Highlights, balayage, and ombre look incredible on brown hair—but lightening your brunette locks can lead to brassy tones over time. Hitting up the salon for a refresh every couple of weeks isn’t exactly feasible for all—so that’s where blue shampoo comes into play.
“Blue shampoo is a shampoo with blue pigments that cancels out unwanted orange, red, and copper tones in the hair,” says Alex Brown, a Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist. Calla Dawn, a senior colorist at Baja Studio in New York City, adds that blue shampoo works by coating the outside of the hair strand to minimize brassiness, much like a salon gloss.
Dawn explains that lightening your hair—whether via highlights or single-process color—exposes your hair’s underlying pigment. In most brunettes, that pigment is orange. That’s why your colorist will apply a gloss as a finishing touch. “A gloss not only adds shine, but it normally has pigment in it that tones down the warmth exposed after lightening the hair,” she says. After about a month of shampooing, heat styling, and being out in the sun, the gloss will fade, leaving behind the orange pigment underneath. Enter blue shampoo. “Using a blue shampoo is a great way to keep your hair looking cooler-toned between appointments,” says Dawn. (Dawn adds that purple shampoos and conditioners are a great option for blondes who feel like their hair is starting to look yellow.)
Here, we’ve rounded up the best blue shampoos for maintaining a beautiful brunette mane.
Best for Hair Repair
dpHUE Cool Brunette Shampoo
This deep blue shampoo gets rid of unwanted orange and red tones in brown hair, but the benefits don’t stop there. It also strengthens strands, prevents breakage, and adds a major dose of shine, thanks to the formula of health-boosting ingredients like silk proteins and hibiscus flower.