Claire Harmeyer
Updated Jan 13, 2020 @ 12:42 pm
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For non-natural blondes, purple shampoo has been a must-have beauty product for years. The purple-tinted product helps neutralize the brassy, yellow tones that all faux blondes fear by incorporating purple pigment into the hair, creating that coveted icy blonde color. But what about brunettes who fear the attack of the brass? Enter: blue shampoo.

What does blue shampoo do?

With a similar formula to purple shampoo, but tweaked for brunettes, blue shampoo tones unwanted brassiness out of the hair, leaving it looking just like it did when you walked out of the salon.

While purple cancels out yellow, blue cancels out orange (think about a color wheel, where these are the opposite colors), so using a blue pigmented shampoo does just the trick non-natural brunettes are looking for—eliminating orangey undertones and maintaining a cool color. Blue shampoo will specifically benefit brunettes who have lightened their hair and want to maintain their tone in-between color appointments, according to Garnier celebrity hair colorist Nikki Lee, who has worked with brunette celebs like Sarah Hyland, Selena Gomez, and Emma Roberts. Blue shampoo is a quick, at-home remedy that will save you extra trips to the salon.

Are there risks to using blue shampoo?

Beware of leaving blue shampoo in your hair for too long—it can cause your hair to take on an ashy or dull look that you’re probably not going for. Overuse of blue shampoo can also lead to dryness, so try to incorporate the product into your hair care routine once every few weeks as needed.

How to use blue shampoo:

Unlike a regular shampoo where you mainly target your roots and scalp, make sure to lather through your entire head of hair, from root to ends. You want the blue pigments to work on every part of your hair equally for an even toning treatment.

When first trying blue shampoo, be cautious by not leaving it in your hair for too long to avoid over-toning. Rinse immediately after lathering into your hair, and see what the effect is on your color. If you don’t see much of a difference, Lee recommends experimenting with leaving the shampoo on your hair for increasing amounts of time. Start with one minute, then two minutes, etc. until you reach your desired tone. Once you’ve perfected your blue shampoo routine, continue to use only when you notice your hair needs some extra toning. Follow up with your normal conditioner to avoid dryness.

Best blue shampoos:

1Matrix Total Results Brass Off Color Depositing Blue Shampoo

Credit: Amazon

Shop it!$14,

This blue shampoo has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from 278 reviews—sounds promising to us. One thing to note about this product: It includes sulfates, which can strip your hair of color if overused, so limit usage to once a week as needed.

2dpHUE Cool Brunette Shampoo

Credit: Ulta Beauty

Shop it! $26,

dpHUE’s blue shampoo is super-clean: It’s free of sulfates, gluten, and silicone, making for a gentle cleansing shampoo that won’t strip or dull color.

3Aveda Blue Malva Color Shampoo

Credit: Nordstrom

Shop it! $54,

Although this one is on the pricier end, it’s much bigger than other blue shampoo bottles, and it contains tons of plant-based ingredients like organic ylang ylang, lemon, and eucalyptus, creating a pleasant aroma.

4Fanola No Orange Shampoo

Credit: Walmart

Shop it! $12.06–$52,

If your caramel highlights are taking on a brassy tone, use this blue shampoo to cool the color back down. This one is a slightly harsher formula, so be careful only to use once the brass tones have snuck back in.

5Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo

Credit: Courtesy of Joico

Shop it! $15.99,

This blue shampoo not only offers color protection, but also minimizes frizz and maximizes shine. Count us in.