As any blonde who owes their color to a salon or a box well knows, the time, effort and funds that go into getting it can be quite significant.
And considering the extra strain the summer months can put on hair – that combination of sun, hot tools and excessive washing can fade color fast – there’s no time like the present to employ the best color-preserving strategies. And really, there’s only one type of product that hair colorists consider a nonnegotiable for blondes, or even brunettes with highlights, and that’s a purple shampoo.
A colorist breaks down her favorite formulas for blondes.
“Purple shampoos work to tone your hair by counteracting yellow and brassy tones brought on by sun and heat,” says Meri Kate O’Connor, a colorist at Eva Scrivo Salon in New York City. “I typically recommend them for clients who want a bright, cool blonde tone,” she says. Translation? Purple shampoo is the secret to preserving and enhancing your color without a trip to the salon.
But before you run out to the store and pick up just any violet formula, O’Connor suggests taking a peek at the ingredients label first. “You should avoid any yellow-toned ingredients like argan and olive oils, since they’ll actually cause your blonde to yellow quickly,” she advises. “I also suggest staying away from sulfates, since they can potentially dull and wash out fresh color, and to be careful with proteins – although they can help strengthen your hair, using too much protein can have the reverse effect, leaving your hair weaker and more brittle.”
As a general rule of thumb, O’Connor recommends incorporating a purple shampoo into your routine once every two weeks before gradually building up to regular use. “Over-using it can put too much of a deposit on your hair, which can leave your tone a lot cooler than you intended,” she says.
Ready to find your match made in hair-color heaven? Ahead, the 13 best purple shampoos on the market right now, including a few of O’Connor’s favorites.