Dyeing your hair, either on your own or professionally, requires a bit of upkeep to maintain its lustrous color. If you decide on a blonde look, you should know how purple shampoo can help keep it more of a blond and less of a yellow. But what makes up a purple shampoo, and how does it work for the hair? Does purple shampoo have bleach in it, and is it safe for frequent use?
Purple shampoo does not contain bleach and is not intended to bleach hair. It is designed to reduce the brassiness and neutralize the tones of blond hair colors. It washes away the yellow and orange tones to give hair a miraculously vibrant and perfect blond finish. Many shampoo brands have purple shampoo (or conditioner) in their lines of products that work for the same purpose.
What are the Ingredients in Purple Shampoo?
As the name implies, purple shampoo’s active ingredient is the crushed violet pigment that helps neutralize the hair color. The pigment can be a tiny number of molecules of purple dye like Ext Violet #2. The pigment used varies in every brand as some manufacturers use a combination of dyes to achieve the violet color.
But, what makes up the purple shampoos exactly? Here are some of the basic ingredients that are added to purple shampoos:
- The solvent is the base ingredient that dissolves all the other chemicals added to them. Water is the widely used solvent present in almost all cleaning and cosmetic products.
- Surfactants are the cleaning agents that break down dirt and prevent them from re-attaching back to the surface. It also helps increase the solubility of the materials and increase the detergency. Purple shampoos use different surfactants, with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulfate as the most popular.
- Humectants such as glycerin act as moisturizing agents. It helps retain the moisture and preserve the overall property of the product.
- Emulsifier and stabilizer give the product its viscosity and consistency. In purple shampoos, the most common emulsifier is glyceryl oleate and glycol distearate.
- Thickening agents such as acrylates copolymer
- Caustic cleaning agent is the pH adjuster that balances the acidity or alkalinity of the products. Sodium hydroxide or mineral-based pH adjuster is often used in purple shampoos, which also helps in hair lightening.
- Preservatives like sodium phytate and sodium benzoate prolong the shelf life of purple shampoos.
- Colorants or dyes like Ext D & C Violet #2 or a combination of colors
What is the Purpose of Purple Shampoo?
In people with light hair colors, the purple shampoo can help reduce its yellow undertone. Dyeing your hair blonde will make it stand out by applying purple shampoo thereafter. It is a must-have for bleached hair to avoid dulling it out after a couple of weeks.
How Does Purple Shampoo Work?
The use of purple shampoo comes from the simple color theory of the colors in the color wheel. Purple and yellow are hues opposite each other in the color wheel, meaning they are complementary colors.
When an equal proportion of complementary hues are added, they will cancel out each other. Thus, mixing purple and yellow will produce neither of the colors. Instead, a dark or an ash gray one appears. But, the result is still based on the proportion of the mixture.
Mixing a little amount of purple with yellow will make
yellow less intense. When a bit of purple is added to yellow hair, it will decrease its saturation to produce ashy locks.
Will Purple Shampoo Bleach Hair?
No, purple shampoo is not a lightening or bleaching chemical. It is used for already bleached hair to reduce its brassy look and improve the vibrancy of blond. The mechanism of purple shampoo is, in fact, to darken the hair instead of lightening it. When applied to bleached blond hair, it darkens it to mask the yellow tone and produce a crisper and fresher look.
Will Purple Shampoo Stain Clothes and Other Fabrics?
Unfortunately, yes. Purple shampoo can be messy and may stain your towel, clothes, and even the sink and bathtub. But since it is a stain, it is easily remedied with bleach or color-safe bleach and water solution. A paste of vinegar and baking soda can also remove purple shampoo stains off hard surfaces like the sink.
Is Purple Shampoo Bad for the Hair?
Purple shampoo tends to dry out the hair as it tones down the brassiness. Improper and frequent use will also risk making the strand brittle and dull.
How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?
Purple shampoo is different from regular shampoo and may not be as effective in removing dirt from the hair. Every brand has a different formulation, but generally, you should not use purple shampoo more than twice a week. Once a week is a good rule of the thumb, to simply manage and mellow out the yellowing of the hair. Overusing purple shampoo can result in unrealistically dark hair with a hint of purple that grows lifeless over time.
Is Purple Shampoo Toxic?
Purple shampoo is generally safe for external use, although it has some skin staining issues. But, it may also cause skin allergies for people with sensitivity to the product. Shampoos and cleaning agents contain surfactants that are harmful to health.
If you care about sulfates in products, you can find a line of organic shampoo that is non-toxic and sulfate-free from most online stores.
Can You Mix Purple Shampoo with Bleach?
Purple shampoo does not have bleach in it. So, can you mix it with bleach instead? The answer is no. Mixing the purple shampoo with hair bleach is not ideally recommended. Bleach is a potent solution that lifts and removes hair color. On the other hand, purple shampoos contain a purple dye that will tone down the brass color of the hair. If you mix bleach, it will cancel out the dye and will only waste the purple shampoo.
Purple shampoo is an overlooked but important product when bleaching the hair blond. Purple shampoo does not contain bleach because it will cancel out the effects of the shampoo. Instead, it has a deoxidation effect that reduces the yellow hue of the hair. Mixing purple with yellow increases the coolness of the pigment, which will give blond a more profound and striking appearance.