Can You Use Purple Shampoo On Dry Hair?

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A purple shampoo, or a toning shampoo, is a blonde’s best friend. If you want to make sure your hair doesn’t look too brassy, this is a must-have in your bathroom.

These shampoos are usually used on wet hair. But many people wonder: Can you use purple shampoo on dry hair?

Yes, some people use purple shampoo on dry hair as a hair hack for those who want to cut the brassiness of their hair. 

You can do this too. It can help refresh your blond hair. But there could be risks or unwanted effects included.

Should you try this hack? In this article, we go over how to use purple shampoo on dry hair, and the problems you may encounter. 


What Does Purple Shampoo Do?

Purple Shampoo

The color comes from a pigment that is added to it. It dyes your hair but not in an ‘invasive’ way. The shampoo doesn’t actually go deep in your hair shaft.

This color is meant to neutralize any unwanted tones on your hair. Purple shampoo targets unwanted yellow, brassy tones, thus making it look more silvery and reflective.

But how does it do that?

Opposites Don’t Attract

To see, you use the color wheel. Toning shampoo targets the color opposite the color of the shampoo. Purple shampoo targets yellow tones, blue shampoo targets orange tones, red shampoo targets green tones, etc.

As you know, blondes sometimes have a tendency of going yellow or brassy. This is particularly true among those of us who have dyed our hair blond or have highlights

Well, the purple pigment in the shampoo softens the brassy tones. It doesn’t necessarily cancel them out completely, but it makes them significantly less prominent.

How To Use Purple Shampoo

Shimmering Blonde Hair

Don’t just use any toning shampoo on your hair. The problem with regular purple shampoos is that while they do cleanse well like any other shampoo, they also tend to make your hair slightly drier.

You need to be extra careful when using them on your hair. What you want is for the purple pigment to get rid of brassy tones but have the hair stay nourished. 

That’s why many people recommend using a hydrating shampoo alternately with it. Some might even want to use it before applying the purple toning one for an extra boost of hydration.

Here are the typical steps to use purple shampoo on your hair. Note that your particular purple shampoo may be different, and always follow your particular instructions.

  1. Get yourself a bottle of purple shampoo. There are many different brands available in the market today, lots of good ones to choose from.
  2. Wet your hair with warm water. Most purple shampoo bottles come with the instruction of wetting your hair first because it can help avoid the dryer tips to absorb too much of the pigment. Some think that using warm water helps open up the cuticles so it penetrates better.
  3. Apply a generous amount of shampoo to your hair. Be sure to massage the shampoo into the roots as well as the ends of your hair. The idea is for it to be able to penetrate all throughout those areas that have those yellow, orange, and red pigments causing the brassy look on your hair.
  4. Let it sit for about 4-5 minutes then rinse it out with cool water until the hair is fully rinsed out. You can use a detangling brush so you don’t pull too hard on strands of hair which tend to be weaker than others after bleaching or chemical services/damage has been done.
  5. Condition your locks afterward with a leave-in conditioner such as a deep treatment to help with preserving the color in your hair and any dryness/damage.

Can You Put Purple Shampoo On Dry Hair?

Although it is quite common for purple hair manufacturers to instruct users to use purple shampoo on wet hair, there are some people who use it on dry hair.

This hair hack was born out of the desire to achieve an even blonder hair color without having to repeat the steps often.

The thought behind this is that purple shampoo absorbs better into the brassy tones when applied to dry locks. Dry hair has a rougher cuticle, which makes it more absorbent than wet strands.

However, this hair hack comes with a few downsides.

Don’t forget to wear gloves to avoid staining your hands and nails. You may also want to avoid starting with the tips (unless it is where you need to cancel the brassiness). The tips are most likely the driest parts of your hair.

We’ll discuss that further below. First, here’s a step-by-step guide to use purple shampoo on dry hair.

  1. Section your hair. In that way you can methodologically apply the purple shampoo without missing any spots.
  2. Apply purple shampoo thoroughly on the areas where you find brassiness. You can simply concentrate on the areas that are too brassy or you can apply it all your hair. 
  3. Leave the product for about 5 to 30 minutes depending on how healthy your hair is. If it is too dry, you might want to leave it for just a few minutes. The purple shampoo itself could be further drying.
  4. Rinse out your hair with water thoroughly.
  5. Apply some conditioner or a deep conditioning mask to help counter the dryness that may be caused by purple shampoo.

How Long To Leave Purple Shampoo On Dry Hair

Above, we told you that you could leave the purple shampoo on your dry hair for 5 to 30 minutes. However, that depends on the condition of your hair.

If you want to make sure, you could do a strand test. Get a section of your hair and apply the purple shampoo to it.

Time it.

That will help tell you if 5 minutes is long enough to get you your desired results.

Porous and damaged hair tends to absorb the pigments faster. You have to assess your hair for that. Use it as a guide as to how long you should leave it on your hair.

Furthermore, you should consider the purple shampoo that you are using. Some can be more potent than others.

Some could stain your hair in as little as 5 minutes while others may take a lot longer. It is best to always check and follow the instructions as per the manufacturer, and be conservative. You can always do it again and push the envelope a bit more.

You may read reviews online of specific purple shampoos so that you would know how effective they really are.

Pros and Cons Of Using Purple Shampoo On Dry Hair

The main reason why applying purple shampoo on dry hair is considered a hack is because it is not usually done. But it can give you good results!

Typically you have to wet the hair first with water, which could dilute the purple pigments.

In a fast-paced world, we are obsessed with quick and instant results. So applying a more concentrated purple shampoo could mean that more of the pigment gets deposited on your hair.

It can certainly work, but you have to note that there could be issues to applying the purple shampoo in this method.

Such are the following.

More Prone To Drying

When you wet your hair, you give it some moisture, especially when it is dry. The components of the purple shampoo may cancel out the brassiness, but they could be drying, too.

Wetting your hair works in two ways to prevent over-drying your hair. First, it gives moisture to your hair. Second, it helps dilute the product so your hair is exposed to less of the drying ingredients.

Hair Could Turn Purple

Depending on how long you let the purple shampoo stay on your hair or how much pigment your hair absorbs, it could turn purple!

Remember that it isn’t diluted, so there is more pigment available. It is easier to remove all the brassiness in just one use. But it is also easy to overdo it and get purple hair as a result of the process.

Hair Could Turn Grey

Excess use of purple shampoo can lead to grey tones emerging, particularly in those with already very light blond hair. This can look great! But this isn’t typically what most people are looking for when they use purple shampoo.

Uses A Lot Of The Shampoo

Wetting the hair can help you dilute the product and make it easier to spread throughout the hair. If you use the shampoo directly on dry hair, it’s harder to spread.

That means that you need to use more of the shampoo as compared to using it on wet hair.

Can Result To Purple Patches Of Hair

As we’ve mentioned, it is harder to spread the purple shampoo evenly on the hair. It is possible that there are parts of the hair that have more of the product in them, therefore absorbing more of the purple pigment.

As such, it is possible to form patches of purple on the more concentrated parts if you apply too much and let it sit for far too long on your hair.

Could Stain Your Hands

Apart from your hair, it could stain your hands or nails. That’s why you should apply it using gloves. Beware, it can also stain showers, porcelain, natural stone, etc. if you don’t clean it up.

Using Purple Shampoo When You’re Not Blonde

Beuatiful curly hair

Most people who are likely to use purple shampoo are those who have blonde hair. The yellowish tones are more obvious in their light-colored, highlighted, or bleached hair.

However, those who aren’t blonde can still use purple shampoo on either wet or dry hair.

If your hair has blonde highlights, it is a good idea to use purple shampoo so that your highlights don’t look too yellow or golden.

Those who have dyed their hair brunette could benefit well from using purple shampoo. It can help make your hair a little more cool-toned.

If your hair looks too brassy, you could use purple shampoo on dry hair. Remember that you should do a strand test because the success of the purple shampoo will depend on the state of your hair. 

A strand test will also help you know what to expect your hair to look like when you use it. If you are still questioning the effectiveness of the product, a strand test will help you make up your mind about it.

How Often Do You Use Purple Shampoo

Ideally the purple shampoo should only be used once or twice a week until you achieve desired results. It should not be used to replace regular shampoo unless you only use regular shampoo once or twice a week.

Can Purple Shampoo Make Your Hair Purple?

Absolutely. It may not produce a very vibrant purple color but you could see some purple tints. Some may love this color while others may not.

If your hair, unfortunately, turns a bit too purple than your liking, all you have to do is to wait for it to fade.

You can speed up the fading by using a clarifying shampoo, anti-dandruff shampoo, or even dishwashing soap. Just make sure that you apply a deep conditioning product afterward because these can be drying to the hair.

Can You Add Conditioner To The Shampoo?

Since you’re not supposed to use this shampoo on a daily basis, as it would be too drying, you could dilute it by mixing it with conditioner.

In that way, you could avoid overly drying your hair and overly staining it as well. Some find this method good but some find that this reduces the staining power of the shampoo.

Adding a conditioner to your purple shampoo will depend on your goal. Just make sure that you always apply a conditioner after using a purple shampoo to counter the drying effects.

So Should I Use Purple Shampoo On Dry Hair?

Purple shampoo can certainly be used on dry hair. However, it is not designed to be used in that way.

Using it that way has its risks, but some risks can be avoided if you are careful using it on your dry hair. Also, if you are okay with the potential risks and are really in a hurry to cancel all the brassiness in your hair, then you could try it.

If you like to experiment, go for it! But maybe don’t do it right before an important event, meeting, or date!

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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).