What Is Blue Shampoo And Why Do You Need It?


Brass is wonderful when it comes to antique lamps, key rings and marching bands. But when it comes to your blonde or brunette hair, not so much. Unwanted brassy tones can be the number one buzzkill for the cool hair color you crave. Perhaps you have heard things about blue and purple shampoos as antidotes for brassy hair, but you are not sure what they do and how they work. Well, you are in luck. The pros at Matrix take on your frequently asked questions about all things new about

What is Blue Shampoo?

Blue shampoo contains blue-violet pigments that are deposited into the hair when you shampoo. It neutralizes the brassy tones that occur when hair is lightened.

How Does Blue Shampoo Work?

Every hair color has underlying warm tones that are exposed when hair is lightened with hair color or bleach. Lighter hair color has underlying yellow tones when lifted. Darker hair color has underlying orange tones.

So if you have blonde highlights or you lighten your hair to an all-over blonde, you may notice the lightened hair may become dingy and yellowish over time as repeated shampooing, the sun and thermal tools all strip away the cool tone and expose the underlying warmth. If you are brunette and you have highlights or have lightened your allover hair color, you may notice that over time, your hair begins to look brassy.

If you look on a color wheel, you will see that every color can be neutralized by its opposite. Blue is the opposite of orange, so a blue shampoo will cut through the brassiness in lightened brunette hair and restore it to a cool or neutral tone.

Who Needs Blue Shampoo?

If you are a brunette, and you have lighter balayage, ombré or conventional highlights; if you’ve lightened your dark brown hair completely, or if you have a combination of lighter hair with highlights, blue shampoo is your solution for brassiness. It will get rid of those unwanted orange tones, and it will brighten up your hair color overall.


What is the Difference Between Blue Shampoo and Purple Shampoo?

It all goes back to that color wheel. If you study your wheel, you notice that purple is the opposite of yellow. Knowing that lighter natural hair colors tend to become yellow as they lift, hairstylists recommend using a purple shampoo to cancel the unwanted yellow tones. Bottom line? If you’re blonde, opt for purple shampoo. If you’re brunette and you want to maintain cool, brass-free hair color, reach for blue shampoo.

How Often Should I Use Blue Shampoo?

Hairstyling pros recommend sudsing up with blue shampoo once a week to cancel orange or red tones out of brown hair color. For more toning, leave it in your hair for two or three minutes before rinsing. Don’t worry if your blue shampoo hits the shower tile--it will rinse out. You may wish to use gloves when shampooing to protect your skin.

What’s a Good Blue Shampoo to Use?

Matrix pros like to recommend a full system that will not only tone brassy brunette hair color but will also strengthen and condition the hair. Their system of choice is Matrix Total Results Brass Off. The system contains:

  • 1. Brass Off Shampoo, which deposits blue-violet pigments to neutralize brassy hair.

  • 2. Brass Off Conditioner, a non-color depositing formula that retains cool tones, hydrates hair and protects hair color.

  • 3. Brass Off Custom Neutralization Mask, for hair that needs a conditioning and toning upgrade. This highly pigmented blue-violet formula neutralizes and eliminates brassy/orange tones to maintain lightened hair. It also helps repair and protect fragile hair.

When the entire Brass Off system is used regularly, you’ll experience 10 times less hair breakage, and beautiful, cool, even hair color tone.


“Inspired by celebrities like J-Lo and Sofia Vergara, more and more of my brunette clients are requesting highlights and lighter overall base shades,” comments Matrix Artistic Director Robert Santana. “For the majority of these clients, Brass Off is a ‘must’ for maintaining the cool mocha and caramel shades they love!”