Silver Shampoo: What It Is and How It Works

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

Often referred to as purple shampoo or toning shampoo, silver shampoos are pigment-depositing products with anti-yellowing agents that work to counteract brassiness in dyed hair. Brass can, unfortunately, be caused by a number of things (think pollution, excessive heat styling and even swimming). And, while unwanted brassy colours are unavoidable, it doesn’t mean they are impossible to avert.

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!

What is Silver Shampoo?

Woman with long ashy blonde hair smiling
Credit: Unsplash

Most commonly known as ‘purple shampoo’ or ‘toning shampoo’, silver shampoos are pigment-depositing products. This means they work to lessen any appearance of yellow or orange brassiness in the hair.

The magic behind toning shampoos works off 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.

Who Should Use It?

Woman with bright long red hair smiling in a studio setting
Credit: Rupert Laycock

While this type of shampoo is essential for any bleached blonde or grey-haired woman, you can also use it to remove warmth and reduce any brass in red or brown hair colours.

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.

What Are the Best Silver Shampoos?

Want to know which purple shampoos we love? Read on to find out which pigmenting shampoos we swear by for keeping hair colour looking vibrant.

Dove Silver Care Shampoo

Nourish mature or ageing hair with this pearl-infused  Dove Silver Care Shampoo. It will help enhance natural or coloured grey hair, leaving it looking shiny and healthy.

Nexxus Blonde Assure Shampoo

Often times, bleached hair becomes brittle and wiry. If this sounds like your ailment, the Nexxus Blonde Assure Shampoo protein-infused shampoo is all you need to control brass and fortify your strands.

TRESemmé Violet Blonde Shine Shampoo

The TRESemmé Violet Blonde Shine Shampoo contains violet toning pigment to cancel out any yellowing, as well as pearl extract to provide shine and nourishment, so the hair isn’t left feeling dry.

TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo

This silver shampoo helps to minimise the appearance of brass and improve your hue’s vibrancy, while also tackling frizz. What we love most about the TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Toning Shampoo is the fact it has amazing softening properties!