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Purple Shampoo Saved My Brassy Blonde Hair

For as long as I’m blonde I’ll always keep a bottle handy.

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A woman with blonde hair on the beach Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

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I've been a brunette for the majority of my life, but when I moved to a new city, I decided I wanted to make a change. I'm way too indecisive to get a tattoo, and I've already experimented with piercings; the next best option was coloring my hair, so I decided to go all in.

I started by going from dark brown to light brown/blonde. I loved my new light blonde tones, but over time, they became orange and brassy. I grew it out and chopped off the remainder of the orange, hoping for better results the following summer at a different salon. The stylist — and later, a friend — both recommended something I had never heard of to keep the blonde bright: purple shampoo.

The first one I tried was AG Hair's Colour Care Sterling Silver Toning Shampoo. (Don't let the name deceive you — it's purple, not actually silver, but can be used to eliminate brassiness in gray hair, too.) Lathering the bright purple liquid took some getting used to, but after a week, I immediately noticed a difference in color. My hair was brighter, and all of the orange and yellow tones were practically gone. [Editor’s note: Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights is also great, but smells a little weird.]

After that bottle was depleted, I went with something a little more financially practical (Joico’s Color Balance Purple Shampoo), but I can’t imagine ever going back to regular shampoo — at least not while I’m still blonde.