The magic of purple shampoo: everything you need to know

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Have you heard of the powerful hair tonic that can cancel out brassiness, leave hair feeling insanely supple and save you a trip to the salon in a hair emergency?

We’re talking about purple shampoo.

And the best part? Despite what you might think considering all of the benefits, it doesn’t cost a fortune!

As noted by the writers at PureWow, purple shampoo is one of the best-kept secrets in beauty. It’s a thick shampoo that generally comes out of the bottle in the brightest shade of purple you can imagine. Its primary purpose is to cancel out the brassiness caused by dyeing, sunlight or even age. It can be used by anyone, but is ideal for those with natural or dyed blonde hair, gray or graying hair or anyone with highlights.

It’s important to note that, as with color-correcting with makeup, purple shampoo works by way of the principle that opposite shades counteract one other. As it turns out, yellow sits opposite purple on the color wheel, so purple is the ideal color for a shampoo to cancel out unwelcome warm tones.

Curious how it’ll work? Buy a bottle: Darker purples like Lush Daddy-O Shampoo (about $39 per bottle) are super pigmented and work best on platinum or super-light strands. Individuals with balayage or foil highlights will benefit more from a violet-tinged shampoo, like Clairol’s Shimmer Lights (about $8 per bottle). Other notable brands include Ulta’s Color Balance Purple Shampoo ($15); L’Oreal Paris’ Everpure Blonde Shampoo ($7.99) and Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Shampoo ($13.50).

And don’t worry. It may tint your hair for a couple of minutes if you use it correctly (read: not too long), but it won’t dye your hair the color of a grape.

Not sure which one to buy for your tresses? Check out Cosmopolitan’s handy guide, which compares 15 different purple shampoos.