Purple vs Blue: Which Toning Product is For You?

When you get your hair colored, your strands will sooner or later show their true colors, or rather, their natural undertones. Brunettes would have warm orange undertones, dark-colored hair could have red undertones, and blondes or light-colored hair would have yellow undertones. 

Once your natural undertones show up, that is where purple and blue shampoos come in. What’s the difference between purple and blue shampoo, you may ask? Keep reading to find out why you should use them and if you should be using purple or blue shampoo for your colored hair!

Wet hair

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What is Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoos have purple or violet pigments that are deposited on your hair once you lather the product into your strands. Thanks to their purple pigments, they help reduce the yellow tones of one’s blonde hair to make it brighter and ashier. It also works well for silver or white hair! 

Okay, but how does that make sense? Looking at the color wheel below, purple sits across from yellow. And the color theory explains that colors across each other, cancel out each other! In other words, purple pigments from purple shampoos would cancel out or neutralize the yellow tones of your blonde or ash hair.

Color wheel

What is Blue Shampoo?

Blue shampoos work the same way as purple shampoos in neutralizing brassy tones. The main difference is that blue pigments tone brassy, warm, and orange undertones versus violet pigments that neutralize yellow undertones.

Looking again at the color wheel below, blue sits across orange. Hence, blue pigments from your blue shampoo would cancel out or neutralize the orange tones of your brown hair. 

Color wheel

Which One is For You: Purple Shampoo or Blue Shampoo?

Whether you got your hair colored to be a light blonde or a dark brunette, you will still need to color-correct your hair with the help of purple toning or blue toning products. There’s no doubt that there are a lot who are confused about which should they use for their colored hair. But, as a general rule, blondes should use purple shampoos and brunettes should use blue shampoos.

If you’re just getting started at purple and blue toning, then take a look at some of our favorite products for brighter blondes and browner brunettes:

Purple Shampoo for Blondes


If you have very light or platinum blonde hair, whether color-treated or natural, then purple shampoo is what you will be needing. Not sure if your hair passes as a blonde shade? Then take a look at your strands – if you can see yellowish tones after days or weeks of not toning the hair, then purple toning products are for you.

 HairMNL Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Ritual

Image Source: HWS Beauty

We recommend the Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Ritual (₱ 7,900). With a powerful purple shampoo and a rich purple mask, these toning products will penetrate the hair fiber to instantly remove brassiness and yellow undertones. The ritual also includes a leave-in cream for sealing split ends and smoothing the frizz. 

HairMNL Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo & Conditioner

Image Source: Amazon UK

We also recommend the Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo & Conditioner (₱ 2,900). It’s a great plant-based and sulfate-free alternative for purple-toning products! You can kiss brassy hair goodbye with this duo that counteracts unwanted yellow tones and enhances platinum and cool blonde tones.


Blue Shampoo for Brunettes


If you have brown hair, then blue shampoo is what you will be needing. If your hair is lightened, but not exactly blonde, then stick with blue shampoos – they are more ideal for darker shades, including dark blonde hair. So long as your hair shows warm and orange tones instead of yellow tones, blue shampoos are for you. 


HairMNL Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask - Blue

 Keep those brown strands vibrant with Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask - Blue (₱ 1,350)! Formulated with ingredients to maintain hair color with complete care, this blue toning mask not only neutralizes brass in your colored hair, but also ensures that your strands stay silky-smooth and moisturized.

HairMNL L'Oréal Serie Expert Silver Conditioner 200ml

Image Source: Salon 55 Hair

You can also check out the L'Oréal Serie Expert Silver Conditioner (₱ 1,190). It is formulated with blue and purple pigments, Ceramides, and Babassu oil to contrast orange undertones and to provide softness and shine to hair. After all, it’s a lightweight silver neutralizing cream treatment that works wonders for brunettes!


Discover more of our blue and purple-toning products here.

Now that you’ve discovered the difference between purple and blue shampoos, it’s all up to you to take care of your colored mane! If you’re feeling playful, then go ahead and experiment with different shades of shampoos and conditioners to discover which you like best for your hair!

For any hair concerns or questions, our HairMNL experts can help you with them. Just send us a message to avail of our FREE hair consultations!

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