Can Purple Shampoo Cause Hair Breakage? How to use correctly and effectively

Purple shampoo is a popular haircare product for dyed hair thanks to its ability to remove brassy undertones. However, given the drastic effects of this shampoo, certain precautions must be taken if one chooses to use it.

In the article below, we will explore a topic most closely tied to the use of purple shampoo, which is hair loss. Can purple shampoo cause hair breakage? Let’s find out!

Can Purple Shampoo Cause Hair Breakage?

Purple shampoo is best known for its color correction effect
Purple shampoo is best known for its color correction effect

Yes. When overused, the toxic chemicals present in the product can tamper with the hair structure. Not only do they dry out your scalp, but they also force your hair to become brittle and more prone to shedding.

So, why is it that purple shampoo can be so damaging?

Unlike standard shampoos – which are used to wash off dirt and nurture your hair – purple shampoos are designed for people with dyed hair, especially blonde.

Since purple cancels out yellow, using this special item enables people to get rid of jarring undertones. This way, your hair’s color will remain neutralized and visually pleasant.

Needless to say, purple shampoos are extremely helpful when used correctly. Unfortunately, many customers have the habit of abusing the product. This nuisance can be traced back to how dishonest brands saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.

Under the influence of gimmicks and advertisements, naive customers are not aware of how often they should apply the shampoo or how to do it properly. Believing that more is better, people start to treat purple shampoo as an ordinary haircare item, putting it on the head plenty of times per week.

As purple shampoo forces the cuticles to open for the pigment to kick in, its nature is pretty dry. Combined with the fact that there is a pH discrepancy between your hair and the purple shampoo, overusing this product can lead to scalp dryness.

Furthermore, purple shampoo contains several harsh ingredients such as guar gum and acid citric, which strips your hair of its natural oi. When used for an extended period of time, brittle hair and hair loss are sure to follow!

What Happens If You Overuse Purple Shampoo

Overusing purple shampoo can bring about lots of problems
Overusing purple shampoo can bring about lots of problems

As stated above, purple shampoos can be detrimental to your hair if you exceed the recommended frequency or leave it for too long on your head. Below are two of the most popular issues brought about by abusing purple shampoo.

Your hair will be subject to breakage

The ingredients in purple shampoos are not meant to moisturize or soften the hair. Instead, their sole purpose is to clear away the yellowish, brassy undertones.

Remember, they are more of a maintenance product for blonde and grey hair, not daily shampoo!

As a result, overusing the product exposes your scalp and hair structure to harmful substances.

As the shampoo turns your scalp arid and your hair structure flimsy, you can expect exponential hair fragmentation and breakage at any time soon. That is not to mention how extreme dryness is also possible, given the strong chemical compounds found in purple shampoo.

Regarding the appearance, your hair will turn a few shades darker and lose its fluffiness.

Your hair will turn purple

The most concentrated pigment in these shampoos is purple. Hence, it should be no surprise that your hair may turn purple-ish if you keep the product unwashed for too long.

The purple shade in your shampoo will slowly make its way inside your hair, reconstructing its color and making your hair look overstained.

This is because purple is a rich color and can make its way deep inside once your hair cuticles open up. If left for too long, the purple color ends up staining the hair.

In this case, you either have your dyed hair washed out completely or you might face a head full of irreversible purple hair. A trip to the salon to fix this can cost you a fortune.

In case you want to skip the salon altogether, consider using a clarifying shampoo. But bear in mind that it takes a long time for the full effect to be visible, and you should not rush the process by using the product relentlessly unless you want brittle hair.

How Often Should You Use Purple Shampoo?

Whenever you buy a new bottle of purple shampoo, check for the instructions right away. Most manufacturers will include a detailed guideline on the frequency of usage.

And do not forget to have a look at how using purple shampoo differs from one type of hair to another.

White hair

White hair can also benefit from using purple shampoo
White hair can also benefit from using purple shampoo

Experts recommend that you use purple shampoo on white hair only twice a week. Furthermore, you should not leave the shampoo on your head for more than 5 to 7 minutes.

Silver hair

Lighter hair colors tend to have more brassy undertones, which calls for three times of washing per week. As you increase the frequency, make sure to keep the shampoo on for roughly 5 minutes.

Light ash blonde

The ashy shade of blonde hair also has plenty of yellowish undertones. To keep them under control, use purple shampoo three times per week and each time should not last more than 3-5 minutes.

Light brown hair

If you have light brown hair, feel free to use purple shampoo everyday. It helps you remove the yellow tints, correcting your hair’s color gradually without overdoing it.

That being said, try to limit the soaking time to 3-5 minutes so the product does not dry out your scalp.

How To Use Purple Shampoo Correctly

How to use

Make sure to saturate your hair before applying purple shampoo for maximal effects
Make sure to saturate your hair before applying purple shampoo for maximal effects

Step 1: Use warm water to wet your hair thoroughly. The high temperature opens up the cuticles, making them more absorbent towards the ingredients in purple shampoos.

Step 2: Start applying purple shampoo to your hair from the roots to the tips, especially on the roots. If you are worried about staining your fingers, consider wearing a pair of gloves. Gently massage the shampoo into your hair, especially in areas where the undertones are most visible.

Note: If you are using purple shampoo on highlighted hair, you should apply it to the blonde streaks only.

Step 3: Let the shampoo sit on your hair. The time for this step depends on your hair colors, as explained below.

  • Natural blonde hair: 2-3 minutes.
  • Recently dyed hair: 5-10 minutes. If you are not satisfied with the results, increase the soaking time to 10-15 minutes.
  • White and silver hair: up to 30 minutes. Light hair colors have a much longer soaking time due to their natural state. The longer you wait for purple shampoo to remove the warm undertones, the more vibrant your hair will be.

It should be noted that while this soaking time is recommended by experts, you also have to listen to your body’s reactions.

If this is your first time using purple shampoo, opt for the safest option and soak for no more than 5 minutes. Afterward, you can decide whether you have achieved the desired results.

Step 4: Rinsing your hair with cool water. Work your way through the hair to ensure all of the purple shampoo is washed off. Proceed to condition your hair with a purple conditioner for more toning effect, or use a normal conditioner for moisturizing only.

Step 5: Repeat it 2 to 3 times if you feel like nothing has changed. Or else, you are advised to wash your hair with purple shampoo once a week only. Feel free to adjust the soaking time and frequency to suit your needs.

Other tips

  • There is no need to stick to purple shampoos only. You should balance between your regular shampoos and purple shampoos. Otherwise, not only does it damage your hair, but it also prevents the absorption of purple pigments.
  • If you intend on replacing regular shampoos with purple ones, look for products that are rich in coconut oil and keratin. Coconut oil nourishes your hair and heals them from potential breakage, while keratin strengthens hair structure and prevents shedding.
  • Purple shampoos are not for all types of hair. Admittedly, various hair colors can have their warm undertones removed by purple shampoos. But it is blonde hair that earns the highest level of efficacy from this product. If you think purple shampoo is not for you, do not hesitate to use a more suitable item.


Should I use purple conditioner every day?

In most cases, the answer is no. It is better that you use purple conditioners after purple shampoo, which ranges from two to three times per week. They work best when your hair is brassy, but daily use of this product may lead to extreme hair dryness.

Should you use purple shampoo on dry hair?

No. Under no circumstances should you use purple shampoo on dry hair.

First of all, dry hair is already barren and easily breakable. As purple shampoo does not contain much moisturizing effect, it can weaken the hair structure even more and result in substantial hair loss.

Secondly, dry hair is not as porous and absorbent as wet hair. Applying purple shampoo to dry hair may leave purple patches all over your hair, as the purple pigments cannot seep through the hair shafts.

And of course, there is a problem of uneven absorption. Your hair ends and highlighted areas tend to take in more moisture than your hair roots. Subsequently, the pigmentation can be on and off in different places.

If you have extremely dry hair, consider moisturizing it before applying purple shampoo. This way, purple shampoo will have a much easier time penetrating the hair cuticles, giving you a satisfying hair shade.


Can purple shampoo cause hair breakage? The answer is YES!

Given the toxic chemicals in purple shampoos, you should always be cautious when using this product. Make sure to read the instructions carefully regarding the frequency and soaking time so that no staining or hair dehydration happens.

And if you find these tips and tricks helpful, feel free to share it with other people!


I am Jessica Coles, a hairstyling and trends expert who also holds a master's degree in cosmetology. I am one of the leading hair care experts who has been offering support round the clock.

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