Blue Shampoo is The Best Way to Conquer Brassiness in Your Brunette Hair
Do you remember learning the color wheel in elementary school art class? Who knew it would come in so handy? Read on to find out why blue shampoo can help reduce orange tones and brassiness in your brunette hair!
What Is Brassy or “Blorange” Hair?
As most dyed brunettes know, when you haven’t dyed your hair for awhile, the dye can fade and become brassy.
Brassiness in brunette hair means unwanted red or copper tones.
Here’s a picture of me from early July 2018, five months into my gray hair transition. The silvers look nice but the faded dye is turning ORANGE. In the gray hair community, brassy orange hair is also called “blorange.”
I checked in with my gray hair Facebook support groups to get some advice on how to handle this issue. Many women recommended purple shampoos, but I did a little digging and found out that, for brunettes, blue shampoo is best.
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Why is Blue Shampoo Great for Brassy Brunette Hair?
Blue shampoo is best for brassy brunette hair because blue is the opposite color from orange on the color wheel, so the blue tint neutralizes the orange tones.
Purple shampoo is best for brassy blonde hair, as purple is the opposite color on the color wheel from bright yellow, so the purple cancels out the yellow.
How to Use Blue Shampoo
One of my fellow brunette Instagrammers recommended Joico Blue Shampoo to me, so I decided to give it a shot.
As per her advice, I put it on dry hair and let it sit for 5 minutes. I then took a shower and added a little more blue shampoo and worked it in well before rinsing it out and conditioning.
When I dried my hair, the brassiness was pretty much gone! My dyed hair looked darker and my silvers were brighter!
I was very happy with the results.
Blue shampoo can leave your hair a bit dry. You should definitely deep condition afterward.
My friendly neighborhood beauty supply shop recommended Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator Treatment.
After using blue shampoo, rinse it out and put the K-Pak on wet hair and let it sit for anywhere from 5-30 minutes before rinsing out.
Your hair will feel SO hydrated! I use it every time I use the blue shampoo.
What Not To Do with Blue Shampoo
Don’t use it too often: If you’re going gray, you should only use the blue shampoo once a week because you can get a blue tinge to your gray hair if you use it too often.
Don’t leave it on too long: I accidentally left blue shampoo on my dry hair for 30 minutes (a number of little family emergencies happened and I had to run around the house like a nutcase with blue hair and blue hands!)
My hair felt quite frizzy afterward, and even the Joico K-Pak wasn’t enough to get it back to normal.
Don’t put it on wet hair if you want to REALLY tone down the orange: I was tired one morning and didn’t feel like putting the blue shampoo on my dry hair. So I skipped that step and just put it on wet hair in the shower. It didn’t work.
As you can see below, when I put it on wet hair, my hair stayed brassy. The blue shampoo made NO difference:
Blue Shampoo: Pros & Cons
- Removes brassy orange tones from your faded brunette hair
- Brightens your silver hair (if you’re going gray)
- Blue shampoo is a temporary solution – you have to use it at least once a week to get good results
- If your hair is SUPER orange (as mine is now, after 15 months of not dyeing), it doesn’t work as well as it does on mildly orange hair.
- Blue shampoo is very drying – you must deep condition afterward
The Best Blue Shampoos for Brunettes
My favorite blue shampoo is Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo. The price is right, and even though I use it once a week, I’ve had it for over a year and still have plenty left. Joico Blue Shampoo is a great value and it works beautifully!
Fanola No-Orange Shampoo also gets great reviews. Their No-Yellow Shampoo has been a hit for years with bleached blondes, and I’m surprised and delighted to discover they’re now making a blue shampoo for brassy brown hair.
Aveda Blue Malva is a pricier option, but a lot of women swear by it. I personally love Aveda products – they are cruelty-free, smell great, and are plant-based. I want to try the Blue Malva, but I still have plenty of Joico Blue Shampoo left.
Anyway, if you’re a brunette like me, you may want to give the blue shampoo a try. I’m very happy with it.
I have nothing against the color orange, but I don’t really want orange hair, you know what I mean?
And remember: purple shampoo for blondes (or fully silver/gray
Katie is the founder of Katie Goes Platinum. After constantly dyeing her hair for over 25 years, in 2018 Katie decided to stop the madness and embrace the gray. Since then, she’s been sharing her favorite gray hair tips, resources, and stories to empower women to feel beautiful during and after their transition to gray hair.