If you have gray, or blonde, hair then using a special toning shampoo can make all the difference between your hair looking brassy or dull and having shiny, gorgeous locks. In this article, you will find the best purple shampoo and recommended shampoos for gray hair.

Why should I use a purple shampoo?

Hair color is always a personal preference. You may have just started to go gray, or perhaps you have been embracing your gray for years now.

Either way, gray hair can start to develop unwanted brassy tones in the same way that blonde hair can.

By using a special purple shampoo, you can neutralize those tones to ensure that your gray hair retains its vibrancy. When you see women with stunning shades of gray, they may just be genetically blessed, or their secret could be a great toning shampoo.

Using a shampoo especially designed for gray hair can be a godsend while transitioning from colored to gray as it can help to blend your different hair tones together as well as removing brassy shades.

How often should I use a purple shampoo?

This depends on the shampoo you choose and the effect that you are trying to achieve. The great thing about a purple shampoo is its pretty impossible to make a mistake.

If you find you are developing too many obvious purple or blue tones rather than simply enhancing your gray, you can always alternative using your purple shampoo with a regular shampoo until you find the right routine to achieve the color you would like.

Blue shampoo vs purple shampoo: Is there a difference?

Best for transitioning to gray | 40plusstyle.com


If you think about mixing paint colors, the opposite to purple is yellow, while the opposite on the color wheel to blue is orange.

Brunettes who lighten hair may find it develops an orange tone while those with naturally lighter hair may develop more yellow tones.

So, if you have gray hair, it’s likely that your hair will react better to a purple shampoo rather than blue. However, if you were naturally a brunette or redhead before going gray, you may get better results with a blue shampoo.

It’s really about playing around with what works for you. The effects of your toning shampoo will gradually wash out, so you can always try a different option if your first choice isn’t quite right.

Best for transitioning to gray

If you have decided to stop coloring your hair and are busy making the transition from colored to gray, Jhirmack’s silver shampoo and conditioner come highly-recommended from women who have made the same journey.

The shampoo reduces yellow and brightens, while the conditioner leaves hair silky soft.

Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Shampoo Set | 40plusstyle.com

Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Purple Shampoo Set

Best drugstore purple shampoo

If you’re looking for a budget option which works, then L’Oreal’s Brass Toning Purple Shampoo is definitely worth a try.

It comes highly-rated from women with white, blonde and gray hair whose locks had developed unwanted yellow tones. Many reviewers noticed a difference in just one wash.

L'Oréal Paris Hair Care EverPure Sulfate Free Brass Toning Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

L’Oréal Paris Hair Care EverPure Sulfate Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo

Best silver shampoo

The minimalists among you are sure to appreciate the sleek design of Matrix’s So Silver. Thankfully, what is inside also works brilliantly.

For a more intense effect, you can always leave it on for longer. Lather as usual and then leave for 30 minutes or so. You could think about one of these 14 self pampering suggestions while you wait.

MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo

Best big bottle

The Fanola No Yellow shampoo comes with more than 20,000 ratings on Amazon; the majority of them giving 5-stars.

It also comes in a huge bottle, so you definitely won’t run out of it anytime soon! Good for toning down unwanted yellow tones on gray, light blonde and highlighted hair.

Reviewers say this works so well it is more like a professional toner than a shampoo, so you don’t need to leave it on for very long.

Fanola No Yellow Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

Fanola No Yellow Shampoo

Best to use once a week

If you want a purple shampoo which gives you results without having to use every day, you may also want to try TIGI’s Dumb Blonde Purple toning shampoo.

It also works well for silvery gray hair. And, you definitely don’t have to be dumb to use it.

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Toning Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo

Best to embrace your gray

Best to embrace your gray | 40plusstyle.com


L’Oreal’s Magnesium Silver Neutralizing shampoo is another one with a great bottle design, so it should look good on your bathroom shelf.

It also has fantastic reviews from women with white hair as well as those who have gone from brunette to blonde.

L'Oréal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Neutralising Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

L’Oréal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Neutralising Shampoo

Best combo

If you have very dry hair, you may want to look at using both a purple shampoo and conditioner, like this set from Clairol. That way, you get the color-improving benefits as well as nourishment for your hair.

One reviewer said she had discovered this after spotting a bottle in her Grandma’s shower and giving it a try for her own highlights.

Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner | 40plusstyle.com

Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner

Best for removing yellow

While most anti-yellowing shampoos are purple, Klorane’s product doesn’t have a purple or blue hue at all.

Instead, it uses a natural ingredient called Centaury extract, which has a blue coloring, making it great for toning down the yellow shades found in white, gray and silver hair.

A good option to use every day, particularly if you are worried about giving your hair too much of purple or blue tone with other options.

Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo  | 40plusstyle.com

Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo

Best for brightening

Best for brightening | 40plusstyle.com


A particularly good option for lightening and brightening blonde hair or highlights, Drybar’s Blonde Ale shampoo has lovely scents of ginger, mint and sandalwood while you are creating a lather.

If you have particularly dry hair, it’s best to mix this with your regular shampoo rather than using on its own.

Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo

Best a-little-goes-a-long-way option

Oribe’s Bright Blonde shampoo is one of the pricier options, but it lathers really well so a little does go a long way.

A good choice to keep brassiness at bay for both gray hair and blondes, it is a great option if you are busy transitioning to gray and you have a mixture of highlights and natural gray. It also smells lovely, which is an added bonus!

Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo | 40plusstyle.com

Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo

Best paraben free

If you have silver or white hair and you want an option which is paraben-free, then Luseta’s color-brightening shampoo and conditioner could be the set for you. Reviewers say using both shampoo and conditioner together leaves hair soft and shiny.

Luseta Color Brightening Set | 40plusstyle.com

Luseta Color Brightening Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Set

Best natural option

If you love the Aveda skincare range, have you also tried its haircare options? Aveda’s Blue Malva adds a silvery brightness to gray hair and neutralizes yellow tones.

Reviewers recommend this one for transitioning from colored to natural hair.

AVEDA by Aveda: Blue Malva | 40plusstyle.com

AVEDA by Aveda: Blue Malva Color Shampoo 

Best for UV protection

Just as your skin can suffer sun damage, sunshine can also damage your hair, leaving it dry and adding an unwanted yellow shade.

SACHAJUAN’s Silver Shampoo offers UV protection as well as adding violet-colored pigments to your hair to counteract warm tones.

SACHAJUAN Silver hair care | 40plusstyle.com

SACHAJUAN Silver Shampoo

Best plant based

Rather than synthetic violent pigments, L’anza uses purple tones naturally found in flower extracts, such as viola and lavender

Intended for use if you have any shade of white, silver or gray hair, as well as for blondes. If you have a sensitive scalp, it could be worth trying this one to see if the natural ingredients are kinder for your skin.

L’ANZA Healing Colorcare | 40plusstyle.com

L’ANZA Healing Colorcare Silver Brightening Shampoo

Shampoo for gray hair

Best shampoo for gray hair | 40plusstyle.com


Bear in mind that purple shampoos can take away the yellow tones you aren’t so keen on. However, they can also be drying for your hair, in comparison to other shampoos.

You may wish to alternate using your purple shampoo with a shampoo especially for dry hair, such as Aveda’s Nutriplenish shampoo

Aveda Nutriplenish Deep Moisture Shampoo

Aveda Nutriplenish Deep Moisture Shampoo

What to remember when using purple shampoo

Everyone is different and we all have different hair colors and textures, so what works for one woman won’t work so well for someone else.

It’s really about trying until you find a shampoo you love. Don’t give up after one wash if you don’t see immediate results.

Unless you find that you have some irritation, as least try for a few weeks until you see whether it could work for you. You can vary the amount of times you use your shampoo in a week until you get your desired results.

Continue reading:

  1. How To Transition To Gray Hair (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
  2. The Best Colors To Complement Gray Hair
  3. How To Dye Your Hair Roots Yourself
  4. To grey or not to grey; that is the question!

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Best purple shampoos and shampoos for gray hair | 40plusstyle.com

Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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