We all know the drill: After bleaching your hair blonde, you need to use purple shampoo so your strands don’t turn brassy.
But contrary to popular belief, purple shampoo isn’t just for blondes. The fundamental purpose of it is to rid the hair of unwanted brassiness. Since Asian hair ranges from dark brown to brown naturally has these brassy tones, purple shampoo can be used on ash, brown, or highlighted hair to help tone the strands and get a healthier and brighter looking brown.
In terms of the hair color, South Asian hair has the highest levels of red pigments and melanin as compared to North Asians and Caucasians. This results in deceptive color payoff where the final hair color after dyeing does not match the hair mesh color selected, unwanted brassiness that appears ‘rusty’, or dull and unhealthy hair when the colour starts to fade off.
We spoke to Jinni, the product manager for L’Oreal Paris Hair, to learn more about the benefits of purple shampoo on Asian hair and why we should be using it even if we don’t have blonde hair.
How do we decide what is the best purple shampoo for our hair?
Look for a shampoo with purple pigments. A good purple shampoo or conditioner should come with concentrated purple pigments and the texture and consistency of the product should be opaque, not translucent to ensure there are enough color pigments in each wash to neutralise the brassiness in hair.
Apart from the amount of purple pigments present to neutralise brassiness, it is also important that the shampoo itself does not contain harsh salts and
surfactants (e.g. sulphates such as SLS/ SLES) that can strip the hair from moisture and color, resulting in premature color fading.
This applies to all dyed and colored hair such as brown, ash, bleached, highlighted, and blonde. Keep in mind that purple shampoos are not required for black hair.
What is the best way to use purple shampoo to maximise its efficacy?
The frequency and duration to use purple shampoo will affect the level of toning and neutralisation gets better with regular usage. Here are two tips: Use the purple shampoo on semi-wet (instead of dripping wet) hair and gently squeeze dry the hair with the hands or a towel before applying the purple shampoo/ conditioner. This ensures that the purple pigments are not diluted by the water and helps with its penetration into the hair cuticle.
Another tip is to leave it on for longer (up to 10 minutes). The longer you leave the product in the hair before rinsing, the more the purple pigments can penetrate into the hair to neutralise the yellow and orange tones, resulting in longer-lasting effects.
In case you’re planning to add this brass-toning essential to your regime, here are five purple shampoos to help you get started.