Toning Shampoos: A Personal Testimony

If you haven’t heard about “purple shampoo” or “color depositing shampoo” by now you may be living under a rock. While color depositing shampoos have been around for decades, it is gaining a whole new respect.

Previously, the purple/silver/blue products were used on those with white or very grey hair to keep the unwanted yellow tones out of their hair from environmental pollutants. There were also commonly shampoos for red deposit and dark tones for brunettes.  More recently, it has been reinvented with the surge of interested in “over-toned” hair that is silver, fashion colors, or an extreme cooled blonde as well as the addition for all natural hair color.

For the past several weeks my wife (who is blonde) and myself have been experimenting with several different brands and tones to see what brands we prefer and the effect these different lines have.  It has been especially interesting to try on myself due to the fact that my hair is light but “red.” I prefer the gold, copper, and orange tones so it was really visible in my hair to see the effect of the shampoos.

This wasn’t my first rodeo with the color depositing shampoos. I have used some in previous years when I actually had blonde hair. They have come a long way in just a few short years. It seems like almost every major line has some type of “blonde shampoo” or a specific “color correcting” shampoo. The tonal deposit ranges from nearly nothing to extreme. So extreme that, if you have light enough hair and you want to experiment with a true temporary color (i.e. pink, blue, etc.) you can with just a simple shampoo.

The lightest tonal deposits came from brands like Pureology, Redken, Goldwell, and Sexy Hair. Not that I don’t like these, they just did nothing to my hair. My hair was too warm to see any difference with the minimal tonal deposit contained in these shampoos/conditioners. Now, on someone with lighter hair, it was evident that there was some cooling effect on hair with only minimal yellow tones to cancel (which  make sense seeing that purple does not correct orange/brassy tones).

What I consider to be the mid-range in tonal deposit were the Matrix,  Framar “color lover” shampoo, TIGI, Pravana, and Clairol “shimmer lights.” These had a softening effect on my color and made a huge difference on my wife’s hair. With prolonged exposure (repeated washing or longer deposit duration) her hair was noticeably brighter, or even silver-toned.

The most tonal deposit came from the Celeb Luxury lines: VIRAL and Gem Lites.  I will also add that with the Framar “color lover” and the Matrix “so silver” and “brass off,”  if these shampoos were left on in excess of 2 minutes their toning power became much more potent. Back to the Celeb Luxury… These shampoos are crazy! They have two sub-lines. One is designed for the fashion colors such as green, pink, red, purple, yellow, just to name a few. The Gem Lites sub-line was more suited for natural colors. It was nice to see that you were able to deposit for all shades of blonde (warm and cool) as well as brunette, and red. They left the hair very shiny. I personally really liked the ginger/orange red depositing shampoo. It was marketed for strawberry blonde tones and it was right on target. I did personally try two VIRAL shampoos as well. I used the light pink in my hair to try to replicate a “rose gold” color. It worked. And it worked well. Crystal tried the lavender, purple and silver. All of which made her hair those colors. Within two washes all the tone was gone.

So what’s the catch? Well, here’s my opinion. All of these shampoos have something in common. They are depositing a superficial pigment into your hair. This means there is a layer of substance sitting on the outside of your hair’s cuticle layer. In my, and my wife’s experiences we weren’t in love with the way out hair felt after using these shampoos. Some were so minimal it was barely noticeable (Matrix, Pureology, Redken, Goldwell). While other were apparent (clairol “shimmer lights”,  Color lover, Celeb Luxury “VIRAL” and “Gem Lites”). It was nice to play with color but I did not like how my hair had an obvious feeling of residue. It doesn’t bother most people but I am a person who doesn’t like ANY product feel to my hair, so I am especially sensitive to it. I have talked with many other people and some of the more extreme shampoos don’t even bother them.

Conclusion, I think these shampoos are an amazing way to maintain the color of your hair or to play with a fashion color without to full commitment. I think that a color depositing shampoo should be in every blondes shower. I’m going to say that again. I THINK A TONING PRODUCT SHOULD BE IN EVERY BLONDES SHOWER. They are worth it when it comes to maintaining the vibrancy, tone, gloss, pigment, brightness, whatever you want to call it of a blondes hair. They don’t need to be used every single day, but can be, and they help rid your hair of unwanted yellow or brassy tones. To me that’s a win!

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Pureology Product Review

Why pureology? 

Anti-fade complex 

Bottles made of 50% recycled materials 

No sulfates in shampoos or conditioners 

Naturally derived plant extracts 

70+ shampoos per bottle (standard size) 

Okay enough of that… if you don’t already know, Pureology is the #1 color care specific product line.  It is a luxury hair care line and worth it! I’m going to be making this a series of reviews as I have now used all the Pureology lines carried at Legal Hair! 

Today I’m going to talk today specifically about the NEW hydrate “sheer” moisture shampoo, conditioner and air dry cream! 

The big difference between the hydrate and the hydrate sheer is the silicon free formula. What does this mean to you? It’s lighter weight and has a better feel. I personally prefer it to the regular hydrate. Although I have thick, boarder line coarse hair, I commonly find that products weigh my hair down too much. 

The hydrate sheer product line smells amazing!!! Although it has the same scent notes as the original hydrate I felt like it smelled lighter and more fresh. 

The slip of the product was so much better. It has a much more silkie feeling. The conditioner is much thinner than the original hydrate. I did notice it had better detangling qualities as I was able to finger comb my biggest problem areas with ease. 

The crown jewel of the product line (in my opinion) is the Air Dry Cream.   The genius behind this product is that is controls frizz, hydrates, and soothes dry hair without the need of blow dry or heat application. It left my hair SO INCREDIBLY SOFT. My wave/curl was left lightly yet perfectly contoured. My hair was not weighed down at all. The only “issue” I had was that my hair was almost too soft. Is that even such a thing? Even days after my hair maintained this softness. 

I have to give it up to this line. It is in the top 5 of my favorite shampoos and conditioners. And it’s 1 of the 2 favorites I have in the Pureology line.