How To Remove Purple Shampoo Stains From Hair Fast!

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So you’ve used a purple shampoo and instead of the sleek ashy tone, you’ve ended up with purple! It happens.

Despite purple looking really great on some people, it was not the look you were going for. And now you’re desperately googling “purple shampoo stained my hair, what do I do?”

You’re in luck because in this article I am going to give you a few tips on how to remove purple shampoo stains from hair. I will also go over why purple shampoo stained your hair, and how to avoid it in the future.


What is Purple Shampoo?

Purple shampoo

To know how to remove purple shampoo stain from hair, you need to know what purple shampoo is, what it does and how it works.

Purple shampoo is what is referred to as a toning or color-depositing shampoo, which is designed to get rid of brassy yellow tones in blonde and lighter-colored hair.

Rather than changing your hair color, like bleach or dye, purple shampoo neutralizes the unwanted yellow tones.

Let’s have a look at the color wheel….

If you’ve ever asked yourself – why purple? – there is a good reason for this. When it comes to getting rid of unwanted tones in the hair, colors opposite each other on the color wheel cancel each other out.

Purple is opposite yellow, so if you are looking to neutralize unwanted brassy yellow tones, then purple shampoo is your go-to.

See also:

Purple Shampoo Stained My Hair, What Do I Do?

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Purple shampoo is not supposed to turn your hair purple. It’s meant to neutralize brassy yellow tones in the hair.

So why did it turn your hair purple? There are a few reasons this may have happened.  

A lot of drugstore purple shampoos are extremely heavily pigmented and can leave a stain on your hair. Using a salon-grade purple shampoo will be less likely to leave a purple stain (as long as you are using it properly).

This brings us to the other reason you may have ended up with purple hair…

If you used a drugstore purple shampoo, don’t be hating on it just yet. By far the most common reason someone ends up with a purple stain in their hair is because of misusing the product (a.k.a. user error), not the product itself.

Leaving it in too long or using it too often can result in the purple shampoo staining your hair. Misuse use of purple shampoo can also result in hair drying out.

The next time you use purple shampoo, make sure you read the label as to how long to leave it in.

Purple shampoo is not meant to replace regular shampoo and should be used once a week (twice at the most), and only if needed. Overuse or leaving purple shampoo in your hair longer than the recommended time on the bottle will surely have you end up sporting a nice shade of aubergine.

Use as directed!

Can Purple Shampoo Permanently Stain Your Hair?

You will be relieved to know that your purple tinge is not permanent. It will eventually wash out.

Permanent Hair dye uses a developer to open up the cuticle for the dye to enter the hair shaft and bind with the hair cortex to permanently color the hair.

Purple shampoo, on the other hand, simply deposits color on the outside of the hair cuticle. It doesn’t change the hair color underneath.

How Long Does It Take For Purple Shampoo To Wash Out?

If you’ve found yourself with purple hair from your purple shampoo, as we mentioned you don’t have to worry that you’re stuck like that forever.

The purple tint will wash out. It may take anywhere from a few days to more than a week.

If you don’t want to wait that long, we have a few suggestions below to help you speed up the process of fading the purple in your hair.

How To Remove Purple Shampoo Stains From Hair

There are a few things you can try to remove the purple stain from your hair. One thing you need to remember though – the purple shampoo tint is only temporary. Do not resort to using drastic measures that will permanently alter or damage your hair while trying to remove something that’s only temporary!

Pro Tip: Do not resort to using drastic measures that will permanently alter or damage your hair while trying to remove something that’s only temporary!

You may see recommendations around for using hydrogen peroxide or a bleach bath to remove the purple stain. DO NOT do this!

Both bleach and hydrogen peroxide are extremely damaging, not to mention they will both lighten your hair and change the way it looks and feels, and not for the better.

We have a few suggestions that are much safer for your hair to try:

1. Use a Color Remover

Color Remover

This is by far the most effective method on the list, especially if you have particularly intense purple staining. Different color remover brands will have different wait times, so be sure to read the instructions carefully about how to use your particular product (they should not damage hair if used correctly).

Choose a color remover that does not contain bleach! Most do not, but there are a few color removers that do. Read the labels as well as the instructions.

Here are a few bleach-free color remover products:

Salerm Color Reverse
Salerm Color Reverse
Please note that items are without inner resistance seal by manufacture; Color reverse remove hair dyes from the hair quickly, safely and effectively.
$18.00 Amazon Prime
Color X-Change Phase-Out Gentle Dye Decolorizer + Intensive Hair Mask , 2 Count (Pack of 1)
Color X-Change Phase-Out Gentle Dye Decolorizer + Intensive Hair Mask , 2 Count (Pack of 1)
PPD, ammonia, peroxide and paraben free; Contains no fragrance, peroxide, ethyl alcohol or sulfates
$6.07 Amazon Prime

2. Use a Clarifying or Chelating Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo

Both clarifying and chelating shampoos are like a detox for your hair to remove residue and buildup. Sometimes you will find the words ‘clarifying’ and ‘chelating’ being used interchangeably, but they are a bit different.

Clarifying shampoo removes most buildup that accumulates on the surface of your hair, like dry shampoo, styling products, hairspray, gels, and leave/in products, as well as buildup from things like smoke and air pollution.

Chelating shampoos are much stronger than clarifying shampoos and contain specific “chelating agents”. These take it a step further than just removing residue and build-up of styling products and environmental pollutants. They remove chlorine, metal, and mineral deposits, such as limescale.

Chelating shampoos will have one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Tetrasodium/Trisodium EDTA
  • Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid
  • Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate            
  • Oxalic Acid or Sodium Oxalate
  • Potassium or Sodium Citrate
  • Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
  • Sodium Gluconate and Gluconolactone

Both clarifying and chelating shampoos are pretty harsh on your hair. They will strip of your hair’s natural oils and are extremely drying. Neither clarifying nor chelating shampoos should be used more than once in a day.

Of the two, chelating shampoos are the harshest. But of the two, the chelating shampoo may work a bit more quickly and effectively than the clarifying shampoo to remove the purple stain from your hair.

One application may be enough, but again it will depend on how stained your hair is.

3. Use a Dandruff Shampoo

This method is probably the least potentially drying and damaging to your hair. Dandruff shampoo is great at preventing dandruff by removing excess dirt, oil, and dead skin from your scalp, but it is also effective at removing the purple tint left behind from purple shampoo.

Wash your hair once or twice a day until the color fades. Depending on how purple your hair is, this method may take a few days and several washes to completely remove the stain.

4. Use Baking Soda

To use baking soda, mix about 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a normal dollop of shampoo, and use it to wash your hair normally. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to ensure you remove all of the baking soda.

This may take a few applications to remove the color, but it should work within a few days.

Baking soda has a pH of 8, which is much higher than your natural hair and scalp’s pH, which is at about 5, so overuse of this method can leave your hair feeling a bit ‘crispy’. Don’t use baking soda more than 4 days in a row.

5. Use Lemon Juice And Conditioner

This method is more likely to work if you use it within 24 hours of the purple shampoo staining your hair.

Mix 3 parts lemon juice to 1 part conditioner and massage this into your hair. Apply from root to tip and make sure to saturate each and every stand.

Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave this mix to sit for up to 3 hours. The acid in the lemon juice will strip the purple from your hair, while the conditioner helps to minimize the drying damage done. After 3 hours, rinse out your hair thoroughly.

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is a natural bleaching agent. However, lemon juice requires exposure to UV light to lighten hair. So if you just want to remove the purple stain and not lighten your hair, make sure you stay out of the sun.

Finish with a Deep Conditioner

Deep Conditioner

For each of the purple stain removal methods, you should follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

All of the removal methods above are drying to the hair, so make sure you rehydrate those strands!

How to Use Purple Shampoo Correctly

READ THE LABEL!!! It’s as simple as that.

Purple shampoos vary in strength and pigmentation. Follow the directions on the product you are using to avoid damaging and staining your hair.

Leaving it in longer or using it more often than recommended will not get you better or faster results. But you’ll be 29.5% more likely to be searching the Internet later to find out why your hair has dried out and is stained purple!

READ THE LABEL!!! It’s as simple as that.

Be Conservative To Start

You will find that the directions on the label may give you a range of minutes (i.e. 2 – 10 minutes) as to how long to leave it in. This is because everyone’s hair is different. Start off with the minimum time and if you feel it did not make much of a difference, try going a couple of minutes longer the next time you use it.

Also don’t forget, using a color-depositing shampoo is a gradual process.

You’re not going to go from brassy to stunning icy blonde in one wash. Patience is key here.

Get Rid of Any Excess Water in Your Hair

Also when using purple shampoo, wet your hair, then wring it out a bit to remove the excess water before applying the purple shampoo. If you use the purple shampoo on dripping wet hair and immediately rinse, your hair will not retain much pigment and it might not do a heck of a lot.

That said, if you’re here because your hair has been stained purple, not leaving it in long enough is probably not your issue.

Purple shampoo seems like a miracle solution to the problem of blonde hair that is prone to brassiness, and it can be. But what many people don’t know (and you’ve unfortunately discovered) about purple shampoo is that there are some drawbacks when overused or used incorrectly.

So in an effort to have you not repeat your current situation, we’ve put together a list of things to avoid (i.e. not to do) when using purple shampoo.

Things to Avoid When Using Purple Shampoo

Avoid – using it more than once (twice max.) a week. Purple shampoo is not meant to replace your regular shampoo. You are still supposed to wash your hair with regular shampoo.

Avoid – leaving it in longer than recommended. Read the instructions on the label of the product you are using and use it as directed.

Avoid – using purple shampoo on very dry hair. Dry, damaged hair is more porous and will absorb product much faster. This will leave you with uneven results and potentially purple staining, even if you use the product as directed.

Avoid – using purple shampoo in lieu of a color appointment. If you are using it twice a week and your hair is still brassy, then that’s a sign you need to see your stylist for another toning or blonding service.

Avoid – using purple shampoo before your color appointment. It’s important not to use purple shampoo one to two weeks before you have any coloring, toning, or bleaching done.

Purple shampoo can cause buildup making the hair look dull and darker if overused. If your stylist is not getting a true and accurate color of your hair, how is she or he supposed to color it properly?

How to Get Purple Shampoo Stains Out Of (Clip-in) Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions are hair extensions that, as the name suggests, you can just clip into your hair. They are temporary and meant to be taken out before you go to bed. They are reusable and you can put them in and take them out yourself.

The following information is not meant for the more permanent types of hair extensions. If you’ve stained those purple, you need to go see the stylist who put them in for you.

If you have clip-in hair extensions and you’ve stained them using a purple shampoo, all is not lost and you can fix that. Don’t forget – it’s not permanent.

Just like with your own hair, staining from purple shampoo should fade out eventually. But if you’re looking to fast-track the process, you don’t want to try everything on our list above for removing purple staining from regular hair because a lot of those techniques are much too harsh for extensions.

Clarifying and chelating shampoos and color remover and are way too harsh for your hair extensions. Even Dandruff shampoo is not recommended because it has a lot of sulphates and strips hair of its natural oils. There’s no way for your extensions to replenish those oils, which is why it’s always recommended to use sulfate-free shampoo for any type of hair extensions.

Using the baking soda method is the mildest way to remove the purple staining, besides just washing them with a sulfate-free shampoo on its own.

For the baking soda method, just mix one teaspoon of baking soda into one normal-sized amount of sulfate-free shampoo you’d use for one wash. Wet the extensions and use the shampoo/baking soda mix to wash. Make sure you thoroughly rinse them to get all of the baking soda out. Follow up by using conditioner.

Rinse and gently towel dry. Brush and detangle and let air dry.

Depending on how stained the extensions, you may need to do this more than once.

Don’t forget that the purple discoloration is not permanent, so don’t wreck your hair extensions by trying other things that are not recommended for something that is only temporary.

In the meantime, own it – purple peek-a-boo highlights!

How To Use Purple Shampoo With Clip-In Hair Extensions

Just note that hair extensions do not behave like the hair growing out of your head. Even if they are made with real hair, they are not attached to the scalp, so they don’t get the natural oils that your regular hair does, so it’s much easier to dry them out.

Hair extensions also tend to absorb color more quickly than your normal hair and if purple shampoo is left on too long it can turn your extensions grey or, as you’ve found out, actually stain them purple.

So if you are looking to tone down the brassiness in your clip-in hair extensions, dilute the purple shampoo in a bowl with some lukewarm water.

Submerge one extension completely underwater and let it soak for 10 to 15 seconds, depending on the intensity you want. Check it to make sure it doesn’t tone too much.

If you think it can go a little longer than maybe up to a minute, but you probably don’t want to go longer than that. It will depend on the purple shampoo you’re using and how pigmented it is.

Notice how I said do ONE first. If you overtone it then you haven’t ruined all of your extensions.

Next, rinse it out thoroughly, then shampoo using a sulfate-free shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and condition.

Repeat with the rest of your extensions, one at a time. If you try to do them all at the same time, you will have some left in longer than the rest and you’ll end up with extensions of different colors.

Gently towel dry by squeezing the towel around them, rather than rubbing.  

Brush and detangle and allow to air dry.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).