be sure to leave it on your hair at the recommended time to avoid overtoning.

Final Thoughts

Using new products, like blue shampoo, on your hair can be daunting, especially when you don’t want to ruin your hair color. That’s why it’s important to do some research or ask your trusted hairstylist on how to maintain your hair color, whether if it’s dyed or natural. 

Hopefully, we’ve helped you learn more about blue shampoo and how it works on your hair. It’s an affordable at-home fix to keep your hair color as fresh as when you first dyed it. 

Not only does it cancels out stubborn orange undertones, but you can also use it on blonde and red hair to tweak the color a little bit.

Just remember to not leave the shampoo on for too long to avoid the dreaded blue stains unless it’s what you intended to do.

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