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- Blue shampoos can help keep brassy tones out of dark hair that’s been lightened to various shades of brown. It acts as a toner to cool down the warm hues that pop up naturally after lightening your hair.
- I’ve dyed my hair several shades of brown (and blonde!), and have found that Fanola No Orange Shampoo has one of the strongest formulas, banishing brassiness on the spot and keeping my brunette hair looking cool both literally and figuratively.
- Here’s why I love it, along with some others I’ve used and would still recommend.
Blondes have been swearing up and down about the miracle of purple shampoo to keep brassiness at bay. Now, brunettes finally have a miracle product to call their own — blue shampoo.
First, the basics — what is blue shampoo? "Blue shampoo contains blue-violet pigments that are deposited into the hair when you shampoo," explains Jamielynn De Leon, owner of Rogue House Salon in the East Village. "It neutralizes the brassy tones that occur when lightened hair oxidizes." In layman’s terms, it keeps your lightened brown hair from turning that pesky orange-red hue.
While blue shampoo is recommended for color-treated brown hair, natural brunettes can also benefit from its unique formula. "A natural brunette can use a blue shampoo even if their hair isn’t [dyed]," says De Leon. "If their hair picks up natural pigment from the [sun’s rays], it can turn their hair brassy as well. It’s a good idea to balance everything out with a blue shampoo."
As someone who’s dyed her hair brown (and blonde) multiple times, I’ve tried my fair share of blue shampoos to find the one that suits my needs, hair type, and budget. Here are five that I’ve tried and would recommend.
Fanola No Orange Shampoo
Honestly, this is my favorite pick of the bunch because the formula helps lock in the cooler hues of my dye job longer than any other shampoo I’ve tried.
Fanola is especially effective when maintaining on all-over dye jobs, like mine. Just make sure that you blend it through every inch of your hair, or you may end up with uneven toning — yeah, it’s that strong.
My biggest piece of advice though is to wear gloves. Fanola’s formula is not for the faint of heart — or bare hands. I made this rookie mistake when I was in a bit of a rush one day and forgot my plastic gloves. Your hands will not only be left with an alien-esque purple-blue tint, but the color will also linger around your nail beds and cuticles.
Everything will wash off after some time, but save yourself from my mistake and just remember to wear plastic gloves before using.
dpHUE Cool Brunette Shampoo
The deep-blue pigments in dpHUE’s formula work to neutralize unwanted red, orange tones in my wavy, dyed hair while silk proteins soften and prevent breakage. Best of all, it’s a use-as-needed shampoo, so I can still use my favorite everyday shampoo and switch to dpHUE when I start noticing a few brassy strands pop up.
The biggest con is that at $26 for an 8.5-ounce bottle, this kind of result doesn’t come cheap. I will say this though — while my wallet doesn’t not appreciate the hefty price, my hair loves the results whenever I use it.
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo
With more than 340 5-star reviews on Amazon, it’s hard to ignore this shampoo from Joico. The fan favorite contains tone-correcting pigments that latch onto hair fibers and stays attached even through multiple washes.
I had zero qualms about Joico’s shampoo when I had highlighted brown hair. However, when I took the plunge to all-over lightened hair, I didn’t see the same results.
Brassy sections kept popping up a few areas, which was something I never saw when I had highlighted hair. In my experience, this shampoo is great for partially dyed or highlighted hair, but doesn’t deliver the same results for all-over dyed hair. If your dye job falls in the latter, I’d recommend any of the stronger, more potent formulas like the Fanola No Orange Shampoo.
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