The 13 Best Blue Shampoos for Brown Hair

Feel blue...but, like, in a good way.

Brown hair, blue shampoo
(Image credit: Getty Images, Astrid Stawiarz)

While brown hair may be the most ubiquitous hair color, it's also arguably the most dynamic. Meaning, if you go brunette, you can't exactly set it and forget it. (As anyone who has ever walked out of the salon with shimmering mahogany tresses, only to wake up nary a month later to hair that's suddenly drab and lank, can readily attest.) Happily, a range of shampoos spiked with blue pigments can help preserve the truest, deepest, and most intentional brown hair color, says Los Angeles-based colorist Laura Gibson, who's also the Global Artistic Director at Rusk Hair.

What does blue shampoo do to brown hair, exactly?

Brown hair, by definition, is a mix of absolutely every color out there. But the shade of brown is determined by how much of the primary pigments you're working with. If you hair is deeper and more espresso-toned, you've got more red going. Mid-shades enjoy a redder orange, and the lightest browns, like toffee and ash, have almost all orange. That's where color theory comes in. "Green neutralizes red and blue neutralizes orange," explains Gibson. (That's why blue is directly across from orange on ye olde colour wheel.) And anything—from regular shampooing to sun exposure, swimming, and heated styling—can cause the deeper red pigments to seep from your strands, allowing the orangey ones to come through. And that's when you hair can start looking brassy or dull.

There's two ways to keep that from happening: First, be sure you're using a sulfate-free product, which are less damaging and won't strip the hair shaft. Second, try a shampoo with blue pigments, which will counteract any fading and orange-tones that are peeking through.

Okay, so what blue shampoo should I use?

Luckily for you, we've put together a list of some of our favorites.

Hannah Morrill
Hannah Morrill

Hannah Morrill is a writer and editor based in Portland, Maine. She’s an avid reader, an indifferent face-washer and a sunscreen/retinol evangelist.