I’m back with a gray hair post. It’s been a LONG time. I thought I’d never talk about this topic again, but here I am. So what’s with gray hair and purple shampoos? First…

Let me catch you up

One of the reasons I dyed my hair after growing out the gray for 2.5 years was the yellowing. I was walking to work and a stranger called out to me with “Hey blondie!” In my mind having blond-like hair defeated the purpose of all the emotional work (yes, ladies and gents, it’s emotional) it took to go gray.

Initially I tried a purple shampoo, but it left my hair with a lavender tone, so I didn’t use it again. There was also the fact that my mom and dad’s hair is always snow white and I never knew either of them to use special shampoos, so I didn’t think about yellowing until it happened.

Let me tell you that once it happened, nothing I did got rid of it. I even asked my stylist, and she didn’t know.

So when nine months after going back to the bottle I realized that I was permanently over the need for bi-weekly root maintenance and the inevitable dryness it caused I went back at it proactively.

I believe the last time I colored my hair was September.  (A month old photo of progress is below)

It’s not quite as emotional this time. It’s just hair that’s growing. I’m not covering it up with headbands and I’m not planning on cutting it short. I’ve even started getting compliments. The only time I get emotional is whenI talk to my mom who really doesn’t want me to go gray.

Purple Shampoo

“Science-y” of purple

This is pretty much what you’ll read everywhere, but I used this particular source because science is in the blog name. 🙂

“Purple shampoos or conditioners (or additives) – usually made for grey, blonde or silver hair. Purple is meant to cancel out the yellow shade – to deposit a tiny bit of purple to trick your eyes into not seeing the yellow. A purple additive such as “Ardell Red-Gold Corrector” is a commercial product which can be added to shampoo, hair gel or leave-in conditioner so that it is a light shade of purple if you prefer not to use an unfamiliar product. ~Source

Choosing purple

As I mentioned, my initial experience with purple left my hair with a lavender tone.  So when I decided to grow it again, I wasn’t sure how I’d fight the potential, perhaps inevitable, yellowing. So I did a little research via Amazon product reviews. Sure, maybe not the best research, but it’s what I had patience for.

After reading reviews I settled on Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Shiny Silver Ultra Shine Spray. Why I bought such a big bottle  of something I was going to try is a mystery to me, but it was probably the middle of the night. I didn’t start using the products until I was four months into the growth (January).

Using purple

Because I have a lot of really thick, coarse, wavy hair I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week (it’s healthy for hair, I promise) and I only use the most natural of shampoos. So when I thought about choosing to use purple shampoo, which are known to be drying, or risk yellowing, I decided that I’d compromise. I very unscientifically came up with the idea to add a single drop of the purple stuff to my shampoo. I only put it on the white hair, and I leave it on for the first half of my shower. I rinse it off, the add  conditioner. A little to the root, but a lot more  on the ends. Then rinse. That’s it.

So far I haven’t seen any violet residue or signs of yellow. Mind you, the white is still close to the scalp, so the yellow is still possible, but I’m hopeful.

I’ve read that you can also do a pre-treatment mask, putting the shampoo mixed with water straight on dry or damp hair, leaving it for about 45 minutes. I haven’t tried that yet, but may try it in the following weeks. I’ll keep you updated.

Your purple

I know you already know this, but do your own research. My sharing product names is not an endorsement (I’m definitely NOT getting paid by them), it’s just what I’ve found that works for me…so far.

If you’re already gray and keeping the yellow away, share your tips in the comments. I love trying things based on the real life experience and recommendations of people like you!

Till later!


Because why not a selfie

A post shared by Libby Juliá ✌🏼️ (@libbyjulia) on Jan 30, 2017 at 9:43am PST


2 thoughts on “Gray hair and the purple shampoo

  1. Purple shampoo has a purpose for gray, white, and blonde hair; however it might not be the best choice if you would like to embrace your hair color since purple shampoo basically changes the tone of your hair. Purple shampoo also has a couple of benefits if you want your hair looking different.

  2. I’m 33 and about 2/3 months into growing my greys in. I wrote a blog post about can grey hair be beautiful and I was all gee’d up about it but I’m honestly considering dying it again. It looks quite bad t the minute and I can’t imagine what it will look like when it’s all in.

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