The 12 Best Blue Shampoos of 2024

Blue makes brunettes even bolder. (Say that five times fast.)

model with brown hair
(Image credit: Getty)

Brown hair may be common, but it's anything but basic. In fact, brown hair colors are so dynamic that they can be tough to maintain, even if you're painstakingly choosing all the right hair glosses, hair oils, and shampoos and conditioners. In other words, whether you've never dyed your hair or have just decided to go brunette, you still need to maintain your color so that it remains vibrant. Luckily, a blue shampoo can do just the trick, just as purple shampoos work to maintain blonde hair. 

"Blue shampoo is a gentle cleansing shampoo designed to help neutralize unwanted yellow and brassy tones in blonde and gray hair," explains celebrity stylist and HairBoss CEO Jamie Wiley. "It is formulated with blue pigments that help to counteract the yellow tones, leaving hair looking brighter and more vibrant."

Who Should Use a Blue Shampoo?

Simply put, Wiley says that blue shampoo "is ideal for anyone with dark blonde, gray hair, [or] brunette hair." This applies whether your brown color is natural or not, but if it's not, she adds that blue shampoo is ideal "to maintain the color of hair after a salon appointment."

Hairstylist Jennifer Korab agrees, adding, "As the weeks progress, it’s common for color-treated hair to become brassy regardless of color tone. Blue shampoo can counterbalance the brassy pigment and extend the life of the hair between salon visits." 

And how, exactly, does this work? Wiley explains: "Blue shampoo helps prevent brassiness by depositing blue pigments onto the hair to neutralize the yellow and orange tones that can occur due to sun exposure and other environmental factors. The blue shampoo also helps to seal in color, while adding moisture and shine."

So, how do you know it's time to break out the blue shampoo? "If someone struggles with fading to an unwanted yellow/orange brassy tone midway point between visits to the salon, they are a good candidate for blue shampoo," Wiley says. 

What To Look For in A Blue Shampoo

When shopping for a blue shampoo, both Wiley and Korab agree that customers should avoid products with sulfates. Korab adds that you should also steer clear of parabens and silicones. 

Wiley also lists a number of other qualities that make a blue shampoo great, including, "UV filters to protect hair from sun damage; a mild, low-pH formula to help maintain color and prevent brassiness; plant-based, color-enhancing ingredients like blueberry extract and blue-violet pigments; moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and panthenol to protect and repair hair; and, finally, Vitamin B5 to help strengthen hair strands."

How To Use Blue Shampoo

There are plenty of everyday hair products out there, but not every formula is suited for everyday use. Just as clarifying shampoos and hair growth shampoos are often best used as-needed, your blue shampoo may come with specific instructions, especially in terms of frequency and methodology. 

Korab walks us through the process. "Blue shampoo should be used on brunette hair that has been lightened or highlighted by applying blue tone pigment into the hair to help tone down brassy tones," she instructs. "For virgin hair or slightly processed hair, it is beneficial to use once a week to make hair appear healthier and shinier and keep brassy tones from coming through."

And again, it's important to assess both the instructions on the bottle and the needs of your hair in the moment so that you can find the best routine for you. Your brown hair will be glowing in no time. 

The Best Blue Shampoos

Meet the Experts

Hairstylist Jamie Wiley
Jamie Wiley

Jamie Wiley is an celebrity hairstylist, author, and haircare educator. She is also the CEO of HairBoss and the artistic director of Pureology. Currently, she is based in Coralville, Iowa.

Hairstylist Jennifer Korab
Jennifer Korab

Jennifer Korab is a hairstylist specializing in color and and extensions. She owns the Renaissance Salon and Revival Barber Shop, both of which are located in New Jersey. She also serves as a haircare educator for Pureology.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at