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What is blue shampoo?
Blue-tinted shampoo gets rid of unwanted brassy tones in brunette hair — a particular problem among women who dye their hair or have highlights — when the color starts to fade.
"That's when your undertones, the natural pigment, starts popping up, and the red comes out," celebrity colorist Mincho Pacheco, who uses blue shampoo on his clients at James Joseph Salon in Boston, told TODAY Style. "Everybody has red in their hair, even blondes."
"It's great to cancel out orange or red tones from brown color," he added. "We use it on someone who always wants that deep, shiny brown look, someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, or someone who washes their hair too often."
Blue shampoo works for brunettes the same way purple shampoo works for blondes. Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel cancel each other out, so purple gets rid of yellow or greenish tones and blue gets rid of orange or red tones.
Hairstylist Paul Norton is also a fan of blue shampoo — he's used it on celebrity clients including Gina Rodriguez. But he adds that brunettes shouldn't discount purple shampoo entirely. Depending on what tones you're trying to correct, it might even be the better option.
The moral of the story? Play around until you find a shampoo you like.
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"It is 100% safe to try any of these at home," Norton told TODAY Style. "This is not something you need to rely on a hairstylist for because there's no deposit of color. There's only tonal correction, and it's not even aggressive tonal correction, it's almost surface-level tonal correction. And it's not permanent."
Both experts recommend that brunettes with brassy tones use a blue shampoo about once a week. But be careful: If you use too much at one time or shampoo too often, your hair could turn darker than your desired shade.
Pro tip: Wear gloves and make sure to give your shower a good rinse afterward to avoid any leftover blue residue.
The best blue shampoos:
In the salon, Pacheco swears by blue shampoos by this and Alaparf's blue shampoo. Norton is a fan of Bain de Terre's lavender shampoo for blondes.
But if you're looking for a quick fix, here are a few drugstore versions to try at home.
Matrix's blue shampoo promises to enhance the cool tones of brunette hair.
Joico says its blue shampoo is perfect for dark brunettes who have salon highlights they want to perk up.
For more hair content, check out:
- The best hair brushes for each hair type
- Jennifer Lopez's hairstylist swears by this $28 spray for frizz-free hair
- 5 pro-quality at-home hair dyes that hairstylists swear by
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