woman with blond hair in a ponytail

Silver Shampoo: How It Works

Brassy tones creeping in uninvited? Silver shampoo could be your saving grace.  

Also referred to as purple shampoo or toning shampoo, silver shampoos are pigment-depositing products with anti-yellowing agents that work to counteract brassiness in blonde dyed hair. Brassy hair colour can, unfortunately, be caused by a number of things (think pollution, excessive heat styling and even swimming). And, while unwanted brassiness is unavoidable to a degree, it doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help it.

Below, we break down what silver shampoo is, its uses and detail which ones we can’t live without. So, get ready to say goodbye to brassiness and hello to gorgeous hair!

How Does Silver Shampoo Work?

Woman with mid-length wavy ice blonde hair at NYFW
Credit: Craig Alexander

“What is silver shampoo?” we hear you ask. Silver shampoos are pigment-depositing products which work to tone down the appearance of yellow or orange brassiness in the hair.

The magic behind toning shampoos works off of the colour wheel theory. Since purple and violet are the exact opposite of yellow and orange, applying a silver shampoo neutralises and cancels out the yellow undertones present in your hair. This boosts the cooler, blue tones in your hair and makes your hair look brighter and shiny.

Editor’s tip: Went a bit overboard with your silver shampoo? Using it too regularly or leaving it on for too long can cause your hair to develop a purple tinge. Don’t worry if this happens, as it will soon fade, however you can also speed up the process by re-washing your hair with regular shampoo until the pigment fades out.

Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo Front view

We like to use a nourishing shampoo like the Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo in between silver shampoo washes. The formula is crafted for damaged hair and works to make your strands stronger and more resilient. Pair it with the Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner that will add an extra dose of moisture.

Can I Use Silver Shampoo?

Woman with long windswept bleach blonde hair
Credit: Arianna Sharfman

Silver or purple shampoo is designed for those with lighter blonde, white or silver hair, whether natural or dyed. However, while this type of shampoo is essential for any bleached blonde or grey-haired woman, you can also use purple shampoo on brown hair or darker hair with lighter highlights to remove any unwanted warm tones.

Is There a Difference Between a Purple and Silver Shampoo?

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?

Start by rinsing your hair with warm water first to allow its shafts to open and generously apply the shampoo to your tresses and 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.



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