It’s 2024 and it’s about time that we have clean, natural and organic purple (and blue) shampoos! If you have brassy blonde, brunette, highlighted or gray hair, this natural and organic purple shampoo review is for you. I’ve found the best natural purple shampoos for blondes (and best blue shampoo for brunettes) you can buy. And I have the before and after photos to prove it! Brighter blonde, ashy brunette and silver gray hair days are ahead. I do not recommend Rahua purple shampoo because it isn’t effective enough to truly remove brassy tones.
Organic purple shampoos (and blue shampoo for orange hair) have been missing in clean beauty for a long time, until recently. There are so many greenwashing “organic” purple shampoo brands that contain plenty of toxins, so I set out to find the best purple toner products that would effectively fix brassiness using ingredients I felt comfortable using.
In this natural purple shampoo review I’ll explain:
- Why you need purple shampoo
- Why you should choose a clean purple shampoo
- How to choose between blue shampoo vs purple shampoo
- How to use purple shampoo
- My personal experience with the products and before and after
Why You Need a Natural Purple Shampoo
As a balayage addict, I have been battling orange and yellow hair my entire adult life. Professional toning can be done at a salon to get rid of those unwanted brassy tones, but these visits start to become expensive.
Plus the salon use-only toners that hairstylists use are semi-permanent, meaning they start to wash out with the first hair wash. The best way to stop brassiness on your own is by using a quality purple shampoo at home once a week.
If you have blonde, brown, gray or highlighted hair, you absolutely should be using either a purple shampoo or blue shampoo.
Since everyone has red undertones in their hair, no one is immune to developing brassiness. Because I have black hair I have the strongest red tones. Even natural blondes have red in their hair that causes yellowing.
Our hair is exposed to external aggressors everyday and the more you are out in the sun or wash your hair, the faster your hair color will fade. Even if your blonde or brown hair is natural, a color toning shampoo is a must.
How Purple Shampoos (and Blue Shampoos) Work
Hair toner shampoos work based off basic color principles and the color wheel. Blue is opposite of orange on the color wheel and purple is opposite of yellow.
- Purple shampoo cancels out yellow (and green) tones
- Blue shampoo cancels out orange and red tones
Purple shampoo is also needed to fight brassiness and yellow in gray hair.
Redken Purple Shampoo Toxicity
For the longest time, I had to use conventional purple and blue shampoos because there just wasn’t a clean version available. Of course, that’s changed because it’s 2020 and the whole reason I’m doing this clean purple shampoo review is because I want people to stop buying toxic products from Walmart.
But before I get into my results, before and after photos and application tips, I wanted to discuss why you should even choose a clean option versus Redken or Joico purple shampoo. Let’s take a look at the ingredients of the Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo.
“Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Cocamide Mipa, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Parfum/Fragrance, Amodimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ci 60730/Acid Violet 43, Salicylic Acid, Carbomer, Bht, Trideceth-6, Linalool, Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Serine, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cetrimonium Chloride, Coumarin, Sodium Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.”
Redken contains both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate AND Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which are detergents used in cosmetics to make them foam. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant and toxic to aquatic organisms. Depending on the manufacturing process, sodium laureth sulfate can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.
Why is that a concern? The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a KNOWN human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system and is a possible developmental toxicant based on evidence that it may interfere with human development (Source: California Environmental Protection Agency).
1,4-dioxane is also toxic to the environment and it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the environment long after it is rinsed down the shower drain. There is a way for 1,4-dioxane to be removed from cosmetics during the manufacturing process but can regular consumers discover the truth behind what massive corporations do behind closed doors?
There are numerous other ingredients that raise red flags are known to be insanely toxic to our health. Fragrance, which is disturbingly high up on the list of ingredients, is one that should be avoided entirely. Fragrance is a HUGE red flag. A product’s fragrance can be concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer because they are classified as trade secrets.
There have been many studies done where fragrance in products were tested and were found to have dozens of secret chemicals that are known for hormone disruption, allergies or just plain haven’t even been tested for safety in personal care products. These toxins have the propensity to build up in our tissue and bloodstream, and if you consider the number of products you use on the daily, that is something to think about.
I may be specifically discussing Redken’s purple shampoo, but it’s important to always read the ingredients for any product you use.
Natural and Organic Purple Shampoos
For a clean and vegan purple shampoo that’s healthier and works, there are now various options at various price points thankfully. First you have to decide whether you want a clean shampoo with artificial or natural dyes. The intensity of the toning effect will be stronger with shampoos using artificial colorants. Natural dyes from plants will have a milder effect, but if you want to stay away from all questionable ingredients, there are some pretty good new products.
Clean Purple Shampoo with Artificial Dyes
Stay tuned for before and after photos with this brand new launch by organic hair care brand Innersense.
KYN (Australian brand)
- For only $16 this is the most affordable brand offering both clean purple shampoo and blue shampoo.
- Provides a gentle lather
- Has added scent using safe synthetics (the synthetic scent is strong and can give a bit of headache)
- If you do not need to tone from the roots like me and find shampoos above $30 out of your budget, I really like this KYN shampoo as an affordable option (even though it’s not the cleanest)
- KYN is an Australian brand so orders under $40 will have a $10 shipping fee otherwise shipping is free for orders $40+.
- Professional salon-level shampoos that start with an Organic Aloe Vera Extract base
- Infused with Hydrolyzed Jojoba Protein, Jojoba Esters, Vanilla Extract Oil, Tonka Bean Absolute and Grapefruit Peel Oil
- Liquid consistency
- Does not lather
Most women with blonde/chemically-processed hair have dry hair, so a strong foaming product is only going to strip and dry your hair further.
Organic Purple Shampoo with Natural Dyes
For those of you who are looking for a milder purple shampoo that is 100% natural including the color.
- 2021 Cert Clean Award winning new all-natural purple shampoo product
- Fights yellow or brassy tones in blonde, silver, gray and white hair
- Color comes entirely from berries, fruits and veggies
- Can purchase a Purple Perfecting Clarifying +Toning Booster product which is concentrated powder you can add to the purple shampoo to increase its intensity remove buildup (hard water, styling products, grime) in hair.
- Violet UV spray launching in July 2022 so you can protect your hair while outdoors
- Discount code OBL saves 15% on the purple shampoo and purple toning products at Flourish
If you don’t need strong color correction, then I don’t believe you need the Flourish Purple Perfecting Clarifying + Toning Booster. But, if you have major brass to tone down, I highly recommend the Violet Booster.
Flourish is also the only natural purple shampoo making brand in the US that offers eco-friendly refill pouches. If you like the product, you can save on packaging and waste by not having to buy a whole new bottle.
In the below shot that’s totally untouched, the left side of my hair has not had purple shampoo used and the right side is after using purple shampoo. While 100% natural purple shampoos are not as dramatic as those with synthetic color, you can still definitely see a toning effect. I’ve added the Flourish Violet Booster to their Purple Shampoo to achieve this effect.
If you want to go the plastic-free eco warrior route, Ethique also makes a natural purple shampoo using beetroot for color instead of synthetic dyes. This budget purple shampoo is a solid bar that comes packaged in compostable paper and is good for up to 80 uses.
Solid shampoo bars require some getting used to as you need to be sure to keep it as dry as possible so it doesn’t disintegrate quickly sitting in the shower. To use the shampoo bar you add water to activate the product. You can either apply the shampoo bar directly to hair from root to tip or activate the shampoo in your hands first before applying to hair.
Both Ethique and Flourish Beauty Lab also offer their purple shampoo & conditioner products in mini travel sizes.
EverEscents Organic Purple Shampoo
I wanted to try the EverEscents Organic Purple Shampoo, but couldn’t figure out any way to get this Australian product shipped to my US address. I couldn’t find any US online shops that sold Everescents either. Even if I manage to somehow get my hands on their purple shampoo, it’s just too inaccessible.
If you try any of these products please do come back and let me know what you think in the comments!
How to Choose a Purple Shampoo vs Blue Shampoo
Here’s how to choose the right color shampoo for your hair:
- ? Purple Shampoo: for eliminating yellow in brassy blondes or gray hair
- ? Blue Shampoo: for eliminating orange and brassy tones in light browns to dark blonde
Before and After Photos
To get the most accurate before and after photos, I tested the blue and purple shampoos on one half of my hair so that there wouldn’t be a shrivel of doubt when comparing the results. Same time of day, same position, same lighting, same everything so you can compare in real time.
Needless to say, I was very impressed by the results. If you are a bronde or dark blonde, I would suggest trying the blue shampoo instead of purple. Purple shampoo for blonde and grey hair can have no effect on darker blondes.
I am putting both sides of my hair together in the above photo, so there is no difference in time of day and location in these before and afters.
The left shows how brassy I was, and the right shows how clean blue shampoo transformed my hair into an ashy cool toned blonde. My hair after blue shampoo looks brighter, healthier and multi-dimensional too. I was able to get rid of orange tones and brighten the blonde hairs.
How to Use Purple Shampoo: Application Tips
Having been a purple shampoo user for many years, I have found what works best for me. To get the best results I:
- Apply to dry hair
- Apply evenly down entire length of hair
- Leave on a little longer than suggested time for more intense results (but not too long otherwise you’ll end up with darker hair than you wanted)
- Rinse out with cold not hot water (this helps the color stay and keeps hair shiny)
These are highly staining so be careful you don’t accidentally transfer the product to clothing or furniture.
Andrea is a clean beauty expert from Los Angeles, California with 10 years of experience in clean beauty, natural skincare and organic living. She writes for Organic Beauty Lover using her expertise to guide readers in choosing the best clean beauty products. Andrea graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 and has worked at multiple skincare companies, big and small. Connect with her @organicbeautylover.