Blondes, particularly those of the unnatural variety, have long been using purple shampoo as an in-shower secret weapon to keep their color looking fresh. It's proof that the color wheel does come in handy outside of elementary-school art class: The cool tones in purple cancel out any unwanted warmth and keep bleached hair looking freshly dyed.
Brunettes, meanwhile, have had no such magic solution to stop their colored hair from turning brassy... until now. Blue toning shampoos are the latest beauty product being championed by and for brunettes, and it's going to be a game-changer for the lasting power of your color. The same way purple shampoo is used to neutralize yellow tones, blue works by following the theory of complementary colors. It promises to banish red and orange tones, leaving dark hair cooler and with more depth — and shinier, too.
"In the same way that blonde hair can turn brassy, brunette hair is also prone to oxidizing, which can bring out orange or red tones," says stylist Ken O'Rourke, an ambassador for Charles Worthington, which has just come out with its own line of blue shampoo available on the UK high street. O'Rourke recommends using a blue toning shampoo once a week, or alternating it with your regular shampoo as needed.
Another solid pick is Aveda's Blue Malva Shampoo, which has actually been on the market for years, but has been unfairly overshadowed by its purple counterparts. Its star ingredients, sustainably-gathered blue malva and Centaurea cyanus extracts, are responsible for the natural bright-blue tint that neutralizes brassiness in chemically treated hair. Joico's Color Balance Blue Shampoo promises similar results, especially on darker brunettes with salon highlights. It guards against color fade and keeps hair nourished while warding off those warm tones. Matrix's Total Results Brass Off Shampoo deposits blue-violet pigments as it works, and you can even leave it on for up to three minutes for the most dramatic results. Say it with us: Blue on, brass off.