What is toning shampoo


Clarifying, volumizing, hydrating, smoothing–taking a walk down the hair care aisle presents one dizzying display of labels. For the most part, what each product promises is clear. But there is one adjective that seems puzzling when placed in front of the word shampoo…toning. We asked hair expert and Warren Tricomi stylist Zachary Rej Morad to give us the 411 on toning shampoo.

What Is Toning Shampoo?

Toning shampoo, also commonly recognized as simply “purple shampoo,” is a pigment depositing shampoo, and as Morad adds, “a great way to keep your color fresh between salon visits.” Jackpot! “Lavender Shampoo is probably the most popular due to its ability to mute brassy tones in blondes. As blonde hair oxidizes it can begin to turn yellow or orange.”

The purple pigments work to counteract those tones–purple and yellow are exact opposites on the color wheel (that’s about as deep into color theory as we go).

Product Recommendations: Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo, Redken Blonde Glam Perfect Platinum, Matrix So Silver Shampoo  

Who Should Use It?

Toning shampoos are most often found in the showers of blondes, but all hair colors can benefit from toning shampoo. Reds can fade fast; fight it with a red toning shampoo. Morad recommends Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo to keep your hair color vibrant and fresh. “It can also add dimension to brown hair, making it richer and more radiant.”

We also love Pureology Reviving Red Shampoo Oil. A good toning shampoo can keep silver strands sparkling too. “Lavender shampoo is also great for anyone with silver or grey hair, which can turn yellowish due to various factors such as the environment and smoke,” notes Morad.  

When and How Do I Use It?

Morad recommends using a toning shampoo once or twice a week to maintain color and combat dullness. Lather up, let it sit for a few minutes (usually no more than five minutes, but be sure to read the directions on the bottle), and rinse it out.

If you do over-do it with the purple shampoo, don’t fret. Another washing with a clarifying shampoo with remove any evidence of overindulgence.

Have you ever used a toning shampoo? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

Photos: Valua Vitaly/Veer


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