Whether caused by oxidation during the coloring process or as a result of days spent under the sun's rays, brassy and orange undertones have a way of taking over brunette hair, sometimes just weeks after a dye job. Before calling your hairstylist, try an affordable alternative to professional color correction. The best blue shampoos for brunettes come from trusted salon brands and will work progressively to restore your desired color. Even more optimal is if the formula is sulfate-free, which will help your strands stay extra nourished.
A blue lather can help brunettes in the same way purple shampoos work wonders for blonde and silver hair— it will help tone down unwanted color, and in the case of brown hair, that's usually an orange tint. "Blue shampoos deposit blue pigments that neutralize the brassy tones which occur from oxidation on most brunettes over time due to fading and exposure to the elements," says Sharon Dorram, a celebrity hair colorist and co-founder of the Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger salon.
But if you're wondering why you should specifically choose a blue hue instead of purple, it all goes back to art class. Blue is opposite orange on the color wheel, and opposite colors cancel each other out. This is also why those aforementioned violet-tinged shampoos are best for taking out yellow tones in blondes, since purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel.
Keep scrolling for the best blue shampoos for brunettes on Amazon. All of these will help tone down the brass in your hair in no time and are safe to use on highlighted, balayaged, and natural brunette hair.
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1. The Best Sulfate-Free Blue Shampoo
Wash your hair with the Redken Brownlights shampoo two to three times a week to gradually diminish brassy tones. This is the only sulfate-free formula on this list, which means anyone with chemically treated, frizzy, dry, or damaged hair will particularly benefit from it because it's much milder and won't rid hair of its natural moisture. It works on both previously highlighted/dyed or naturally brown hair by depositing blue pigments to neutralize orange tones without stripping away color. The gentle liquid's wheat protein helps hair stay shiny too, so your color will be extra vibrant. To use, lather up and leave the shampoo in for three to five minutes before rinsing. According to the brand, the blue shampoo might temporarily stain your hands, so wear a pair of gloves when applying.
Note: For even more blue-toning, consider picking up the complementary Redken conditioner, as well.
2. The Most Affordable Blue Shampoo
The Matrix Brass Off shampoo deposits blue-violet pigments to reduce brassy and orange tones in natural and lightened brunette hair. It's formulated to be used in lieu of your regular shampoo as a form of progressive color correction, but for some extra de-brassing, you can also choose to leave it in for up to five minutes and then rinse. This bottle has garnered more than 1,800 reviews on Amazon thus far, with the majority of fans marveling at how simple and effective it is. "I have dark brown hair that was starting to get brassy looking," reported one reviewer. "I used this product once and noticed a big difference. The shampoo also smells amazing."
Keep in mind, several Amazon users caution that leaving it in too long can leave you with lavender streaks for a couple of days, so don't go over the recommended five minutes.
3. The Best Blue Shampoo With Built-In UV Protection
This Joico shampoo color corrects on contact, banishing warm, orange tones instantly while preserving 89% of hair color for up to eight weeks. "I love this product so much," wrote one happy Amazon reviewer. "My brown hair with gold highlights kept getting orange after a few weeks. [...] I tried Joico. Amazing! My highlights now last forever without going orange, and I'm back to loving my color." The shampoo is formulated with the brand's damage-repairing Bio-Advanced Peptide Complex and its Multi-Spectrum Defense Complex, which is a form of UV protection to keep color from fading in the sun. You can use this shampoo a couple of times a week, leaving it in for three to five minutes before rinsing.
For even more brassiness-busting and nourishment, consider getting this in the shampoo and conditioner set.