Blue shampoo – what is it, and how does it help brown hair?

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  • Brown-haired and haven’t heard of using blue shampoo before? Listen up, as it could help you get the most out of your dyed or natural colour. Although it’s perhaps the lesser well-known of the two, blue shampoo is to brown hair what the best purple shampoo is to cool-girl blonde.

    Most people associate brassiness or unwanted warm tones with bottle blondes. But the truth is that brunettes may experience some unwanted orange or reddish hues when a cool brown is preferable, regardless of whether they colour your hair. Intrigued? Keep reading for everything you need to know and the blue shampoos to try now.

    How does blue shampoo for brown hair work?

    ‘Although it appears not to be as widely known, brunettes also find that they are left with unwanted brassy tones coming through if they lighten their hair and/or have balayage,’ says legenedary hairdresser and colourist Josh Wood. ‘This can happen as a result of the sun, product they may use and pollution. ‘Meanwhile brunettes with virgin hair will often find that they have unwanted warmer tones too.’

    The term blue shampoo is pretty self-explanatory – the shampoo formula is enriched with blue pigments that infuse in to the hair. Won’t that turn my hair blue, we hear you ask? Not quite, as the process is a little bit more scientific than that.

    If you think about the colour wheel, blue is opposite orange and therefore has the ability to ‘cool down’ these tones in your hair ‘Blue shampoo is a neutralising shampoo that will reduce and neutralise orange and brassy tones in the hair,’ Josh explains. ‘Redken Brownlights Shampoo is a great way to tone your hair; the blue pigments work quickly and give incredible, cool results.’

    blue shampoo

    Leave your formula on the hair for a few minutes to really get the most out of those blue pigments, and most formulas advise using gloves so as not to stain your hands blue.

    Ready to take away that brassiness from your brown hair? Shop some of the hero blue shampoo formulas on the market right now in our round-up below.

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