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Last updated: August 30, 2023

6 Purple Shampoo Mistakes You’re Making

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Photo Credit: Instagram via @the.blonde.chronicles

When To Skip Toner, How To Bust Brass, Pre-Tone & More!

This one is for the clients who “still see yellow!” We are sharing three things you must do when using purple shampoo—plus, three mistakes to avoid so you cancel out the right tones and avoid dull, over-toned blondes. Scroll on to learn why clarifying is a must, pre-toning pro tips and the perfect at-home care to bust brass.


3 Purple Shampoo Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 1: Overusing purple shampoo

The reality is when you overuse purple shampoo, your blonde can turn ashy or gray looking. To avoid this, BTC Team Member and Schwarzkopf Professional® Artistic Team Member Carly Zanoni (@the.blonde.chronicles) recommends clients use Schwarzkopf Professional® GOODBYE YELLOW® every three to five washes (or less!)


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Photo Credit: Instagram via @the.blonde.chronicles


Mistake 2: Expecting purple to cancel out orange: 

Remember: The color wheel is your friend! “Purple is the complementary color to yellow, which means they will neutralize each other,” Carly explains. “So, purple shampoo is most effective on hair with a little yellow in it. The complement to orange is blue, so if your [client is a] brunette gal struggling with brassy/orange tones, try Schwarzkopf Professional® GOODBYE ORANGE®,” she adds.


Mistake 3: Not clarifying first

This is for clients that have hard water at home, product buildup on their hair, overuse purple shampoo or love to swim in the summer. “It’s important [for clients] to clarify before [they] use a purple shampoo, so it isn’t fighting a layer of buildup when it penetrates the hair,” says Carly. 


This is a step Schwarzkopf Professional® Digital Artistic Team Member Josie Vilay (@josievilay) never skips; plus, it’s an opportunity to sell more retail! “I recommend my guests use Schwarzkopf Professional® BLONDME Detox Shampoo two washes before their next appointment,” says Josie. Here’s why:


  • Detoxes the hair from hard water, purple shampoo and environmental factors
  • Creates a clean, buildup-free canvas for you to work on for the most even lift
  • Toner will deposit evenly across all zones


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Photo Credit: Instagram via @josievilay


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3 Things You Must Do: When To Use Purple Shampoo

1. Pre-tone for a clean canvas:

To kick any extra yellow pigment from the hair before you tone, try a highly-pigmented purple shampoo. “My favorite purple shampoo is GOODBYE YELLOW®,” says Carly.


2. Grays fading yellow? Here’s the fix:

“Use purple shampoo if you notice yellow tints in your hair,” celebrity colorist Jack Martin (@jackmartincolorist) advises. Keep your clients’ color salon-fresh in between appointments by sending them home with a purple shampoo like GOODBYE YELLOW®. “Make sure you towel dry the hair before you apply and leave it in the hair for five minutes, rinse with cold water and you will get amazing results,” Jack says.


Look familiar? This celebrity colorist experiences yellow fading in gray clients, too: 

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Photo Credit: Instagram via @jackmartincolorist


3. No-toner blondes are in:

Good news! Depending on your client’s goals, you can save time and skip toning altogether by utilizing your client’s natural warmth to your advantage. After you lighten and rinse, try shampooing with GOODBYE YELLOW® on clients that are a Level 6 (or lighter) for a bright, golden-toned blonde with controlled warmth:


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Photo Credit: Instagram via @adina_pignatare


For blondes who want to feel more lived-in, try adding a root shadow and toning with Goodbye Yellow for a bright and ashy finish:

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Photo Credit: Instagram via @manely.summer


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Bonus WWYD: “I still see yellow!” 

We all know the blonde client that wants to be as icy as possible—oh, and did we mention they pull super warm? To help clients understand why they may be seeing yellow, we asked Carly exactly what she would say: 


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 Photo Credit: Instagram via @the.blonde.chronicles


Be sure to validate your client’s feelings, explain the way we all perceive color differently and disclose your professional opinion with their hair health in mind.

Pro Tip: “If this comes up at every appointment, I think it’s worth reassessing whether or not the client/stylist relationship is a good fit,” Carly advises.


Lastly, ensure you send them home with the right knowledge and products to set them up for success. Here’s a quick checklist for your clients from Carly: 


  • Use less heat on your hair 
  • Use quality products at home
  • Wear a hat or use sun protection when you’re outside 
  • Schedule an in-salon gloss every six weeks to rebalance the color 
  • Use purple shampoo (remember: every three to five washes)


UP NEXT: 3 Fast Toning Cheats for Brunettes


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