This Blue Shampoo Keeps My Brunette Highlights Looking Rich

No orange tones here!

Blue shampoo vs. purple shampo vs. green shampoo

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Growing up, I always wanted to dye my hair. I loved flipping through pages of magazines and seeing snapshots of my favorite brunette celebrities on the red carpet donning different shades of brown. It's something I always wanted to do, but with very dark brown, borderline black hair, I didn't know what shades would complement me. What I didn't realize back then is that deciding what color highlights to get is the easiest part of the process, the real challenge comes with maintenance.

I was in for a cruel awakening when, after using an at-home dye box (hey, I was on a college budget), my healthy midnight hair turned into a brittle-looking brassy shade reminiscent of an orangutan. It was in that moment that I realized the importance of going to a professional colorist, but also how vital it is to use blue shampoos and conditioners to keep dyed brunette hair in tip-top shape.

As the years have gone by I've learned exactly what works for my hair. Beyond getting frequent trims and consistently using hair masks, I've gone through multiple blue shampoo formulas to find the best one, and after a lot of trial and error (and when I mean error, I mean I even tried one that destroyed my hair and made me go several inches shorter) to find the very best one.

Enter: Redken's Color Extend Brownlights Sulfate-Free Blue Shampoo.

For those unfamiliar with toning shampoos and how they work, allow me to explain. These products use color theory to neutralize tones to prevent brassiness and unwanted color changes. For example, blondes use purple shampoo as purple is on the opposite side of the color wheel from yellow. In a similar fashion, blue is on the opposite side of brown. As such, the blue pigments in these toning shampoos for brunettes cancel out orange undertones that create that orangutan look I'm all too familiar with.

redken blue shampoo review


To shop: $46;

Redken's Color Extend Brownlights blue shampoo is formulated with strengthening and reparative citric acid and vegetable proteins to keep hair healthy while maintaining its appearance. Furthermore, the accompanying conditioner (which I'm also loyal too) also features wheat protein to strengthen strands even more.

For the best results, the brand suggests using it two to three times a week and leaving it in damp hair for up to five minutes each time. I use it once a week when I'm being disciplined about maintenance, but if I'm playing catch up and trying to knock out a hint of brass, I'll double up and use it twice weekly until the orange hues fade away and my rich, caramel highlights come back in full bloom.

This blue shampoo is the most important player in my color maintenance routine. It extends the life of my color, nourishes my strands, and keeps me feeling confident in my look.

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