The Best Shampoo for Brunette Hair (That You’re Probably Not Using)
If you have friends with dyed blonde hair, you've probably heard them talking about how purple shampoo keeps their color from turning brassy.
But fading and brassiness isn't a struggle that's exclusive to blondes. Brunettes that color treat their hair can also develop unwanted warm tones — which is where blue shampoo comes in.
The easiest way to understand how both purple and blue shampoos work is to compare it to the color wheel theory. Similar to how purple shampoo neutralizes yellow tones in blonde hair, blue shampoo deposits blue-violet pigments into dyed brown hair.
"Blue shampoo works by canceling the orange/reddish undertones (the same tones that are commonly called brassy) that are part of the underlying pigments," explains Mincho Pacheco, master hairstylist and colorist at James Joseph Salon. "It neutralizes the orange by making it more deep."
Brunettes who color their hair will benefit the most from using blue shampoo because the pigment absorbs better into hair with expanded cuticles. (Your hair cuticles expand when you dye it.) For virgin brown hair, these shampoos will make your color extra shiny, because most of the pigments will stay on the surface of your hair.
The stylist recommends that unnatural brunettes use blue shampoo once to twice a week, while natural brunettes can wash with it up to three times a week.
Ahead, we've rounded up the best blue shampoos for brown hair.
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo Pravana The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo Matrix Total Results Brass Shampoo Fanola No Orange Shampoo IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Brunette Drops dpHUE Cool Brunette Shampoo
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo
Joico's shampoo works well on all brunettes, but darker shades with highlights will especially benefit from its formula. The shampoo prevents fading and boosts shine in a single step.
Pravana The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo
If you have dark brown hair that hasn't been lightened by highlights, then Pravana's shampoo is your best bet for getting rid of unwanted brassy undertones from your color. The sulfate-free blue-green tinted shampoo neutralizes orange, red, and copper tones from brunette hair.
Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo
While everybody has been talking about purple shampoo, this blue Aveda one has been quietly transforming brunette hair for years. It's formulated with blue malva and coneflower, which neutralize brassiness in color-treated hair.
Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo
Matrix's shampoo cancels out brassiness by depositing violet-blue pigments throughout your hair to minimize unwanted warmness. For added toning, let the lather sit on hair for two to three minutes before rinsing.
Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo
This toning shampoo is ideal for brunettes with highlights. The blue pigment will get rid of any orange and red tones that can make ombré and balayage look washed out.
Fanola No Orange Shampoo
Like the name says, this blue shampoo tones down the orange in all shades of brunette hair.
IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Brunette Toning Drops
While IGK's drops aren't technically a shampoo, they deserve a spot on this list. Add a few drops to your favorite shampoo and it instantly turns into an orange-neutralizing wash.
dpHUE Cool Brunette Shampoo
On top of reducing orange and red undertones from brunette hair, dpHUE's blue-toning shampoo also contains silk proteins, which prevents breakage and leaves hair super silky and smooth.