Okay, so it’s safe to assume we all have the same existential questions, yes? What is the meaning of life, why does cheese taste so good, and what is the best blue shampoo? Cool, right, great. While the jury is still out on the first two, I do have an answer for that last one—namely, what blue shampoos do, how to use them, and, yes, which blue shampoo is best.
What is blue shampoo?
Blue shampoo is kind of like color-correcting makeup for brunette hair. Each time you lather up, your blue shampoo will deposit blue pigments that help neutralize brassy orange tones in your brown hair, leaving it brighter, cooler, and fresher-looking.
Does blue shampoo work on all hair?
Although blue products are most effective on color-treated hair, you can play around with using blue shampoo on your naturally brown hair to subtly alter your shade. Basically, these shampoos are kind of goof-proof, especially since the effects are temporary. So to get you started on your brass-canceling journey, I handpicked the 15 best blue shampoos for brown hair, below.
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Best Blue Shampoo for Natural and Highlighted Brunettes
Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Shampoo
Whether you’re a natural, dyed, or highlighted brunette, this blue shampoo from Redken will keep your color from turning reddish or orange-y. The sulfate-free (read: non-drying) formula fights brassiness with dark blue pigments to keep your color looking nice and fresh after each wash.
Best Shine-Boosting Blue Shampoo
Not Your Mother’s Triple Threat Brunette Blue Treatment Shampoo
A combo of gentle cleansers, color-correcting blue pigments, nutrient-rich blue tansy oil, and hydrating glycerin make this the perfect blue shampoo for brunettes with dull, flat hair. After the first rinse, your color will look cooler and richer and your hair waaaay shinier too.
Best Blue Shampoo for Dry Hair
Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo
So I know this is technically a purple shampoo that’s made for blondes, but it honestly works really well on brown hair too (trust me, I use it all the time, and I’m a brunette). It’s loaded with super-dark violet pigments to neutralize brassiness, plus argan oil to smooth fly aways and seal split ends.
Best Zero-Lather Blue Shampoo
DevaCurl No-Poo Blue Anti-Brass Zero Lather Curl Cleanser
If you have curls or super-dry hair, this zero-lather blue shampoo from DevaCurl is for you. The sulfate-free formula won’t get sudsy and strip your strands, but instead gently cleanses and conditions while neutralizing brassiness with blue pigments. The result? Curls and coils that are happy and healthy, and color that’s vibrant.
Best Blue Shampoo for All Brunettes
L’ange Brunette Boost Shampoo
This blue shampoo can be used to refresh and tone any and every shade of brown hair—bronde, chestnut, chocolate, you name it. The nourishing shampoo (P.S. It’s gentle enough to use every time you wash) uses a variety of blue pigments to counteract warm, orange tones no matter your shade of brunette.
Best Clean Blue Shampoo
DpHue Cool Brunette Shampoo
Not only is this blue shampoo free of sulfates (a big no-no for both color-treated and curly hair), but it’s also free of parabens, silicones, and phthalates, a gentle nod to the clean-and-green life. So what is in this shampoo? Blue pigments to neutralize brassy tones on brunette hair along with silk amino acids and hydrolyzed silk protein to strengthen and smooth damaged hair.
Best Weekly Blue Shampoo
Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo
This blue shampoo has been given A LOT of love on Amazon, and my easily influenced heart is all about those good reviews. One thing to note about this brass-minimizing shampoo: It’s formulated with sulfates, which can strip color and moisture from your hair with time. So limit your use to once a week (or more, if you’re really trying to fade your brunette dye job) and always follow up with a good deep conditioner.
Best Blue Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo
Here’s a fast fact for you: Color-treated hair is damaged hair. Which means whatever product you slather on your dye job should be moisturizing, yes, but also strengthening—and this blue shampoo from Joico is both. Filled with two different types of damage-repairing keratin proteins and moisture-retaining glyercin, this blue shampoo will not only make your brunette hair look brighter and cooler but also feel smoother and softer with each wash.
Best Customizing Blue Shampoo
Igk Mixed Feelings Leave-In Brunette Toning Drops
Okay, okay, so technically, this isn’t a shampoo at all—it’s a liquid blue toner that turns any shampoo or conditioner into a brass-neutralizing, brunette-hair machine. So if you’re looking through all these products while tearfully clutching your beloved non-blue shampoo, you’ll be happy to know that these drops are an easy compromise. Just mix 6 to 16 blue drops (there’s a shade guide, so you won’t have to guess how many) in with a palmful of your normal shampoo, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse as usual.
Best Blue Shampoo for Highlights
Fanola No Orange Shampoo
The good thing about this blue shampoo: It’s great for both brunette hair and blonde hair because it works to neutralize orange and red tones. So if your caramel and golden highlights are lookin’ a little too brassy, try washing with this color-correcting shampoo to take down the warmth and cool the colors out a bit. It can be a little harsh, though, so use it only when the brass starts creeping back in.
Best Plant-Based Blue Shampoo
Aveda Blue Malva Color Shampoo
Yes, yes, I know—this blue shampoo seems expensive. But it’s also ginormous (legit three times larger than your normal shampoo), which explains the cost. Still, its bulk size and price are totally worth the splurge: It’s not only gentle and hydrating but also filled with natural, plant-based ingredients like aloe juice and soybean oil to moisturize and color-correcting pigments to minimize brassy tones on your brunette hair.
Best Blue Shampoo for Light-Brown Hair
Oligo Professionnel Blacklight Blue Shampoo
This gentle, vegan, sulfate-free blue shampoo (yup, it’s a mouthful) can technically be used on any shade of brown hair, but because the color-correcting pigments are kind of subtle, you’ll see the best brass-eliminating results with lighter shades of brunette. The formula is also spiked with a major dose of amino acids and argan oil, which helps moisturize brittle, frizzy strands without weighing them down.
Best Sulfate-Free Blue Shampoo for Curly Hair
Hask Chamomile & Argan Oil Blonde Care Shampoo
Please ignore “blonde” in the name of this blue shampoo—it’s perfectly fine to use on brunette hair, too, thanks to its pigments that are actually a mix of violet and deep blue. But other than its brass-neutralizing powers, the real draw of this blue shampoo is the fact that it’s totally safe for curly and coily hair (it’s even Curly Girl Method approved!). No sulfates, no silicones, no alcohols, this gentle formula will moisturize without stripping your already dry hair.
Best Green-Blue Shampoo
Pravana The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo
Throwin’ a lot of colors at you today, but quick refresh: Blue cancels out orange tones, and purple cancels out yellow tones. But in this shampoo, we’ve got a third player in the game—green, which helps neutralize red tones (kinda like green concealer for a big red zit). Basically, when you have both green and blue pigments in one formula (ahem, like in this shampoo from Pravana), you’ve got yourself a warmth-destroying superhero that’ll cool down even the brassiest of dye jobs.
Best Inexpensive Blue Shampoo
Innovation Shimmer With Argan Oil Shampoo
A $9 blue shampoo that gets rid of all your brassy-orange tones in a few rinses? Uh, yes, please. I will take three. The foaming, sudsy shampoo deposits deep-blue pigments to cool your brunette color down while also moisturizing and strengthening your hair with argan oil, silk amino acids, and keratin proteins.
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