Brassiness isn’t something only blondes are dealing with. Where blondes struggle with yellow tones, color-treated brunettes are faced with orange and red tones peeking through after a few washes. Luckily, similar to purple shampoo for blondes, there is blue shampoo for brunettes. Blue shampoo neutralizes the orange tones in brown hair. Are you looking for a blue shampoo that isn’t tested on animals? We’ve got you! We’ve rounded up the 7 best cruelty-free blue shampoos.
Jump directly to: The 7 Best Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoos.
First, why does my brunette color turns brassy anyway?
The color brown is a mix of every color, including a lot of red. When the hair color gets stripped (by shampooing, sun exposure, heat styling and swimming) the cooler tones tend to dissipate first, which is when the warm undertones start to pop up.
How does blue shampoo work?
Blue shampoo is a color-correcting shampoo containing blue pigments. It works for brunettes the same way purple shampoo works for blondes. Both shampoos cancel out brassy tones by using the opposite color of the color wheel (purple – yellow, blue – orange). It cleanses like a normal shampoo, while it infuses hair with cool-toned pigments to temporarily counteract the warm tones in brown hair.
If you have a lot of red undertones that you want to get rid of, you need some green (as green is the opposite color of red on the color wheel). Pravana’s Brunette Toning Shampoo comes in a blue-green shade which is the best shampoo for dark brunettes with orange and red undertones.
Now, if you have a light or dark brown hue, an all-over brown hair color, balayage or highlights, to keep your brunette color from turning brassy, lather up with one of the cruelty-free blue shampoos below.
Vegan + Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoo
In the beauty industry, ‘cruelty-free’ only refers to animal testing. However, the way that many animal ingredients are obtained is simply cruel too, which is why we can image you want to buy products that are cruelty-free as well as vegan. If you’re in the market for a cruelty-free and vegan blue shampoo, this list offers you 5 options.
- For Light to Medium Brunettes: DpHue – Cool Brunette Shampoo VEGAN
- Best Budget: Not Your Mother’s – Triple Threat Brunette Blue Treatment Shampoo VEGAN
- For Neutralizing Orange and Red Tones: Pravana – The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo
- Cult-Favorite: Aveda – Blue Malva Color Shampoo VEGAN
- For Damaged Hair: Joico – Color Balance Blue Shampoo
- Best for Curly Hair: DevaCurl – No-Poo Blue Anti-Brass Zero Lather Curl Cleanser VEGAN
- Best Drugstore: EVA NYC – Brass to Sass Brunette Shampoo VEGAN
The 7 Best Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoos for Brunettes
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Best for Light to Medium Brunettes:
Cool Brunette Shampoo
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This ultra-gentle blue shampoo is free of sulfates, paraben and silicones, making this a safe choice for color-treated and damaged hair. The foamy cleanser is made with silk proteins and hibiscus flower extract to strengthen and soften your strands. When it comes to toning, the longer you leave this blue-tinted wonder on, the more neutralizing it is.
Note this shampoo works best on light to medium brown strands.
Pair with DpHue Cool Brunette Conditioner for even more toning power.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles, phthalates, silicones, gluten, animal (by)products | Cruelty-Free: yes | Vegan: yes, DpHue is a vegan brand | Packaging: plastic
Best Budget Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoo:
Not Your Mother’s
Triple Threat Brunette Blue Treatment Shampoo
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This moisturizing blue shampoo gently cleanses while blue pigments combats orange tones in all hues of brown hair. It is not the most pigmented blue shampoo of this list, but if you use this 2 to 3 times a week, your color will look cooler. Formulated with blue tansy oil and glycerin to leave your hair healthy and shiny.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles, phthalates, silicones, gluten, animal (by)products | Cruelty-Free: yes | Vegan: yes, this is a vegan product however Not Your Mother’s is not a vegan brand, meaning they also have non-vegan products | Packaging: plastic
Best Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoo for Dark Brunettes:
The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo
VIEW ON AMAZON | $$$
Blue cancels out orange, but what about those red tones in dark brown hair? This is where the Pravana toning shampoo comes in, with blue pigments to cancel out the orange and green pigments to neutralize the red. There is also a toning conditioner and hair mask for even cooler results.
Note don’t use on light brown hair or highlights, as it can turn it green.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles | Cruelty-Free: yes, Pravana is PETA-certified cruelty-free, however Pravana is owned by Henkel, a company that is not cruelty-free | Vegan: no | Packaging: plastic
Blue Malva Color Shampoo
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Yes, this blue shampoo seems expensive. But 33.8 oz is also a lot of shampoo, which justifies the price we’d say. The ultra-gentle formula is packed with plant-based moisturizing ingredients to keep hair healthy while the blue pigments counteract orange and brassy tones. As it suds up to a white lather, this doesn’t stain your shower nor your hands. That said, it is not the most pigmented blue shampoo of the bunch.
This shampoo works best on light brunettes, blondes and greys.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles, animal (by)products | Cruelty-Free: yes, Aveda is PETA-certified cruelty-free, however Aveda is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that is not cruelty-free | Vegan: yes, Aveda is a 100% vegan brand | Packaging: 100% post-consumer recycled plastic
Best Cruelty-Free Blue Shampoo for Damaged Hair:
Color Balance Blue Shampoo
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If you have damaged color-treated or highlighted hair, then Joico’s shampoo is your best bet to prevent color fading and getting rid of unwanted brassy undertones. At work are keratin, glycerin and rosehip oil to repair and prevent breakage, while the color-correcting pigments minimize the orange undertones and bring out your best brunette.
Free of: paraben | Cruelty-Free: yes, Joico is PETA-certified cruelty-free | Vegan: no | Packaging: plastic
Best Blue Shampoo for Curly Hair:
No-Poo Blue Anti-Brass Zero Lather Curl Cleanser
VIEW ON AMAZON | $$$
If you have curly or coily hair this no-poo blue shampoo from DevaCurl is for you. The zero-lather, sulfate-free formula won’t strip your curls, but instead gently cleanses them while the blue pigments neutralize all brassiness. Leaves curls curly, cool-toned and fruity scented.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles, phthalates, silicones, gluten, animal (by)products | Cruelty-Free: yes, DevaCurl is PETA-certified cruelty-free, however the brand is owned by Henkel, a company that is not cruelty-free | Vegan: yes, this is a vegan product, however DevaCurl is not a 100% vegan brand | Packaging: the bottles are made of 50% recycled ocean-bound plastic
Brass to Sass Brunette Shampoo
VIEW ON AMAZON | $
Work this affordable option into your 2-weekly routine and let the bright blue pigments ban the brassiness, while nourishing ingredients like spirulina, blue tansy oil keep hair feeling soft and strong. For a clean shampoo it has great foaming power and it smells nice too.
Pair with the EVA Brass to Sass Conditioner for even more toning power.
Free of: paraben, sulfates sls/sles, phthalates, mineral oil | Cruelty-Free: EVA NYC is a Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free brand | Vegan: yes, EVA NYC is a 100% vegan brand | Packaging: recyclable aluminum
How to apply blue shampoo?
Blue shampoo can be applied like your regular shampoo, but with a few things to keep in mind:
- Some blue shampoos are so highly pigmented they call for using gloves to prevent your hands and nails from turning blue
- The longer you leave blue shampoo on, the more toning power. Alway read the instructions of the specific shampoo
- Most blue shampoos can be used 2 to 3 days a week, but since the blue pigment can cause dryness, we recommend to not use shampoo more than needed.
What else we can do to maintain our cool color:
- Shampoo less. To extend time between washes, use dry shampoo
- If you don’t need to shampoo with blue shampoo, wash your hair with a shampoo for color-treated hair or a sulfate-free shampoo, which is less damaging than traditional shampoo and won’t strip your hair color
- Always follow with conditioner, as color dissipates quicker in dry and damaged hair
- Wear a hat when you’re out in the sun
Does blue shampoo work on natural brunette hair?
Color-treated brunettes will benefit the most from using blue shampoo, because the hair cuticles of color-treated hair is more expanded and therefor the blue pigment will absorb better. That said, blue shampoo can also tone natural brunettes, but they should use it more often and leave it on a little longer.