Silver shampoo: What it is and how it works

Amra | 13 August 2018
Fashion week street style picture of an Asian model with shoulder length straight grey hair.

Dealing with a brassy hair colour? Silver shampoo could be your saving grace.


What is every colour chameleon’s worst nightmare? Brassy hair! Which is exactly why silver shampoo is so important for faux blondies everywhere.

On top of losing the colour in your hair, you may also start noticing a yellow or orange hue, peeking through your strands. Factors like the environment, weather, styling tools, and using the wrong hair products are some of the main culprits that can cause this. While unwanted brassy colours are unavoidable, it doesn’t mean they are impossible to avert. The solution? A silver shampoo.

One bottle of this hero product is packed with anti-yellowing ingredients that work to counteract brassiness, and also restore your hair’s lost tone. Whether you’re a bleach blonde, greying gracefully, or just cottoning to the trend, you can certainly benefit from using this type of toning shampoo. Below, we break down silver shampoo and its uses.

Silver shampoo: All you need to know about this blonde hair saviour


Silver shampoo: Fashion week street style picture of an Asian model with shoulder length straight grey hair.
You need to know about toning shampoo if you’re thinking of going silver. Credit:

What is a silver shampoo?

Most commonly known as ‘purple shampoo’ or ‘toning shampoo’, silver shampoos like the TRESemmé Violet Blonde Shine Shampoo and TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo are pigment-depositing products. This means that they work to reverse coloured hair if it’s turned yellow or orange.

TRESemmé Violet Blonde Shine Shampoo

The magic behind this shampoo actually works off the colour wheel theory, meaning that tones that are close to each other work harmoniously, while the opposite ones simply can’t.

Since purple and violet are the exact opposite of yellow and orange, applying a silver shampoo actually neutralises and cancels out these undertones present in your hair, making much higher blue ones, and thus restoring lost colours. After use, your tresses hue will look considerably brighter.

Silver shampoo: Backstage fashion week shot of two models, one with light brown hair and one with pink, both wearing black headbands.
Silver shampoo: not just for blondes. Credit:

Who should use it?

Contrary to the belief that this product is just for blondes, those with grey, red, and even brown locks can all benefit from a silver wash. While the effect might not be as noticeable on darker hair as it is on blondes, it’s still a great way to boost colour in faded tresses.

Is there a difference between a purple shampoo and a silver one?

There’s no difference between the two, as they both interchangeably refer to the same thing. Purple is the actual colour of the shampoo, and because it’s designed to restore hair tones and add some shine – giving off a silver-ish reflection – the term silver is also used.

How should you apply a silver shampoo?

Rinse your hair with warm water first to allow its shafts to open and generously apply the shampoo to your tresses, then let it sit for 5 minutes. Follow up with a cool rinse to close the hair shafts and seal in the product. For best results, we recommend you use it once or twice a week to make sure you ward off brassiness.

Be warned that overusing it may cause your hair to be tinged purple – if this happens, keep rinsing out until the pigment fades out.