Memories of Summer may seem distant, but many of us are still reeling from the aftermath of too much fun in the sun. Girls who have an especially hard time? Blondes—real, colored, or bleached. (We’re talking the full spectrum of light hair color here, which includes grey, white, platinum, and even very light brown.)

If for any reason your light-colored hair has begun to look ashen, grey, or a bit brassy-orange, your saviour comes in the form of purple shampoo. Ladies, it’s not as crazy as it sounds, and it can be done from the safety of your home, at your very own kitchen sink. Let me explain.

First, why purple?

If you’ve taken art class in college, Summer camp, or at any other opportunity where you saw a color wheel, you might remember two things:

  1. Yellow and purple are direct opposites on the color wheel.
  2. Glitter looks good on everything. (Non-applicable fun point learned during one-too-many art classes.)

When you mix yellow and purple together, they cancel each other out. That means that any yellow brassiness that your golden hair has fallen prey to will be cancelled out simply by adding purple color (hair dye) to your locks!

Sounds great in theory, right? It’s gone well beyond that, too. Major haircare lines have products that provide this hack in the form of purple shampoo that will keep blondes in the money. Favourite purple shampoo products among beauty experts include Clairol’s Shimmer Lights and Naissant’s Purple Shampoo Blond Pearl.

The truth is, now that you know the deal, it’s pretty simple to make it at home. This not only keeps a little extra cash in your pocket, but you also get to control the amount of purple you use, which will allow you to color-correct your hair as often as you want.

How to make purple shampoo at home.

To create your own purple shampoo, you will need violet-colored dye. Gentian Violet dye seems to be a popular choice. But even food coloring dye works here.

Next, whatever shampoo you normally use, plus a bowl and spoon to do the mixing with.

Place 2 tablespoons of shampoo (more if you want to make a big batch) in the bowl and mix in 1 to 2 drops of dye into the shampoo. Add 1 or 2 more drops until you get a rich, purple color. Voila!

Now that you have the product, all that’s left is to use it!

First thing to know and do: Your hair shafts expand when hot, so you want to rinse your hair with hot water before you begin so that the purple color can get in good and deep. After that, use a cleansing shampoo to get rid of any product build-up, which will allow a good base for the purple color.

Again, hot water. Once those 2 things are taken care of, get started with distributing the purple shampoo throughout your hair. Do it in sections so that no bits are missed. Massage the dye into your scalp to get at the roots and then pull your fingers through your hair to get it to the tips. Repeat.

After that, let it sit for 5 minutes. Or longer, if you feel your hair really needs it. You will want to experiment a bit with the leave-in time here.

Finally, rinse it off with cold water to allow the hair shaft to contract/close, which will seal in the color. Then do all the other steps in your regular hair routine.

If you find you went a little too purple in your exuberance over getting rid of the brass, don’t worry. Just use a cleansing shampoo (the one you used to start with) that will get rid of the excess product. All done, lovelies! Hair was meant to shine! Go out and dazzle! 

—Emma Jean

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