Brassy hair got you down? If you’ve ever bleached your strands or had any form of highlights, chances are you’ve been met with the fear of brassy hair. You know that orange-toned color that makes a brunette feel like a pumpkin? Yup, that’s brass. But before you consider doing something drastic (don’t dye your hair again just yet!), blue shampoo might be the answer to neutralizing your lackluster locks. It’s time to go blue. Celebrity hairstylist and colorist Jennifer Korab, who has been working in the hair industry since she was 17 years old and is now the creator and founder of Renaissance Salon & Spa, breaks down the simple color theory behind investing in a blue shampoo. “Since every hair color has underlying warmth strands, (darker hair has underlying orange tones while lighter hair exposes underlying yellow tones), the blue shampoo is used to neutralize the orange tones in the darker hair,” she explains. “Blue and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel, meaning the blue pigment in the shampoo neutralizes the warm underlying tones exposed on pre-lightened brown hair.” Below, Korab answers all our blue shampoo questions and picks her favorite blue shampoos on the market.

Think of blue shampoo as a neutralizer. It’s formulated to counterbalance the coppery tones in your hair and leave you with a more cool-toned finish.

The most important thing is that the product is pigmented enough to neutralize all the unwanted brass tones. The second is to ensure the product is not drying to the hair. Third, you want to look for a shampoo that guarantees the integrity of your hair and keeps the strength and moisture in your hair. Finally, you also want to make sure the product does not strip your hair.

A Blue Shampoo Is The Answer to All Your Brassy Hair Woes

People with dark to medium brown hair who have previously lightened hair through any element of hair lightening, whether that’s highlights, balayage, all-over lightened, or permanent color to expose brassy tones.

Purple shampoo is ideal for those with lighter blonde streaks as purple is the opposite of blonde on the color wheel, thus working to cool down brass. Blue shampoo is perfect for brown-haired individuals, as blue and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel.

Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Matrix Brass Off Shampoo

Pureology Color Fanatic Top Coat + Tone